The Future is Local workshop descriptions

February 22, 2012

Pre-Conference sessions:

Persuasive Communication 

Don’t educate, persuade! Persuasive communications training teaches concepts of message delivery in an intensive, interactive session. It equips spokespeople to understand the principles of persuasion, to define their message and key contrasts, to get their message out in non-supportive environment, to connect with their audience, and to win over peers, senior staff, stakeholders and the public. On-camera practice prepares you for the hot seat.  NOW’s trainers have worked with elected people at all levels of government from municipal candidates to Premiers to the late Jack Layton.  The fee is $100 to cover lunch, resources, and trainers. NOW Communications

Aboriginal Education

Within Aboriginal Education there is an emphasis on the importance of place.  Building on our Successful Practices in Aboriginal Education event this past fall and previous workshops at Civic Governance forums, the Centre for Civic Governance offers a pre-conference event focused on incorporating place into education. We are partnering up with members of the Chehalis First Nation for a boat tour of the local territory and an experience of the ways that understanding the sacred nature of a place can strengthen appreciation for culture and learning. The tour will include viewing pictographs, hearing stories and legends, and a traditional salmon barbeque lunch.  The fee is $25 for forum participants (sponsored by the Columbia Institute) and $85 for guests. Sasquatch Tours – Chehalis First Nation

Friday Early Afternoon:

Funding Formulas: When More is Less and Less

Before 1990, School boards could supplement provincial funding through direct taxation.  Not anymore.  Public education now depends on a   provincially determined public education funding formula which features in multiple stories of controversial cuts to education services.  This workshop covers a brief history of public education funding, explores the recent changes to the funding formula and the challenges districts may face as a result of these changes. It will address key budget information and explore how budget and financial reporting piece together for good decision making. Joan Axford

Friday Late-Afternoon:

More Advocacy Case Studies: Making Schools Safer

School Board leadership on Anti-Homophobia is stepping up.  Edmonton School Board tabled a brand new policy, the first in Alberta, this fall.  Burnaby’s School Trustees rolled to victory in BC during the November municipal election despite a virulent opposition campaign.  Prince George launched an active education campaign when their students told them that homophobic remarks hurt all vulnerable students, gay AND straight.  Why isn’t it enough to have a generic discrimination policy?   What’s a good way to engage parents, community, staff and students?  Detailed case studies spur discussion. Larry Hayes, Christopher Spencer, Sarah Hoffman.

It Takes a Plan

OK, so it’s important to take action on Climate Change and Municipalities are at the forefront.  How does a municipal leader go about it?  Like most initiatives that stand the test of time, planning is key.  This workshop will lay out the advantages of developing an Integrated Sustainability Community Plan –an overarching path of action that other planning tools — think Official Community Plan or Strategic Plan or Community Energy Plan — feed in to.   This workshop includes an overview of the leadership role that municipal leaders can play in climate action, legislative requirements in British Columbia, common planning frameworks, tips for establishing a community advisory committee, selected best practices and resources to get you started. Cheeying Ho

Living Wage

There is nothing inevitable about inequality and child poverty. Locally calculated to determine what it actually costs to live in a particular region, a Living Wage policy can help to ensure that those working in a region can afford to live there.  In this workshop you’ll get a chance to network with leaders bringing forward a living wage policy, get an overview of what defines a living wage and hear how Living Wage Policies are being advanced in British Columbia.  You’ll hear an update from New Westminster, the first municipality to introduce a Living Wage policy in Canada and get the administrative nuts and bolts from Living Wage employer Vancity……and you’ll leave the workshop with inspiration and a tool kit. Michael McCarthy-Flynn, Jaimie McEvoy, Ellen Pekeles

Saturday Afternoon:

Case Studies in Trustee Advocacy

School Trustees in British Columbia have been stepping up to the task of advocacy in bold and creative ways. Some School Boards in British Columbia have assumed their own communications work, composing their own press releases and managing media on issues related to education in their region. Building from a well-established district culture of public engagement, some trustees have effectively stood their ground on budget needs despite pressure from the Province.  How do trustees nurture that culture and how does that culture nurture their advocacy?  Two detailed case studies provoke discussion. Trina Ayling, MaryLynne Rimer

Working with the Media

Love it or dread it, strong local leadership invariable means working with the media. And a little training can go a long way. Come learn about, or be reminded of, the basics of traditional media, from Press Releases to pitching stories to interview skills. As well, we will explore new media platforms and talk about their potential for enhancing your ability to reach constituents and moving important issues forward. David Beers

More workshop descriptions to be added. Check regularly for updates.