At Royal Roads University, the inaugural Sustainable Community Development (SCD) cohort has just completed their first Potentials for Adaptive Change Residency on RRU Campus.

In the first week of February, after three weeks online, a cohort, with professions as varied as municipal forester, downtown revitalization director, tourism instructor and sustainability officer, whose members come from geography that spans from Port Hardy to Ottawa and eight other locations in between, met face to face for the first time.

As a backbone of their studies they will be working with one Community of Interest throughout the program. In 2011 it is the Royal Roads University City of Colwood. The cohort accepted a challenge from Colwood to develop strategies for implementing a Climate Action Plan. Using Colwood’s Official Community Plan as a guide for framing a strategy, over the next five months, the cohort will complete two distance learning programs as they determine their recommendations. 

The first distance course will focus on Building Community Engagement and the second with explore Foundations for Resilient Systems.  Throughout the program, the cohort is using ideas, tools and models with a distinctive RRU flavor – from the work of Dr. Ann Dale, Canada Chair of Sustainable Community Development, Dr. Marilyn Hamilton’s Integral City model and Dr. Graeme Taylor’s evolutionary views of global transformation.

By the time the SCD cohort meets again for their Capstone Residency in July, 2011, they will have designed an “integrative model, with effective, implementable tools to engage community stakeholders to strengthen communication and create a culture of resilience regarding climate change and the community’s future.” Echoing, the City’s Mayor Saunders, the cohort believes, “This is an opportunity for our community to be a leader in sustainability”.