Transformative Strategies for Disruptive Times
May 15th – 17th at The Banff Centre, Alberta
In his most recent book, Thomas Friedman argues that “we are living through one of the greatest inflection points in history ……The three largest forces on the planet — technology; globalization; and climate change — are all accelerating at once. As a result, so many aspects of our societies, workplaces and geopolitics are being reshaped and need to be reimagined.”
Adam Kahane is a Director of Reos Partners, an international social enterprise that helps people move forward together on their most important and intractable issues.
Adam is the author of Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New Realities, Power and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social Change, Transformative Scenario Planning: Working Together to Change the Future, and Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree With or Like or Trust.
The dislocations that are occurring are enormous: climate impacts through droughts, flooding, fires and rapidly melting permafrost; the growing international refugee crisis; the threats to democracy from ‘hacked’ social media; and the exponential growth in technologies leading to increased automation of work and travel are just a start.
Most of these dislocations are being felt locally, as well as globally, and the thin hope that we can remain immune from them here in Canada is rapidly disappearing. Our inability to keep abreast of the constant news cycle across multiple media about these and other major issues (a disruption in and of itself), leaves many of us feeling overwhelmed — leading some to disengage or perhaps be lured by the distraction of celebrity culture or other lighter fare.
With our equilibrium challenged, we are wondering if the tools and approaches that we bring to our work as funders are still the relevant ones? And if the solutions to complex problems are bubbling up rather than being enforced from above, are we including the full range of perspectives and voices that are needed to foster change? Are we keeping our eyes and hearts open for the disruptive opportunities that are being sparked and are we heeding the call to life-long learning, necessary to navigate the uncertain future that lies ahead? What are the practices in funding, investing, convening and relationship building that offer the most promise for staying at least one step ahead of the disruption that is chomping at our heels?
These are just some of the thorny questions that we will explore at CEGN’s 2018 conference at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity in May. Our theme “Transformative Strategies for Disruptive Times” sets a high standard for our convening, and the Conference Planning Committee is doing its best to structure an ambitious program while retaining ample opportunities for meaningful connection with peers, and pauses for reflection.
The Banff Centre is situated within Treaty 7 Territory, home to the Wesley, Bearspaw and Chiniki Nations of the Stoney Nakoda, the Kainai, Piikani, and Siksika Nations of the Blackfoot Confederacy and the Tsuut’ina Nation.
A Call for Proposals will also provide funders with a direct opportunity to participate in session development and a pre-conference session on “Truth, Reconciliation and Right Relations” will offer funders a means to better understand the truth of Canada’s shared history with Indigenous peoples and the capacities to begin to chart a ‘right relation’.
Please join us at the Banff Centre in May as we focus on (and develop) the transformative strategies that will be needed to realize our collective dream of a sustainable future that meets the needs of people, planet and place.
CEGN’s 2018 Conference Planning Committee
Jason Bates, Calgary Foundation, Co-chair
Karen Wilkie, Carthy Foundation, Co-chair
Rob Buffler, Banff and Canmore Community Foundation
Cheryl de Paoli, Alberta Real Estate Foundation
Pegi Dover, CEGN
Sandy Hoang, CEGN
Betul Keles, Laidlaw Foundation
Pat Letizia, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation
James Littley, Okanagan Basin Water Board
Burkhard Mausberg, Chair of CEGN
Rod Ruff, Alberta Ecotrust Foundation
Wendy Vanasselt, Wilburforce Foundation