La recherche et la pratique dans le domaine de la P2 ont résisté à la pandémie

Les résultats du sondage sur l’état de la profession réalisé en 2020 par le comité de recherche seront présentés sous forme d’informations et de graphiques fragmentés au cours des prochains mois. Voici un premier fragment. (Read the English version here.)

À l’heure où les leaders mondiaux commencent à évoquer une transition vers la normalité, nous nous penchons sur les répercussions qu’a eues la COVID-19 sur la pratique de la P2 au Canada. L’automne dernier, au moment où nous étions confrontés aux confinements, vagues, « pivots » et autres enjeux liés à la COVID-19, l’AIP2 Canada a consulté les praticiens de la P2 dans le cadre du sondage biennal sur l’état de la pratique. Nous vous avons demandé quels étaient les impacts de la pandémie de COVID-19 sur votre travail, et vos réponses ont été empreintes d’optimisme et de courage. Ce que vous nous avez dit n’est pas surprenant : la recherche et la pratique dans le domaine de la P2 ont fait preuve de résilience pendant la pandémie!

Soulignons tout d’abord que la majorité des répondants au sondage se sont dits optimistes quant à l’avenir de la P2, malgré le contexte de pandémie actuel. Les praticiens estiment que la COVID-19 a eu des répercussions importantes et durables sur leur travail de P2, notamment en les incitant à utiliser davantage d’outils de participation virtuels et numériques. Ils s’entendent pour dire que ce changement sera durable.

En revanche, un répondant sur dix a affirmé que la COVID-19 a eu des répercussions financières sur son travail de P2, et un cinquième des répondants estiment que la pandémie a engendré un déclin de la qualité du travail de P2. 

L’AIP2 Canada continue d’examiner les tendances qui influent sur la pratique de la P2 partout au pays et a commandité un rapport de recherche rédigé par Stephanie Yates et Hugo Mimee sur la COVID-19 et ses répercussions sur le domaine et la pratique de la participation publique. Ce rapport, qui permettra de mieux comprendre l’utilisation d’approches participatives à distance dans notre nouvel environnement de pratique virtuel et numérique. Ce rapport sera publié en septembre. 

L’AIP2 Canada continue d’adapter de façon active les possibilités d’apprentissage et de réseautage afin de permettre aux membres de rendre leur travail de P2 « résistant à la pandémie », ce qui comprend notamment la transformation numérique et le renforcement des capacités en matière de diversité, d’équité et d’inclusion. 

Si vous souhaitez poursuivre votre parcours d’apprentissage afin que votre pratique « résiste à la pandémie », visitez le https://www.iap2canada.ca/IAP2-Training-Courses pour vous inscrire aux nombreux cours proposés.


À l’épreuve de la pandémie

64 % des répondants se sont dits optimistes quant à l’avenir de la P2.

78 % des répondants utilisent davantage d’outils numériques et virtuels qu’avant la pandémie, et s’attendent à continuer de le faire lorsque la pandémie sera terminée.

75 % des répondants sont d’accord ou tout à fait d’accord pour affirmer que la pandémie actuelle de COVID-19 a eu des répercussions importantes et durables sur leur travail de P2.

Points à surveiller

10 % des répondants sont d’accord ou tout à fait d’accord pour dire que la pandémie actuelle de COVID-19 a eu une incidence négative sur leurs revenus en tant que praticiens de la P2.

13 % des répondants estiment que la pandémie actuelle de COVID-19 engendrera un déclin de la qualité du travail réalisé dans le domaine de la P2. 

P2 Research and Practice Emerge Pandemic-Proof

The Research Committee’s 2020 State of Practice Survey results will be presented in bite-sized information and graphics over the next few months. This is the first info bite. (Lisez la version française ici.)

As world leaders begin to talk about a future transition to normalcy, we reflect on the impact COVID-19 has had on P2 practice in Canada. Last fall, while still in the thick of lockdowns, waves, ‘pivots’, and other things pandemic, IAP2 Canada reached out to P2 practitioners with the bi-annual State of the Practice survey.  We asked you how the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic impacted your work – and you spoke up with courageous optimism.  What you said is not surprising: P2 research and practice has been pandemic-resilient!

First and foremost, the majority of survey respondents are optimistic about the future of P2 despite the ongoing pandemic. Practitioners believe that COVID-19 has had a significant and lasting impact on their P2 work, including driving them towards using more virtual and digital engagement tools. They agree that this shift is here to stay.   

