Tuesday, February 28, 2012

BCHC Newsletter - February 2012

THE NEWS

Job Opportunity – Youth Engagement Facilitator - Abbotsford

For the Welcoming and Inclusive Communities (WIC) Legacies Project in Abbotsford we’re looking for a full-time Youth Engagement Facilitator. This project is a collaboration between BC Healthy Communities and S.U.C.C.E.S.S. and focuses on better engaging multicultural youth in Abbotsford.

The Youth Engagement Facilitator position is available immediately and includes recruiting, developing, and engaging youth in community and leadership opportunities in Abbotsford. The perfect candidate would have experience in social work, professional coaching, education and working with youth with barriers to employment. To find out more about this job opportunity please click here. For additional information and questions about this position please contact Deirdre Goudriaan at: deirdre@bchealthycommunities.ca

Collaborative Approach to Prevent Youth Gang Violence

On February 7th and 9th, BC Healthy Communities hosted a learning event and planning session on Preventing Youth Gang Involvement for the greater Victoria area. BC Healthy Communities in partnership with the Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General brought together key stakeholders from community organizations, RCMP and school districts to hold dialogues on the current trends of youth gang involvement in the Capital Regional District (CRD). The two sessions explored a strength based approach to understanding and address youth violence in the CRD.


In the coming months, the group will reconvene and develop a strategic, overarching vision for addressing youth violence in the region. This collaborative approach demonstrates BC Healthy Communities’ approach in action – learning together, sharing strengths and building on existing resources to identify innovative approaches to serious challenges in our communities. Stay tuned for more details as an executive summary of the final report will be released later this spring.

THE COMMUNITY

Living Life Fully Youth Engage Community on Local and Traditional Foods
The Living Life Fully (LLF) project is a BCHC project developed by youth to promote Healthy Living in the North Region. The project focused on educating and engaging the community on local and traditional foods. The LLF project is a collaborative effort between the Fraser Basin Council and Future Cents with support from BC Healthy Communities and is funded by Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC), TD Friends of the Environment and Enhance PG.

The project mainly focused on promoting the use of traditional and local foods and the multiple health, social, cultural and environmental benefits of local and traditional plants and foods. Local youth worked on a variety of projects including organizing a local baby food event for young parents, developing signage about traditional plant uses and maintaining a community garden plot.

One of the outcomes of this project is the ‘Local and Traditional Food Recipes’ booklet, which includes recipes that were contributed by the participating youth. The baby food recipes were developed and collected for the BC Baby event that was hosted for young parents in Prince George. The other recipes have been contributed by friends and family, and local elders from the community. The booklet is a great way to share the knowledge that was gathered with the local youth and the community at large.

Through these projects, the youth indicated they learned new things about local and traditional foods and as a result they have come to the realization that it is important to buy and grow local foods because it is just so much easier, healthier and cheaper. To learn more about BCHC's Youth Engagement initiatives please contact bchc@bchealthycommunities.ca

THE CHAMPION

Kimberley Armour – Squamish River Watershed Society

Kimberley Armour is a community development project manager based in Squamish B.C. With a background in environmental education/communication and biology Kimberley works to bridge the collective disconnect between communities and the natural environment. Kimberley designs programs that meet participants where they are at, encouraging them to engage, and self identify as leaders of change.

Kimberley is the Communications Coordinator with the Squamish River Watershed Society a projects based organization that works with First Nations, government, industry, and community on integrated watershed management. A collaborative success of this organization was the restoration of the Squamish River Estuary, recently highlighted in the David Suzuki Foundations Making Policy Live Documentary Series on natural capital. Kimberley’s passion to systematically change our relationship with water has also led her to become an Associate with Waterlution Canada. In this role, through the Future of Water Workshop Series Kimberley will be co-hosting Living Within a Watershed: Creating Urban Water Systems That Go With the Flow March 9 – 11 at the Loon Lake Retreat Centre – there is still space to register for this interactive, informative, and inspirational event.

Kimberley is also the Program Manager/Developer of the Squamish Lillooet Regional District’s Zero Waste Education Program, an action initiative of the region’s solid waste management plan. In its first year over 500 students and teachers participated in this experiential/place based program, and collectively reduced their lunch time waste by close to 50%.

In her spare time you can find Kimberley strolling riverside with her dog, exploring the mountains, cruising on her bike, or lapping the roller derby track.

