As the recent Three Sisters Mountain Village development hearings and resulting fallout have shown, the big head could use some big talk – as in a wide-ranging, everybody-and-all-views-welcome conversation about our future.
Today’s Canmore faces challenges and opportunities unlike any of the past. In an increasingly complicated world, finding acceptable solutions to issues like affordability, land use and climate change requires all hands on deck, with the Town government and citizens working together. The same applies to taking advantage of emerging possibilities like new economic, educational and tourism initiatives.
On the heels of the Three Sisters hearings, Canmore has a rare chance to capture our citizens’ extraordinary talents, knowledge and experience in combination with their demonstrated readiness to roll up their sleeves and get to work. Collectively, we have the capacity to invent a future that will benefit us all.
To that end, a group of citizens, working as Futures Canmore, is proposing the municipal government and the broadest possible range of Canmore citizens come together to support a community-wide conversation that will:
Expand our understanding of our community; build a broad and shared vision for our future that is informed by our aspirations, values and principles and establish new, long-lasting relationships and a culture of ongoing, inclusive community dialogue.
That expanded understanding, vision, and ongoing dialogue will give our community a new and powerful capacity – one that will allow our decision-makers to create strong, citizen-supported policies; make sound, citizen-supported decisions and put us on the path to becoming a resilient, united community oriented to the future and able to fulfil our aspirations.
Good community conversations can be fun and energizing, but they also require serious design, skilled facilitation, hard work, and the willingness of participants to make difficult trade-offs. Done well, they result in great visionary documents and plans.
More valuably, however, they provoke fresh thinking, nurture new relationships, correct misperceptions and help us understand who we are and how we can work together, and generate the ambition and certain knowledge that we have the power to shape our future.
If you, too, support the idea of a Big Talk for the Big Head, please send an email with your name to firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll treat it with respect and use it to keep you in the loop.
Bart T. Robinson and Carole Stark,