GETTING AHEAD OF THE WAVE: Set of seven "Curriculum Preview Stories" established expectations for 2009 Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series held during the September-November period
NOTE TO READER:
In 2009, the Comox Valley was in the early stages of demonstrating what a ‘regional team approach’ looks like. A desired outcome in collaborating was alignment of goals and actions at three scales – provincial, regional and local. The essence of the regional team approach is that all the players will set their sights on the common good and challenge the old barriers of jurisdictional interests. The provincial government designated the Comox Valley as a pilot region for implementation of the regional team approach.
The primary purpose of the 2009 Learning Lunch Seminar Series was to advance the team-building process for aligning inter-governmental efforts. The ‘convening for action’ process was guided by a belief that partnerships, collaboration, innovation and integration would enable the four Comox Valley local governments to make the best choices over time for living water smart and building greener communities.
Storyline for 2009 Comox Valley Seminar Series
Leading up to the first seminar, a set of seven stories progressively foreshadowed and/or elaborated on what would be covered in the Series. Briefly:
- On July 14, 2009: Story #1 titled Comox Valley Regional District will host 2009 Learning Lunch Seminar Series introduced the purpose of a ‘regional team approach’ as a springboard beyond the Comox Valley.
- On July 28, 2009: Story #2 titled CAVI releases program details for 2009 Vancouver Island Learning Lunch Seminar Series provided context for a paradigm-shift that will result in regional alignment around the concept of settlement in balance with ecology.
- On August 24, 2009: Story #3 titled What Drives Settlement on the East Coast of Vancouver Islandinitiated a conversation about “one market, from Cobble Hill to Campbell River”.
- On September 9, 2009: Story #4 titled A Regional Perspective on Water Supply in the Comox Valley provided a broad-brush picture of source quality and watershed protection, population source capacity, infrastructure expansion and financing issues.
- On September 9, 2009: Story #5 titled An Integrated Watershed Approach to Settlement Changeconnected the dots between the Comox Valley Conservation Strategy and the regional team approach.
- On September 15, 2009: Story #6 titled The Comox Valley Learning Lunch Seminar Series is for Implementers reflected the perspectives of municipal staffs who will be tasked with implementing regional outcomes.
- On September 22, 2009: Story #7 titled Today’s Expectations are Tomorrow’s Standards In British Columbia elaborated on provincial expectations and programs that provide direction as to where the Province wants to go with Living Water Smart and the Green Communities Initiative.
These stories serve as resource materials for the 2009 Learning Lunch Seminar Series. As the stories have been developed, this has provided the Comox Valley Organizing Team with an opportunity to focus on and formulate core concepts and key messages.
The Hard Work of Collaboration
“The Learning Lunch Series comprised three seminars, but the three events by themselves represented the tip of the iceberg when compared to the total investment of time and effort by the four Comox Valley local governments and the other partners,” explained Kim Stephens, Exective Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia. He worked with the Comox Valley regional team to develop the curriculum and then facilitated the seminars.
“The exploratory conversations began in January 2009, curriculum development was initiated in April, and the Comox Valley organizing team met on a regular basis throughout the year. From the beginning, the four local governments had been looking ahead to the following year (2010), and what they wished to achieve through collaboration.
“One of the outcomes of the Learning Lunch Series was that the planners and engineers in the Comox Valley were talking to each other, listening to each other, and developing a common language. It was fascinating to observe the transformation over a period of many months.”
TO LEARN MORE:
Download a copy of Demonstrating Commitment to the Regional Team Approach in the Comox Valley, released in November 2009.