A Day of Inspiration and Existential Questions

October 10, 2021

Post Contributed By: Stéphanie Roy, Directrice générale / Executive Director, Centre de santé Saint-Boniface, Leadership Winnipeg Class of 2020-2021

What a line-up and incredible day! I had learned so much, I was inspired to learn more and to go home right away and share what I had learned. Actually, I did just that. I went home, picked up my family and came back to The Forks to share just a little piece of what I had learned that very day.

We started the day with a strong wake-up call with a very interesting Doctoral Researcher from McGill University, James Magnus-Johnston, Director, CMU Center for Resilience.  Some pretty existential questions were going through my mind. Do I spend too much on non-essential material? Is it non-essential if it gives me joy? And how long does it give me joy for!? Have we improved too fast and we can’t keep up? Are we all confused on what we should be doing? Is it time to redesign our economic system? I am a big consumer and I have no problem believing that we buy just to buy. We need to make that conscious decision everyday not to buy. Do I have enough? What will be enough? Am I making too much money? Where is the sweet spot or tipping point and when enough will be enough? I had a lot of questions but I think we got to this point by not asking ourselves enough questions these past 100 years.

In the evening, after walking around The Forks and showing my family the compost area and sharing the excitement Stephanie Chow, Sustainability Technician at The Forks, has for where she works and what they have accomplished so far. I only wanted to go back home and look in my kitchen and see what I can do. Her passion and excitement were contagious! We need to clone her to spread this excitement so we can spread change.

The team of 3 from the Green Action Center gave me some ideas of what I could do at home but also at work. Joseph Seras Gubert, Robin Bryan and Beth McKechnie also shared that education, assessment, planning and implementing were crucial but there is help out there. Some good information I will go read, share and incorporate at home and work.

Now that was only the morning session! Even though it was a lot of information and thinking in new ways can be exhausting, I was full of energy! After a nice lunch and a self guided tour of The Forks, that I highly recommend by the way, I was ready to meet Dr. Ian Mauro, Executive Director for Prairie Climate Center and Associate professor for the Department of Geography, University of Winnipeg.

Dr. Mauro talked about tactics, tools and timing. He has definitely opened my eyes on some examples of leaders in our country on ecological ideas.  A wealth of information, resources available and documentaries to go discover. I was captivated by all the work that he had done and the tools available at our finger tips.

I ended my day with a presentation of an excellent example of what we could do if sustainability was a priority for our country. We need more places like The Forks. Clare MacKay shared with us the journey the Forks Market is on, to do its part in a sustainable world. The current geothermal expansion project is particularly impressive and even though the buildings are old, they made it work. I now will have new details to share when I bring friends and family to The Forks.