DOWNLOAD A COPY OF: “Living Water Smart: Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative, a unique mechanism for local government collaboration” – released by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in November 2022

Note to Reader:

Waterbucket eNews celebrates the leadership of individuals and organizations who are guided by the Living Water Smart vision. The edition published on November 22, 2022 featured the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative. Launched in 2012, the IREI facilitates peer-based education and collective leadership among local governments located on the east coast of Vancouver and in the Lower Mainland. The IREI partners demonstrate “collaborative leadership in action”.

Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Initiative, a unique mechanism for local government collaboration

The pressing need for timely, affordable and effective solutions is the driver for local government collaboration under the banner of the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI). The goal of collaboration is to build local government capacity, capability, and competence to deliver on expectations.

In 2012, the Partnership asked five Regional Boards – Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo Region, Comox Valley, Capital Region, and Metro Vancouver – to support inter-governmental and inter-regional collaboration that leverages more with the same resources. And so, the IREI was launched.

Asset Management for Sustainable Service Delivery, Watershed Health, Rainwater Management – these are inter-connected and longstanding priorities for communities on the east coast of Vancouver Island and in the Lower Mainland region. An overarching message is that “green infrastructure is the pathway to water sustainability”.

KEY MESSAGE #1: Collaborative leadership delivers results across boundaries

The IREI program showcases what “collaborative leadership in action” looks like. It is about bringing the right people together in constructive ways with good information, such that they create authentic visions and strategies for addressing the shared concerns of their organizations and community.

With this edition of Waterbucket eNews, we celebrate a decade of accomplishment under the IREI banner. Look back to see ahead. That is the Partnership frame of reference. Going forward, the Partnership emphasis is on inter-generational collaboration and the passing of the baton.

KEY MESSAGE #2: Ambassadors Program is a pathway to inter-generational collaboration

Dr. Jane Wei-Skillern’s guiding principles for collaborative leadership flow from her groundbreaking research into organizational behaviour when she was an Assistant Professor at Harvard Business School at Harvard University. Derek Richmond, chair of the Partnership’s ambassadors program,  explains why Dr. Jane is a valued advisor to the Partnership:

“Dr. Jane Wei-Skillern always acts as a great sounding board about the concepts underpinning our network approach in general and our Ambassadors Program in particular. Earlier in November, we touched bases with Dr. Jane to seek her insight into how we ensure the succession, sustainability and credibility of the partnership network.”

“She validated that we have been doing things right with the IREI and Ambassadors programs. We knew that intuitively but it helps when a ‘neutral’ party reaffirms that. For me, the biggest takeaway from our conversation with Dr. Jane concerns the what, how and who’ as the current leadership of the Partnership looks ahead to pass the baton.”

“The Ambassadors Program complements the IREI Program and is emerging as a foundation piece for inter-generational collaboration. Using it as the example of WHAT; – this was the breakthrough to articulate our need for succession planning and sustainability of the network. The WHO now becomes obvious as the ambassadors themselves.”

“The HOW is now clear too, by looking back at what we were successful with in the past. As we look back to see ahead, it is clear in our minds that the Ambassadors Program is a pathway to inter-generational collaboration,” concludes Derek Richmond.


To read the complete story published on November 22nd, 2022, download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Educational Initiative, a unique mechanism for local government collaboration .