Currents of Change: Inspiring, Creating, Transforming

Currents of Change: Inspiring, Creating, Transforming

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Be The Change You Wish To See In The World

It can be hard to plan for change. Some changes you see coming, while others catch you off guard. This year’s conference theme, Currents of Change – Inspiring, Creating, Transforming, is very much in the spirit of Mahatma Gandhi’s famous quote: “Be the change that you wish to see in the world”. We challenged speakers to share how they are adapting to change, and they delivered. November’s program is full of examples of innovation and collaboration from conservation authorities, municipalities, Indigenous communities, private sector, environmental groups, and others. The takeaways you’ll gain from the case studies, research, and stories will have you looking at your projects and programs with a fresh eye.

Gain perspective in the session titled The Only Constant is Change, by hearing how conservation authorities and watershed management have evolved over 80+ years of changing political, economic, social, and environmental climes. Then look to the future by taking in presentations on how technology is changing the way we work – including new applications for drones and remote sensing, real-time monitoring, interactive websites, eDNA, and the “internet of things”.

In a time of fiscal restraint, demonstrating the impact and value of our work is essential. In the Measuring Impact session, hear how a municipality is using Key Performance Indicators to keep its climate change programs accountable. Then learn how three conservation authorities are using Return on Investment metrics to build the business case for ecological restoration projects. Other speakers are sharing the results of evaluations of technologies and practices in fields ranging from nutrient management to green infrastructure.

Ultimately, our ability to navigate the shifting currents of our time may depend on our ability to find common ground. In Un-complicating the Complicated, discover how to transcend polarized positions, simplify scientific messages, and update marketing messages. Case studies throughout the program illustrate how to engage familiar and unfamiliar demographic groups in everything from outdoor education to citizen science and stewardship. Two sessions share how municipalities, conservation authorities, and others are advancing reconciliation with Indigenous communities through conservation.

This year’s Latornell program reflects the challenges we’re all facing this year. Scan the preliminary program yourself, and you’re sure to find sessions that will inform, educate, and inspire.

This blog post contributed by Jan Ivey, Grand River Conservation Authority, 
2019 Latornell Conservation Symposium Vice Chair

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