More than 20 years ago, Canadians embraced the emerging concept of sustainable development in response to the landmark Brundtland Report.Meeting the needs of present generations without compromising those to come is at the heart of bringing environmental and economic interests together to create truly sustainable development solutions. But this has been easier said than done. Adversarial positions and entrenched interests have replaced dialogue and debate aimed at forging common solutions in recognition of a common future.Governments are often caught in the middle, forced to arbitrate between competing interests and positions in an attempt to navigate a way forward when they need to innovate with more open ways of bringing people together.
Today, tough, long-term issues such as climate change, water management, clean energy and more require new collaborative engagement processes if we are to truly make progress. That's why two of Canada's leading national public policy organizations - the National Round Table on the Environment and the Economy and the Public Policy Forum - collaborated to examine how we could reinvigorate our governance processes to make real progress on sustainable development.
Over the course of two round table discussions and one-on-one interviews with some 20 of Canada's leading experts and practitioners in the field, we have together produced this new report entitled Progress Through Process: Achieving Sustainable Development Together.It will take you through our consideration of the issues and the dialogue we engaged in. It sets out our view of "Elements of Successful Collaborative Governance for Sustainable Development" for others to also put into practice. And it presents four live case studiesas examples of collaborative governance processes being tried 'on the ground' with lessons to draw upon.
Our discussions identified the elements of successful collaboration. Here, we draw on the preceding discussion to set out a framework for successful collaborative governance for sustainable development. These eight elements described below combine to build legitimacy from the outset and ensure the success of the collaboration.
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About the Sustainability Project
Achieving Sustainable Development Together
Setting Out the Governance Challenge
Responding to the Challenge
Making Collaboration Work: The Elements of Successful Collaborative Governance for Sustainable Development
Looking Ahead: Concluding Thoughts on Collaborative Governance for Sustainable Development
The NRTEE and PPF brought together 20 leading experts and practitioners in the sustainability and public policy fields to consider ways to improve governance methods for sustainable development.
October 6, 2009
November 10, 2009
List of Participants