The City is planning a new community engagement program and is working with a group of residents and members from Council to develop the program which will consist of four engagement sessions over the course of one year. After the year is up, the results and feedback from the sessions will be reviewed and recommendations will be brought to Council.
The Community Engagement Task Force, members of City Council and staff held the first session of the Public Engagement Pilot Program on Thursday, November 23 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre.
The theme for the evening was, "Building Nanaimo for the Future: What are your priorities?" and it centred around what residents think are priorities for the community moving forward. This session was facilitated by Vancouver Island University's Director of Master of Community Planning program, Pam Shaw and students of the program.
Tell us what you want to talk about!
Residents could submit topics that fell under the theme to the Notes section of the City's Facebook page, by email, phoning it in or filling out a form in the November 9 and 16 editions of the Nanaimo News Bulletin. The most-submitted topics were brought to the session where the participants voted for five to be discussed that evening. The remaining topics will be used to determine future engagement sessions. The topics discussed were:
- Social Issues
- Downtown Revitalization
- Community Engagement
There was also a wild card table featuring discussions on a variety of topics. A transcription of the notes taken is available on the Task Force's page. The video below wraps up the evening's discussions.
An Open Space Technology format was used for the session. This format revolves around the concept of people-driven conversations and solutions to complex issues. Participants decide what they want to talk about and the agenda is determined democratically at the beginning of the session.
The second session was held on Thursday, April 26, 2018 from 6:30 pm (doors open at 6:00 pm) to 9:30 pm in the Beban Park Social Centre. It featured a "Micro Town Hall" format which gave residents the opportunity to sit at a table with a member of Council, ask a question and have a discussion around that question.
The purpose of the session was to build relationships between citizens and elected officials as well as to encourage engagement between citizens on topics of their choosing.
Here's how it worked:
- Residents sat at a table with one member of council.
- Residents came prepared with up to 3 questions they would like to ask members of Council.
- At each table, residents had 1 minute to ask their question and the member of Council had 2 minutes to respond. If other people at the table wished to contribute to that discussion, an additional 5 minutes were allowed for this collective participation before the next person was able to ask their question. A faciltator and time keeper were at each time to keep track of time and ensure conversations stayed on topic and were respectful.
- When instructed by the night's facilitator, the member of Council moved to a different table and the questions began again.
- One table was livestreamed on the City's Facebook Page (see video below) so residents who were unable to attend could participate online.
Community Engagement section on Facebook
Community Engagement Task Force Information Page
Open Space Technology Information