CSIN Learning Event #40 (WMV - 78 MB) took place on April 3, with presentations from Dr. Margot Parkes (Network for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health), Mike Puddister (Credit Valley Conservation), Tatiana Koveshnikova (Credit Valley Conservation), Dr. Lorna Medd (Cowichan Watershed Board) and Steve Litke (Fraser Basin Council). The presenters offered perspectives on the challenges of measuring indicators for human health and well-being in watershed management programs.
CSIN Learning Event webinar #39 (WMV - 43 MB) took place on March 7 with presenter Alex de Sherbinin explaining target setting in environmental indicators. Watch the webinar recording now!
CSIN Learning Event webinar #38 (WMV - 48 MB) took place on Feb 21 with presenter Lyle Wray discussing the Community Results Toolkit - From Community Indicators to Results. Watch the webinar recording now!
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CSIN, with support from the Atkinson Foundation, Government of Manitoba, Government of British Columbia, Thompson Rivers University and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), is enabling indicator practitioners from across Canada to make connections.
Using Web-conferencing technology, practitioners gather around the virtual meeting table to learn about each other's initiatives and to get feedback on their own work. Learning Events are designed and presented by CSIN members themselves and are open to all members.
Participants to date have come from city and provincial planning and/or environment/resource departments; multi-stakeholder watershed-based coalitions; academic institutions; national and community NGOs; federal indicator programs; and sustainability think tanks.
In an effort to record and make accessible the information that is shared during learning events, presentations, summaries and reports developed for or from the learning events are provided where possible. Please contact the CSIN Coordinator if you require any further information.
January 17, 2012
The 34th CSIN Learning Event focussed on open data and the Wellbeing Toronto web-based mapping application.
Open data is a philosophy and practice that makes data easily available in order to enable reuse of the data in new and unforeseen ways. A wide range of initiatives are taking place across Canada and at different levels of government.
Wellbeing Toronto is a new web tool that helps measure neighbourhood well-being. It has been developed in such a way that it allows users to custom-select indicators and see their results instantly on a map, graph or table, and to do their own analysis by emphasizing the importance (weighting) of indicators to suit their own needs. The initiative helps improve transparency by providing access to over 150 indicators from City of Toronto sources that describe neighbourhood wellness free for use by all levels of government and the public.
The Learning Event was an opportunity to get an introduction to open data, and learn about the process used in this exciting initiative. The Wellbeing Toronto website can be accessed at http://map.toronto.ca/wellbeing
January 16, 2011
The 31st CSIN Learning Event was a great opportunity to learn about and explore an exciting and innovative new community indicator system for Winnipeg. The Learning Event included presentations by two of Peg's core team members, Charles Thrift and Heather Block, as well as comments from Christa Rust, Peg's Project Manager.
Peg is a community indicator and information system that has been developed for Winnipeg by Winnipeggers, and led by a community-wide consortium of partners spearheaded by IISD and the United Way of Winnipeg. Peg places detailed, accurate information on the state and determinants of Winnipeggers' well-being in their own hands to enhance community involvement and cross-sectoral attention to pressing community issues.
PEG's mission is to build the knowledge and capacity of Winnipeggers to work together to achieve and sustain the well-being of current and future generations.
To achieve its mission, Peg engages Winnipeggers in an ongoing process that:
The Learning Event was an opportunity to for members to learn about the process and open-source technology being used in this exciting initiative. The Peg website can be accessed at www.mypeg.ca.
February 16, 2010
The 30th Canadian Sustainability Indicators Network (CSIN) Learning Event was a great opportunity to learn about and provide input into the draft environment domain of the Canadian Index of Wellbeing.
Alexis Morgan was The Learning Event presenter. The Canadian Index of Wellbeing CSIN Learning Event provided CSIN Members with the opportunity to learn about the CIW's draft environmental domain which uses an array of indicators to inform environmental policy and public debate in Canada. The Learning Event also provided an opportunity for members to provide feedback/input on the domain as well as play a role in its development.
April 2, 2009
The 29th CSIN Learning Event was a great opportunity to learn about the exciting realms of Data Visualization.
