Strategic Dialogue and Engagement for Climate Adaptation

Professionals working across public, private and community sectors are facing complex questions about how to prepare for and adapt to the unavoidable impacts of a changing climate. In the context of a growing climate emergency, how do we engage internal and external stakeholders, build lasting collaborative partnerships, and embed climate adaptation strategies into organizational priorities, when professional silos, scarce resources and competing demands can pose potent obstacles to the change that is urgently needed?

This course will provide you with skills to overcome barriers to action, mobilize knowledge and data effectively, and work across silos in genuine interdisciplinary and collaborative practice. You’ll learn how to lead or participate in community engagement, without triggering fear and overwhelming others; practise critical self-awareness and self-reflection; and consider equity-based and decolonizing approaches.

This course is designed for professionals looking to advance the intersecting work of climate action and adaptation, including planners, engineers, elected officials and community leaders. You will leave with practical and relevant skills to lead, accelerate and participate in the essential work of climate adaptation in your organization and community.

Development of this course was generously funded by the Adaptation Learning Network.

This course is available at the following time(s) and location(s):

Campus Session(s) Instructor(s) Cost Seats available  
Online - Olive Dempsey $749.00 12 Register

Schedule clarification: This course begins on the first date listed and ends six days after the last date listed. Between those times, you work at your own pace within the timelines set by the instructor.

What will you learn?

By the end of the course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the dynamics of collaborative, team-based planning processes
  • Apply key concepts in climate communications and knowledge mobilization
  • Engage in meaningful dialogue with internal and external stakeholders
  • Develop adaptive and responsive strategies for working in complex systems
  • Analyze and overcome internal and external barriers to climate adaptation

How will you learn?

You will work within scheduled start and end dates, as well as assignment timelines.

Your study schedule will be entirely up to you. In some cases, we may ask you to meet online with your class and your instructor or a guest at a specific time, but these sessions will be recorded for future viewing if you are unable to attend.

Expect to spend approximately 10 hours per week on reading, online discussions, course work and supplementary activities, such as viewing assigned videos.

You can expect to hear from a number of guest speakers during this course. The list may change depending on availability, but previous speakers have included: 

  • Amber Bennett, Climate Communications Strategist, Canadian Associate, Climate Outreach
  • Jessie Hemphill, founder and senior planner, Alderhill Planning Inc 
  • Steve Litke, Director, Water Programs, Fraser Basin Council
  • Colleen Mercer-Clarke, Landscape Architect, Chair of Climate Change committee Canadian Society of Landscape Architects
  • Tamsin Mills, Climate Change Adaptation and Sustainability Planner, City of Vancouver
  • Trevor Murdock, Climate Scientist
  • Harshan Radhakrishnan, Manager, Climate Change and Sustainability Initiatives, Engineers and Geoscientists BC
  • Hiran Sandanayake, Senior Engineer, Water Resources, City of Ottawa, Chair of Climate Change Committee for Canadian Water and Wastewater Association
  • Ione Smith, Director, Upland Agricultural Consulting
  • Kari Tyler, MEd

How will you be evaluated?

This course is graded using a competency-based grading scale. Read more here.

Learning materials

We will provide custom course materials.

Hardware and software requirements 

We deliver this course using SFU's online course management system, Canvas. You will receive course details and Canvas access instructions on the first day of the course. You can check if your browser is compatible with Canvas here.

New to online learning? See About Online Learning for helpful videos and additional information.

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