On the flip-side, one in ten survey respondents agree that COVID-19 has financially impacted their P2 work and one-fifth believe that there has been a decline in the quality of P2 work as a result of the pandemic 

IAP2 Canada continues to examine the trends affecting P2 practice across the nation. IAP2 sponsored research by authors Stephanie Yates and Hugo Mimee into COVID-19 and Its Impact on the Field and Practice of Public Participation. This paper builds understanding of remote participatory approaches in our new virtual and digital practice. Watch for the release in September. 

IAP2 Canada also continues to actively tailor learning and networking opportunities to support members in ‘pandemic-proofing’ their P2 work, including digital transformation and building capacity for diversity, equity and inclusion. 

To continue your own learning journey to ‘pandemic-proof’ your practice, visit https://www.iap2canada.ca/IAP2-Training-Courses to register for the many opportunities available.


Pandemic-Proof

64% of respondents are optimistic about the future or P2.

78% of respondents are using and expect to continue to use more digital or virtual tools than before the pandemic.

75% of the respondents agree or strongly agree that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant and lasting impact on their P2 work

Areas to Monitor

10% of respondents agree or strongly agree that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted their financial income as a P2 practitioner.

13% of respondents believe that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will lead to a decline in the quality of P2 work undertaken. 

Sign up now for IAP2’s Indigenous Awareness Program!

IAP2 Canada launches next cohort of Indigenous Awareness Program

Do you want to improve Indigenous inclusion in your P2 practice? Are you interested in building on your experiences working with Indigenous communities to deepen understanding and advance reconciliation through community engagement? IAP2 Canada is pleased and honored to announce that we are accepting registrations for the next cohort of our Indigenous Awareness Learning Program is now available for all IAP2 Canada members.

The program grew out of the Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission, and a realization of the role IAP2 Canada has in furthering the Commission’s Calls to Action. IAP2 Canada’s 2015 Indigenous Inclusion Subcommittee directed the organization to make a corporate commitment to “promote greater understanding of Indigenous relations in Canada among members, peer organizations and the public,” and the Indigenous Awareness for IAP2 Canada Leaders Program emerged.

The program, which was co-created with an Indigenous Elder and is exclusive to IAP2 Canada members, is a six month semi-structured, cohort-based learning program to help build awareness and understanding about the history and experiences of Indigenous Peoples in our country so they can better support Indigenous inclusion in their P2 and engagement practice. As a participant, you’ll be matched with a volunteer learning partner who has experience working with Indigenous communities and put in a cohort of no more than three people. Over the six-month duration of the program, you’ll work through four “assignments”, based on the traditional Medicine Wheel.










We acknowledge that the visual depiction of this model is based on the teachings of the Medicine Wheel, interpreted by the late Lloyd Ewenin, the Elder who guided the development of the program, and who followed Sioux teachings. We also acknowledge there are many different interpretations of the Medicine Wheel teachings, including different colours and associations.

Who can participate in this program?
This six-month program is exclusively for IAP2 Canada members. Price $395.00.

IAP2 Canada’s intention is to offer this program as a member benefit that is revenue neutral for the association. If the cost is a barrier to your participation, we have a limited number of scholarships available.

Space is limited, so find out more here and REGISTER by May 27, 2021).

Wanted: Learning Partners!
Are you an engagement professional who has experience working in and with Indigenous communities? Do you feel comfortable supporting colleagues in their learning and reconciliation journeys? If so, please consider applying to be part of the program as a learning partner by reviewing the job description and filling out an application by May 27th.

To learn more about the program, watch this video or consider the questions in this self-assessment!

Message du C.A. — avril 2021

par Rajvir Rao

Sans doute, le bénévolat est un moyen sûr de contribuer au progrès de notre communauté et d’établir un lien serré aux causes qui nous tiennent à cœur. Pour bien des organismes sans but lucratif, les bénévoles sont les piliers qui assurent la prestation des services et programmes essentiels. L’AIP2 Canada ne fait pas exception. Grâce au soutien du personnel petit en nombre mais grand en talent, nos bénévoles continuent à sensibiliser la population sur l’importance de la participation publique et ce, à l’échelle du pays. D’ailleurs, nous reconnaissons leurs contributions, car ils soulèvent non seulement cet organisme, mais aussi la pratique, d’un océan à l’autre.

