New video on impacts of Edmonton Citizens’ Panel

Screen Shot 2015-08-13 at 1.00.31 PM

A new video from ABCD and the Centre for Public Involvement captures reflections by citizens’ panelists, Mayor Iveson, Councillors, a City administrator, David Kahane, and Fiona Cavanagh on the impacts of the Citizens’ Panel on Edmonton’s Energy and Climate Challenges.

The video also includes reflections on what might have been done differently and on lessons learned.

More information about the Citizens’ Panel can be found on this website and through the City of Edmonton.

ABCD Edited Collection in the works

Gwendolyn Blue and Lorelei Hanson are editing a volume on ABCD’s work and learning.The volume will be published with an academic press, with open source versions of the chapters made widely available, including through a new website to be built by ABCD.

On June 11th and 12th, 2015 many of the core members of the Alberta Climate Dialogue project gathered in Edmonton to workshop the collection. They discussed the overarching themes of the book and lessons learned through the three deliberations hosted by ABCD and a further one (on food and agriculture in Edmonton) to which ABCD researchers contributed.

Chapters in the book will discuss ABCD deliberations, the role of framing in those deliberations, how recruitment worked, reasons to use deliberative democracy to address climate change, and academic-practitioner collaboration in ABCD, among other topics.

City Council Unanimously Adopts Energy Transition Strategy

On April 21, 2015, Edmonton City Council unanimously adopted an Energy Transition Strategy which aims to make Edmonton a low carbon city by 2035. The plan includes eleven strategic courses of action and an eight year action plan. It is draws importantly on recommendations (pdf) from the Citizens’ Panel on Edmonton’s Energy and Climate Challenges, one of the three deliberations held by ABCD.

The 11 action items include Strategic Action #10 which states that “The City of Edmonton will apply the advice of the Citizens’ Panel on Edmonton’s Energy and Climate Challenges: (a) weighing the costs and benefits of each energy transition action, (b) using public and transparent decision making processes so that citizens are confident that energy transition decisions serve the public good, (c) linking City leadership to citizen education, and (d) recognizing and promoting multiple reasons for energy transition.”

This action, and the entire Energy Transition Strategy, is a testimony to the work of the citizens who participated in the Citizens’ Panel, City leaders who took the recommendations of the citizens panel seriously (a particular shout-out here to Jim Andrais in Sustainable Development and Don Iveson, our Mayor), and colleagues at ABCD and the Centre for Public Involvement who worked so hard to execute a successful deliberation. This plan and its success will be a key legacy of ABCD as a Community University Research Alliance.