Portland, Oregon, prides itself on being weird, but it ain’t seen nothin’ yet! The 2015 IAP2 North American Conference is looming, our annual Engagement Party with stimulating sessions, networking opportunities and the chance to honour the Best of the Best in the Biz at the Core Values Awards Gala!
The State of Oregon is one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, and you can bet people had a range of very strongly-held views on that. How did regulators wade through the public consultations that brought out 4,000 participants? Rob Partridge, chair of the State Liquor Control Commission and one of the twelve most influential people in America on marijuana policy, and Jeanne Lawson of JLA Public Involvement, will present “Highly Involved: P2 for Legal Marijuana”, and discuss how they dealt with high-turnout meetings, people formerly in the black market and a tight time-frame.
Whether it’s marijuana, climate change, infrastructure or anything else where technical and scientific information is required, communicating that information so ordinary people can understand it is vital. “It’s Geek to Me: Innovative Visual Public Engagement” looks at ways of reaching more people with the information they need to make proper decisions; while Lorrie Bonds-Lopez of the Los Alamos National Laboratory discusses “The Challenge of Science Communications” in a world where people are increasingly skeptical of scientists and other experts.
And is the popular notion that Toronto is old and stodgy a thing of the past? The YouthfulCities index ranked Toronto the Most Youthful City of 2014, and younger demographics are the fastest growing in some parts of the region. So why are young people underrepresented when it comes to public engagement? In “For Youth By Youth”, Daniel Fusca of the City’s Planning Division discusses how he and his staff – including 10 Youth Researchers – have been pursuing the coming-up generation.
You can find out more about the sessions in the Schedule-at-a-Glance.
Don’t forget, too, the special pre-Conference workshop, “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion à la Portland.” It’s being held on Wednesday, Sept. 9, and is free for registered Conference participants and US$75 for IAP2 members not attending the Conference (non-members pay $100).
Register now for the Conference, and remember that the special Conference Rate at the host hotel – the DoubleTree by Hilton – is only good until August 12 or until the blocked rooms are sold-out (register through the Conference website to make sure you get that special rate).