Gaining Ground Summit Brings World-Class Speakers to Victoria


Pre-Conference Workshop on “Convening for Action” will celebrate Vancouver Island successes

Paul Hawken and Harrison Fraker are only two of several world-class speakers who will be presenting at Gaining Ground 2. This national conference is a followup to last year’s highly successful event. Gaining Ground is one of the premier conference events in North America for leaders in business, policy, governance and education focussed on an integrated, regenerative approach to development and land use.

The Gaining Ground conference program is designed to foster a convergence of ideas and people, approaches and professions, to ensure the conference ‘conversation’ is rich and charged with potential for new thought and collaboration. This event is much more than an ‘industry’ conference and, like ingredients in a meal, it incorporates several themes.

  • One is leadership. The conference intends to hear from leaders in several fields who will candidly discuss their accomplishments, challenges and frustrations; inspire each other; and energize the innovation and leadership capacities in all of us.
  • Another is integrative, or whole systems, thinking about sustainability. The plenary presentations, salon topics and the wide range of delegate disciplines are all intended to foster intellectual collaboration, and to build novel communities of thought at the conference. We need to learn from each other, and sustainability is as much about the cultivation of a fresh view of life and practice as it is about a series of narrow, technical fixes.
  • A third is the identification and transfer of strategies, techniques, and values that move sustainability forward in practical ways, in these fields of action: development practice; policy and governance; education, professional development and training; public thought and community capacity-building; valuation, finance and investment (where we face an enormous challenge to shift from ‘bottom line’ to ‘triple bottom line’ thinking); and urban planning, land use and design.

About the Speakers

Paul hawkenPaul Hawken has spent over a decade researching organizations dedicated to restoring the environment and fostering social justice. He is the author / co-author six books. Paul Hawken is an environmentalist, entrepreneur, journalist, and author. Starting at age 20, he dedicated his life to sustainability and changing the relationship between business and the environment. His practice has included starting and running ecological businesses, writing and teaching about the impact of commerce on living systems, and consulting with governments and corporations on economic development, industrial ecology, and environmental policy.

Paul heads the Natural Capital Institute, a research group located in Sausalito, California. Natural Capital Institute (NCI) conducts research in diverse areas including socially responsible investing (SRI), global civil society, environmental funding, and water.

Harrison frakerChosen as the fifth Dean of the College of Environmental Design, Harrison Fraker was educated as an architect and urban designer at Princeton and Cambridge Universities and is recognized as a pioneer in passive solar, daylighting and sustainable design research and teaching. He has pursued a career bridging innovative architecture and urban design education with an award-winning practice. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for creating a new College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at the University of Minnesota and was appointed the founding Dean. He was granted Fellowship in the AIA College of Fellows for his distinguished career of bridging education and practice.

He has published seminal articles on the design potential of sustainable systems and urban design principles for transit oriented neighborhoods. He teaches design studio and believes in integrating pragmatic and theoretical analysis to create new knowledge about the most critical environmental design challenges facing society. He is currently pursuing his beliefs through a whole systems design approach for entirely resource-self-sufficient, transit-oriented neighborhoods of 100,000 people in China.

Pre-Conference Workshop

The Gaining Ground Summit will be preceded by a pre-conference workshop organized by the Convening for Action on Vancouver Island Partnership. This event is titled Creating Our Future: What will Vancouver Island look like in 50 years?

To Learn More:

For background on how the workshop came about and what it hopes to achieve, and for a synopsis of the Vancouver Island case studies that will be featured, click on 2007 Creating Our Future Workshop..

The CAVI Partnership includes the British Columbia Water & Waste Association, the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia, the provincial Ministries of Environment and Community Services, and the Green Infrastructure Partnership.

Previously, the CAVI Leadership Team made a presentation at the 2007 Annual Conference of the Association of Vancouver Island Coastal Communities which was held in Qualicum Beach. For more on that story, click on ‘Convening for Action on Vancouver Island’ Resonates with Elected Officials at Qualicum Beach Conference

CAVI partnership  - logo, april 2007