ANNOUNCEMENT OF SCHEDULE AND PROGRAM OBJECTIVES FOR 2008 COMOX VALLEY LEARNING LUNCH SEMINAR SERIES: “A paradigm is the grid through which we put all information and input about a subject,” stated Derek Richmond, City of Courtenay, when he reflected on the paradigm-shift necessary to create liveable communities and protect stream health (August 2008)

Note to Reader:

The Learning Lunch Seminar Series is a precedent-setting continuing education program for local government practitioners in planning, engineering, operations, building services, environment and parks. The series promotes a consistent provincial approach to rainwater management and green infrastructure.

The Cowichan Valley Regional District and City of Courtenay are the host local governments for the Vancouver Island pilot program. In total, participating Vancouver Island local governments represent some 250,000 people.

A Goal is Consistency at Local Government Front Counters

The Vancouver Island pilot is the first step in building a regional team approach. The seminars provide an interdepartmental and inter-municipal learning opportunity for  collaborative exploration. The desired outcome is that a common understanding of challenges and solutions will result in consistent expectations at front counters across the region.

When developers and development consultants hear a consistent message about what is expected of them, this will lead to implementation of good local examples that will further accelerate doing business differently.

The Learning Lunch Seminar Series is part of the implementation program for Beyond the Guidebook: The New Business As Usual. This provincial initiative builds on the foundation provided by Stormwater Planning: A Guidebook for British Columbia, published in 2002, and incorporates lessons learned over the past six years in moving from planning to action.

To Learn More:

The Cowichan Valley series comprised a set of three sessions held during the June – July 2008 period. To download a summary document that consolidates under one cover the set of Water Bucket web stories describing the content of each seminar, click on this link to 2008 Cowichan Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series.

2008 Comox Valley Seminar Series

The Comox Valley series will comprise three sessions at monthly intervals during the September – November 2008 period.

VI forum - kim stephens (120p)“Based on the experience that we gained from the Cowichan Valley series, we have made adjustments in the curriculum design that we believe will enhance the learning experience,” reports Kim Stephens, seminar team leader and Program Coordinator for the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. “By spreading the curriculum over three sessions, this enables participants to absorb new information and blend it with their own experience.”

To Learn More:

For program information, download a copy of the Program Outline for Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series.

East Courtenay Walkabout

Kevin lagan, courtenay city engineer“One of the successful aspects of the Cowichan Valley series was the use of walkabouts, in particular that for the Busy Place Creek drainage area, because the walkabouts facilitated conversations and on-the-ground learning,” observes Kevin Lagan, Director of Operational Services for the City of Courtenay. “Learning from this experience, we will be featuring the east Courtenay area in the first seminar because this part of the city has evolved from fields and forest over the past two decades, and so has our approach to rainwater/stormwater management.”

“By placing the spotlight on the east Courtenay area,  this will help seminar participants understand why drainage practices comprise a continuum of paradigms, and communities progress at different rates along the continuum,” adds Derek Richmond, Manager of Engineering for the City of Courtenay. “In the first seminar, the theme will be evolution. After that, the focus will be on tools, in particular legal and policy strategies that will help implement the New Business As Usual. Finally, the third seminar will look at how all the elements of regional needs fit together.”

“A paradigm is what we think is true and right about a certain subject. It’s the grid through which we put all information and input about a subject. In fact, it’s everything we think is true about something.”

To Learn More:

To learn more about how drainage practices have evolved over time, click on this link to Do you know where you really are in the shifting paradigms of stormwater management?

CAVI – Convening for Action on Vancouver Island

The Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series is being implemented under the umbrella of CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island. CAVI is co-funded by the Real Estate Foundation, the Ministry of Environment, and the Ministry of Community Development. The shared vision is to move toward water sustainability by implementing green infrastructure policies and practices.

“Throughout the series, we will be challenging participants by asking what will everyone do better or differently after the series to achieve a shared vision for their community and for Vancouver Island as a whole,” concludes Kim Stephens. “This is why it is so important to get everyone thinking in terms of the What – So What – Now What mind-map.” The process for moving from a vision to implementation of a strategy is captured in the graphic below. The goal is to implement the New Business As Usual.

 Posted August 2008