LIVING WATER SMART IN BRITISH COLUMBIA: “We do not have the luxury of time to wait for a younger generation to go through their learning curve to figure out what goes into operationalizing the foundation pieces for achieving a water-resilient future,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability (May 2021)
Note to Reader:
In May 2021, the Partnership commenced Living Water Smart in British Columbia: The Series to facilitate knowledge-transfer. The Series comprises downloadable documents on featured topics. Download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Short-Term Gratification versus Long-Term Legacy. The Series is an adaptation of stories published on Waterbucket eNews which celebrates the leadership of individuals and organizations who are guided by the vision for Living Water Smart in British Columbia.
The edition of Waterbucket eNews published on April 13, 2021 introduced the Time Continuum graphic that conceptualizes the way of thinking that underpins the inter-generational mission of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia. The idea of the intergenerational baton is a metaphor for passing on experience, knowledge, and wisdom.
Short-Term Gratification versus Long-Term Legacy
“Elders have a responsibility to pass on understanding and wisdom. However, responsibility is a two-way street because minds must be open to accepting the inter-generational baton and embracing the wisdom that goes with it,” stated Kim Stephens, Executive Director, Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia. He is also the Editor, Waterbucket eNews, the newsletter published by the Partnership.
“With this thought in mind, I created the “time continuum graphic” (below) to conceptualize the thinking that guides the Partnership’s mission. The inspiration for the graphic was my participation on a panel at the Living Soils Symposium organized by Regeneration Canada in February.”
“Ananda Fitzsimmons, co-founder of Regeneration Canada, asked me to ‘tell the story of how the Partnership for Water Sustainability works and how you have engaged collaboration. What you have done is quite unique and inspirational’. Ananda’s request challenged me to think about how to frame and illustrate the inter-generational mission of the Partnership in a way that would be readily grasped by an audience and across age groups.”
“The unifying idea was the notion of a time continuum to characterize short-term versus long-term thinking. The consequences of decisions ripple through time, I emphasized. So, it is imperative that we replace short-term thinking with a long-term view that extends out 50, 100 or more years. Instant gratification and quarterly reports are examples of the worst kinds of short-term thinking. We must replace these with a career perspective, I urged the audience in my call to action.”
TO LEARN MORE:
To read the complete article, download a PDF copy of Living Water Smart in British Columbia: Short-Term Gratification versus Long-Term Legacy. Also, click on the image below to download a PDF copy of the Time Continuum.
The Time Continuum graphic (above) conceptualizes the way of thinking that underpins the inter-generational mission of the Partnership for Water Sustainability. Influence choices. Capitalize on the REACHABLE and TEACHABLE MOMENTS to influence choices.
About the Partnership for Water Sustainability in BC
Incorporation of the Partnership for Water Sustainability in British Columbia as a not-for-profit society on November 19, 2010 was a milestone moment. Incorporation signified a bold leap forward. The Partnership evolved from a technical committee in the 1990s, to a “water roundtable” in the first decade of the 2000s, and then to a legal entity. The Partnership has its roots in government – local, provincial, federal.
The umbrella for Partnership initiatives and programs is the Water Sustainability Action Plan for British Columbia. In turn, the Action Plan is nested within Living Water Smart, British Columbia’s Water Plan. Released in 2008, Living Water Smart was the provincial government’s call to action, and to this day transcends governments.
Conceptual Framework for Inter-Generational Collaboration
Technical knowledge alone is not enough to resolve water challenges facing BC. Making things happen in the real world requires an appreciation and understanding of human behaviour, combined with a knowledge of how decisions are made. It takes a career to figure this out.
The Partnership has a primary goal, to build bridges of understanding and pass the baton from the past to the present and future. To achieve the goal, the Partnership is growing a network in the local government setting. This network embraces collaborative leadership and inter-generational collaboration.
Application of Experience, Knowledge and Wisdom
The Partnership believes that when each generation is receptive to accepting the inter-generational baton and embracing the wisdom that goes with it, the decisions of successive generations will benefit from and build upon the experience of those who went before them.
The Partnership leadership team brings experience, knowledge, and wisdom – a forceful combination to help collaborators reach their vision, mission, and goals for achieving water sustainability. When they are successful, the Partnership is successful.
TO LEARN MORE, VISIT: https://waterbucket.ca/about-us/