DIALOGUE IN NANAIMO: “The decision to choose water fell into place once our Board reflected on the issues of the day and the interests of our sponsors, in particular BC Hydro,” stated Kathy Bishop in an interview after Leadership Vancouver Island successfully organized a dialogue on freshwater sustainability at Vancouver Island University (June 2010)

Note to Reader:

This story is reproduced from the Communities in Transition Information Resource, an initiative of the Real Estate Foundation of British Columbia. In July 2010, CITinfoResource editor and manager Hans Peter Meyer interviewed Kathy Bishop, organizer of the Dialogue in Nanaimo.

Kathy Bishop is Curriculum Chair with Leadership BC Central Vancouver Island. Her organization hosted the Dialogue in Nanaimo in June. She talked to Hans Peter Meyer about leadership, water, and why Leadership BC Central Vancouver Island chose water sustainability as the theme for its leadership dialogue series. 

Why Choose Water Sustainability?

“The decision to choose water fell into place once our Board reflected on the issues of the day and the interests of our sponsors, in particular BC Hydro. When we started our research to find out what was being done, we immediately connected with CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island,” states Kathy Bishop.

“CAVI has done a lot of work and wants to expand the coalition. The Dialogue in Nanaimo presented an opportunity for CAVI and Leadership BC to join forces, collaborate, and together connect with new audiences.”

Next: The Vancouver Island Summit

“The ‘Dialogue in Nanaimo’ was structured around a water sustainability panel. Rather than talking heads, the panel engaged in a form of ‘improv theatre’ to feed off each other in spontaneously expressing key messages about water.”

“This primed the audience for ‘small group’ dialogues in eight theme areas. The small groups dialogue were followed by a ‘big group’ dialogue. A lot of ideas and information were generated by the small groups. In the big group we started to look at what needs to happen. Dialogue is one thing. We also need action.”

“The ‘Dialogue in Nanaimo’ is a stepping stone to the ‘State of the Island Economic Summit’ in October 2010. Part of the dialogue process is summarizing what we heard, inviting people back to the table, and developing a plan of action for moving forward. The Draft Plan will then be shared at a water sustainability breakout session at the Summit.”

An Introduction to Leadership BC – Central Vancouver Island

Launched in 2002, Leadership BC is a BC Chamber of Commerce initiative to build local capacity. Nanaimo and Ladysmith were the pilot projects for this provincial initiative. The two were subsequently amalgamated to form Leadership BC – Central Vancouver Island. It is supported locally by the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce.

Patrick ross (120p) - chair“Our mission is to seek out and cultivate potential and emerging leaders in the Central Vancouver Island region,” states Patrick Ross, Chair. “The program goal is to prepare community leaders across BC to take an active role in moving their communities forward by working with them to foster a better understanding of how the issues impacting their communities are interconnected and by forging stronger relationships among community and regional leaders.”