BUILD THE NETWORK TO ACHIEVE MISSION IMPACT: “Growing the network is all about a culture change that requires a different mindset and a commitment to something bigger,” stated Dr. Jane Wei-Skillern of the University of California at Berkeley

“Once a network is up and running and proves itself to be effective, it becomes the primary vehicle for change, rather than the individual organizations themselves. The leaders who work in this way are really competent in what they do. They have great people skills, they are good organizational managers, and they are good at seeing the big picture and identifying where they need to engage others and build the network to solve the problem. I have been studying people who have done this well and documented the patterns and themes from their work,” stated Jane Wei-Skillern.

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INSTILL A CULTURE THAT SUPPORTS CHAMPIONS: “It takes willpower to develop a culture,” states Ramin Seifi, former General Manager of engineering and planning with Langley Township in the Metro Vancouver region

Resource protection – for groundwater supply and fisheries habitat – is the original driver for implementing ‘green infrastructure’ in Langley. For the past two decades, Township staff have learned and adapted. “How you adapt to change is that you develop a culture where you welcome, and you try and anticipate, what a future state might be like. And then be nimble enough to adapt and adjust yourself to it. Instilling this culture takes years, sometimes generations. And that really is, I hope, the story of Langley,” stated Ramin Seifi.

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KEEP IT SIMPLE, PRACTICAL AND IMPLEMENTABLE: “If the process is strategic and well thought out, as well as practical and implementable from the start, then it is just a matter of sticking to it until you deliver it across the line,” stated Melony Burton, Manager of Infrastructure Planning with the City of Port Coquitlam in the Metro Vancouver region

“In my work, I continue to apply the ten principles that I developed at Coquitlam when we delivered nine Integrated Watershed Management Plans in just 10 years. Three of the 10 are universally applicable to any area of infrastructure planning: take action, start small, stay practical. Staying true to these has helped me deliver so much. Develop a really good strategy coming out of the gate and stay super focused. Do not go down rabbit holes. You can always circle back later,” stated Melony Burton

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CARING FOR THE LAND MEANS GOING BEYOND JUST DOING ENOUGH: “Blue Ecology and EAP describe a whole-system approach to caring for our Natural Commons and ecological assets,” states Tim Pringle, a founding director and Past-President of the Partnership for Water Sustainability

“EAP is an expression of Blue Ecology. Because nature is a system, you cannot slice and dice it. EAP, the Ecological Accounting Process, recognizes this and is a financial tool to give streams the support they need to survive in the local government setting. Streams need a place to be. If we cannot get our heads around that, we are not going to keep our streams. EAP provides a value picture of a stream system as a land use. Think of Blue Ecology as a compass in terms of how it relates to a water-first approach. The compass points the way forward. We are on a journey,” stated Tim Pringle.

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THERE IS NO TIME TO RE-INVENT THE WHEEL: “We are a movement built around water sustainability,” stated Ray Fung, a founding director of the Partnership for Water Sustainability, in his closing reflections on what he heard at the Summit at the Bastion in Nanaimo

Ray Fung captured the mood of the summit with this summation: “The Partnership is seen as a resource that is stable, that is there, and that people can draw upon. I liked the comment that THIS IS A MOVEMENT. I find that is really inspiring to not see ourselves just as a network. We leave the summit inspired to figure out how the FORM of the Partnership will follow the FUNCTION. We can learn things from expanding our perspective. Part of that holistic approach includes the SPIRITUAL as well as the physical connection to the land.”

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WHAT AFFORDABLE AND CLIMATE-READY HOUSING WOULD LOOK LIKE: “Superficial understanding does not yield solutions for complex problems. Those require deep knowledge,” observes Robert Hicks, a career engineer-planner in local government in the Metro Vancouver region

“In today’s world, we must increasingly consider solutions in a whole-system context. That means you need broader perspectives. But at the same time, you need the depth behind it. How can you come up with a good integrated solution if you are just skimming the surface on high-level information? Local governments are dealing with complex problems needing complex solutions. To get to that complexity, you have to know the background, you have to know the history, you must have DEEP KNOWLEDGE,” stated Robert Hicks.

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