Monday, May 30, 2011

BCHC Newsletter - May 2011


Climate Action Services
BC Healthy Communities (BCHC) is proud to announce the launch of our new and innovative set of services to support emerging learning and training needs for those leading action on climate change! We offer 3 key services:  ½ day, 1 day, and multiple day Workshops on Community Engagement for Climate Action, Climate Change and Behaviour Change and Local Government Climate Action Bootcamps, Leadership Development Training specific to Collaboration for Climate Action, and Climate Engagement Processes designed to meet your specific climate change and sustainability needs.  For more information click here

Job Posting: Assistant Youth Engagement Facilitator
BCHC is currently looking for a dynamic, energetic and organized young person to join our YouthCore Outreach Team as an Assistant Youth Engagement Facilitator. In this position you will assist in creating youth engagement events and leadership training for youth in the Greater Victoria community and be responsible for peer- to- peer outreach throughout the Capital Regional District (CRD) to generate awareness of the YouthCore Program and the City of Victoria Youth CouncilAre you outgoing and friendly, between the ages 15-30,  and interested in working with other youth? If so then please send your application to: by 4pm June 7, 2011. Note that this position requires a flexible schedule, evening and weekend work is required. In addition, you must be willing to travel locally for this project. For more information about this job posting click here

Rising to the Challenge:  Building Leadership for Climate Action
by Kerri Klein
In June BC will celebrate the achievement of becoming the first jurisdiction in North America that has a carbon neutral public sector.  But, what does this mean?  Since 2007 all public sectors have been taking action to reduce emissions within their own operations.  They have established a baseline to track greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and they have reduced GHGs within their own buildings, vehicle fleets and organizational activities. The leadership that is being developed in each sector not only has the potential to reduce emissions, but equally important, has the potential to influence large scale change towards more sustainable futures.  At BCHC we are particularly interested in what kind of change-making capacities communities will need as they scale up planning and actions to reach ambitious emission reduction targets in the years to come.

We know that not all approaches to leading change are the same.  Responding to climate change will require multiple approaches, capacities and strategies. In their book Immunity to Change, Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey talk about two distinct approaches to type change-making: 

1) Technical Change:  A technical approach to influencing change is appropriate when the problem is clearly defined, the solution is apparent and the appropriate skills can be learned.  Often, our current way of thinking is sufficient to address the complexity of the challenge. What is needed to influence change is technical expertise and leadership.  The goal is to respond to a problem within the current system, not to change the system itself.

2) Adaptive Change:  Adaptive change-making is required when the complexity of the problem cannot be addressed by only technical solutions.  These types of problems require us to be able to see interconnections, larger influences and assess root causes. Often our current patterns of thinking are insufficient to address the problem and innovation is required to develop an effective solution.  In this case, we address problems by looking at the system as a whole.  Einstein’s familiar saying is fitting here: “we can’t solve problems using the same level of thinking we used to create them”.

In responding to climate change, technical change is certainly an important aspect of responding to the challenge.  Indeed, organizations and local governments have been building their technical capacity in many realms from planning to engineering to green building.   And, as local governments set their sights on significantly reducing community-wide emissions there is a need to expand our change-making tool-kit beyond only technical approaches.  Change-making approaches must be able to account for a diverse array of technological, social, behavioural and political considerations.   

BCHC offers workshops, training and leadership development opportunities for supporting communities to respond to the challenge of climate change.  Specifically, we support change-making strategies that involve meaningful engagement, behaviour change and cross-sector collaboration.  To learn more about how we can support your community, click here

References: Kegan and Lahey (2009), Immunity to change: How to overcome it and unlock the potential in yourself and your organization.

Collaborative Leadership Development in Terrace, BC

Community collaboration is at the heart of BCHC’s capacity building work, and this year BCHC is excited to be partnering with the Centre for Innovative & Entrepreneurial Leadership (CIEL) and Skeena Diversity Society to deliver Leading Communities BC in Terrace.  Leading Communities is a leadership training program for rural communities, designed for groups of learners who are all from the same community. Participants enhance their leadership capacities, deepen their understanding of community issues and opportunities, and develop relationships and skills for community collaboration. Diversity is key to deepening relationships among the participating community members, and in Terrace the cohort is made up of 14 people from a variety of areas of community life, different age groups, cultures, and all levels of leadership experience.

One of the unique aspects of this model is that it is delivered on-site in rural communities, rather than requiring participants to travel to a larger centre.  In Terrace, the training was customized to be delivered one weekend per month over 3 months between January and March this year, with the cohort now working on their “leadership practicum”. In order to put their learning into action, the group is now in the process of developing two collaborative community projects which include the development of a seasonal Night Market for the community, and a range of intergenerational community activities aimed at bringing different age groups together. For more information on the program click here, or to watch a short video about it click here
Bill Beatty, S.U.C.C.E.S.S.

Bill Beatty is the Project Director of the Business and Economic Development Division of S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and Associate Faculty member at Trinity Western University in the Leadership Program.  Bill is modest about his achievements and is passionate about his home community, Abbotsford. Anyone who has had the pleasure of working with Bill knows his passion lies in community development projects that require collaboration and most recently he led several Welcoming and Inclusive Communities and Workplaces projects supporting immigrants and newcomers.

