REACH Edmonton

Local leaders and stakeholders were challenged to think about our toughest problems earlier this month when internationally renowned speaker and facilitator Adam Kahane spoke at REACH Edmonton's Annual General Meeting (AGM) June 5. Kahane met with a group of about 50 local stakeholders including Mayor Don Iveson, Chief Rod Knecht, local media and other community leaders. The group heard a presentation from Kahane about his work in helping communities solve complex social problems around the world. He shared his experiences working through processes like the Mont Fleur Scenario Exercise, in which a diverse group of South Africans worked together to effect the transition to democracy. "I found Adam Kahane very inspiring," said Judy Piercey, managing director at CBC Edmonton. "As he talked about dealing with some of the most difficult social problems of our time, he brought the audience right there at the table dealing with long-term hatred and mistrust." While Kahane didn't make the solutions to problems like poverty, homelessness and Aboriginal wellness sound simple, he encouraged local leaders to explore the possibilities in our own community. "His down-to-earth approach made me think there is hope for Edmonton to lead Canada in building new relationships with Aboriginal people," said Piercey. "He was perfect for this time in our history, following the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's hearings in March. Mayor Iveson reinfroced that message with his own thoughts on Edmonton's policies for training for city employees and the plans for reconciliation in the year ahead. People in this city are ready to take his example to heart and roll up their sleeves to create change." Kahane then spoke to 300 members of the public at REACH Edmonton's AGM. He also gave a presentation and answered questions via live webcast the following morning. If you missed this, you can watch the webcast here.