Webinar Rewind – November 2018: Victoria Encore “Prevent Truth Decay”

“What is our role in protecting Truth?” was the presenting question in our November webinar, in which Sam Imperati and Devin Howington reprised a successful presentation from the IAP2 North American Conference in Victoria. “Truth Decay” was coined by a Rand Corporation report in early 2018, identifying the situation where opinions supplant facts as a driver in people’s attitudes and decision-making.  The result is alienation and disengagement, erosion of civil discourse, and a decline in trust of individuals and institutions.

What is the role of the P2 practitioner in this? If IAP2 principles include ensuring that people have the facts they need to make an informed decision, how far is a practitioner expected to go – and whose “truth” is regarded as paramount? One is dealing, after all, with the sponsor, the participating public, the general population, and a variety of other interests.

Sam and Devin offer some ways of establishing truth and helping groups maintain civility and stay grounded in the facts, while still allowing for individuals to have “their truths.” One tool they offer is the “umbrella question”, framing the issue at hand in such a way that covers all the interests that are demanding attention.


The webinar spurred some lively interaction, and IAP2 members can view it and access the slide deck and other collateral materials here.

President’s Message – November-December 2018

Sarah Rivest, President

Hello et bonjour Friends and mes collègues!

I wanted to start by thanking our IAP2 Canada Committees for submitting action plans and budgets for 2019, which the board requests each November.

We have ongoing action plans from Bilingualism, Certification, Communications and Marketing, our Communities of Practice (Indigenous Inclusion and Energy), Professional Development and Training, Strategic Relationships and Research. At our November board meeting we will review all of the documents and vote on the decision items, so it’s a full meeting with no shortage of discussion. In the next President’s message, I’m looking forward to reporting back on the good work planned for 2019.

The international change journey continues forward, and I wanted to take the time to recognize Canadian members who have stepped forward into leadership roles. Catherine Rockandel is one of the co-leads for the Brand and Member Value committee, and Richard Delaney is one of the team leads for Training and Professional Development.

There are several Canadian members who are volunteering with Advocacy and Emerging Practice, Brand and Member Value, Training and Professional Development and the Governance committees. These International committees have recently completed the scope of work, and the discussions are very collaborative. In the meetings I have attended, there is participation from each of the regions, and I feel very fortunate that we are part of an International Association, who is looking to connect members from around the world to collaborate what the next steps will be. Once the scope of work and timelines are finalized, we will provide updates in the New Year about next steps, and opportunities to participate.

Speaking of International, I was thrilled to learn that the City of Edmonton was named 2018 International Organization of the Year! This is a huge honour, as the entries from other regions were also outstanding. The award was presented at the IAP2 Core Values Awards Gala in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia. The City of Edmonton also won IAP2 Canada’s Core Value Awards for 2018 Organization of the Year. Please congratulate those that you know who work for the City of Edmonton, and if you are interested in watching their nomination video please visit: The City of Edmonton, for “What to do When a City, its Staff, and People Decide it’s Time for a Change“.

The next president’s message will be in the January newsletter, so in advance, I would like to wish you a happy and healthy holiday season!


Sarah Rivest

IAP2 Canada President


Chapter News – November-December 2018

Great Lakes

Civicplan iap2 award_croppedThey couldn’t come to the awards, so we brought the award to them! Civicplan tied with Justice Canada for the Core Values Award for Creativity, Contribution and Innovation in the Field, but they weren’t able to come to the Core Values Awards Gala in Victoria in September. So Great Lakes Chapter Board Member Michelle Dwyer took the award to Hamilton to present it in person to Sonja Macdonald and Paul Shaker.


