Discussion Guide

A cumulative effects management system is developed and implemented based upon a shared understanding and commitment to a Desired Future. If we are to manage the impacts of growth and development today, we need a collective vision of the future we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.

We invite you to consider your own vision of the future for your region, and consider how it is similar or different from the one developed by the Community Outcomes Team, who worked with the Government of Alberta to develop this process. We encourage you to follow the same process as the one developed with the Community Outcomes Team, and to become familiar with this systems thinking approach. This approach will help you to consider and appreciate the implications of the growth and development decisions required to support the future you would like to see unfold.

When considering your Desired Future, we suggest the following steps:

Learn about the issues that impact growth and development

  • Browse through the Topic Area Briefs, which provide you with an overview of growth and development issues. A Table of Contents will help you find the topics that interest you.
  • Browse through the Focus Papers, which provide you with more information about subjects that are of interest or concern. Again, a Table of Contents will help you quickly navigate to the papers that interest you.

Use the scenarios to help you understand the impacts from a systems perspective

  • Read through Workshops #1, 2 and 3 to learn about scenario planning, and key elements of the systems thinking approach used to develop the scenarios.
  • Listen to or read the Scenarios. Work through the stories one at a time. For each story, begin by reading the highlights. This will give you a quick outline of what the story is about. After listening to or reading the story, review the detailed list of assumptions that underlie each story, and then browse through the Chart of Assumptions that provides the complete framework for the story.
  • Think about each factor one at a time (Energy Future, Economic Sustainability, Water and the Environmental Sustainability, Nature of Community and Governance and Accountability). Ask yourself the following questions:
    • If you were living in this future, what opportunities and challenges would you and your family face?
    • What would give you hope and what would give you cause for concern?

Identify your Desired Future

  • After listening to all four stories, and considering each factor one at a time, describe the key assumptions that underlie your Desired Future. Now compare it to the Desired Future developed by the Community Outcomes Team.
    • What are the similarities?
    • What are the differences?

Consider the Outcome Statements in light of your Desired Future

  • Now browse through the Outcomes section, which describes what outcomes are and how they are developed. Based on your own desired future:
    • Do the outcome statements reflect the desired futue you described?
    • Are there any changes to the outcome statements you would like to suggest to more closely align them with your desired future?