Special Engaged Scholar Issue Features RbD Article

A recent publication from the Engaged Scholar Journal shares articles on engaged scholarship and the arts. The Engaged Scholar Journal is an open source journal so all articles are now available online here.

In the journal, you will find the Rbd Lab’s most recent publication; Hey, Hey, Hey—Listen to What I Gotta Say: Songs Elevate Youth Voice in Alberta Wildfire Disaster Recovery which Dr. Tamara Plush and Dr. Robin Cox co-authored about the #YouthVoicesWB campaign in Wood Buffalo, Alberta. The article overviews the power of song for youth in Wood Buffalo who experienced the 2016 Fort McMurray wildfire disaster. Youth-Adult Partnerships are discussed as particularly valuable in empowering youth to share their insights in musical reflections.

Inspiring Climate Action BC Professionals

Inspiring Climate Action: Release of the Final Report on a Survey of BC Professionals

As part of the Inspiring Climate Action project, we conducted a survey (which was part of the overarching gap analysis) with members of the participating BC Professional Associations. The survey focused on questions related to their knowledge and understanding of climate change and climate adaptation as well as their sense of the relevance of climate adaptation to their professional practice. We also asked questions related to their interest in continuing professional development (CPD) training and their thoughts on priorities for the focus and style of CPD training in climate adaptation.

This report includes selected results from the Inspiring Climate Action: BC Professionals Adaptation Network survey of 703 members from seven BC professional organizations, conducted in Spring 2019.

Download the Planning for Climate Change Adaptation Continuing Professional Development: Final Report on a Survey of BC Professionals.

Inspiring Climate Action

Robin Cox and Marsha Wagner

Learning from Dutch innovations to address climate challenges in Canada

Sometimes the biggest issues seem insurmountable on a global scale. Thinking about what each of us can do to cope with and adapt to climate change can be daunting.

That’s where the work of Professor Robin Cox comes in. From the School of Humanitarian Studies, Cox is the director of the Resilience by Design (RbD) lab at Royal Roads University. Cox’s work includes the RbD Innovation Lab’s Inspiring Climate Action Project, which is focused on fostering a professional learning community on climate and resilience.

In mid-August, Cox joined Dutch Consul-General Henk Snoeken to welcome Netherlands energy and climate consultant Marsha Wagner to a roundtable discussion with BC climate adaptation experts. The discussion explored innovative ways to involve working professionals in climate change action. Read the full article on Royal Roads University website.

Research in Action: The RbD Lab

RRU's ResilienceByDesign research lab is engaging over 50 climate adaptation experts and influencers in a workshop designed to shape new courses focused on building climate adaptation capacity in BC

Inspiring Climate Action Challenge Dialogue Workshop

The ResilienceByDesign (RbD) Research Lab’s Inspiring Climate Action initiative, funded by Natural Resources Canada and BC Climate Action Secretariat, launches its stakeholder engagement workshop. The workshop this coming Tuesday, June 11th in Vancouver, will bring together over 50 climate change adaptation influencers from across BC. Included are climate adaptation experts, professionals working in a range of disciplines (i.e., engineers, landscape architects, municipal planners, foresters, biologists, agrologists, and technicians) and representatives from 7 BC post secondary institutions. The goal of the multi-year project is to build capacity for climate adaptation in BC through professional development and knowledge mobilization. Workshop participants will collaborate with the RbD team to identify priorities for 15 new not-for-credit courses to be offered province-wide through the Continuing Studies departments of the participating post secondary institutions. Members of the RbD recently returned from the 4th European Climate Changes Adaptation Conference, ECCA 2019, which hosted more than 1100 participants from 50 countries in dialogue and presentations about the climate crises. The size and diversity of the conference speak to the urgency of the issue and the need for research and action to simultaneously reduce carbon emissions, adapt to the changes already underway, and engage in future thinking in order to prepare for and mitigate the potentially catastrophic changes to come. The Inspiring Climate Action project is responding to the reality that the climate crisis affects all sectors of society. It is informed by international, national, provincial and municipal policy frameworks and actions all focused on reducing disaster and climate risks and vulnerabilities. The collaboration of post-secondary institutions, led by RRU, is utilizing the human and social capital building potential of educational institutions. The project hopes to contribute in a small but meaningful way to our shared resilience by heightening awareness; increasing the use of climate-informed risk assessments, planning and decision-making processes; contributing to the design and implementation of low-carbon resilience building strategies; and improved information and knowledge sharing. Together with our partners and funders, we hope to increase our collective resilience in the face of this daunting and complex emergency.Whole Logic Model (60 x 20 inches)

Disaster Emergency Management Student Awarded CIHR MA Grant

Cari McIntyre, a graduate student in Royal Roads University’s Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management was just awarded a CIHR Canada Graduate Scholarship Masters (CGS-M) award. Cari will be working with supervisor, Dr. Robin Cox, and the ResilienceByDesign Research Lab to examine how civil society organizations and networks might foster collaborative partnerships to support disaster risk reduction (DRR) and enhance disaster resilience. Cari’s research will examine the linkages between the social determinants of health (e.g., housing, food security, access to resources and services) and the determinants of disaster resilience, vulnerability, and risk by working with a community-based health network in the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island. The project is grounded in a premise that the collective voices of community networks present an opportunity to overcome what has been identified as a lack of citizen engagement and investments in disaster risk reduction.
 