The first presenter was Dr. Brian Eddy. Dr. Eddy presented on geovisualization and the mapping of community-based indicators using Google Earth and a number of socio-economic variables derived from StatsCan Census data. The second presentation was lead by Greg Tucker and included inputs from Dr. Douglas May, Alton Hollet and Conrad Power. Mr. Tucker walked participants through the structure, data and analytical tools available to visualize data on the Newfoundland and Labrador's innovative web-based public information system Community Accounts and talked about its application in other places and how it is starting to link to international data sets.
September 30, 2008
Our 28th CSIN Learning Event was an opportunity for four recent Canadian graduates – Alaya Boisvert, Sarah Cheevers, Karen Stroebel and Erin Romanchuk – from the Blekinge Institute of Technology's Strategic Leadership Towards Sustainability program to share their research on community sustainability indicators.
The Learning Event featured a detailed presentation on the framework and the key findings of this leading sustainability indicators research which was conducted in early 2008. A brief overview of the Framework for Strategic Sustainable Development (FSSD), the foundation upon which the research was built, was provided at the beginning of the presentation to offer a science-based and principled definition of sustainability as well as a method for structuring, evaluating and informing the design of indicators. A presentation of the key findings of the research as well as discussion with participants followed.
July 30, 2008
The 27th CSIN Learning Event gave CSIN Members the opportunity to learn about UNEP's GEO Data Portal and an exciting community indicators project underway with Winnipeg's First Nations community. The Learning Event was also an opportunity to test out the virtual meeting room donated to CSIN by Thompson River University.
The two practitioners that shared their work during the virtual meeting were: Stefan Schwarzer and Christa Rust. Stefan, a GIS & Data Management specialist with UNEP, began with a presentation on the GEO Data Portal and then provided CSIN members with an interactive tour of the web-based portal and an exploration of some of the portals functions. Then, Christa Rust, a Project Officer with the International Institute for Sustainable Development, shared the preliminary results of her work as the project manager for a joint project with the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (AMC) to develop an indicator system for Winnipeg's urban First Nations community.
Presentation by: Jon Hall, OECD World Forum Project Leader
October 17, 2007
CSIN’s 26th Learning Event focused on the outcomes of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) World Forum.
The OECD World Forum "Measuring and Fostering the Progress of Societies" took place in Istanbul in June 2007. Over 1200 people, representing more than 130 countries and interests attended. The common element among this diverse group was the desire to develop better measures of how the world was progressing.
June 20, 2007
The 25th CSIN Learning Event focused on the fascinating topic of Scenario's attracting CSIN members from Academic, Government, NGO's and Private circles. The mix of participants spurred great dialogue and discussion.
Scenarios are described as a projection of a potential course of action, events or situations. Scenario development is now becoming more widely used in policy planning, organizational development and, generally, when organizations wish to test strategies against uncertain future developments such as the impacts of climate change. The mix of our participants is a testament to the wide use of scenarios by various sectors.
March 23, 2007
CSIN's 24th Learning Event discussed three reporting frameworks and tools used in private and public sectors: The Natural Step Framework, The Global Reporting Initiative and the Loop IRIS Tool.
Frameworks provide the basis for sustainability reporting tools. The Natural Step Framework includes a set of system conditions required for sustainability, with an emphasis on addressing systemic pressures. Indicators are then developed to track progress according to the framework principles. Once it is known what is to be measured, tools such as the Global Reporting Initiative provide common frameworks to address how sustainability is measured. Along a similar vein, tools like the Loop IRIS Tool (Integrated Rating Indicator for Sustainability) provide visual mechanisms for communicating performance to various audiences, based on a set of sustainability principles.
CSIN's 23rd Learning Event on Traditional Ecological Knowledge Indicators drew unprecedented interest, with an emphasis on First Nations, federal government departments and provincial governments. This rare opportunity for interaction among different perspectives was eagerly taken up during the 2 hour discussion, as participants offered analysis, critique and resources.
Three practitioners shared their work during the call. First, Stanford Zent of NGO Terralingua discussed his research on the development of a TEK Vitality Index. Then, Deb McGregor, a senior policy advisory for Aboriginal Relations out of the Ontario region of Environment Canada shared her experiences with TEK at the State of Great Lakes Conference (SOLEC). Barb Buckland, of Knowledge Integration at Environment Canada, then asked participants for feedback on the inclusion of TEK in Environment Canada's Northern Ecosystem Report.
The call summary includes a summary of presentations and discussion, speaking notes, a participant list and resources shared during the call.