Comme l’AIP2 Canada connaît une croissance soutenue, le capital humain est encore plus critique pour accomplir notre mission de servir, de défendre et de promouvoir la pratique de la participation publique. Nous apprécions la valeur d’échanges à valeur mutuelle; bien que nous ayons des ressources financières limitées, nous offrons aux bénévoles des ‘crédits’ en guise de reconnaissance, leur donnant ainsi accès aux divers programmes de formation et d’apprentissage offerts par l’Association.  

À titre de membre bénévole au sein du conseil d’administration de l’AIP2 Canada, il s’agit d’un honneur et d’un privilège de collaborer avec quelques uns des meilleurs professionnels en P2 au Canada. J’ai découvert une communauté qui reflète ma ferme croyance que toutes les voix (surtout celles de groupes sous-représentés) doivent avoir leur place lors des dialogues publics. Il n’y a aucun doute que nous devons prioriser les tâches liées à la diversité, à l’équité et à l’inclusion, étant donné le rôle fondamental que ces principes jouent dans la participation publique.

Voilà pourquoi nous sollicitons l’appui de gens de toutes les sphères, ayant diverses compétences et proposant de nouvelles perspectives pour avancer la participation publique. Comme bénévole inspirée, cette occasion me permet d’être une agente du changement plutôt qu’une observatrice dans cette conversation nécessaire et importante – et de plus en plus croissante sur la définition de l’équité dans le cadre de la participation publique. 

Il existe d’innombrables raisons pour s’engager à titre de bénévole. Pour moi, cela veut dire : bâtir des relations, apprendre, et exprimer mes préoccupations et mes espoirs dans l’atteinte d’une pratique de P2 plus inclusive, diverse et équitable au Canada. Je souhaite vivement que vous voudrez faire ce parcours avec nous; les occasions d’y participer sont multiples (sections régionales, événements et comités). 

Vous voulez vous joindre à nous? 

Pour obtenir de plus amples renseignements, communiquez avec volunteer@iap2canada.ca

COMPTE RENDU / REVIEW : Essayez une technique: Forum ouvert / Try a Technique – Open Space

par/by Hugo Mimee & Neil Bailey

Faits saillants et leçons apprises

Le 4 février dernier, près de 30 participant(e)s d’un océan à l’autre du Canada se sont réunis pour faire l’essai d’un Forum ouvert (Open space) en ligne dans un environnement bilingue. La tenue de cette activité visait 2 buts : apprivoiser la technique du Forum ouvert et adapter celle-ci à un environnement en ligne.

Le Forum ouvert est une technique participative grandement gérée par les participant(e)s selon les principes suivants :

  • Ceux qui viennent sont les bonnes personnes
  • Quoi qu’il arrive, c’est la seule chose qui aurait pu arriver
  • Quand ça commence, c’est le bon moment
  • Quand c’est fini c’est fini

L’activité nous aura permis de tester l’environnement Zoom, d’identifier les difficultés techniques, de faire des erreurs ensemble (!) dans un environnement sécuritaire, entre passionnés de participation publique. Voici les leçons apprises à l’issue de l’activité :

  • la plupart des participant(e)s ont été en mesure de naviguer librement entre les salons Zoom. Les participant(e)s n’ayant pas été en mesure de le faire étaient soient sur le version web (et non pas l’application) et/ou sur un Macbook.
  • Il est préférable d’avoir au moins un ratio approximatif de 10:1 (participant(e)s/nombre de salons Zoom ouvert) afin d’assurer la viabilité des échanges. Dans le cas présent, 7 sous-thèmes ont été identifiés par les participant(e)s et par conséquent 7 salons Zoom ont été actifs. Toutefois, les discussions se sont concentrées dans 3-4 salons et 3 salons ont été mis de côté dû au manque de participant(e)s.
  • Chaque sous-groupe aurait avantage à se désigner aussi un preneur de notes (en plus d’un animateur) et au besoin d’alterner ce rôle de preneur de notes.
  • Toujours une bonne idée de réserver du temps à la fin, après la plénière (retour sur les discussions en sous-groupes) pour un debriefing sur les «dessous de l’activité» et les meilleurs moments (a-ha moments)!

