TNS is supporting the City of Ottawa and its partners, la Ville de Gatineau and the National Capital Commission, in the development of the region’s long-term sustainability plan, in a project called “Choosing our Future.”
 “Choosing our Future” has been under development since 2004 and was launched internally among the three lead partners in 2008 and publicly in May 2009. It will ultimately produce three main deliverables: a sustainability plan, community energy plan, and emergency and disaster response plan for the region. The intention is that, together, these plans will serve as the umbrella under which all relevant plans and policies for each of the three institutions will be aligned to when Choosing our Future is complete. It is an ambitious, complex project, and one that we are very proud and excited to be involved with.
The Natural Step is one contributing partner, and our role focuses primarily on capacity-building for the three municipal partners to help them work with a common understanding of sustainability, work together as a team, and use a structured approach to planning in complexity. We have delivered several capacity-building workshops, participated in a design charette and have helped the City of Ottawa map out its process and determine its requirements for additional support. We have also helped facilitate the development of the project’s guiding principles and long-term sustainability goals. The lead consulting team for the main deliverables was selected in June 2009 – HB Lanarc from Vancouver.  Getting the consulting team in place is a most significant milestone for the project, and the majority of the work on the project, including the engagement of stakeholders, has begun in earnest over the summer, with a large public “Futures Forum” to be held on September 26th, 2009.

Choosing Our Future Event week: September 22 – 26, 2009

Featured Activities:
Sustainability 101
Participants will be informed about ideas surrounding sustainability and the principles and processes that are guiding the Choosing Our Future project.
A Climate for Change: Restoring Our Balance With Nature
Karel Mayrand of the David Suzuki Foundation will offer an updated and locally adapted version of An Inconvenient Truth, a presentation that has already contributed to raising awareness of millions across the world on the need to solve the climate crisis.
SPECTRUM 2009: Student Action for Sustainability
Participants will network, learn and contribute to a better understanding of sustainability issues in the region through lectures and small group discussions.
Futures Forum
Presentations from nationally recognized leaders will explore sustainability issues and concepts including population and demographics, culture, economics and the environment. Presentations will be geared to the unique context of the National Capital Region and enable participants to engage in hands-on workshops focused on shared sustainability goals.
For details on dates and locations, as well as for how to register visit http://choosingourfuture.ca/index_en.html