Working Collaboratively and Listening Appreciatively

I chose to join the “Connectivity” group at the Jasper Innovation Forum in the belief that it is all about systems and interconnections – we really have to try to think holistically about our lives and our futures.  Here are some highlights from various groups around visioning the long-term future state of next generation communities.  Remembering that these ideas were not necessarily in consensus form from the small groups themselves, never mind the 40 of us!

Environment/Economy in 2050

  • Assume we are through the energy crunch, we are past fossil fuels and we haven’t heated up past 2+degrees (some thought this a big assumption – referencing the unthinkable)
  • Demands for water and food will be big challenges everywhere – we need to manage these resources much better
  • Jobs will be very different – a shift in employment patterns, influence of artificial intelligence – not enough graduates in science, what will knowledge economy look like?
  • Demographic challenges will continue – we’ll work longer
  • There will be immense geo-political challenges around immigration, water, and food which will influence security

Governance in 2050

  • There will be multiple governments to fit multiple geographies
  • Subsidiarity will reign – different level problems at different levels of government
  • Individual freedom will become less important than the collective common good
  • Principles:  transparency, accountability, flexibility
  • Tools:  access to info, dispute resolution, processes to enable stakeholders to participate
  • Shift from private property, industrial structure to property rights as an ecological necessity
  • Externalities will become internalized

Interconnections in 2050

  • Community requirements will include:  resiliency, adaptive, the blurring of lines, multi-disciplinary thinking, design thinking, emphasis on energy, water, food, clean air, life-long learning
  • Barriers:  fear of failure, lack of ability to take risks, top-down hierarchy,  governance by consensus, excess government and accountability
  • Drivers:  $$ investment, regulations, fear around climate change, using a crisis, common interests, communication about future
  • How?  Dialogue and Engagement.  Multi-dimensional leadership.  Global context.

Didn’t seem to take notes for the Social/Culture group!

The “listen appreciatively”  comment comes from my small group experience at the Forum.  It was very interesting observing our group — our ability to listen to one another was sometime challenged.  It reminded me how important listening is and how sometimes challenging it can be to change our behaviour.

Next up – summary of evening keynote by Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon.

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