THE PRACTICE

The Positive Youth Engagement Innovation Lab
by Deirdre Goudriaan

In 2012, BC Healthy Communities began to work with the City of Surrey on an Innovation Lab focused on enhancing positive youth engagement in the region. Innovation Labs are based on a combination of the Integral Capacity Building Framework used by BC Healthy Communities and Theory U popularized by Otto Scharmer. Through Theory U, Scharmer demonstrates how groups and organizations can develop critical leadership capacities that support the creation of collaborative solutions and potential that would not otherwise be possible. Find out more about Theory U under ‘The Readings”.

The long term goal of the Positive Youth Engagement Innovation Lab is to enhance the capacity of the city staff to define, develop and integrate a framework of positive youth engagement in the City of Surrey. The shorter term objectives are: a) to enhance the capacity of a pilot group of the youth services team to define, develop and integrate a framework of positive youth engagement; and b) to innovate a new guiding framework for positive youth engagement in the City of Surrey.

What are Innovation Labs?
Innovation Labs are initiated by a group of people who realize that no one individual, organization, or government, can solve complex challenges on their own, and working with others across the whole system is necessary for innovation. Further, there is an understanding that:
  1. Change is complex;
  2. Habitual action and typical solutions are not working and innovation is required;
  3. Long term change requires a shift in both our thinking/assumptions and our actions and systems; and
  4. We need approaches to change that can build shared commitment and capacity for responding to issues in the community.
An Innovation Lab represents:
  • An approach that is systemic, participative and emergent;
  • A committed alliance of leaders;
  • A rhythmic process of acting and reflecting;
  • A structured container for building capacities; and
  • A safe space for practicing how to change the system.
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In particular, the Innovation Lab in Surrey will involve taking a small staff team through a year-long learning and development process that includes:
  1. Coming together – bringing a team of people together who care and know about the issue. 
  2. Getting clear on what the system is - developing a shared understanding of what is (really) going on , immersing self in system.
  3. Standing back – retreating, stepping back and reflecting – “what’s my role and what can we do about it.” 
  4. Creating and destroying – trying stuff out together, many pilots, and opportunity for safe failure – feeding the learning back into the system.
  5. Implementing the new – changing the way we do youth engagement into the future.
If you are interested in exploring a complex issue using the Integral Capacity Building Framework or you want to learn more about Innovation Labs please contact us at: bchc@bchealthycommunities.ca

EVENTS

Conference ~ Gathering Our Voices 2012 Aboriginal Youth Conference
What: Aboriginal Youth aged 14-24 are invited to take part in a dynamic conference that will focus on many important issues including Health, Language, Culture, the Environment, Employment, Education, Sports and Recreation. Many workshops, cultural activities, an interactive Career and Education fair, evening entertainment and afternoon sport and recreation activities will be offered.
When: March 20 - 23, 2012
Where: Nanaimo, more more information click here

Webinar
~ Beyond the Nest Egg: Feathering the Nest for Healthy Retirement
What: BCHC and Northern Health's Population Health Team have partnered to host a series of free web-based seminars on the role of citizens in building healthy communities. The webinars invite dialogue from northern communities on specific topics that are critical to improving the health outcomes of northern people.
When: April 19, 2012 - 1:30 - 3:30pm
Where: Online, for more information or to register click here

Summit
~ Cities fit for Children
What: 3rd Annual Provincial Summit
When: Thursday, May 10 to Friday, May 11 2012
Where: Kamloops. For more information click here

THE READINGS

Theory U: Leading from the Future as it Emerges.
Author: Otto Scharmer

Theory U explores a whole new territory of scientific research and personal leadership. By moving through the "U" we learn to connect to our originating Self. We travel down the left side of the "U" to find ourselves in the realm of presencing, where we learn to sense the future that is seeking to emerge. At that level of operating, we experience the opening of our minds, our hearts and our wills. Yes, this is an intellectual journey, but it's one that is grounded in real life experience and shared practices. On this journey of sensing, presencing and realizing, we learn new ways of being—ways crucial for each of us at this chaotic time.

Fundamental problems, as Einstein once noted, cannot be solved at the same level of thought that created them. Learning to pay attention to our attention and to illuminate the blind spot, according to Scharmer, is the key leverage point to bring forth the profound systemic changes in business, society and in science so needed now.

This "U" methodology of leading profound change invites you on an exciting and unique personal and professional journey. You will experience new levels of thought and action from within you that allow you to participate, to co-create and to bring forth the future. Read more

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