Communautique: Promoting community engagement through communications and ICT - By : Monique Chartrand,

Communautique: Promoting community engagement through communications and ICT

Monique Chartrand
Monique Chartrand Author profile
Monique Chartrand is the Director General at Communautique.

Courtesy of Communautique: Substance CC license applies to it.

What is Communautique?

Communautique is an organization whose mission is to support community engagement by promoting information literacy, the appropriation of information and communication technologies (ICT), and the development of related tools.

Over the past 15 years, Communautique has been helping the public deepen their understanding of technology with a view to promoting economic and social development. Communautique has trained and equipped hundreds of organizations and assisted thousands of people. In doing so, it has earned an outstanding reputation for encouraging community participation through the use of technology. While working with partners to find ways to bridge the digital divide, Communautique has identified a number of innovative learning tools, including: Living laboratories, shared work spaces, learning circles,digital labs and  video remixes

These are powerful means of promoting learning, development and the application of personal skills in ways that are both communal (learning with others or from others) and entrepreneurial (learning through initiative and action).

Communautique is involved in research, development and representation on social participation in the information community—whether it be local, provincial, national, North American or international. This expertise positions the organization as a leader in the use of technologies, which in turn is essential to the innovative process. Communautique coordinates the Remix Commons project, an intercultural space for sharing and co-creating multimedia documents on public commons.

Communautique founded Mandalab, an open-innovation ecosystem

Communautique founded Mandalab, a living lab that supports innovation and resolves complex challenges by leveraging community users as sources of innovation. By offering a diverse range of services in an open-innovation ecosystem, living labs give businesses, institutions, organizations, agencies and elected officials the opportunity to work with community users to co-create in a real-life context.

Living labs emphasize collaboration and sharing between organizations so that they can achieve results that wouldn’t have been possible if the parties had worked separately. They are based on the assumption that organizations have trouble getting a full and up-to-date picture of the various dynamics within their ecosystems. (More on this subject)


Mandalab Circle

Communautique and échoFab

In Quebec, Communautique was the precursor to living labs, which the organization was largely responsible for promoting, as well as for Fab Labs. In fact, Communautique’s initiatives include:

  • Creating échoFab, the first Fab Lab in Canada
  • Co-developing the Quebec Fab Lab Network
  • Co-founding the Francophone Fab Lab Network

It leads a network of organizations that work to make technology more accessible and promote social innovation.

At échoFab, a diverse range of community members comes together to discuss projects. Users have access to all kinds of skills and knowledge, and they can even receive in-house training on how to use different machines or software. (More on this subject to follow in a separate article)


échoFab worskshop: Phlatprinter in 2012

An innovative and transformative organization, Communautique reinforces community creativity and solidarity

The work done by Communautique and its ecosystem helps mobilize residents, improve quality of life, and stimulate innovation on the scientific, economic, social and technological fronts. Moreover, it promotes knowledge transfer. In relying on residents and their communities to innovate and transform, Communautique reinforces creativity and solidarity within society while strengthening an economy for the common good, a promising economic system.

Having recently joined the Carrefour d’innovation INGO located in the heart of Montreal’s Quartier de l’innovation (Innovation District), Communautique is fulfilling a longstanding dream of partnering with a technological leader by joining forces with École de technologie supérieure, an institution known for its community involvement. Communautique is also working closely with other partners that pursue economic and community development. The group was delighted to discover the École d’innovation citoyenne de l’ÉTS already up and running, and immediately partnered with it to co-develop projects for the common good involving students, educational institutions (including universities and cegeps), as well as local residents and organizations.

Finally, Communautique has joined forces with the Quartier de l’innovation, which has had a similar experience developing its interpretation of innovation. The Quartier de l’innovation consistently offers a creative ecosystem made up of industrial businesses, artists, craftspeople, start-ups, accelerators, shared work spaces and green spaces—all of which encourage community participation.

Open to the public on Monday and Thursday, 2 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Open to the ÉTS community on Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Carrefour d’innovation INGO
355 Peel St., Suite 111
Montreal (Bonaventure metro)
Contact: Marc-Olivier Ducharme, Fab Manager <[email protected]>


Monique Chartrand

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Monique Chartrand is the Director General at Communautique.

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