The annual North American Conferences keep getting better and better! The 2015 edition, Sept. 9 – 11 in Portland, Oregon, set a record for attendance, selling-out at 350! Attendees came from the US, Canada, Australia, Indonesia, South Africa and Singapore.
And what a conference! In the sessions and out, conference-goers were treated to a variety of studies in P2 in action.
Did you realize that more and more municipal governments – Victoria, Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Burlington, Montréal – have created offices of public engagement (see Patrick Lo’s “Student’s Perspective”)? Or that one of the big challenges for a public utility is to convey the seriousness of a situation without understating the case or sounding like “Chicken Little”?
Other sessions looked at communicating scientific concepts in an age when there is so much cynicism and outright rejection of the positions of scientists; dealing with angry farmers in central California as they face a fifth straight year of drought; even how P2 in the case of legalizing marijuana helped people in Oregon reach a joint solution (sorry).
One pre-conference workshop examined how maintaining diversity, equity and inclusion is now mandated in Portland (“not just a good idea – it’s the law”), and considering how the state of Oregon was once regarded as the most racist state north of Dixie (the subject of another extra-curricular event), that’s quite a turnaround.
If you weren’t able to make it to Portland, you can still learn from the sessions for your own professional development, as these presentations are now available online. You’ll also find contact information for the presenters themselves.