Yukon P2’ers team up with IAP2 BC
The gracious folks at IAP2 BC have welcomed their Yukon neighbors to join their chapter and events. 
Emily Jarvis gives Yukon a “look-in” at IAP2 BC
As a kick-off event, a joint live webcast was hosted in October between Whitehorse, Kelowna and Vancouver with about 60 folks participating in the concurrent event.  The topic was: Yukon Ho! Adventures in P2. Yukon P2 practitioners Kara Johancsik and Emily Jarvis with the Yukon government joined contractor John Glynn-Morris (contractor) to share what’s going on with P2 in Yukon. There’s a lot going on that needs the P2 touch, with 11 self-governing First Nations; limited connectivity and remote communities; and some big public policy questions.  
A ‘celebrity-interview’ style podcast kicked off the event with other Yukoners sharing in the Yukon story.  The live-event was followed by excellent questions from folks in Kelowna and Vancouver and then each location wrapped up with their own mingling and networking events. 
From here, the Yukon-crew will join (and hopefully contribute to) future IAP2 BC events.  And, Yukon’s own Emily Jarvis has joined the IAP2 BC Board. A big thank you to Kari O’Rourke in Kelowna for making the venue and refreshments arrangements and hosting colleagues there who are also very keen to be part of future events.


The Prairies Chapter hosted Stephani Roy McCallum for A deep dive into the messy, scary challenges of public participationHow to Handle Emotion and Outrage in Engagement on November 5.  Thirteen participants literally braved the storm to attend the Deep Dive evening event  from a range of sectors. It was valuable to hear Stephani’s real life accounts of navigating conflict and emotion in engagement. Participants were happy to share their own challenging experiences and brainstorm alternative approaches navigating similar situations in the future.

Our AGM is set for January 24. Events will be hosted in Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg.

Webinar Rewind – October: Building P2 Into Your Organization

It’s a fact that people are demanding a voice in matters that concern them in increasing numbers. It’s also a fact that organizations are playing catch-up in that department. Our October webinar featured two organizations that are setting a standard in entrenching public participation in their makeup: the City of Edmonton and the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA).

In both cases, the organizations were “pushed” into it. Edmonton had developed a P2 policy in 2003, but it “stagnated”, according to Tannis Topolnisky, Edmonton’s Manager, Public Engagement Services. That started to change during the 2013 civic election campaign, when candidates heard, loud and clear, from residents that they felt left out of important decisions. The newly-elected council ordered an audit of public engagement, which confirmed what the public had been saying.  A two-year engagement process was conducted resulting in a 27-item action plan. The action plan included constant reviews of the way the rest of the plan was implemented. The City’s new approach to its practice is one of Evaluate – Refine – Evolve.

edmonton p2 org chartFrom a staff of five, the City of Edmonton now has a public engagement staff of nearly 30 (full- and part-time) and have supported over 150 projects.

Tannis notes that the solution is not in a “template”. Instead, it starts with getting the right people in the room to begin with the question, “Why do we need to engage?”, and if not, why not.

Read the City of Edmonton’s Core Values Award submission here.

Watch the City of Edmonton’s Core Values Award video here.

The City of Edmonton took part in a pre-conference workshop at the 2018 IAP2 North American Conference. Read the session description here.

SFMTA’s “P2 epiphany” followed what Deanna Desedas, the Agency’s Public Outreach and Engagement Manager, calls “The Year of Pain”. Transportation plans and projects affect pretty much everybody, but in 2013, dozens of projects in various stages, and stakeholders, internally and externally, were getting frustrated at the slow progress. City staff studied the situation and were able to identify four key reasons for the frustration, as the chart indicates.


Staff were frustrated because they did not have sufficient resources to do their job; the public was frustrated at the lack of a consistent method of keeping them informed about the projects and the stages they were in.

SFMTA devised “POETS” — the Public Outreach and Engagement Team Strategy, which includes IAP2 Foundations and other training training for staff, a peer group of managers across all divisions of the agency, tools and resources, and an ongoing evaluation process. It was also necessary to have a budget: proper P2 doesn’t come cheap. By 2015, it was starting to fall into place, and in 2017, SFMTA won the IAP2 USA Core Values Award for Organization of the Year.

There are many ways of describing POETS’ success. One is that some managers are now asking of a project, “Has this been POETized?” The other is summed up in an observation by one SFMTA upper manager: “My phone stopped ringing”: he no longer gets angry calls from members of the public, because they now know what’s going on and what the status of a project is.

