We launched a multi-year “Initiative for Civic Collaboration” under the guidance of David Chrislip. The first series of workshops, aimed at building capacity for consensus, led to a process adopted by Sitka’s Long Range Planning Commission to develop a long-term Municipal Solid Waste Plan. Based on the principles of Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle, it received approval and has been successfully implemented. (Included as a case study in Chrislip’s Collaborative Leadership Fieldbook: A Guide for Citizens and Civic Leaders.)
We then Co-sponsored two “Learning from the Future” scenarios workshops, led by Chrislip, that spurred recognition of the need for collaborative leadership to deal with the highly contentious issues of tourism planning and affordable housing.
For almost two years, Sitka’s Long Range Planning Commission shepherded widely diverse community interests to produce the first completed version of the Sitka Visitor Industry Plan, a striking document based on the Institute’s recommended collaborative process.
A variety of earlier projects led us to our work with David Chrislip:
• We Hosted community forums on The Purpose of Education and Beyond Community Conflict—Listening to the Other Side of the Story.
• At our invitation, Dan Kemmis (then mayor of Missoula, Montana) visited Sitka, Juneau, and Haines lead community discussions related to his book, Community and the Politics of Place.
• We convened, recorded, transcribed, and published the results of a public forum on “The Future of Tourism in Sitka”—winning praise from Sitka Chamber of Commerce.
• We organized a tour of playwright and actor Todd Jefferson Moore’s one-man show In the Heart of the Wood about the human side of logging controversies. The U.S Forest Service supported tour went to Craig, Petersburg, Sitka, and Juneau.