What Is a BSC Conference?
FOF has hosted seven Building SustainABLE Communities (BSC) conferences in Kelowna, BC (2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2017). These highly acclaimed and hugely popular events gathered people from all sectors to explore emerging trends in sustainability at the individual, organizational, and community scales.
Information-sharing was interspersed with social and cultural activities to ensure meaningful and memorable outcomes. This allowed delegates to celebrate the move toward social, cultural, environmental, and economic well-being.
Conference participants joined speakers, panelists, sponsors, and other delegates for engaging workshops, game-changing plenary presentations, professionally facilitated breakouts, and abundant networking functions. Additionally, participants were able to meet with experts, activists, and exhibitors, and also had a chance to view sustainability through the eyes of children, youth, artists, musicians, and poets!
Measurable BSC Outcomes
The Fresh Outlook Foundation uses community-based social marketing to help build sustainable communities. Conference success, therefore, can only be measured in terms of tangible behavior change. As indicated by the following evaluation results (based on almost 100 delegate responses), conference attendees noted actual behavior change and commitment to future change based on their conference experience(s):
- 83% of survey respondents who attended a BSC conference have introduced new plans, policies, programs, projects, or partnerships AT WORK as a result of what they learned and/or who they met at the conference(s)
- 82% of respondents who attended a BSC conference have adopted new behaviours AT HOME as a result of what they learned and/or who they met at the conference(s)
- 62% of respondents who attended a BSC conference have adopted new behaviours AT PLAY as a result of what they learned and/or who they met at the conference(s)
- More than 80% of respondents indicated they are likely to adopt more sustainable behaviors at home, work, and play as a result of what they learned and/or who they met at a BSC conference
- More than 90% of local government representatives who responded indicated they are likely to move toward more sustainable plans, policies, procedures, programs, projects, and partnerships as a result of what they learned and/or who they met at a BSC conference.
Some Information About Individual BSCs
The overarching theme of this year’s event was Innovation Through Collaboration, with sub-themes being climate action, water stewardship, food security, and community capital/assets. Other topics we tackled included active transportation, community health, comprehensive wealth, pollution solutions, sustainable development, leadership and governance, and local prosperity.
Our 2013 BSC event showcased training sessions with world-renowned leadership company FranklinCovey, which supported the four major themes: community climate action, food systems, transportation, and green economic development.
Speakers and delegates at our 2012 BSC represented a wide range of organizations from the public, private, non-profit, and academic sectors, and from the general public. A significant number of representatives from local governments were in attendance. The conference drew 600 speakers and delegates from approximately 80 communities.
Our 4th Building SustainABLE Communities (BSC) conference drew 500 speakers and delegates from more than 80 communities throughout Canada and the U.S. The conference featured a huge range of social, cultural, environmental, and economic topics.
Every edition of Building SustainABLE Communities brought new topics and innovative ways of engaging people in conversations about those topics. In 2009, we introduced two stand-alone streams on SustainAble Agriculture and SustainAble Business.
We also introduced the ECO-EX Trade Show and Tell with Breakfast Breakouts. ‘State of the Debate’ featured industry experts in opposing sides of three topics: Aquaculture in BC (Is it sustainable?), the Commodification of Water (Should we take the plunge?), and Growth on the Edge (Is sprawl sustainable?). Also new that year was the Taste of Kelowna Dine-Around, which showcased local restaurants while featuring sustainability experts in a variety of fields.