Finding Common Ground is the Battle River Watershed Alliance’s project to bring people together to explore the energy options and opportunities of this region, and discuss how we power our way forward. The tour takes local people across our watershed, and helps us find what we have in common, listen to our differences, and move forward together.
The first tour was a three-day bike trip in September 2017. The tour was captured on video which resulted in a 25 minute documentary which was later screened across the region. In October 2019 we launched a Finding Common Ground 2.0 Energy Ambassador bus tour. Both tours are described below.
During this time of big change in our energy systems, communities, and climate, now is a critical time to discuss how we find common ground and power our way forward. Contact us to get involved in hosting your own Finding Common Ground conversation!
How do we increase our energy efficiency? What actions can we take to address climate change? This 2.0 Tour invited local people to become Energy Ambassadors. Though a series of homework projects and the two-day bus tour, our Ambassadors learned about the pros and cons of a variety of energy production methods, and what actions people were doing to reduce negative impacts. These Ambassadors are then sharing their experience in a “Our Common Ground” presentation with their workplace or community.
We had 37 Ambassadors from across the watershed and beyond join our tour. They came from a variety of backgrounds including the energy sector (both conventional and renewable), municipal government, agriculture, education, environmental, tourism, and healthcare.
As an Energy Ambassador, the tour participants will now share their experiences and opinions with members of their networks. They will present their “Our Common Ground” presentation to a group of their choice in the winter of 2019/2010. Please contact the BRWA if you would like a presentation in your community!
The Finding Common Ground 2.0 Tour took place October 25-26th, 2019. Over the two days, we heard from 17 guest speakers and visited 9 energy production/efficiency locations. You can experience the tour yourself on our Facebook photo album.
More resources on the Finding Common Ground project, energy efficiency, and climate change can be found on our Energy Ambassador Resources website. You can also contact us for a Finding Common Ground presentation.
This Tour was made possible by the support of the Government of Alberta’s Community Environment Action Grant, and Energy Efficiency Alberta’s Efficiency Education Grant Program.
In September 2017, the BRWA and 25 community members took off on a three day bike trip to explore the current and future energy production in east-central Alberta. Along the way, we visited seven energy production sites, heard from 14 guest speakers, covered 186 kilometers, and had many conversations.
During the bike tour, filmmaker Alison Bortolon from Radical Productions was behind a camera to capture the action. The film “Finding Common Ground” shows highlights of the tour and the perspectives that emerge. In 2018, we hosted 12 community presentations and conversations with the documentary, hearing from over 200 people their understanding of Finding Common Ground.
The video can now be seen online (links below).
After hundreds of hours of presentations and conversations, we can now report back. Here are some quotes from surveys participants about finding common ground:
“Recognize that we are all in this together. There is no ‘villain’. Not farmers, or oil and gas, or consumers. We are all part of it.”
“It is important to try to prevent polarization. That will prevent finding common ground.”
“How do we respond to changing conditions? To see change as the invitation and opportunity to bring greater well-being…”
“Education and awareness are key factors as we move forward.”
The BRWA won the 2019 Emerald “Shared Footprints” Award. The Emerald Foundation is an organization dedicated to recognizing and showcasing environmental projects from across Alberta and across all sectors. The Shared Footprints Award “recognizes those who have exemplified land and water stewardship, built shared knowledge, improved air quality, reduced land disturbances, and encouraged ecotourism”. We are so honored to have won and would like to pass the congratulations to everyone who was involved in Finding Common Ground with us!