Eva Kras: "50-Year Vision" for Vancouver Island is a model for Canada!



THE BLOCKAGE – Rethinking Organizational Principles for the 21st Century

Effective change in the way we develop land and use water will result from collaboration of business, local government and community. A desired outcome is a healthy economy within a sustainable environment.

Convening for Action at the VIEA Summit

On October 15 in Nanaimo, the Vancouver Island Economic Summit will feature the CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island initiative. CAVI has brought together four regional districts as partners in an Inter-Regional Education Initiative. The “CAVI forum within the Summit” is viewed as a springboard to collaboration, alignment and a consistent approach to achieve water and watershed sustainability up and down the east coast of Vancouver Island.

The CAVI forum follows the keynote address by Mark Carney, “arguably Canada’s most innovative Bank of Canada governor to date (certainly one of its most outspoken),” says Kerry Slavens, Editor of Douglas Business Magazine in theOcotber-November issue that features the VIEA Summit. “Carney has boldly waded in to chastise the banking industry and to push reforms, and he was the first Bank of Canada governor to speak at a Canadian Auto Workers’ convention. He’s not afraid of uncharted territory, where the real innovation usually happens.” And now he has honoured by VIEA by choosing to speak at the Summit.

Eva Kras, a past-President of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics, is the featured presenter in the CAVI Forum. She will connect the dots between Mark Carney’s key messages and the Forum theme: “Settlement, Economy and Ecology in Balance”. Eva Kras is a visionary, scholar, traveler and author of THE BLOCKAGE–Rethinking Organizational Principles for the 21st Century.

In addition to connecting the dots, Eva Kras will comment on the nature of the BLOCKAGE that makes it so challenging for individuals and communities to move from talk (i.e awareness) to action (i.e. practice). According to Eva Kras, a key to bridging the gap between talk and action is understanding how our brains function – that is, ‘left brain’ versus ‘right brain’ thinking.

The title of her presentation at the “CAVI Forum within the VIEA Summit” is Flushing the Blockage: An Outsider’s Perspective on the CAVI Initiative.

From Awareness to Practice

“Our apparent ‘blockage’ in moving from preoccupation with short-term gratification to buy-in for a long-term vision is a consequence of society in general providing credibility predominantly for immediate, concrete results. Unfortunately, the long view of ‘what will this be like in 50 years’ and policy to support such vision is difficult to establish and even harder to defend over time when decision-makers are regularly challenged with the demands of the day,” states Eva Kras.

“Yet we need both immediate-term pragmatism and visionary dedication to sustainability if we are to preserve our capacity for positive and permanent regional vitality. Breakthroughs result when we take leaps of faith and apply our pragmatic skills to the ‘big picture’.”

“The knack is to demonstrate that the road to both short and long term economic security is through COLLABORATION. We have to demonstrate that ‘business as usual’ will eventually result in economic loss both short and long term. Then hearts and minds will be receptive to a vision for settlement, economy and ecology in balance. This is why I am so impressed by the collaboration that is gathering momentum on Vancouver Island.”

Vancouver Island is a Model for Canada

“Vancouver Island presently runs the risk of a dangerous situation: a conflict between water and land interests, that is, between ecology and economics,” observes Eva Kras. “As I see it, the presence of Mark Carney at the Summit is VERY important to emphasize that ‘you are on to something important’ in his mind. We should not underestimate the likely significance of that consideration.”

“On the ground , it appears to me that VIEA and CAVI  working together are in an important position — at the forefront of this challenge. The fact that the process has already had some practical success (CAVI’s work success over several years) is key to confirming the critical importance of collaboration.  As a result, Vancouver Island has a huge possibility, and responsibility, to form a type of model that communities in Canada can look to for ideas, related especially to the concept of collaboration, even though the actual implementation will differ by region.”