Ottawa Eco-Talent Network
Title Ottawa Eco-Talent Network
Brief As reflected in stream restoration projects, community gardens and farmers markets, renewable
Descrip- energy projects, new green businesses, and many other “green” initiatives, a growing number of
tion individuals, communities and organizations in Ottawa are keen to contribute to tangible, local
progress on sustainability. But for every evident success are many plans not implemented, often
because organizational or technical challenges could not be met with the people and resources at
hand. Yet Ottawa has a huge pool of people and organizations with relevant skills and interest – e.g.,
retired experts, highly trained public servants, young professionals, headquarters of organizations and
professional associations, universities and colleges, consulting companies, new immigrants.
OALR will match groups needing help on sustainability plans and initiatives (“clients”) with individuals
and institutions able to voluntarily assist (“providers”). The match will be relevant and rewarding for
both. Depending on circumstances:
Clients receive guidance to help define “mission critical” need(s) and how to best deploy and
guide the resources, skills and talents of providers
Different modes of assistance are available, from highly targeted technical advice, to “hothouse”
sessions to develop a particular product or solution, to ongoing involvement in organizational
management, program development and delivery, etc.
Providers serve as inter-mediators and mentors to bring in research, technical, delivery and/or
evaluation assistance from post-secondary institutions
Providers together with universities/colleges can also define research initiatives to extend the
local knowledge base to support progress on sustainability
Learning for both clients and providers is supported (e.g., sustainability leadership training).
The initiative will start in a modest, focused way and scale up. It can link to: Carleton U and U of
Ottawa community engagement; Volunteer Ottawa; the Community Energy Network mentoring; Hub
Ottawa; and the anticipated next generation of TalentBridge. Taproot Foundation, and Sparked
micro-volunteering network also help to inform the approach.
Antici- Underused interest, experience and skills will be effectively deployed to support informal community
pated groups, locally-based not-for profits, emerging green entrepreneurs, conservation authorities, the
Benefits City, etc., to boost environmental sustainability and to improve the overall resilience of our City as we
move into a changing future. Some metrics could include:
Inputs: # Clients; # Outcomes: # Initiatives successfully launched; # Initiatives improved;
Providers Increased knowledge; Research results used in new projects
Outputs: # Initiatives Impacts: Project impacts (e.g., # trees planted, KW renewable energy, green
assisted jobs); Ecological resilience (e.g., forest cover); Greater capacity
Status A core working group is established. An initial group of expert providers has been identified. A
(April 4) university partnership is being explored. A first conversation with a major foundation has taken place.
Key Board members; research on similar initiatives; expanded pool of potential providers; initial roster of
needs potential clients/projects; organizational “home”; start-up funding.
Contacts Rebecca Aird, City of Ottawa, firstname.lastname@example.org; 613-580-2424 x12643
(working John Karau, retired environmental professional, email@example.com
group) Hilary Samuel, Catalyst Mind, firstname.lastname@example.org
Bill Shields, SLOWest, email@example.com
Manu Sharma, TalentBridge, Oak Computing, firstname.lastname@example.org