Cari will be working with a community-based health network in the Comox Valley to explore the question: How can a community-based health network influence local-level DRR? The goals of her research are to: (a) use social network analysis (SNA) to measure and convey the strengths, gaps, and opportunities inhered in an existing community network; (b) explore how and in what ways the network’s collaborative capacity and processes can contribute to enhancing community resilience; and (c) support opportunities for knowledge transmission
through workshops designed by the research team to introduce network partners and other stakeholders (e.g. emergency managers, community officials) to the linkages between social determinants of health and disaster risk reduction.
 
Cari’s research is uniquely positioned to build awareness of the connections between underlying vulnerabilities related to the social determinants of health and the drivers of disaster risk and community resilience. Using participatory action research and social network analysis methods, Cari hopes to further understand and convey how place-based vulnerability and resilience data might generate new knowledge to support the network by engaging community partners and stakeholders in the collaborative generation of ideas for local, strengths-based initiatives designed to address current and future capacity gaps and vulnerabilities, while simultaneously contributing to improved health and disaster outcomes.

Kitsumkalum Youth Address Climate Change in Videos

The RbD Lab wants to share with you these two Kitsumkalum Youth videos which address climate change in unique and creative ways. The Getting Ready video is a powerful music video produced with Kitsamkalum youth. The longer, From Glaciers to Glass Sponge Reefs, is very informative about the impact of climate change on their traditional lands.

 

 

 

ResiliencebyDesign Lab Leading $2-million Inspiring Climate Action Project

Professionals in BC who care for the province’s infrastructure and resources are preparing for climate change’s consequences, but what further training do they need to meet the challenge?

A $2-million project, led by the ResiliencebyDesign (RbD) Lab and including a range of BC professionals and post-secondary institutions, will explore those needs and design training to address them, thanks to funding from Natural Resources Canada’s Building Regional Adaptation Capacity and Expertise (BRACE) program. BRACE is working with provinces to support training activities that increase the ability of organizations, professionals, businesses and communities to adapt and accelerate their climate resilience.

Inspiring Climate Action: BC Professionals Adaptation Network is a partnership between the RbD Lab and the BC Climate Action Secretariat, with the BRACE program committing almost $1 million to the project.

Working with six BC universities and six BC professional associations, the network will deliver in-person and online courses custom-made to professionals’ training needs.

“We need to make BC and Canada as resilient as possible to the impacts of climate change even as we continue to work to reduce those risks through mitigation efforts,” says School of Humanitarian Studies Prof. Robin Cox, project lead and director of the RbD Lab. “Professional organizations in BC have made it clear they are committed to ongoing efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also building the necessary capacity to effectively adapt to the unavoidable risks posed by the changing climate. This project will discover where specific knowledge and skills gaps exist, and design practical training to help professionals meet these challenges and increase regional adaptation uptake and capacity.”

“Canadians know that we need to improve Canada’s resilience to climate change. That is why we are supporting Royal Roads University’s Inspiring Climate Action: BC Professionals Adaptation Network project,” says Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi. “Through professional training, this project will support the efforts of B.C.’s professionals to adapt to the impacts of climate change.”

“Certified professionals are making project decisions every day that will be affected by climate risks. It’s important these professionals have the knowledge and tools to be able to advise about climate risks with confidence,” said Dr. Johanna Wolf on behalf of the Climate Risk Management team at the Province of BC’s Climate Action Secretariat. “The courses we’re helping develop will be offered through various post-secondary institutions, and will better equip professionals to manage risks associated with our changing climate.”

“The work of the RbD Lab, and in particular this latest climate change adaptation project, is a perfect example of the dynamism of thought and action displayed by the researchers at Royal Roads University,” says Royal Roads University President Dr. Philip Steenkamp. “Royal Roads’ researchers like Dr. Cox and her team are committed to discovering, exploring and sharing evidence-based information that can be applied to solve real-world problems.”

Participating universities include Royal Roads University, the University of British Columbia, University of Victoria, Simon Fraser University, Capilano University, Vancouver Island University and University of Northern BC.

Professional organizations supporting the network project include the BC Institute of Agrologists, Applied Science Technologists and Technicians of BC, College of Applied Biology, Engineers and Geoscientists BC, Planning Institute of BC and British Columbia Society of Landscape Architects.

Climate change organizations and experts in BC, Canada and worldwide support the network project, including: international climate change expert and former deputy executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Richard Kinley; the Pacific Climate Impacts Consortium; the Stockholm Environment Institute; and Student Energy.

From Fort McMurray wildfire disater study, RbD Lab project promotes youth ideas on belonging and resilience

On February 21st, more than 50 Wood Buffalo community members and Royal Roads University’s ResiliencebyDesign (RbD) Research Innovation Lab members met to present and discuss findings from the “Youth Voices Rising” project on youth, recovery, and resilience in Fort McMurray, Alberta. The research study occurred in response to the 2016 Horse River wildfire disaster and was supported by the Canadian Red Cross.

Pamela speaks to community members.

The presentation and discussion covered the background of the two-year project, the youths’ ideas for a better community, a focus on how to strengthen youths’ sense of belonging and resilience, and ways to engage youth in the community as the community rebuilds after a wildfire disaster. The findings are showcased in the “Youth Vision and Voices in Wood Buffalo” report: https://resiliencebydesign.com/youthvoiceswb. View the event video at www.facebook.com/ResiliencebyDesignlab/videos/253510002242119 and www.facebook.com/ResiliencebyDesignlab/videos/1166184303576522

Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo Mayor Don Scott opened the presentation by sharing his role in the #YouthVoicesWB social media campaign that was part of the Creative Action Research study. He also shared his commitment to including youth voice in decisions that affect them. Youth community member Pamela (age 17) also shared her experience with the YVR project, highlighting how impactful it was to have hers and others concerns and ideas taken seriously by local community members as well as validated by other youth. As Pamela described, “Before I started working with youth voices, I never really knew the power or importance of my voice or the impact that I could have in my community.”

RbD Lab members Dr. Tamara Plush, Dr. Robin Cox, and Ashley Berard then presented on the #YouthVoicesWB campaign, which asked youth to answer the question: “What would you do to make your community better?” Youth answered this through original art pieces, poetry, photos, songs and more. The youth’s ideas focused on five priority areas, including transportation, health and wellbeing, volunteerism, participation and activities, and education. Tamara summarized the research through the lens of two key concepts: belonging and resilience. “Belonging connects to when youth feel valued for who they are or who they want to be. Belonging also includes the places that youth can go to feel safe, brave, supported and connected while navigating their unique roles and responsibilities in their communities,” she said.

Rbd Lab presenters Robin Cox, Tamara Plush, and Ashley Berard.

The focus on resilience was highlighted by the photography show “We are Resilient: We See the Positive” from the Chipewyan Prairie Dene First Nation youth. This was showcased around the room for community members to view, and can be viewed here: (https://resiliencebydesign.com/indigenous-youth-visualize-community-resilience-post-disaster-through-photography/). To highlight the arts methods and creations that made the YVR project so unique and powerful, Willi Whiston and Genoveve Zepeda-Whiston performed their original YouthVoicesWB song, Change.

Following the presentation portion of the day, the community members attending participated in group discussion. They offered ways their organizations could address the youths’ ideas and concern, strengthen youth belonging and resilience in the community, and how youth could aid in leading in the way towards positive change. The inspiring conversation led into presentations from key community leaders, including an overview of regional community resilience planning by Jody Butz, RMWB Regional Fire Chief and Director of Emergency Management; a presentation by Cecelia Mutch, Executive Director of United Way; and an update by Guy Choquet, Canadian Red Cross Director of Operations Alberta Fire Recovery on Disaster Risk Reduction efforts in Wood Buffalo.

 

RbD Team Facilitates Pearson Peer Workshop

On January 18th, 2019, some of the RbD Lab Team facilitated an exciting and engaging Pearson Peer Workshop with youth from Pearson College UWC, based in Victoria BC. The workshop ran under the Lab’s SSHRC Insight Grant project, which focuses on youth engagement and climate change. The successful workshop had space for 50 youth to attend, and every seat was taken. The workshop had five stations where youth rotated through during the evening and each station provided space for interaction through activities or discussion on topics such as involving or engaging youth in complex issues that affect and concern them, such as climate change adaptation and resilience.

Five youth (Hanting Wang, Eylül Taş, Tanzil Fatima, Nicholas Chaturia, and Kira Brunner) with experience in the project were trained as creative facilitators prior to the event and took the lead role in planning and running the workshop and discussions at the different stations. Lab members Kiana, Nigel, and Tiffany took the lead around logistics of the event and keeping the evening interactive and informative.

At the end of the evening, the core Pearson youth facilitating team led a debrief in which they shared how transformative the experience of facilitation had been and how the level of engagement of their peers in the workshop had only grown throughout the course of the evening. Facilitators also shared with the RbD Team how surprised they were with their level of confidence and comfort they had developed to facilitate the workshop. The facilitating team were awarded certificates at the end of the evening to acknowledge and celebrate their achievements with the workshop and project.

Youth facilitators (holding certificates from right to left –
Hanting, Nicholas, Tanzil, Kira, Eylul) are awarded their certificates by Lab Members Nigel, Tiffany, and Kiana.