The 2015 IAP2 North American Conference

Portland Oregon Skyline Mt Hood Black and White IllustrationThe 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”?

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales (with Cascade Chapter's Patty Unfred) welcomed everyone to the "Birthplace of P2".
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales (with Cascade Chapter’s Patty Unfred) welcomed everyone to the “Birthplace of P2”.

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.

IAP2 Canada President Bruce Gilbert travelled from one ocean to the other for the Conference.
IAP2 Canada President Bruce Gilbert travelled from one ocean to the other for the Conference.

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.

 

A new concept this year: "Poster Sessions" allowed practitioners to share briefly some of their projects in a less-formal, more interactive setting.

Poster Session
A new concept this year: “Poster Sessions” allowed practitioners to share briefly some of their projects in a less-formal, more interactive setting.

 

The silent auction raised over $1,900.00 for the IAP2 USA Student Scholarship Fund.
The silent auction raised over $1,900.00 for the IAP2 USA Student Scholarship Fund.
IAP2 colleagues came literally halfway around the world to take part, like Leanne Hartill (l) of IAP2 Australasia and Aldi Answar from IAP2 Indonesia.
IAP2 colleagues came literally halfway around the world to take part, like Leanne Hartill (l) of IAP2 Australasia and Aldi Answar from IAP2 Indonesia.

 

The "Fair Housing Council" took attendees on a tour of some of the relics of Portland's and Oregon's history of discrimination - and the story of the state's turnaround.
The “Fair Housing Council” took attendees on a tour of some of the relics of Portland’s and Oregon’s history of discrimination – and the story of the state’s turnaround.

 

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