Building Strong Communities: A Circular Approach

February 5, 2021

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Building Strong Communities

The chiefs, mayors, and reeves of the Collaborative Leadership Initiative continue to further their shared priorities of protecting water, reducing waste, and creating good jobs by hosting a global online conference — Building Strong Communities: A Circular Approach — to explore circular economy opportunities across Canada and the globe. 

In partnership, the Winnipeg Metropolitan Region (WMR), the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, the Centre for Indigenous Environmental Resources and Reclay StewardEdge hosted this conference to further their capacity to collaborate on shared issues and opportunities around water protection, waste management, and economic development by exploring the principles of a circular economy.

Building Strong Communities: A Circular Approach featured:

  • Deputy Consol-General of the Netherlands, Jorn Leeksma
  • What is the Collaborative Leadership Initiative and how can it further circular thinking and opportunities — Merrell-Ann Phare, CIER
  • Keynote presentation of the Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, John Coyne – Unilever
  • Circular Economy 101 from expert firm Metabolic based in Amsterdam, NL

Building Strong Communities: A Circular Approach demonstrates the type of collaboration that will be necessary as Manitoba seeks to capitalize on opportunities for the future.

Today, the mission of collaborating across boundaries and working together in meaningful and active ways has never been more important and necessary to build strong communities for all.

Partnerships and collaboration have been the guiding principles of the work of the WMR since its inception in 1998, when then Mayor of Winnipeg Susan Thompson began encouraging communities to look beyond their municipal boundaries and find new ways to work together.

Today, for the communities of our Metro Region to be competitive, sustainable, and vibrant, we need to develop strategic plans; adopt new policies; collaborate on infrastructure and services; and explore new technology. Building strong communities requires a long-term vision to collaborate. The WMR believes that through Plan20-50, we can foster the collaboration that will ensure future generations will, at the very least, maintain the economic, social, and environmental advantages that we have today.

Building Strong Communities: A Circular Approach was the first in a planned series of workshops for local leaders and the public. The conference was attended by 200+ attendees—including leaders in government, business, industry, and civil society as well as many students from across Manitoba.

This conference demonstrated the interest from across sectors in exploring ideas and opportunities that have been successful nationally and internationally. We hope that this is a first step in a much larger conversation in moving Manitoba forward for the benefit of all.


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