Connecting the Okanagan Communities

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Several months ago, the idea was born to find ways of bringing Okanagan communities together to follow local news and events, share success stories, and inspire people to take action on the issues that matter to them. As a team, we at the Okanagan Sustainability Leadership Council could see that there were already deepening networks of people who cared about the Valley, the quality of life here, and the welfare and future of its residents. Whether long-time residents or recent newcomers, people appreciate the beauty and bounty of the Okanagan. There is a dynamic society of local groups engaged with social and environmental issues, and there is a critical mass of technologically sophisticated expertise in the Okanagan Valley that is an important potential on-ramp for catalytic ideas and actors. 

A Tool for Connections New leverage is needed to connect those already engaged, and to be an outreach hub for those new to the issues and actions happening locally. Although social networks, online resource guides, and event calendars exist, deepening those networks is important to keeping up the momentum on sustainability in the Okanagan Valley. The launch of the OSLC website is just a first step in building a network of activism and leadership, one which is propelled by a diversity of groups and dynamic individuals with ideas to share.

What will it look like? Ideas for extending the connection, and activating the energies of the Okanagan technology hub toward social and environmental impact, are many. Developing tools to map and compare progress on a range of indicators is one possibility. Creating new multimedia visionary and immersive experiences that capture possible futures is another pathway. Elevating platforms of community exchange and pooled resources is another potential way to build and support new networks.

Why the SDGs? The #sustainabledevelopmentgoals represent a framework that casts problems into a common language by which to discuss and measure progress, share and compare ideas, and more effectively collaborate. The growing wave of interest in the SDGs from government and society, in particular youth, is a not-to-be missed opportunity to build deep and lasting networks that can sustain movement toward needed and urgent change. 

Stay tuned for more to come from #oslcconnection.

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