Human Learning Ecology 2017 Conference

The Cause

There is a growing concern with the state of our planet. Systemic challenges of economic inequities, resource depletion, species extinction, human rights abuses, population growth and climate change are converging to create an uncertain future. Our communities are facing unprecedented, complex challenges that do not observe municipal or national borders, and our leaders must be equipped to handle them.

It is easy to lose faith in humanity, to be overwhelmed, or to burn out when we don’t have the capacity to immediately understand and solve these challenges. But with the right fuel, community leaders can keep striving: learning from leading-edge responses to complex challenges, and adopting new methods of disciplined inquiry and action to inform a learning process that spans lifetimes and generations.

We would like to host the first ever Human Learning Ecology conference to provide this fuel. This conference will provide leaders an opportunity to learn from the leading edge - accessing great case studies and digging in to the patterns of what has worked, what hasn’t, and why. Human Learning Ecology is a discipline that draws on the record of human achievement and failure across history, cultures, and disciplines to understand what progress is and what it isn’t. This discipline offers valuable insights into our current predicaments and what is known about them. The Leadership Edmonton and Leadership Calgary programs have been using this framework for over 15 years to teach over 800 program alumni in the province. We have one of the most successful and longest-running community leadership development programs in Canada. We have interviewed leading edge thinkers such as Romeo Dallaire, Samantha Nutt, Barbara Coloroso, and Robert Bateman.

Who Will it Benefit?

This conference will be open to any interested member of the community. It will be offered to alumni of the Leadership Calgary and Leadership Edmonton programs and to the general public.

Because community leadership is an ecology that includes both informal and formal leadership roles, we will encourage anyone who is interested in equipping themselves, their communities, or the next generation in meeting these systemic challenges to attend the conference. This would include educators, parents, non-profit staff, corporate leaders, artists, government workers, farmers, among others!

We will design our conference to ensure that outcomes include increases in:

- desire to learn from history and current events
- motivation to contribute effectively to family/work/ community problem solving, and a refined sense of how to do that
- motivation to challenge the status quo when better is possible
- ability to diagnose sources of ignorance and error
- striving skills, tenacity and resilience
- sense of responsibility for challenges and desire to “go to the trouble”

We have a growing list of leaders – local and global - that we are beyond excited to meet and build relationships with. With the help of the Field Law Community Fund Program, we can build a resilient learning community and network of leaders.