More to the Picture Than Meets the Eye: Neil Young, Michael Porter, the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation, and Unconventional Oil & Gas

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on Jan 29, 2014 8:44:42 PM

Picture of Lake Athabasca in northern Alberta

By Don Richardson, Ph.D. – Managing Partner, Shared Value Solutions Ltd., Canada

A version of this post also appears with the Shared Value Initiative Community website.

What happens when you mix Neil Young, renowned Harvard Business School strategist Michael Porter, a rapid and massive transformation of the North American oil and gas industry, frustrated Aboriginal peoples in Alberta, a massive inland heavy oil pipeline spill in Michigan, and the deaths of 47 people in Quebec? We may soon find out, and the mix might just yield a positive way forward through the most challenging industrial energy transformation the people of North America have ever experienced. The way forward involves Michael Porter’s 20-plus year old hypothesis about environmental regulation, a bit of Porter’s Creating Shared Value thinking, some creative energy industry leaders, and a people who have been stewards of the land for over 10,000 years. It’s an interesting picture.

“There’s More to the Picture Than Meets the Eye”

Until you recognize and name a problem, it’s impossible to solve it. Part of the challenge with the massive industrial oil and gas transformation in North America is that very few of us know that it’s happening and it’s hard to connect the dots to see the big picture of the very real human safety and environmental problems this rapid change is creating. Whatever you may think about Neil Young, he’s helping generate a new conversation and new awareness of some of what is going on. But, as Neil so movingly sings, “there’s more to the picture than meets the eye”. And it’s not just a picture of problems, money, polarized politics and arguments; it’s a picture that includes some positive and beneficial solutions.

Across North America, we are witnessing tremendous growth in “unconventional” oil and gas production. The decline in availability of more easily accessed “conventional” oil and gas from simply drilling wells is yielding to new and more complicated approaches to extracting oil and gas where it is more solidly embedded in the ground. As a result, we are seeing a massive investment in the extraction of “unconventional” fossil fuels. From the Bakken oil field production in North Dakota, Montana, Saskatchewan and Manitoba, to the heavy oils of the Alberta oil sands, to the rapid growth of shale gas production in areas such as the Marcellus shale formation in the northeastern United States, unconventional fossil fuel production is transforming North America into a new Saudi Arabia.

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Our Progress to BCorp

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on Jan 24, 2014 4:32:00 PM

by Frances Dietrich-O'Connor, Human Environment Consultant at Shared Value Solutions Ltd.

 

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Topics: B Corporations

Office Warming: Come Help Us Celebrate our New Space!

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on Jan 23, 2014 8:00:59 AM

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Register NOW for Early Bird Rate: GroundSwell: Conference on Groundwater Innovation with Alexandra Cousteau

Posted by admin

on Jan 17, 2014 10:11:38 AM

Alexandra Cousteau featured in Canadian Wildlife - magazine of the Canadian Wildlife Federation: "Water and the myth of abundance"

Save up to 15% by registering before January 31, 2014.

Register NOW for Early Bird Rate: GroundSwell: Conference on Groundwater Innovation with Alexandra Cousteau

Dates: June 16th-18th, 2014, University of Guelph, Guelph, Ontario, Canada

Register by January 31, 2014 for Early Bird Rate, and a chance to win a copy of Groundwater for the 21st Century: A Primer for Citizens of Planet Earth, by John A. Conners

Alexandra Cousteau is the keynote speaker for the conference. Cousteau is no stranger to Canadian water resource issues. In 2010 Cousteau toured Canada for Blue Legacy, the global water advocacy organization she founded in 2008 to “empower people to reclaim and restore the world’s water, one community at a time”. The tour introduced Cousteau to a variety of issues ranging from the impact of extractive industries such as mining and oil sands development on watersheds and Canada's multi-layered and complex multi-jurisdictional water management systems. She is a global advocate for bringing clear governance to multi-jurisdictional water-management systems and in Canada is the RBC Blue Water Ambassador.

"Water has to be declared a public trust, especially surface water and groundwater,” Cousteau says. “It has got to be managed, regulated and financed by public systems that are accountable to communities.”

Via Blue Legacy, Cousteau puts global water issues at centre stage through education, film-making and social media projects:

“We live in a world of watersheds and we’ve forgotten that. The problems that I’ve seen around the world all stem from this lack of a watershed-first perspective,” says Cousteau.

Join Alexandra Cousteau and other interested in protecting groundwater, enhancing watersheds and improving governance at GroundSwell: Conference on Groundwater Innovation.

Our aim: to create shared value for groundwater communities, researchers and technical innovators.

Our goal: to encourage learning, collaboration, and identification of new opportunities for groundwater innovation across sectors.

Our participants: groundwater experts, accomplished scientists, researchers, practitioners, private sector suppliers, students, policy-makers from all levels of government and representatives from indigenous and rural communities.

Conference themes:

1. Social and Governance Innovations – including ways that people have been innovative in cross-community collaboration for water management, policies, and regulations, and lessons from First Nations and rural communities
2. Technological Innovations – showcasing innovative technology and processes both large and small
3. Ecosystem Resilience Innovations – understanding surface water, ground water interactions, sources and movement of contaminants and adapting to the uncertainty of climate change with limited resources require innovative approaches and are critical to long term resilience of communities

Get more information via the GroundSwell: Conference on Groundwater Innovation website.

 

Contact the Conference Organizers - Nichole Fraser MacDonald at Shared Value Solutions:

226 7096-8888 x 104

groundwater@sharedvaluesolutions.com

Twitter: @GroundwaterCSV

 

 

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Alexandra Cousteau Keynotes Groundwater Innovation Conference

Posted by admin

on Jan 9, 2014 5:45:25 AM

Alexandra Cousteau - Keynote Speaker for GroundSwell: Groundwater Innovation Conference at the University of Guelph

Shared Value Solutions Ltd. is excited to announce that Alexandra Cousteau will be the keynote speaker at GroundSwell: Conference on Groundwater Innovation, June 16-18, 2014 at the University of Guelph.

Cousteau is a National Geographic Explorer, RBC Blue Water Ambassador, filmmaker, founder of water conservation group Blue Legacy, serves on the Leadership Council for the Water Keepers Alliance, and is the granddaughter of ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau. Cousteau empowers and inspires people to explore their connection with their watersheds - preserving natural water systems while taking into account the numerous demands, threats, and developments within a watershed.

“We love what we know, and we protect what we love. So the most important thing to do is help people be in touch with whatever water body defines and shapes the land that they live on.” –Alexandra Cousteau, Canadian Geographic interview, December 2013

More info: www.alexandracousteau.org or www.apbspeakers.com.

You can register for the Conference to take part in Alexandra Cousteau's keynote event here - http://groundwaterinnovationconference.wordpress.com/register/

Stay tuned for more updates on speakers. Follow us on Twitter @GroundwaterCSV and join our event on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/267349296746484/

More on the conference:

GroundSwell: Conference on Groundwater Innovation will run from June 16-18, 2014 at the University of Guelph. The main goal of the conference is to encourage learning, collaboration, and the identification of new shared value opportunities for groundwater innovation across sectors.

Dialogue at the Groundwater Innovation Conference will focus on three main themes:

1. Social innovations – including ways that people have been innovative in cross-community collaboration for water management, policies, and regulations, and lessons from First Nation, Metis, and rural communities
2. Technological innovations – showcasing innovative technology and processes both large and small
3. Ecosystem Resilience Innovation– an examination of water system interactions and reactions, as well as current thinking and practice in climate change adaptation, and managing contaminant threats

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