STITCHING TOGETHER AN ALTERED LANDSCAPE: “An ‘Actionable Vision’ translates good intentions into practices on the ground. It is driven by leadership that mobilizes people and partnerships, a commitment to ongoing learning and innovation, and a budget to back it up,” stated Kim Stephens, Partnership for Water Sustainability (Announcement #4 in February 2020 for the Comox Valley 2020 Symposium – which was postponed and then reimagined due to COVID 19 pandemic)

Note to Reader:

Dating back to 2006 when the CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island program was launched, program managers with four Vancouver Island regional districts and their member municipalities have collaborated under the umbrella of initiatives facilitated by the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia. In 2012, CAVI morphed into the Georgia Basin Inter-Regional Education Initiative (IREI) when Metro Vancouver was added to the mix.

The purpose of inter-regional collaboration is sharing and peer-based learning, with a goal of adapting water sustainability and ‘design with nature’ concepts to the individual regional contexts. In 2016, the five regional district partners passed Board Resolutions expressing support for IREI program objectives for the 5-year period 2016-2021. Sharing and learning from each other has encouraged consideration, testing, and application of new ideas and approaches.

Are you curious to learn about BC’s climate reality, inter-regional collaboration & actionable visions? If your answer is YES, then join us in Courtenay at the Comox Valley 2020 Symposium. The symposium format provides a neutral forum for local elected representatives, local government staff, stewardship groups and others to ‘convene for action’ to improve where we live.

BC’s Climate Reality, Inter-Regional Collaboration & Actionable Visions

What happens on the land matters to water bodies! Water-centric programs underway in the Comox Valley, Cowichan Valley, Nanaimo and Capital regions are foundation pieces for stitching together an altered landscape. Are you aware of the scope, scale and interplay of an array of initiatives and programs underway on Vancouver Island? Do you wonder whether and how these initiatives and programs are making a difference?

Join us for a facilitated panel conversation complete with audience interaction segments! No set PowerPoint presentations; just spontaneous interaction. In Module E on Day Two, a team of five inter-regional champions will share and reflect on successes, challenges and lessons learned over the past decade in their regions. They will point the way forward to grow the restorative footprint. Richard Boase, District of North Vancouver, returns by popular demand as Day Two moderator. 

Below, the storyline describing Module E is structured in two parts. First, the ‘big picture’ context for an inter-regional conversation at Comox Valley 2020. Then, an overview of how the panel will provide a memorable experience for the audience.

To Learn More:


Visit the Symposium homepage on the learn much, much more about the “stories behind the stories”

Improve Where We Live: Convening for Action on Vancouver Island

“A reality is that progress will be incremental when transforming good intentions and high-level policies into standard practices on the ground – especially when success in the local government setting depends so much on alignment of interests, such that all the players embrace shared responsibility,” states Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia.

“The 4Cs – communication, cooperation, coordination and collaboration – are also essential ingredients.

“An appropriate analogy is building a bridge across a river. The time to construct the foundation can seem like an eternity. But then, very quickly, the bridge superstructure takes shape as the pace of construction accelerates.”

From Awareness to Action

“Context for the facilitated conversation and audience interaction segments that comprise Module E on Day Two at Comox Valley 2020 is provided as follows,” continues Kim Stephens.

“When you (the reader) think about BC’s new climate reality, do you wonder what regional governments can realistically do to respond to the challenge?

“Are you aware that there is value in inter-regional collaboration, and that sharing and learning from each other helps the program managers and doers in four Vancouver Island regions adapt concepts and approaches to the local context?

“Before you read the headline at the top, would it have occurred to you that an actionable vision for land and water is driven by leadership that mobilizes people and partnerships, a commitment to ongoing learning and innovation, and a budget to back it up?

“Does it surprise you that moving from awareness to action in the local government setting depends on patience, perseverance and a shared commitment that builds consensus on what must be done?”

Structure for Facilitated Conversation & Audience Interaction Segments

The goal of Team Module E is to provide symposium participants with a memorable experience. An engaging format will allow the audience to interact with panel members.

Tell Us What You Wonder 

Module E has two distinctively different  parts. Part 1 is the facilitated conversation. Prompted by Richard Boase, the five panel members will interact amongst themselves, and go with the flow, to share and provide context for their experiences in leading and managing change. Part 2 comprises two forms of audience interaction –

  • first, an open mike so that participants can ask questions that build on what they have heard from the panel conversation; and secondly,
  • panel members will disperse into the audience to engage participants in five smaller groups. The purpose of this form of interaction is to engage the half of the audience that is reluctant to stand up in front of a crowd to ask questions.
The Module E title weaves three big ideas – BC’s Climate Reality, Inter-Regional Collaboration, and Actionable Visions. Cascading in nature, these big ideas will be framed as questions to guide the panel conversation.

Spotlight on Actionable Visions

The panel members will provide insider insights into an array of initiatives and programs underway on Vancouver Island.

In Module E, the panel will explore application of the three big ideas. They are connected. First, BC’s climate reality provides an over-arching context and a compelling reason for doing business differently. Secondly, inter-regional collaboration then helps everyone achieve more with limited resources. At the end of the day, however, an Actionable Vision is driven by the line items that comprise each local government’s annual budget.


Designed to paint a picture of the 2-day symposium, the series delves into the details of the cascading program. The goal is to inform, educate and establish delegate expectations. To learn more, click on the links to the three previous articles in the series: