A recent publication from Lab Director Dr. Robin Cox and co-author Dr. Nirupama Agrwal covers the 150th Commemoration of Canada and the connection to the natural disasters in Canada’s political, cultural, economical, and social landscape. The publication is an introduction to a Natural Hazard’s special issue which covers not only the history of natural disasters in Canada, but the implications and trends to anticipate moving forward.
To read the introduction, click here.
The special issue also features two articles which RbD Lab members have co-authored on. More than a checkbox: engaging youth in disaster risk reduction and resilience in Canada, covers ideas around youth resilience and the need to engage youth in climate change and why this population is not only necessary to have in such conversations, but bring valuable tools and skills to the table.
RbD Lab members also co-authored Assessing Canada’s disaster baselines and projections under the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction: a modeling tool to track progress with lead author Dr. Matt Godsoe. The article discusses the United Nations (UN) Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and describes research that utilizes UN methodology to create baselines and targets for Canada, and the practical implications for the country moving forward, projecting trends to year 2030.
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.
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.
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)
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.
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.
Watch the video below, produced by Lab member Tiffany Hill, to learn more about the RbD Lab and our creative process! If this sparks your interest, don’t forget to visit the ResiliencebyDesign Lab’s Exhibit running in the Royal Roads University Library until June, 2018.
Mid-February, the ResiliencebyDesign Research Lab ran a one and a half day Theory of Change Workshop at Royal Roads University to launch their new project, Youth-Centric Social Innovation: Gen Z and Climate Change. The session brought together a diverse group of youth and adult movers, shakers, change makers, and innovators who are invested in imagining what enlivening, inspiring, and transformative engagement and learning with youth might look like. Participants collectively explored the vision for the project, and discussed strategies, processes and activities that would support youth engagement in Climate Change Adaptation (CCA). Desired changes (outcomes) for the project were identified and captured using the Theory of Change framework, and the project team will take these away for refinement and further development of a Theory of Change model for the project. The team intends to keep workshop participants informed about the research process as it unfolds, and hopes that many will choose to stay engaged as knowledge mobilizers, influencers, advisors, and active partners.
The workshop was opened on February 22nd with a welcome and prayer from Elder Shirley Alphonse from the T’Sou-ke Nation. Participants then began getting to know each other with an an affiliation exercise, where they gathered in designated areas of the room according to criteria they most identify with (i.e. the primary context you work and play in – youth engagement/ climate change/ transformative learning/technology and innovation), and had a conversation with others who identify similarly. Afterwards, pairs engaged in dyad conversations about why youth engagement and transformative learning are important, and what inspires them to contribute. The group then reconvened in a circle and introduced their partner and shared highlights from their conversations.
Following this, Robin Cox the Director of the RbD Lab and Cheryl Heykoop, an Assistant Professor in School of Leadership Studies at Royal Roads University and RbD Lab member, gave an overview of the ResiliencebyDesign Lab approach. Then Brian Belcher, Canada Research Chair in Sustainability Research Effectiveness, introduced the Theory of Change process and outcome mapping framework, which will be used to design the project.
Later that day, participants were asked to reflect on what the future of youth engagement and transformative learning means to them, and choose an image (from a selection of visual cards laid out in the adjoining room) that represented the future they were envisioning. In breakout groups they had conversations about the images, and created posters that reflected this future. Each table then described their vision to the larger group with poster presentations.
Day two of the workshop commenced with a moment of silence for Tina Fontaine and her family, in recognition of the not guilty verdict delivered the previous day in her murder trial. Elder Shirley Alphonse then welcomed participants and shared a prayer that was filled with appreciation for the connection between the land and people. Participants were then invited to share their overnight reflections by creating a story at their table, inspired by Story Cubes. A gallery walk of the graphic recordings followed, which prompted a meaningful discussion about the importance of emphasizing ancestral knowledge and communicating with youth on their own terms when designing project activities.
Next, Brian presented the emerging Theory of Change for the project, with potential project outcomes in the model under Sphere of Control (the operational environment), Sphere of Influence (people the project works with and through) or Sphere of Interest (social, economic and environmental benefits). He also outlined the emerging impact pathways for the project:
- Direct Engagement;
- Research/Learning from Experience;
With the information about the emerging Theory of Change for the project in mind, participants broke out into groups, based on the impact pathways, to discuss what types of activities the project can do, who we should involve, and what knowledge and relationships can be fostered through the project.
In closing the workshop Robin invited participants to write an action they are committed to taking on a postcard, which will be mailed to them in a few months as a way of connecting them back to the inspiration they felt in the session. Robin discussed the steps to follow the workshop, then the group gathered together in a circle. Tossing a ball of yarn from person to person, a web was created as everyone shared their parting thoughts, and appreciation for the significant connection and learning that had taken place in their time together.
The RbD Lab worked with Get the Picture and specifically, Visual Map Maker/Graphic Recorder Lisa Edward to create the powerful visual maps throughout the workshop. Get The Picture is a leading visual facilitation and recording consultancy that partners with organizations around the world to help them visualize and launch into their desired futures. The rich, engaging communication experiences Get The Picture provides result in highly productive dialogue, shared understanding, alignment and high-quality decisions. Learn more about them here: http://getthepicture.ca/
Dr. Robin Cox, Director of the RbD Lab, was one of ten featured speakers participating in the Resilient Calgary event, May 16th, sponsored by Mount Royal University’s Centre for Community Disaster Research. Cox’s talk, Engaging Youth to Create a Culture of Resilience, focused on exploring the potential for drawing on the passion, energy, creativity, and intelligence of young people to address the complex problems of escalating disaster risks and climate change. Cox challenged the audience to consider how current decision and policy-making models and processes and structures are inadequate to address the rapidly escalating risks. Both too conservative and too siloed, these structures continue to be reliant on habitual thinking and processes that do not reflect the non-linear and emergent issues of wicked problems. Cox argued for an increased focus on cultivating a culture of resilience based in multi- and trans-disciplinary thinking and flexible, collaborative perspectives. She suggested that creative, innovative and collaborative mindsets are needed to shift the status quo and re-imagine solutions to these complex problems.