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Tuesday, January 30 • 9:20am - 9:40am
SYMPOSIA-10: Leveraging Local Passion to Improve Outcomes: Civic Organizing as a Best Management Practice

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AUTHORS. Jeff Forester, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates

ABSTRACT. After almost a decade spent working on water issues in Minnesota, we believe that one of the significant barriers to success is a systems failure within our organizations and institutions and their ability to communicate and coordinate efforts across a diverse base of stakeholders.We are currently piloting a new approach to organizing people, institutions and organizations and the framework in which they meet to work together to get work done. The approach we is called “Civic Governance.” For the last few years both the Citizen’s League and Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates have been working to reorganize their existing resources; time, knowledge and money within our organizations and testing this new approach. We believe it will have a significant impact in Minnesota’s water quality efforts, particularly with regard to Aquatic Invasive Species, fisheries management and shoreline protection/restoration.Davenport and Seekamp (2013) highlight important differences between community capital and community capacity: “While community capital encompasses a variety of foundational resources or assets (e.g., physical, financial, technological) upon which a community can draw in times of need, community capacity is the interaction, mobilization and activation of these assets toward social or institutional change. Stated differently, a community may possess a broad range of capitals needed to cope with problems…but lack the capacity to establish common goals, make decisions based on mutual learning, and act collectively.” Additionally, recent research points to the important role of legitimacy and fairness as an interlinking and overarching concept in sustainable watershed management.Traditional Civic Engagement efforts around water quality have had some positive impact, but our experience with local groups indicate both a need and a desire for a framework that creates the space for citizens not to just engage on an issue, but to come together and govern for the common good - Civic Governance.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 9:20am - 9:40am CST