Women for Nature Webinar: Collaborations and Partnerships
At the second Women for Nature Community of Practice Webinar of 2021, the central topic being discussed was Collaborations and Partnerships. The moderators for the webinar included Nora Livingstone who is part of the Mentorship Steering Committee and Christy Pettit, CEO of Pollinate Networks.
The three panelists included,
- Dr. Aerin Jacob, Conservation Scientist at the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative
- Kelsey Scarfone, Policy and Campaign Manager at Nature Canada
- Lindsay Telfer, Manager at Federation of Canadian Municipalities
Our guest speakers provided their wonderful insights on the following questions:
1. Briefly describe a collaboration or partnership you have been involved with touching on goals, how it was organized, people involved, and results.
Dr. Jacob spoke about her experience as a postdoctoral fellow. At the time, she was really concerned about the lack of scientific consideration in Environmental Impact Assessments and set out to rally people about the oversight. Although her initial goal was small and focused on writing letters to the federal government, the campaign became much larger than she expected with as many as 2,000 young scientists advocating for the cause. The campaign resulted in stronger Environmental Assessment considerations—taking science into account much more than it used to.
Kelsey Scarfone talked about her Blue Economy Strategy work in partnership with an informal coalition of partner groups. Comprised of 35 nature groups, the coalition came up with a three-page document outlining Seven Principles for a Blue Economy Strategy which was later submitted to the government for consideration.
Lindsay said she had a hard time picking one collaboration to talk about, but she ended up talking about a core program at the Federation is Sustainable Affordable Housing Initiative. They made a very formal partnership with housing associations and facilitated regional energy coaches into organizations.
2. What two or three factors do you believe were most important to making the partnership a success?
Lindsay said that one important factor for making the partnership a success was relationship building. She discussed how you need to take time to build trust for the collaboration to work.
Kelsey mentioned that in her experience, sometimes people don’t know what their strengths are. For a collaboration to be successful, it can be helpful if others are able to scan for individuals or organizational strengths that can be contributed to the partnership.
Aerin agreed with Lindsay and Kelsey and added that it is important to make sure that the roles and responsibilities are clear. She also mentioned the importance of uplifting others when you have the opportunity to.
3. Did you encounter any challenges during this campaign? If so, how did you address them?
Aerin found keeping realistic expectations to be particularly challenging throughout her campaign.
Kelsey mentioned that sometimes what you end up with might not be what you set up to create but that it’s OK for goals to shift.
Lindsay said that one possible challenge that some people may face is a communication breakdown. It’s essential to have norms of communication in collaborations.
4. What one piece of advice would you give to our young women mentees today who might be new to starting collaboration and partnerships?
Aerin recommended making sure to sketch out goals and timelines. It’s important to have a formal outline of what the plan is.
Kelsey said that it can be scary to put yourself out there, but remember to not take things personally and to roll with the flow of collaboration.
Lindsay said to be clear on the goals of why you want to collaborate and what your value proposition is for partners.
Watch the recording
We would like to say thank you very much to all of our panelists for taking the time to be a part of the panel. We’d also like to thank our moderators and everyone who attended the webinar. Watch the full webinar below or click here.
Check out these links that were provided by our panelists throughout the webinar:
- Kitasoo / Xai’xais – Informing First Nations Stewardship with Applied Research
- Training Resources for the Environmental Community – Webinars (Coalitions and Collaborations)
- Training Resources for the Environmental Community – Resources
A special thank you to The Chawkers Foundation, the Government of Canada, Women for Nature donors RW & Co., and Pollinate Networks for their support of this initiative and investment in young women leaders in Nature.