Vous avez toujours eu envie de tester une technique de participation publique dans un environnement sécuritaire, c’est le temps où jamais! N’hésitez surtout pas à soumettre votre projet en quelques lignes à l’AIP2 Canada info@iap2canada.ca

Summary and lessons learned

Open Space Technology is a group facilitation technique, typically used with large groups of people over multiple days, which allows  participants to organize themselves around a central theme and bring out  ‘the wisdom in the room.’  On February 4, nearly 30 participants from across Canada gathered to experiment with Open Space Technology  in an online,  bilingual environment. 

Open Space gatherings are based on the following principles:

1.    Those who come are the right people

2.    Whatever happens is the only thing that could have happened

3.    Whenever it starts is the right time

4.    When it’s over, it’s over

Central to hosting Open Space to an online environment is being able to adapt the  ‘Law of Mobility,’’ which  is the main  individual participation in Open Space gatherings:

“If You Find Yourself Someplace You Aren’t Learning Or Contributing, Move Somewhere You Can”

Thankfully, the Zoom breakout room format allowed for relatively simple navigation between rooms, which was essential for the ‘Law of Mobility’ to work. Though some participants reported not being able to do this (potentially due to software version or type of application used to access the meeting), meeting hosts were able to help move people between rooms as necessary.

In our experience, rooms of 10 or more people would be preferable to provide more opportunity for collaboration and cross-pollination between groups. We had 30 participants, which meant some rooms ended their discussions early. As is  typical of in-person Open Space gatherings, this technique would benefit from more time to  explore, discuss and revisit ideas from different perspectives. The harvesting templates were quite useful for gathering feedback, and would provide a shared record that would be easily accessible to participants if this technique was to be used over multiple days, or sessions. 

Some feedback we received included:

  • Flexibility of the Open Space format was appreciated
  • Sharing materials in advance was helpful
  • Tools and templates provided seemed to work well (thanks to Amanda Fenton!)
  • Would be great to do this with more rooms, topics, time and participants
  • Having a defined note-taker in each room would be helpful

Judging by the enthusiasm of participants and feedback received, people seemed to generally enjoy the format, but would like to experience a ‘scaled-up’ Open Space to bring in more participants over a longer time period.

IAP2 members can watch the webinar here.

If you’re curious to test out a public participation technique in a safe environment, please reach out!! Do not hesitate to submit your project idea in a few lines to IAP2 Canada info@iap2canada.ca.

WEBINAR REWIND — April 13 – NAC Encore: Appreciative Inquiry – Empowering Communities through Collaborative Infrastructure Design

When an infrastructure project is proposed, there are often plenty of opinions about the best way forward from the people that use the infrastructure and the community in which it stands. But when the opinions are focused on what people don’t like about the infrastructure in its current form, public consultations can be stalled and the result is an infrastructure system that may not meet anyone’s needs very well.

Appreciative Inquiry (A.I.) gets away from that, and in our April 13 webinar, Carrie McIntosh, CP3, of BC Ferries and Darcy Vermeulen of Argyle reprised their session presentation from the 2020 IAP2 North American Virtual Conference. 

Simply put, A.I. accentuates the positive. Using the process to upgrade the BC Ferries terminal at Horseshoe Bay, near Vancouver, Carrie and Darcy explain how the local community was brought into the process early. People were given the opportunity to define what the “ideal” ferry terminal looked like to them: what amenities they would enjoy or expect, how it should fit in with the community, etc.

IAP2 Members may watch the video of the webinar here.

WEBINAR REWIND – March 16 – NAC Encore: Bilingual Event – Experience 8 Unusual Participatory Techniques in 2 Hours

In this reprise from the 2020 IAP2 North American Virtual Conference, three CP3s — Anne Harding, Kim Hyshka and Hugo Mimee — introduced participants to a number of techniques they might not have heard of.

Dans ce wébinaire, les participant(e)s ont été invité(e)s de faire l’épreuve et d’enrichir leurs trousses à outils de HUIT nouvelles techniques de participation publique innovantes et efficaces. Celles-ci pourront aider à animer des discussions plus pertinentes et puissantes, et à créer des changements positifs.

