Vancouver Island 2065: "We are turning vision into action," explains Eric Bonham at 2013 State of the Island Economic Summit


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Note to Reader:

Vancouver Island 2065, a new partnership Initiative was announced at the 2013 State of the Island Economic Summit, held on October 29/30 in Nanaimo, BC. A 3-person panel comprising Eric Bonham, Derek Richmond and Marianne Stolz elaborated on the vision at a Summit breakout session organized by CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island.

Vancouver Island 2065 calls for collaborative and effective relationships amongst key stakeholders island-wide in order to achieve ‘settlement in balance with environment and ecology’. Presented below is an extract from the commentary by Eric Bonham, a founding member of the CAVI Leadership Team. In his commentary, he drew parallels between Vancouver Island 2065 and a Bioneers Conference that he attended in San Francisco two weeks earlier.

Vancouver Island 2065: “Economy and Ecology – A Necessary Partnership for Water Sustainability”

“Two weeks ago I attended an outstanding conference called the Bioneers Conference. The theme was turning vision into action. This is exactly what we are trying to do on Vancouver Island,” stated Eric Bonham. He was previously a Director in two provincial Ministries – Environment and Municipal Affairs.

“What was particularly great about the Bioneers Conference is that it has been gathering people together for 25 years. Bioneer means biological pioneer. The conference brings together visionaries and pragmatists. It embraces interdisciplinary collaboration, networking and cultural diversity. It engages economists, industrial ecologists, solar engineers, business, politicians, urban planners, educators and First Nations elders.”

“But what were the outcomes? The outcomes include things like low carbon technology, green infrastructure, sustainable agriculture and creative business practices. And the broad principles include a commitment to a shared vision, the common good, fair play, a sense of ethics, and inclusion across cultures.”

Turning Vision Into Action

“I see that much of what was happening at the Bioneers Conference are things that could happen on Vancouver Island. When I mentioned that I was from Vancouver Island, a number of people who were very enthusiastic said ‘Wow, you guys live in a pretty special place’. So, how do we continue to be that special place and also have that vision for the next 50 years,” Eric Bonham asked rhetorically.

“Eva Kras is a visionary, scholar, traveler and author. She was here last year and attended this part of the Summit. Eva has always been a strong supporter of the idea that Vancouver Island has some special qualities that can make it a sustainability development model for Canada.”

Eric Bonham (2009)_120p“So what we are looking at today is sharing with you, not only the bigger vision (Vancouver Island 2065), but also the steps that we have taken to date….what we have done practically on Vancouver Island…that takes us towards that vision in the future.”

To Learn More:

To view Eric Bonham and hear what he said, click on CAVI-VIEA Panel presents vision for “Vancouver Island 2065″ at 2013 Summit to access a 9-minute video clip posted on YouTube. First, Kim Stephens (moderator) sets the scene for the panel session; after which Eric Bonham explains the genesis for CAVI a decade ago to provide a segue into his synthesis of the Bioneers Conference.

What is Bioneers?

Founder Kenny Ausubel coined the term Bioneers in 1990 to describe an emerging culture. Bioneers are social and scientific innovators from all walks of life and disciplines who have peered deep into the heart of living systems to understand how nature operates, and to mimic “nature’s operating instructions” to serve human ends without harming the web of life.

Nature’s principles—kinship, cooperation, diversity, symbiosis and cycles of continuous creation absent of waste—can also serve as metaphoric guideposts for organizing an equitable, compassionate and democratic society.

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