Presentation by: Carissa Wieler, International Institute for Sustainable Development
November 9, 2006
Deciding how to deliver environmental monitoring data effectively to an audience of decision-makers is an ongoing challenge for those collecting monitoring information at local and regional levels. From understanding your audience to building relationships and ensuring your data will meet the needs of your audience, there remains much to be learned. This event further explored both the "push" and "pull" for monitoring information.
The material presented is part of a research collaborative between the Ecological Monitoring Assessment Network (EMAN) and the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD). Using a case study approach, the research intends to identify best practices for delivering ecological monitoring data to decision-makers at a local scale.
October 5, 2006
What do we mean by Sustainability Reporting? Where does it fit along the continuum of reporting types, including State of Environment, Sustainability Performance, Quality of Life, Ecosystem and Human Well-being, to name a few? Are these reporting types really more similar than different, with the issue being one of semantics? Or are there deeper, historical and cultural differences in how we view and use these types of reports?
At this CSIN learning event, Michael Keating of Sustainability Reporting Program took us on a historical walk through the development of sustainability reporting in Canada from before the days of the Brundtland Commission.
László Pintér, Director of the Measurement and Assessment Program at IISD, then took the dialogue to a global level, through the lens of the Global Environmental Outlook (GEO). Laszlo has been personally involved with the publication of GEO for a number of years as a contributor and coordinator. He shared with us his experience on how the sustainability agenda is reflected in a United Nations reporting process.
Tammy Gibson from Manitoba Conservation also spoke to us about Manitoba's experience with producing their Sustainability Report in 2005.
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Reporting Based on the Global Environment Outlook (GEO) Approach of UNEP, László Pintér, International Institute for Sustainable Development (PowerPoint) (233 kb)
July 27, 2006
Measuring sustainability is messy, especially as we attempt to chart our performance on a dynamic, living map. Using targets to track our performance is both valuable and challenging, as science, politics, culture and values all have a hand in how targets are developed. Oriented with a best practices approach, we engaged leading practitioners to share their knowledge, experience and wisdom on performance measurement. Our exchange also helped inform work being done by the Fraser Basin Council on setting and using indicator targets.
The Fraser Basin Council generously supported this learning event, with three goals in mind: To support CSIN as a network of practitioners; To learn lessons from practitioners about setting indicator targets and to apply the lessons learned within their Sustainability Indicators Program; and, To support a longer-term CSIN initiative to develop and document best practices (such as sustainability targets).
Presented by Nancy Duxbury, Director of Research and Information at the Creative City Network of Canada and Luisa Maffi, President of Terralingua.
June 8, 2006
What are cultural indicators and why do they matter? Who is developing cultural indicators and for what purposes? What unique challenges emerge when developing these indicators? Nancy Duxbury and Luisa Maffi take listeners on a guided tour of cultural indicators, each providing a unique lens through which these more emergent sustainability indicators are being developed.
Harmon, David 2002, In Light of Our Differences: How Diversity in Nature and Culture Makes Us Human, Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
Maffi, L. (ed.) 2001, On Biocultural Diversity: Linking Language, Knowledge, and the Environment. Washington, DC: Smithsonian Institution Press.
Presented by Dan Wilson, Whistler 2020, and Barb Buckland, Knowledge Integration Directorate, Environment Canada.
February 18, 2006
Discussion on current status of indicator projects, including gaps, challenges and needed tools. An overview of the Whistler 2020 Monitoring Program and Environment Canada's Canadian Environmental Sustainability Indicators (CESI).
Presentation and Panel Discussion at Federation of Canadian Municipalities Sustainable Communities National Conference
February 3, 2006, Ottawa
An interactive panel discussion highlighting what works well when delivering indicators to decision-makers in the municipal context. City councilors and planners familiar with delivering and using sustainability and Quality of Life indicators share experiences and knowledge. A presentation on trends in municipal uptake of indicators is also included.
Moderator: Michael Keating, Sustainability Reporting Program
Presenter: Dave Biggs, Envision Sustainability Tools, Metroquest
Presenter: Noel Keough, Executive Director for Sustainable Calgary
January 18, 2006
A presentation about the impacts of the Sustainable Calgary Indicator Project on the citizens who were involved in project implementation, followed by discussion on factors that support successful initiatives. A discussion about pros and cons of quantitative and qualitative measures in municipal level indicator systems ensued.
