The Beatrice and Arthur Minden Symposium on the Environment serves as a forum for discussion and debate on urgent environmental issues. The event is made possible by the generous support of the Beatrice and Arthur Minden Foundation.

We facilitated a two-day Symposium that brought together academic researchers and professionals in government, business, and environmental organizations. Participants explored the potential for creating a large-scale community engagement program, FutureTalks, in connection to the development of TransformTO (the City of Toronto’s new climate change plan).

The results of the Symposium will be used to develop a proposal for the FutureTalks project to the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council

In addition to facilitating the Symposium, Steve Williams is on the project development team contributing to proposal development and research through the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto.

The FutureTalks project aims to engage 100,000-200,000 citizens of Toronto. We’ll ask them to explore the question, “What kind of city do you want Toronto to be?” This dynamic and interactive community engagement process will encourage participants from diverse backgrounds to think about sustainability in a new way.

An interactive engagement strategy, co-created and co-managed with partner organizations and collaborators across the City, will use variety of channels and tactics to yield scenarios from a broad spectrum of participants.

Creative Channels Various Tactics
  • Social media
  • Mobile apps
  • Computer games
  • Simulation workshops
  • Pop-up kiosks
  • Art interaction
  • Landscape visualization tools
  • Appreciative inquiry
  • Play and reflection
  • Storytelling
  • Dialogue

The overall goal is to engage a wide cross-section of Toronto citizens in exploring sustainable futures, and expressing their views on the choices and trade-offs that confront us.

Read the article in U of T News:
Researchers want to engage the city in sustainability

by Romi Levine, published Oct 18, 2016

Read the Symposium Report:

2016 Beatrice and Arthur Minden Symposium on the Environment

The Minden Symposium Report is a summary of the proceedings, including participants’ comments, invited expert presentations and group discussions.