SFMTA took part in a pre-conference workshop at the 2018 IAP2 North American Conference in Victoria, “Traffic Jam!”. Read the session description here or view all the materials in the Conference Schedule-at-a-Glance.

Read SFMTA’s 2017 Core Values Award application here.

Meet a Member (Nov.-Dec. 2018) Jessica Bratty, CP3

jessica bratty - colourPOSITION     Principal of Confluence Solutions Consulting

How long have you been in P2, and where have you worked?

I’ve been doing it formally since 2000. For the first 10 years or so, I was working at a not-for-profit organization that has an innovative multi-party governance structure that pushed me into the middle of multiple interests working around sustainability issues. The structure was innovative in that it brought four levels of government together: federal, provincial, municipal and Indigenous – plus civil society and the private sector.

Then my career evolved into an area where I started doing P2 work as an independent consultant — again, it had to do with resource issues and a similar suite of players, but this time, I was on my own.

What turned me onto P2 was the recognition that engagement and decision-making is at the root of a lot of the public policy and sustainability challenges in our world today. And because I do a lot of work with Indigenous partners and being aware of evolving case law and the need to respect Aboriginal rights, I find that my work tends towards the “collaborating” and “empowering” end of the spectrum.

What’s more, I really like facilitation: I like that dynamic environment and the feeling when you get to work with different groups, find common ground and encourage their involvement. I’ve been doing strategic planning with one Indigenous nation in BC, and the layers of engagement and the different approaches and techniques that function with different components of the community reinforce the complexities.

It means I get to work on some controversial issues, like some large-scale multi-provincial engagement around some of the pipeline processes across the country. You see the importance of having a respect for and an understanding of the internal processes in the provincial and Indigenous nation governments as you develop your engagement plan. The parties involved in the engagement have their own unique needs when it comes to what enabled them to participate in the engagement and what needs they have to report on as part of their mandate to participate.

Do you find yourself using a particular aspect of your P2 training more than others?

The parts that allow you to scope interests and explore people’s hopes and fears with them: finding out what’s on their mind is a vital part of the preparation as you lay the groundwork for the actual process. Then, you have to remind yourself that shifts occur and you have to maintain a level of flexibility. So the aspect of the training that’s been useful has been to have the frame of a plan and some of the tools for scoping interest at the outset; but at the same time, being aware of the need for adaptation.

I also find that the spectrum really resonates with people. They understand the distinctions and when they know where they are on the spectrum, their expectations are clear about what the process is, and just as importantly, isn’t.  Then they can choose whether to participate or pursue their interests elsewhere.

It’s becoming more common with my clients, that they understand the spectrum and the process and people understand what it means to work through a problem. Larger clients – government clients – in particular are learning how to frame the way they think through their approaches.

I find it’s necessary to come up with a common language with the colleagues … so as training is becoming more prevalent, people understand what it means to work through a problem. 

Has getting your CP3 designation affected your career?

It’s great to have lifelong learning and professional development, and it’s good to be able to assess and improve your practice. Going through the rigorous assessment process forced me to take time out and reflect on what I do, why I do it and how I can continually improve.

If you had anything to say to someone just getting into the P2 business …

Be authentic. people are smart and can easily tell if their opportunity for input is meaningful or not  Be yourself. At the end of the day, you have to be real when you’re dealing with people. For me, it comes down to humility and humanity.

IAP2’s Change Journey: a message from Kylie Cochrane, Federation Presiding Member

IAP2’S CHANGE JOURNEY: THE NEXT CHAPTER (a message from Kylie Cochrane, IAP2 Federation Presiding Member)

To all IAP2 members, trainers and staff,

As you may be aware, IAP2 has been going through an important and ambitious change-journey over the last twelve months.

This time last year, the IAP2 Federation Board launched a process of re-design to help us articulate and create the organisation that we want to be – a sustainable and dynamic international association for engagement professionals. This process was led by a diverse working group of members and trainers. This work started in Denver, at the time of the 2017 North American Conference. Out of these two days came the ‘change committee’ – a group of volunteers tasked with scoping the change and shaping the future of IAP2.

