“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed it is the only thing that ever has.” Margaret Mead. A poster with these words hangs in my office and sums up what I love about P2 – people coming together, rolling up their sleeves and making a difference. It is also what I love about training. Each class is a small group of thoughtful, committed people coming together to learn how they can make a difference in the way their organizations engage others in decision-making. And each class is an opportunity for me to learn from these passionate individuals. For this I am grateful.
Throughout her career Gay has been drawn to working with clients who realize the benefits of involving stakeholders in decision-making. After a successful career in government, not-for-profit, education and the private sector she began consulting. Gay has provided strategic council and designed and implemented engagement programs for a wide range of clients including municipal governments, regulators, corporations, and industry associations. A number of her projects have been cited as “raising the bar” for engagement practices. Gay is an active member of IAP2 and currently serves as an assessor for the IAP2 Canada Certification program.
Early in my consulting practice I decided to focus on public engagement because I was fascinated by the possibilities of bringing communities and organizations together to make better decisions. I desperately wanted to learn from others doing this work and that’s how I found IAP2. I took the IAP2 Planning Course and I knew almost immediately that I would love to be able to bring this information to others. In 2005 when IAP2 opened the door to new trainers – I applied and I’m so glad I did! Training both the Foundations and the Outrage courses remains a highlight of my work to this day!
After a successful career in public relations with the Alberta government and a major Alberta corporation, Gale turned to consulting. Very early in her practice, she got her first taste of public participation and realized that’s where she would focus her work. Gale has developed and managed a wide variety of programs for clients in transportation, planning, education, health, housing, and waste management. Gale is particularly interested in why conflict develops in public engagement and how practitioners can deal with those situations that are now becoming the “norm.” She is licensed to teach other courses on this subject.
As an active member of IAP2 Wild Rose in the early 2000’s, I like others felt strongly that we needed to have some Canadian trainers. Consequently, when the first Train the Trainer Academy was held in Alberta, I applied. I have since had the privilege of meeting many P2 practitioners (both new and experienced) in our classes who are interested in learning how to better plan and coordinate authentic public engagement practices and processes. It is very energizing, not only to share my P2 experiences, but also to learn from the challenges and successes of all participants.
Jan set up her consulting practice Strategy Plus in Edmonton in 1997, after 24 years with the Governments of Alberta and Canada. Focusing on facilitating strategic planning and designing and coordinating public participation processes, Jan has worked with clients in such areas as tourism, parks, community planning, economic development, environment, education, and transportation.
Since joining IAP2 in 1999, Jan has served in executive roles on the Boards of IAP2 Wild Rose Chapter (2002-12) and IAP2 Canada (2012-17), and as a Canadian representative on the Federation Board (2014-17). She has enjoyed training the IAP2 Foundations Program across Canada since 2005.
Lara completed the IAP2 Foundations courses in 2008 and found the courses to be transformative. When the opportunity presented itself to become a trainer, she quickly took up the challenge. She became a licensed trainer in 2014. She loves sharing best practices and experiences of what works and what doesn’t when it comes to public participation. She loves meeting people from a diversity of backgrounds and coming together to continue to make the practice stronger. One of her favorite quotes is by Rumi “When setting out on a journey, do not seek advice from those that have never left home.”
Lara has been working in the field of public participation for the last 13 years. Her experience is both from the municipal (The City of Calgary) and consulting perspectives. She is passionate about sharing best practices and became a licensed trainer with IAP2 in 2014. She enjoys working on projects in diverse fields including community development, land use planning, transportation, open spaces, law and the arts. She completed her certificate in positive psychology and employs those principles into her practice where possible. Outside of public participation, Lara is passionate about yoga.
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