I am a member of the Sustainable Development Team on the Canada Beyond 150 project. Throughout the Insight and Scenario portions of the project, my team came to the point where we needed more information than we could provide ourselves. We realized that in order for us to look into what the future may look like, we need to talk to the people who are currently working on Sustainable Development Goals here in Canada.
During my research on how to reduce waste in our society, I came across three very different organizations which were all taking on the challenge of creating a sustainable future (and present). I reached out to a few different organizations that ranged from small independent businesses, to a not-for-profit organization, to a national corporation by sending a letter stating who I was, who I worked for, and the current project I am on, All three responded favourably and were intrigued by our project and interested in knowing more. What’s more, they asked to be kept up to date on the project.
Perhaps it’s a combination of my personality (more on the social end of the spectrum) and experience (I am one of the more mature participants in the program), but I found that forging a relationship by stating the intention behind my reaching out to these entities to involve them in the process was the reason why we had an excellent exchange of information that ultimately helped my team. It may not come as naturally to other people to reach out to strangers and converse with anyone on the street, but it’s an important skill to start cultivating if building networks and establishing relationships for the public good are your goal. One letter at a time will do it.