With the input of your regional boards and the international board, the change committee came up with seven strategic priority areas and a series of recommendations that will enable us to reshape our international collaborative network that lives and abides by the IAP2 core values. You were invited to give feedback on the strategic priority areas and recommendations via an online engagement platform. Your input was fed into high-level discussions with representatives from each regional board earlier this month in Victoria, Canada. We now have seven endorsed strategic priority areas and 36 endorsed recommendations (read it here – I’ve deliberately kept the track changes so you can see what was discussed/ changed).

I’m really excited about these strategic priority areas and recommendations. They will ensure that the future IAP2 will place significant focus on advocating for and growing engagement practice around the world – both in terms of expanding engagement in new regions, as well as ensuring that IAP2 remains at the cutting edge of new engagement developments including innovations in tools, techniques and technologies. The recommendations propose that training can be developed and delivered anywhere around the world – and a global committee be tasked with ensuring high quality and consistency for all IAP2 products. Better international connections will be achieved through communities of practice and sharing of lessons learned across the IAP2 global community. In summary, these strategic priority areas will enable us to become the future-focused international professional organisation that we want to be.

However, there is a lot of work to be done over the next 6-12 months. This is where you come in. We need your expertise and experience to help us consider and explore the detail required to reshape IAP2.

We have divided the work into four key committees and we are looking for committee volunteers from IAP2’s global body of members, trainers and staff. Team leaders have been identified for each committee. Their first task will be to develop a work plan and, along with their respective committees, to nominate a chair and co-chair between now and the end of October 2018. Work will continue until at least March 2019 as each committee develops a detailed implementation plan for the agreed recommendations.

Please consider volunteering for only one committee as we anticipate the workload will be a few hours per week for several months. Thank you also to those of you who have already volunteered to be involved in committees. But we need loads more volunteers – so if you are interested please get in touch. The team leaders and committee members so far are;

  1. Advocacy and emerging practice
    • Team leads – Tim Hart THart@SRK.co.za and John Poynton poynton100@gmail.com
    • Committee members so far – Aldi Alizar, Bruce Gilbert, Lerato Ratsoenyane, Lucy Cole-Edelstein, Margie Harvey, Martin de los Rios, Steven Mamphekgo, Thato Shale
  1. Brand and member value
    • Team leads – Cathy Smith Catherine.Smith@cityworks.biz and Catherine Rockandel cat@growpartnerships.com
    • Committee members so far – Anton Febian Taufik, Ellen Ernst, Kate Vallence, Lisa Carlson, Marion Short, Myles Alexander, Rachel Edginton, Rob Gravestocks, Tanya Burdett
  1. Training and professional development
    • Team leads – Richard Delaney delaney@rmdelaney.com, Amanda Newbery amanda.newbery@articulous.com.au and Ken SmithKSEServices@goalnet.co.za
    • Committee members so far – Alice Sherring, Cassie Hemphill, Deanna Desedas, Fran Morris, Gay Robinson, Grace Leotta, Joel Levin, John Godec, Kylie Cochrane, Mary Moreland, Ratih Damayanti, Susan George, Tannis Topolnisky, Wendy Lowe
  1. Governance
    • Team leads – Mandi Davidson mldavidson3020@gmail.com, Sarah Rivest sarahjrivest@gmail.com and Doug Sarno doug@forumfg.com
    • Committee members so far – Amelia Shaw, Ann Carrol, Jan Bloomfield, Jay Vincent, Lara Tierney, Michelle Feenan, Marty Rozelle

A few of you have asked who are the decision makers. For this stage of the change process there will be decision makers on several levels – at the committee level and at the regional board level. Specifically, the scope of each committee will be decided by members of that committee. The scope will be endorsed by the steering committee which will be made up of chairs and co-chairs of each committee, key IAP2 staff and myself. The international board will continue to oversee the overall change journey and regional boards will continue to be the overall decision makers. You will note we are using new language to describe our organisational model. Instead of using the words federation and affiliates, we are now using the words international and regional.

