Working Group Meetings – July 2012

Working Group Meetings – July 2012

Working Groups


This is a tale of 600 sticky notes.

During the month of July, the Vision 2020 team convened four working groups on the themes of Research, Teaching & Learning, Operations, and Culture as they relate to sustainability in the McGill community.

These groups made up what us insider geeks are calling “Phase 2B” of the Vision 2020 process. Basically, in the spring, we had lots of big events talking with the broad community about visions for a sustainable McGill (Phase 2A). In the fall we’ll have another round of big events where we refine those visions (yup, you guessed it, Phase 2C). But during the summer we took some time to sit down with small groups of students and staff to talk about sustainability as it relates to these four areas of the university because we wanted to get deeper, exploring what sustainability really means in these different contexts.

We spent three hours with each group and, wow! So much energy, so many great questions, so much appetite for more. And so many ideas. The working groups were structured around two major activities, both centered around sticky notes. First, people imagined talking to a news reporter in 2050 and telling her all the things that made McGill such a special sustainability leader. Each idea went on a different sticky note. Each working group member wrote as many ideas as they wanted, and then shared with the group and put them up on a huge whiteboard (4 working groups x 15 members x ~5 ideas = 300). We clustered them and talked about emerging themes.

Then we started another activity with different coloured sticky notes where people identified all the forces that could help or hinder us as we try to reach that future vision (4 x 15 x 5 = another 300 sticky notes).

Our offices look like they’ve been showered with confetti, and frankly, it does feel a bit like a party here these days. We are all really pumped to have pulled off such fun, energizing events. We’re excited about the ideas that came out of them, and all the participants seem excited to have been involved in these candid, hopeful conversations. Several of them are actually begging us for more opportunities to participate.

Vision 2020 feels full of potential right now. I can’t wait for fall events to start.

-Julia Solomon

See the McGill Vision2020 Blog