Presenter: Dr. Meg Holden, Assistant Professor, Urban Studies and Geography
December 8, 2005
A presentation on the policy uses of community indicator projects with a focus on social and policy learning research conducted by Dr. Holden. Sustainable Seattle, a grassroots community indicator project that is widely recognized as a pioneering initiative, provided context for Dr. Holden's research. Having completed her research, Dr. Holden is now positioned at Simon Fraser University and is spearheading the Regional Vancouver Urban Observatory (R-Vu).
October 28, 2005
Presentations from five federal departments: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Canada, Environment Canada, Natural Resources Canada, Health Canada (children's environmental health), Department of Fisheries and Oceans, and a demonstration of Live Meeting technology at the Canadian Conference on Dialogue and Deliberation.
September 22, 2005
A presentation of provincial level sustainability indicator work with a focus on work occurring in six Canadian provinces and territories: Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec. Indicator practitioners share their experiences and knowledge focusing on the process of development and communication of sustainability indicators.
Presenters: Steve Litke, Fraser Basin Council and Andrée Chevrier, Environment Canada
July 21, 2006
Sustainability indicators are increasingly used to measure performance, particularly of policies. Measuring performance requires that there is a baseline, reference point or target against which performance is measured. Setting a target for an indicator can be both scientifically challenging and politically charged. Challenges and best practices associated with setting targets are explored, using as a basis a presentation on target setting and an overview of SMART Regulation.
Presenter: Andrea Scheller, Scientific collaborator of the Swiss Federal Office for Spatial Development (ARE) at the Swiss Federal Statistical Office (BFS)
June 23, 2005
A presentation about various techniques for visually presenting indicator systems, based on a conference proceedings of the Visualising and Presenting Indicator Systems conference in Switzerland in March 2005. Conference proceedings are available from the Swiss Statistical Office.
May 27, 2005
An overview of the Watersheds InfoXchange and The Pathways Project. Watersheds InfoXchange (WIX) is an innovative GIS (Geographic Information System) web application being designed to empower community to become more involved in protection of their water resources. Assessing our water resources, the first step to any management process, involves the integration of knowledge and data from many disciplines and stakeholders. This process is often overwhelming and arduous due to the discrepancies or holes in the data available and problems of access to data. WIX is being developed to facilitate more effective watershed management by improving the data connection between stakeholders and facilitating data collection and management by community groups.
The Pathways project addresses the question – How can earth science information and Web technology be used by planners and policy-makers to make decisions about policy research, planning and sustainable development? Pathways bridges policy and science by working with decision-makers to incorporate earth science information in their decision processes via modeling methods and web-based tools. Pathways is a project of The Sustainable Development through Knowledge Integration (SDKI) Program of Natural Resources Canada.
Host: Steve Litke, Program Manager, Fraser Basin Council
June 15, 2004
An overview of the Fraser Basin Council's indicators program, report format, and the process to update and enhance the indicators. Participants shared views on key issues and challenges facing the Council and practitioners in general.
May 27, 2004
An informal roundtable about current sustainability indicator activities and/or plans for future indicator development. Participants learned who is doing what, where and what is in the works for the future.
Host: Linda Harvey, VISION 2020 Coordinator
April 29, 2004
A review of a long-standing Indicators Report according to established criteria with the goal of providing information for use in Hamilton's upcoming Indicator Review. By taking a close look at the Hamilton Report, participants were able to discern possible improvements to their own work.
Host: John Morris, Compliance Assurance Branch, National Programs Directorate, Environment Canada
March 19, 2004
An overview of the federal Treasury Board logic model process, showing how performance indicators are identified in developing performance management systems, followed by a demonstration of a Web-based mapping tool that calculates identified performance indicators on the fly.
Host: Brian Frevel, Alberta Sustainable Resource Development (ASRD)
February 19, 2004
A presentation about the use of logic models at ASRD to create a performance management framework for the ministry, followed by an information sharing session about examples of logic models and feedback and suggestions for improvements to the approach used at ASRD.
(in conjunction with the 10th Annual EMAN National Science Meeting)
Theme: Improving the Effectiveness of Sustainability Information
December 2, 2004, Quebec City, Quebec
November 25, 2003, Halifax, Nova Scotia
Theme: Mixing Strategic Thinking and Knowledge Sharing