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CONVENING FOR ACTION AT ‘THE DIALOGUE IN NANAIMO’: ‘We want this day to be a springboard to action. We want to create some initial hope for water sustainability solutions,” stated Patrick Ross, Chair of Leadership Vancouver Island, when he opened the proceedings (June 2010)

“What is the Dialogue in Nanaimo about? We want to entertain you a little bit. We want to engage you. We want to show you an atypical presentation – that is, a few vignettes taking a wander throughout the world of water sustainability. So, why are we doing this today? We want to structure some dialogue that perhaps will create some networking for the future. What outcome do we want? We would hope that the individuals in this room would learn some more about this incredibly critical component of our lives. We want you to seek, greet and meet folks in this room; and find out what other people are doing,” stated Patrick Ross.

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CONVENING FOR ACTION AT ‘THE DIALOGUE IN NANAIMO’: “Kathy Bishop’s focus as team leader and facilitator was on getting the ‘improv team’ to share stories that would enable and inspire individuals and organizations to reflect, understand relationships and responsibilities, and promote community water related action,” stated Kim Stephens when reflecting on how the water sustainability panel primed the audience for small group discussions (June 2010)

The Dialogue in Nanaimo was organized and facilitated by Kathy Bishop of Leadership Vancouver Island, She recruited a team of and knowledgeable individuals who were willing to participate in an ‘improv theatre’ format rather than make formal presentations. “It was a team-building process, with the objective of becoming comfortable with the ‘improv format’. Kathy was doing her PhD at the University of Victoria, and we were part of her applied research. We came together as a team, and our camaraderie was on display for all to see on the day of the Dialogue.”

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CONVENING FOR ACTION AT ‘THE DIALOGUE IN NANAIMO’: “We need to change the way the engineering community looks at stormwater in order to prevent drainage from upland residential areas causing problems in the agricultural lowlands,” stated Ted van der Gulik when he was asked why the Ministry of Agriculture chairs the intergovernmental Water Balance Model Partnership (June 2010)

“Farmers are saying it is not the big storms that cause them problems. Rather, it is all the little storms. All the water from the uplands is just enough that the farmers cannot get on their land and plant or harvest their crops. Development in the uplands is affecting the way we are trying to manage agriculture. So we need to change the way we are doing things in the uplands. It is about replenishing the groundwater,” stated Ted van der Gulik.

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CONVENING FOR ACTION AT ‘THE DIALOGUE IN NANAIMO’: “When it was released in 2002, British Columbia’s Stormwater Planning Guidebook advanced the premise that land development and watershed protection can be compatible. At the time, this was a new way of thinking,” stated John Finnie, Chair, CAVI-Convening for Action on Vancouver Island, when he launched the rollout of Beyond the Guidebook 2010 on behalf of the Partnership for Water Sustainability (June 2010)

“Beyond the Guidebook 2010 is really the story of convening for action for water sustainability. It is about what we are calling the ‘new business as usual’. We have the tools. We have the knowledge. We know what to do on the ground. It is just a matter of applying those things when we are talking about development opportunities,” stated John FInnie. “We really need to change the way we think about land use and development. The goal is to be water-centric. The key to this way-of-thinking is the idea of ‘designing with nature’.”

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CONVENING FOR ACTION AT ‘THE DIALOGUE IN NANAIMO’: “We have had the guts to start this dialogue, but we will also need bigger guts to complete what we started,” stated Cori Lynn Germiquet, VIEA President, when she foreshadowed the CAVI breakout session at the State of the Island Summit (June 2010)

“We have had the guts to start this dialogue, but we will also need bigger guts to complete what we started. Part of the process is summarizing what we heard today, inviting people back to the table to talk about what we have determined in that summary, and then putting together a plan of action together for moving forward. When we have that plan in draft format, we will be hosting a breakout session at the State of the Island Summit ,” stated Cori Lynn Germiquet.

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CONVENING FOR ACTION AT ‘THE DIALOGUE IN NANAIMO’: “What’s next? We cannot just leave it here. I would challenge everyone in this room that you have your own responsibility for followup action,” stated Patrick Ross, Chair, Leadership Vancouver Island, in his closing remarks (June 2010)

“Before I came to the session, I did not know much about water sustainability. But now I do. What I learned reinforces the complex layers of the challenges that we face. Our objective was to identify some of the issues, inform some people, create some initial hope with some initial solutions, and stimulate some dialogue. When I watched the discussion in the small groups, we certainly stimulated dialogue. We cannot just leave it here. It is not acceptable, in terms of a leadership realm, to have a dialogue and not complete the cycle,” stated Paul Ross.

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