CAVI Forum within VIEA Summit: "each new initiative builds upon the energy of those gone before it," says Eric Bonham




Note to Reader:

The State of the Island Economic Summit hosted by the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance (VIEA) is an important meeting place for building collaboration between communities. Following the keynote address by Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, a featured breakout session on October 15th was the “Forum within the Summit” organized by the CAVI (Convening for Action on Vancouver Island) initiative.

The Forum was co-narratored by Eric Bonham and Kim Stephens. Eric Bonham is a founding member of the CAVI Leadership Team. Prior to retiring from government, he had been a Director in two provincial Ministries, namely Environment and Municipal Affairs. Kim Stephens is the Executive Director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC. The Partnership is the umbrella entity for the CAVI initiative.


Towards a Vancouver Island Vision

“When developing the program script, Kim Stephens and I had our moments of wondering whether we were trying to cram too much into the day..but the over-riding sense was that we all have an important piece of the story to share and active committed leaders in different parts of the island to share it…and everyone came through in spades as a team, right within the timeline…!!  We thank them all,” states Eric Bonham.

“The value of a Vancouver Island Vision, as well as the purpose of CAVI, is that it provides a vehicle  to relay success stories that otherwise might not be shared other than in their immediate locale. In essence, each new initiative builds upon the energy of those gone before it towards the common objective of creating sustainable communities on Vancouver Island.”

“Marianne Stolz of VIEA raised, in her remarks, the issue of engaging young people in the Vancouver Island Vision and I totally agree. As Eva Kras and I found out in our discussions with Royal Roads University staff of recent, those present considered the 50-year Vancouver Island Vision initiative as a potential opportunity to challenge students and move them from theory to practice in their academic studies on sustainability issues. Such engagement is more inclusive than university however, important as that is, rather it is to broadly engage young minds at all levels in the values associated with sustainability.”

“Eva Kras brought to the discussion an invaluable viewpoint on left brain right brain thinking..which nicely balanced the program as well as challenging some core issues. If time had been available I believe this discussion could have continued on for some time. We thank Eva for finding the time to share with us in Nanaimo,” concludes Eric Bonham.


It Was a Team Effort Indeed

“From Eric and my perspectives, the storyline unfolded just as we anticipated that it would. As always, the key was “structured flexibility” – when the structure is sound, it becomes easy for everyone to go with the flow and adapt to the moment,” continues Kim Stephens. 

“All in all, we exceeded our own expectations as to what we thought we might be able to achieve through our participation in the Summit. The primary objective was to build on the budding relationship with VIEA so that phrase “economy and ecology in balance” will be a shared mantra. That objective was achieved.” 

“The summary commentary by Dan Hurley of Vancouver Island University, sure captured the significance of the day. It was pretty ambitious to have a team of 10 as we did. And it worked! It was all about projecting the sense of team, and that is exactly what everyone did. Everyone felt good. What more could we ask?”


To Learn More:

The Forum had two halves: first in Hour #1, LOOK BACK at what has been accomplished by theCAVI initiative over the past six years; then, in Hour #2 LOOK AHEAD to paint a picture of settlement,ecology and economy in balance. The CAVI presentation team comprised 10 individuals representing different regions and a diversity of perspectives. Each hour included a panel and a featured presenter.

“It was a good event. It resonated with the crowd – and I had at least 4 or 5 folks who were new to the CAVI universe come up to me and indicate how much they appreciated the event and learning about CAVI.  A few were even elected officials!,” reports Oliver Brandes of the POLIS Project on Ecological Governance at the Univeristy of Victoria. He was part of the Hour #1 Panel.

To download a copy of the PowerPoint slides that provided structure for the Forum and guided the efforts of the team, click on “Economy and Ecology – A Necessary Partnership for Water Sustainability” – A Future Vision for Vancouver Island.