In two hours, people taking part in this bilingual event got to “test drive”: Dans deux heures, on pouvait essayer :

  1. “Who’s In the Room?” – using breakout rooms, introduce one another and find 2 things you all have in common / “Qui est dans le salon?” – dans des petits-salons, on s’introduit et identifie 2 choses qu’ils ont tous en commun.
  2. Share Story — Quelle est votre histoire?
  3. Soap box – open our ears, minds and hearts to listen to a few ideas: in this case, about the pandemic, the opportunities seized, and what we hope to see in P2 in the coming year. Ouvrons nos oreilles, nos esprits et nos coeur pour écouter les expériences d’autres, causées par la pandemie. Qu’est-ce qu’on espère voir avec la P2 dans l’année à venir?
  4. Human Spectogram (you have to see it for yourself: it’s at 31:20 in the video) / La spectogramme humane (il faut le voir: à 31:20 dans la vidéo)
  5. Solution Room – brainstorm ideas and rank in order of effectiveness (or interest in more exploration) / La Chambre à solution (idées): rassemblez-vous pour identifier des idées et solutions. Prioriser en terme d’efficacité or de curiosité à explorer
  6. PhotoVoice – take a picture of something that represents the solution you came up with in #5 and share on Jamboard / Prendre une photo ou trouver une image qui représente cette idée ou solution; ensuite, partager dans le Jamboard.
  7. Socratic Circle © – see it at / voir à 1:03:41
  8. Pop-Corn Poetry – each participant contributes one word that describes their journey that day / Poésie pop-corn: chaque participant trouve un mot pour décrire leur expérience ce jour-là.

IAP2 members can watch the whole video (minus the breakout rooms, which are not recorded) here. Les membres de l’AIP2 peuvent visionner la video (sans les portions des petits-salons) ici.

WEBINAR REWIND – March 9: 2021 Core Values Awards – Projects of the Year

In March, we got to learn from the Best of the Best — winning P2 projects in individual categories:

Respect for Diversity, Inclusion and Culture: Maximum City, Esri Canada and Toronto Children’s Services for the “KidScore Pilot Project”. Planning cities and neighbourhoods is most often done with adults’ values in mind. KidScore is a web-based tool that allows children — some as young as 5 — to give input on what matters to them in their living situations and rank neighbourhoods according to Kid-Friendliness.

Indigenous Engagement: The City of Winnipeg for “Welcoming Winnipeg – Reconciling Our History”. The City decided that reconciliation with First Nations and Métis involved more than distancing oneself from “Settler” history and traditions. This project brought together people from all walks of life who have built Winnipeg, to sort through the myriad aspects to be considered, in making Winnipeg welcoming to all.

Visual Engagement: TransLink (South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority) for “Transport 2050: Shape the Future of How We Move and Live”. The principle of the Visual Engagement Award is to recognize spectacular efforts in catching the attention of the public. Promoting engagement in planning a 30-year outlook for Metro Vancouver’s transportation infrastructure involved a variety of media and messages to bring as many voices to the table(s) as possible. The resulting consultation effort was one of the largest the organization had seen.

Also in the webinar was JLA Public Involvement of Portland, Oregon, which won the IAP2 USA award for Respect for Diversity, Inclusion and Culture. Its project — “Restoring Portland’s Old Town Chinatown” — involved a different kind of historical reconciliation: with the Chinese community, many of whose members have roots several generations deep in the Rose City.

IAP2 members may watch the webinar here.

WEBINAR REWIND — Jan 26: NAC Encores – “Aistowaipiiyaop / Walking Together” +“Partnerships are All About Relationships”

How do you build trust between communities when there is a history of trauma inflicted by one of those communities on the other? That question has increased in importance in Canada in the past decade, when it comes to relations between Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities and the prospects of pursuing projects that involve both. Our January 26 webinar was a reprise of two sessions from the 2020 North American Conference that were similar, but also very different.

“Aistowaipiiyaop / Walking Together” described the journey of reconciliation that Alberta Health Services has undertaken with Indigenous communities in that province. In 2017 an AHS employee intended to text a racial slur to a colleague; she misdirected her text and it went instead to the Kainai Board of Education. This incident served as a catalyst for healing and set AHS on a new path of reconciliation – beginning with a Day of Truth, attended by the entire AHS leadership team. 

This Day of Truth brought focus to the health inequities between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in Alberta. For example, Indigenous people have a life expectancy 11.9 years less than the average Albertan, and First Nations and Métis young people are five- to six-times more likely to die by suicide than non-Indigenous youth.

In the webinar, Janine Sakatch of AHS and AHS Advisor and Elder Harley Crowshoe describe the many significant outcomes of this experience for AHS. Indigenous Awareness and Sensitivity education became mandatory for all staff, and staff are invited to take part in sweat lodge ceremonies, and to participate in and become trainers in the blanket exercise – to understand the history and impact of colonization. 

