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.

As facilitators, the challenge was to make the content relevant for a diverse audience, something that is always interesting, both as facilitator and participant-observer. What was clear, however, particularly once we dove into application of the content, was that the generic nature of the Framework – its ‘scalability’ over place and space appropriate to context – really shone. We had an opportunity to explore how the sustainability challenge and concurrent opportunities may impact organizations – everything from an energy company, to a café, to a small municipality. We explored how to use fundamental principles of sustainability to create innovation goals (a desired future) for an organization or community; confirm these goals against key sustainability challenges (identified through analysis by the sustainability principles); and how to translate that into day-to-day actions over the short- and medium- term so that the goals become operational in practice. The goal of the workshop was to add value to the great work that participants are already doing or considering doing, and to provide tools, techniques, lessons learned and advice to enable use of the Framework in their own context.

There was some excellent output from the session, and we are looking forward to seeing how participants put the Framework to use for themselves and the organizations that they represent. We’re also anticipating our upcoming sessions in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Ottawa. Stay tuned!