Beyond the Status Quo: Tools for Progressive Leadership

The Columbia Institute’s Centre for Civic Governance presents the 2008 Governance Forum at Harrison Hot Springs.



In 1999 Rocky Anderson was elected mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah, the capital city of America’s most conservative state. Within 8 years he had instituted some of the western world’s most progressive policies on environmental sustainability, social inclusion and youth justice. In the process, he earned a World Leadership Award, exceeded Salt Lake City’s Kyoto targets by 150% 7 years ahead of Kyoto target dates, and co-chaired the Sundance Mayors Summit on Climate Protection with Robert Redford, to spread the word on how cities can lead the way to a better planet. Rocky is currently launching a new NGO called High Road for Human Rights. CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO OF ROCKY ANDERSON’S KEYNOTE ADDRESS.


Seth Klein will be joining us for breakfast and a talk about the issue of social equity in the context of climate change. Seth is the BC Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives, a public policy research institute committed to social and economic justice. Seth is a frequent media commentator and public speaker on public policy issues and has authored numerous studies and newspaper articles. His research deals primarily with welfare policy. Seth has been listed by Vancouver Magazine as one of the 50 most powerful people in the city.

The program below includes all confirmed speakers. It will be updated regularly as we receive confirmations.
Friday, March 28

(participants choose one)
12:30 – 2:30

Workshop 1: Practical Ways to Build Community Connections

What tools do you need to effectively reach out to community members and establish feedback loops? This workshop will provide an in-depth look at staying on top of issues important to your community and keeping the community informed about your work on their behalf.

Workshop 2: Internet Networking

This workshop will explore the latest networking tools on the Internet and show you how to use them effectively to communicate with community members.

    * Emira Mears


Issues Panel
2:30 – 3:30

An engaging discussion about some of the most relevant current issues affecting BC. You’ll hear up-to-the-minute research on child care, the Trade, Investment & Labour Mobility Agreement (TILMA) and public-private partnerships.

    * Keith Reynolds
    * Caelie Frampton
    * Lynell Anderson

Plenary Session – Food and Local Government
4:00 – 5:30

What are the connections between food production, climate change, and local governments? This session will look at current research to explore the connection between food production and climate change and implications for local government. Featuring:

    * Cliff Stainsby
    * Sonya Chandler

7:30 – 8:30

Our keynote speaker is Rocky Anderson, former mayor of Salt Lake City. We’ve asked Rocky to speak about managing the social and cultural impact of hosting the Olympic Games and to share his tips for succeeding as a progressive leader in a conservative environment.
Saturday, March 29

Breakfast with Seth Klein
8:00 – 9:00

9:00 – 11:15

For Councillors: Progressive Goals and Indicators for Sustainable Community Champions

In conjunction with the UBC Design Centre for Sustainability, our Centre for Civic Governance will be hosting an interactive morning workshop to identify strategic goals and indicators of sustainable communities. These goals and indicators will serve as a model for communities developing their Integrated Community Sustainability Plans (ICSPs), or ‘Smart Plans’.

For Trustees

Two workshops on topics relating to public education in BC:

Workshop A – Corporations in the Classroom

Current tight budgets are forcing school boards to look for resources elsewhere. Is corporate funding a good choice for school boards? This workshop features a screening of the 2007 documentary Corporations in the Classroom, which investigates the upside and downside of increasing corporate influence on public education in North America. A discussion of the film with the film’s director, Jill Sharpe, follows the screening.

Workshop B – Tools for Achieving Sustainability Goals in School Districts
Looking to inform others about your sustainability initiatives AND have your audience asking you how they can get involved? Join Sherese Johnson from Passion for Action, a BC-based organization, who will be unveiling a series of web-based tools to capture the imagination of people so they do just that. Through such engaging communication, your sustainability initiatives will inspire new levels of participation in your school district.

12:00 – 1:00

Workshops (participants choose one)
1:00 – 2:15

Workshop 1: Resources for Community Sustainability Planning

What resources are available for communities planning for a sustainable future? This workshop will feature a presentation on international sustainability planning tools from the current president of ICLEI, an example of a community that is in the midst of planning, and a presentation from Whistler, the first municipality to work through all five steps in the FCM planning process, along with Natural Step principles.

    * Ken Melamed
    * David Cadman

Workshop 2: Taking Leadership on Plastic Bags

Did you know that it can take up to 1000 years for plastic bags to break down? Forward-looking cities and towns are tackling the single-use plastic bag. Hear from the elected leaders who led the charge to ban plastic bags in Leaf Rapids, Manitoba and San Francisco, California. Greener Footprints, a non-profit organization working on the issue adds their advice.

    * Ed Charrier
    * Ross Mirkarimi
    * Tracey Saxby

Workshop 3: Special Education Funding in BC

This workshop will explore special education staffing pressures, the decline of funding for special needs students provincially, and recommendations from the Langley Special Education Inquiry Report.

    * John Malcolmson
    * Mike Suddaby

Workshops (participants choose one)
2:30 – 3:45

Workshop 1: Models of Community Economic Development

Community economic development is about communities taking action to build on their local strengths and collaborating to build a sustainable local economy. Hear from BC communities that are making it happen.

    * Nate Bello
    * Dr. David Connell
    * Melanie Sondergaard

Workshop 2: Citizen Engagement: Case Studies

What does genuine citizen engagement look like? This workshop will feature a municipal case study (the Silverdale Neighborhood Plan in Mission), a Board of Education case study (the Saanich appreciative inquiry process) and a community case study (the Cool Capital Coalition).

    * Ron Taylor
    * Irwin Henderson
    * MaryLynne Rimer

Workshop 3: Focus on Housing

Smart Growth BC has researched municipal tools for affordable housing and identified what they think are the ones with the most leverage. Join this workshop for the launch of Smart Growth BC’s Affordable Housing Toolkit.

    * Cheeying Ho

4:00 – 4:30

About Centre for Civic Governance

The Centre for Civic Governance works to support community leadership meeting today’s social and environmental challenges: climate change, Canada’s increasing equity gap, and shifting social trends. At the Centre for Civic Governance, our goal is to strengthen Canadian communities through sharing best practices, providing tools for locally elected leaders, and progressive policy analysis. We strive to provide knowledge and information to make real and positive social change.