Bill brings a naturally collaborative way of being to his work and demonstrates this through his continual outreach efforts including peer coaching for the Communities Collaborating Institute and Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement. He is often overheard extending open invitations to others interested in working together to address issues that impact the health and well-being of our communities. He is a skilful leader and brings a wealth of evaluation and community development expertise to his work.

His other favourite activities include social enterprise development, entrepreneurial and employment program development. His passion and enthusiasm for this work often keeps him developing new ideas and supporting others to do the same.  In spite of his busy job, Bill also remembers to slow down to enjoy the ride and can often be spotted snapping photographs of the beautiful scenery that surrounds us, climbing the mountains, running marathons and enjoying time with his family. He clearly embodies the whole person in the whole community.  
Community Safety and Chronic Disease Prevention
by Jodi Mucha

One critical determinant of health is the social environment, which includes social stability, recognition of diversity, safety, good working relationships, and supportive systems. Key to any healthy community is community safety-- and community safety initiatives include priority on violence prevention.  Violence is a preventable public health issue and evidence shows that good violence prevention strategies can also help to reduce incidence of chronic disease.

There is a growing body of evidence that indicates how community safety issues such as violence take an extensive toll on the broad health of individuals, families and communities.  Some such health impacts include changes to food choices and physical activity, asthma, heart disease and hypertension, ulcers, diabetes, neurological and musculoskeletal diseases and even lung disease. As an example, in many communities where there are violence and safety concerns, parents are less likely to allow their children to be physically active outside or walk to school. Violence and the fear of violence can significantly impact eating patterns, choice of foods eaten and can undermine attempts to improve nutrition and activity levels.  In addition, research conducted in the US has shown that increased exposure to violence and fear of violence is directly related to higher incidences of significant symptoms related to asthma (brought on by increased stress and anxiety), unhealthy behaviours as coping mechanisms (such as smoking, eating disorders, and substance abuse) and poor sleeping habits. 

Violence happens in multiple forms including but not limited to community/street, gang, gender, intimate partner, intergenerational, sexual, school and structural violence.  To create safe, healthy, resilience communities and thus affect individual and community health it is important to identify contributing factors that lead to violent activities in the first place.

Basic strategies that have demonstrated success in reducing violence include:

  1. Creating Safe Spaces in Communities for Social Connections where community members have easy access and are able to engage with one another, learn, share and experience a sense of place, space and belonging. 

  1. Access to Cultural Experiences and increasing Cultural Competency can result in the development of new skills, improved informal and formal learning, increased self-confidence and improved social networks (research indicates links between participation in arts, culture and sport and a reduction in offending behavior). 

  1. Positive Youth Development Opportunities such as youth development and essential community conditions that promote social inclusion where youth can achieve their fullest potential

  1. School and Community Programs using the school as a community and hub model using anti-bullying and harassment programs and restorative justice models

  1. Increased Coordination and Communication to violence prevention is essential- bring together multi-sectoral groups to collaborate on strategies and innovative ideas for action- build on existing communications, asset-based approach.

  1. Economic Development Opportunities that help to support training for families and youth most at risk of violence

For more resources click here
Discussion - Vancouver's Transportation Future... in Facebook!
Vancouver drivers, bicyclists, pedestrians and transit riders are invited to a Facebook event to give advice to the City of Vancouver and learn about the future of transportation in the city.
When: Sign up closes May 31st!
Where: Facebook 
For more information about this event click here
Workshop - Reflection on Action ~ Prince George
What: Join us for a one day workshop on reflection-on-action, delivered by the Storytellers’ Foundation. You will explore theories on reflection and change and identify the governing variables that influence your practice.
When: Friday June 17, 8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Where: Prince George Native Friendship Centre (map)
Cost: $90.00 (incl. HST). Lunch included
To find out more about this event or to register please visit the BCHC website 

Forum - Healthy by Nature ~ Vancouver
What: A forum on the physical & mental health benefits of time spent in nature.
When: September 20 - 23, 2011
Where: Creekside Community Recreation Centre (map)
For more information click here

The Economics of Happiness: Building Genuine Wealth
Author: Mark Anielski

We all know that money can’t buy you love or happiness, but we have been living our lives as though the accumulation of wealth is the key to our dreams. Why, in spite of increasing economic prosperity over the past fifty years, are many conditions of well-being in decline and rates of happiness largely unchanged since the 1950s? Why do our measures of economic progress not reflect the values that make us happy: supportive relationships, meaningful work, a healthy environment, and our spiritual well-being?

Economist Mark Anielski developed a new and practical economic model called Genuine Wealth to measure the real determinants of well-being and help redefine progress. Anielski’s road map toward this vision of flourishing economies of well-being will resonate with individuals, communities, and governments interested in issues of sustainability and quality of life. To find out more click here

Mark Anielski is an ecological economist and president of his family-owned corporation, which specializes in the economics of well-being.

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