by Jessica Messerer-Trosin
Sustainable community change is all about striving to set the next generation up for success, according to Lincoln Smith. And as executive director of the Kamloops Innovation Centre (KIC), and director of Research Partnerships and Enterprise Creation at Thompson Rivers University (TRU), Smith believes this should be the focus of the upcoming CommUnity Innovation Lab (CIL) being held at TRU from February 3rd-5th.
“The youth of BC’s Interior must have the opportunity to take up their chosen career in the towns and regions where they grew up, and where the lifestyles they enjoy can be passed on to their children,” Smith said.
The first of its kind in Canada, CIL combines best public engagement practices with emerging social innovation tools in a step-by-step, vision-to-action process that will help participants from all sectors make their communities healthier, happier, and more prosperous.
CIL’s objective of facilitating sustainable change in Kamloops and the surrounding area coincides with Smith’s vision. “It’s important that we look ahead and make the decisions that will bring prosperity, both today and in the future,” he said.
The same focus on the local region is important to KIC, a local non-profit that was created by “a group of like-minded entrepreneurs who saw the potential to build on our resource Industry roots and support the growth of technology ventures in our community and region,” Smith said.
“To KIC,” he added, “sustainable change is about building a community on the economic drivers that provide jobs for our young people entering the workforce, and that supports existing industries toward sustainability.”
While Smith feels that sustainable change is important in all communities, he is looking forward to working with others who are enthusiastic about making a positive difference in Kamloops and the surrounding area. “I expect to meet and collaborate with passionate people sharing my interest in building a strong community and region.”
“Sustainable change is not the easy path,” Smith said, but “through collaboration you can multiply the efforts of the individual, and support one another toward the shared goal.”
CIL has four distinct focuses: Healthy Environment, Healthy People, Healthy Economy, and Action Mapping. The first day features workshops and tours, which is followed by two days of plenaries presentations and walk-about table talks. The final session will help participants create action maps to help them follow through with their desired actions.
The Fresh Outlook Foundation is hosting the CIL to foster its passion for “inspiring community conversations for sustainable change.” Event partners include TRU, the Real Estate Foundation of BC, the City of Kamloops, the BC Sustainable Energy Association, Urban Systems, and JORA Composting Canada.
To find out more about this important conversation on sustainable change and to register for CIL, visit www.freshoutlookfoundation.org.
Joanne de Vries
Founder & CEO
Fresh Outlook Foundation