The regional workshop was held on Thursday, February 5, 2015 in Renews. Sixty-five people attended the workshop, and attendees included faculty, graduate students and staff from Memorial University, as well as others from the Irish Loop, including businesses, municipalities, provincial government, community groups, business and economic development organizations; etc.
The workshop had three themes:
1.) Fostering regional collaboration
-How are communities working together to plan and share resources?
-Can communities/organizations cooperate further in the planning and delivery of services, such as healthcare, recreation, education, transportation, social services, etc.?
-In what ways can collaboration strengthen existing public and private sector initiatives?
2.) Enhancing sustainability through land use planning
-With increasing development, how are decisions made about what to approve?
-How can communities mediate between competing needs?
-How can communities and the region plan to benefit from industrial development?
-What are the barriers to developing municipal or regional land use plans, and how can they be overcome?
3.) Using technology to further advance rural areas
-How can the use of innovative technologies help the region build and retain its labour force?
-Can technology help with service delivery and decision making in healthcare, education, town planning, etc.?
-Can the region develop a technology hub, due to its close proximity to St. John's and its rural character?
During the morning portion of the workshop, the group was welcomed and introduced to the community by Mayor Donna Dinn of the Town of Renews-Cappahayden. This was followed by opening presentations, which introduced several Memorial services and departments. Presenters included Mike Clair, Associate Director of Public Policy with the Harris Centre; Doreen Neville, Associate Vice President, Academic Planning, Priorities and Programs, Memorial University; and Bojan Furst, Manager of Knowledge Mobilization with the Harris Centre. The group also took in a presentation by Gertie Molloy, Business Development Officer with CBDC Celtic, who provided a regional profile of the Irish Loop. During the remainder of the morning, participants broke into groups based on the workshop's themes. Everyone introduced themselves to their group and they got to know more about each other's work and interests. After lunch, groups returned to their break-out groups to focus on identifying potential new opportunities for Memorial to establish linkages and partnerships for future projects. These opportunities could be related to research, teaching or public engagement. A total of 25 follow-up opportunities were identified at the workshop.
The workshop report can be found here.
8:00 Workshop Registration and Breakfast
9:00 Welcomes; Mike Clair, Harris Centre, Donna Dinn, Mayor of Renews-Cappahayden
9:10 Outline for the Day Mike Clair, Harris Centre
9:20 The Role of Memorial University in Regional Development, Doreen Neville, Associate Vice President, Academic Planning, Priorities and Programs, Memorial University
9:35 Irish Loop Profile Gertie Molloy, Business Development Officer, CBDC Celtic
9:50 Follow-Up Process for New Opportunities Bojan Furst, Harris Centre
10:15 Parallel Sessions: A discussion of current activities and projects in the region, followed by a discussion of potential new opportunities for collaboration. Groups will brainstorm new research questions, public engagement activities, teaching opportunities, etc. Session themes: Regional Collaboration (Facilitated by Morgan Murray, Office of Public Engagement); Land Use Planning (Facilitated by Mike Clair, Harris Centre); Technology in Rural Areas (Facilitated by Bojan Furst, Harris Centre)
1:00 Parallel Sessions: New opportunities
Session themes: Regional Collaboration (Facilitated by Morgan Murray, Office of Public Engagement); Land Use Planning (Facilitated by Mike Clair, Harris Centre); Technology in Rural Areas (Facilitated by Bojan Furst, Harris Centre)
3:00 Report Back/Wrap-Up and Next Steps Facilitator: Bojan Furst, Harris Centre