AHS also embarked on a different style of engagement that is informed by Indigenous friends, colleagues and communities. Harley explained that a long-standing mistrust of “western” medicine contributes to the inequity in health outcomes. Overcoming this mistrust requires an approach that allows for Two-Eyed Seeing. 

The reconciliation journey, which is ongoing, involves the use of Ethical Space designed to create a platform for both parties to come together to have meaningful dialogue on Indigenous health issues that acknowledge both a systems approach and conversations in a safe and ethical environment. In bridging these gaps, Janine explains that AHS adapted the IAP2 Spectrum, adding Indigenous cultural elements to create a circle, rather than a continuum

“We all accepted that in order to genuinely connect with our Indigenous partners, to truly engage with them, we not only had to listen but we had to understand their processes, their protocols, their traditions – all of which were informed by cultural knowledge,” explains Janine. “We knew we couldn’t be successful unless we were willing to be led and taught – to truly listen.”

==

Creating trust and overcoming past traumas for Indigenous people is at the heart of “Partnerships are All About Relationships”. This session described the way Transport Canada works with coastal Indigenous communities to develop EMSA – the Enhanced Maritime Situational Awareness system, part of the Oceans Protection Plan. EMSA is designed to increase safety on the ocean, especially those from communities like Tuktoyaktuk, NT, which rely on small craft ocean transportation for their hunting and trapping.

Tyrone Raddi of the Tuktoyaktuk Community Corporation THTC says EMSA has been a success in large part because Transport Canada has treated Indigenous people as equal partners. This has helped them overcome generations of trauma inflicted in the past, such as Tyrone’s own experience, as one of the last generation of the residential school system. But he says the Transport Canada team succeeded in engendering the trust needed to overcome that trauma so the Inuvialuit could work as full partners in the project. 

Marie-Pierre Parenteau of Transport Canada explains that listening was the key to building trust. She says the big thing she and her team learned was how to listen. They spent six days, just listening to an Inuvialuit elder, using a Learning Circle, with phones switched off. to learn about the Indigenous world view.

She also says she had to get out of the “public servant mindset”, which she describes as an armour against being self-aware. In partnering with Indigenous communities, she says one has to come with an open mind, an open heart and respect.

“When you give people a chance and they admit they’ve been wrong,” Tyrone Raddi says, “and you accept that, you can move forward.”  IAP2 members can watch the video of the webinar here.

WEBINAR REWIND – Feb. 9: NAC Encore – Re-Imagining Communications Approaches Using Art, Design and Superheroes

How do you counter a public perception that is clearly unhealthy, expensive and bad for the environment?

That was the question that faced the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD). One of that utility’s stated goals is to be the model urban water utility in the USA, but it has to overcome a misconception in the public, that Philly tap water may be less desirable to drink at home. PWD’s research also found that households that tended to drink bottled water at home were primarily people of color, lower-income, less educated, women, or over the age of 45 – all marginalized demographic groups.

PWD’s research found that the reason for preferring bottled water was that it was perceived to be safer, more convenient and tasted better than tap water, when in fact, bottled water is much more expensive, has negative health implications, and with the use of plastic bottles, ecologically un-friendly.

PWD launched a campaign on a number of fronts. Rather than try to “lead the horse to water,” the utility led the water to the people. Borrowing an idea from Minneapolis, PWD set up “pop-up water bars” at different locations around the city, serving fresh, cold tap water. Bartenders wearing specially-branded aprons, designed by in-house graphic artist Herbie Hickmott, handed out the drinks, and “celebrity bartenders” – sports mascots, elected officials among others – also served. Trusted local community leaders from areas where bottled-water consumption was more prevalent, were hired to be ambassadors, carrying the “tap is best” message to their neighbors and friends.

They introduced a super-hero, Water Woman (played by team lead Maura Jarvis), who engaged with the public not just on drinking water, but on stormwater and watershed protection. A local “doggy fest” allowed for messaging on cleaning up after one’s dog —  to protect the waterways — is also hosted by PWD. Some local songwriters produced songs about drinking tap water too.

So has this multi-faceted, creative approach had its desired effect? PWD’s Hailey Stern and Tiffany Ledesma say there are indications that bottled-water use has declined in the first two years since the campaign. Rather, they say, they’re relying on reactions at the water bar and other qualitative or anecdotal evidence to say whether the project has been worth the time, money and energy expended on it.

IAP2 members can watch the video of the webinar here.