caught the attention of the business groups in terms of the workforce and infrastructure that may be needed in the future.
John Randolph noted that thinking about the future through such scenario-based storylines allows viewers to identify both the negative attributes of the future that can be addressed, as well as positive elements. These scenarios also enable the conversation around sustainability to continue as a collaborative discussion about the future. He added that some of the topics in the scenarios are debatable, such as the role of energy in the economy and hazard mitigation from natural disasters.
Incentives and Challenges to Pathways to Sustainability
Participants discussed barriers to collaboration in moving sustainability initiatives forward, focusing on external stakeholder collaboration and inter-organizational collaborative models. One of the challenges identified during the discussion was a general lack of awareness about sustainability efforts in the region and about the existence of other potential collaborators. Better dissemination of activities and communication tools to share initiatives with other organizations are needed, some participants noted. Also mentioned was the need for a process that can develop trust and serve as the foundation or underpinning of collaborative efforts among organizations. One step in beginning that process is to recognize that many people share common goals even though they may approach issues differently. It is also important to recognize privacy in the collaborative process, and that when engaging the private sector, proprietary information may need to be protected.
Collaboration is an important process as it builds social and intellectual capital, some participants stressed, noting that collaborations that are done well lead to further collaboration. If they are not done well, however, then barriers to more collaboration are created. Participants discussed the need to preserve the value of a collaboration created during the process once a given activity is over so that a collaborative network can be continually expanded. This allows for engaging new participants, and bringing in knowledge from new communities and different socioeconomic backgrounds. During collaboration it is important to create a vision, many said, and once the vision is created, it is possible to share leadership, goals, message, planning, and the many other steps needed in the collaboration process.