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Calgary Level One Pilot Takes Off

Last week, I, along with my colleague Pong Leung, had the privilege of joining 24 people in Calgary, Alberta, to spend two days unpacking and playing with application of The Natural Step Framework.This was the first of our Level 1 Learning Programs and as such, really the pilot of our pilot program.

Participants came from a range of backgrounds both public and private and included people experienced in using the Framework and also some that were brand new to it. There were participants who had excellent working knowledge of building and delivering sustainability initiatives, but who were not familiar with the Framework, and there were those that were new to sustainability in general. We had representatives from municipalities, small business and large corporations... Fertile ground in which to play!  Click here to see the photos.

"Sustainability at home"

The Natural Step, in partnership with The David Suzuki Foundation and Light House Sustainable Building Centre, is pleased to announce the launch of our latest creation- Sustainability at home: a toolkit; for British Columbia on November 7th.

Visioning Workshop with Morguard Investments

Last week I had the great pleasure to join about 50 people with Morguard Investments in a multi-day strategic planning workshop in the Greater Toronto Area.  They are a real estate management and development company who is looking at sustainability as a way to create competitive advantage and differentiate.  We were invited in by Neil Pegram, a graduate from the Master’s in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability program in Sweden, who co-designed and co-facilitated the session with me.  

Creating the Change We Need

I’ve been in beautiful Vancouver, BC for the last few days, filled with awe and gratitude for its sense of place, the story that it tells about me.  I’m attending the Gaining Ground conference which happens in the Pacific Northwest annually and am having a funny conference experience.  Conferences for me are usually about hearing success stories, sharing barriers and networking.  This conference has been different in that I have felt moved to action in my own life rather than gaining tools to help others embrace sustainability. 

Blog Action Day: a reminder to act now

Today is Blog Action Day for climate change and what better reminder to all of us to take action than this morning’s article in the Globe and Mail telling us that rapidly melting Arctic ice will have “devastating effects on the planet.”  Researchers say that in 20 years, summer ice will have all but disappeared. What this means for the planet is that the melting permafrost on the continental shelf will release methane gas, further accelerating global warming, and the newly open water will have an impact on global weather patterns and ocean habitat.

Sustainable Twin Ports Takes The Natural Step!

Congratulations Sustainable Twin Ports and all 13 early adopter organizations with your community showcase on October 8th, 2009. You are definitely an inspiration and proof of possibility for communities around the world! 

Sustainable Twin Ports  is a grass roots organization dedicated to furthering economic, environmental & social sustainability in the region through education, networking and action. The community showcase is a testament to their hard work, dedication and passion for sustainability.  

Sharing and Partnering

For those of us in the field of social change and innovation, a key factor in the success of any initiative, is the ability to scale up impact. After six years of testing and prototyping our approach in Canada with over 200 communities, businesses, universities and non-profit groups we are ready to share our learning and approach with others. We are expanding our reach from working just with organizations, to working with individuals as well. We are thrilled to announce the launch of a new series of courses and learning programs for individual change agents and leaders who are committed to implementing sustainable solutions in their communities and businesses. Check out our Sustainability for Leaders workshops in six major Canadian cities.

GONGOS: Greening Ottawa NGO's

On June 18th, 2009 participants from 25 Ottawa-based NGOs attended the second workshop of GONGOS: Greening Ottawa NGOs.  This workshop focused on developing a sustainability vision and conducting a baseline sustainability assessment for their organizations.  The 2009 cohort of organizations includes the Canadian Red Cross Society, the United Way, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Ottawa Folk Festival, Centretown Citizens Ottawa Corporation, and Independent Living Canada.  This gathering of diverse NGOs in one place provided participants with the unique opportunity for both enhanced networking and partnership building and collaborative learning. Bill Rostek, Procurement Director for Canadian Red Cross Society shared that the Red Cross "values the interaction with the other not-for-profit organizations that are participating”.

Sustainability on the Big Island

Last month, Mike Purcell and I travelled to the Big Island of Hawai’i to deliver a series of public workshops and one two-and-a-half day capacity building session with representatives of various island businesses and organizations. Needless to say we took a lot of ribbing from colleagues and customs agents about going to Hawai’i to work, but the truth is, this was a hugely successful project that brought hope and enthusiasm to participants and advisors alike. Why?

In our work, people typically begin to deeply address the sustainability challenge for one or both of the following reasons: there is a fire in the room (to mitigate risk) and / or there is a pot of gold in another (to capture opportunity). This is bolstered by proof of possibility (examples of what others have successfully done) and for some, a sense of ‘doing the right thing’.

Sustainability Training in Hawaii

The Natural Step Advisors Sarah Brooks and Mike Purcell recently delivered a series of public seminars and workshops to show businesses, local authorities and community organizations on the island of Hawaii how to use The Natural Step Framework for sustainability planning.

Listen to an interview with Sarah Brooks, Senior Sustainability Advisor with The Natural Step Canada about The Natural Step Framework.

The podcast was created by Andrea Dean, a green business coach and consultant based in Hawaii. To learn more about sustainability in Hawaii, visit Andrea Dean's website or subscribe to her podcast, Going Green with Andrea Dean.

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