I would like to thank the members of the change committee who have driven the first 12 months of our change journey. The change committee will now be disbanded but their work (and all of these individuals) will continue through the four committees and/or the steering committee. Please join me in thanking Aldi Alizar, Amelia Shaw, Bruce Gilbert, Doug Sarno, Ellen Ernst, Jay Vincent, John Poynton, Kate Vallance, Mandi Davidson, Martin de los Rios, Marty Rozelle, Richard Delaney, Sarah Rivest and Tim Hart.

For those of you who are yet to get involved and/ or who have views on this change process, I strongly encourage you to get involved asap. This change process is deliberately designed to be inclusive and flexible however it does have a distinct timeframe and end date. So if you have a view and/ or want to get involved, now is the time.

If you have any questions, concerns and/ or would like to volunteer, please do not hesitate to contact me, committee team leads or your regional or international board representatives.

Thank you for your ongoing passion and dedication to expanding and professionalising P2/ engagement.


Kylie Cochrane

International Chair

International Association of Public Participation

M +61 404048369


President’s Message – Sept.-Oct. 2018

Sarah Rivest, IAP2 Canada President

Hello et bonjour friends and mes collègues!

At our board meeting after the Victoria conference I was acclaimed as President, and truthfully I feel I have some big shoes to fill! Bruce’s leadership will continue as the International Board  Representative and also as Past President, and I’d like to thank Bruce for all of the work he has led over the past three years as IAP2 Canada President. Under his guidance the symposium is up and running, the budget has stayed balanced, and membership has increased. These are just three of the accomplishments I can think of, but there are many more. We toast to you, Bruce!

In August we asked our members to contribute to the proposed IAP2 International strategic directions, and thank you if you took a moment to provide feedback. One of the significant changes you may have noticed included shifting the development and management of IAP2 training to the Affiliates (IAP2 Canada is one of the six Affiliates that form the IAP2 Federation). Representatives from the regional boards attended meetings prior to, and after the conference and we discussed and voted on the strategic directions with our colleagues from the United States, Australasia, Indonesia, South Africa, and Italy. (Read the letter from IAP2 Federation Presiding Member, Kylie Cochrane, here.)

The recommendations were approved with some minor changes, and now comes the fun part! All members who are interested are invited to join the working groups for the 2020 strategic planning for IAP2 International, and we encourage you to participate! At our board meeting we acclaimed Catherine Rockandel and Bruce Gilbert as the IAP2 Canada representatives on the Federation Board for at least the next year.

We were proud to welcome the largest attendance for a North American conference in Victoria with 390 engaged and enthusiastic participants. From the opening reception at a beautiful venue, to the closing plenary with spoken word poetry and choreographed performances, there were many happy reunions of friends near and far, and many new connections were made.

For those that were able to join us, the conference materials will be available here. A huge congratulations to the conference steering committee, and to co-chairs Lisa Moilanen and Catherine Rockandel. I think we can all agree that the sessions were thought provoking and I certainly learned a few new tools. A highlight for me was the partnership with IAP2 Canada and the Dazzling Notice Awards, and if you have three minutes please enjoy the video from one of the winners, The Region of Waterloo, Ontario and Dillon Consulting for Biosolids Strategy. The video had the whole room laughing!

Board Picture Two
(l-r) Caroline Chaumont, Rose Bilou, Sarah Rivest, Nicole O. Melanson, Hugo Mimee, Michelle Snow, Mark Weir, Kyle Empringham, Drew Ferrari, Kevin Thorvaldson, Amelia Shaw, Catherine Rockandel, Mike Waters, Bruce Gilbert.

As the new President of IAP2 Canada, I am truly delighted to be representing members from coast to coast. Our 2018-19 Canadian board had our first face to face meeting and these smiling faces will continue to support the good work that has already started on the 2018-2020 strategic plan. We have some new and returning faces on the Executive Committee, and it’s my pleasure to introduce you to:


Hugo Mimee (Montreal, Quebec) – Vice President

MICHELLE SNOW-2Michelle Snow (St. John’s, Newfoundland) – Treasurer


Rose Bilou (Edmonton, Alberta) – Secretary

California Trip 2009 110 - CopyAmelia Shaw – Executive Manager

I’m looking forward to the year ahead, and if you would like to get in touch please email me at sarahjrivest@gmail.com