RDRWA - Project Blue Thumb & InfoSheet #4


Momentum is building behind Project Blue Thumb: Action on Water Quality Issues, a new “social lab” initiative led by the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance and Alberta Ecotrust. Set to launch in April 2015, Project Blue Thumb is an innovative way forward for those who care about the issue of water quality and would like to make a difference.

For more information about Project Blue Thumb: Action on Water Quality Issues, please see the fourth in a series of Infosheets on the RDRWA’s integrated watershed management planning process: www.rdrwa.ca/node/53

What is Project Blue Thumb?

Project Blue Thumb: Action on Water Quality Issues is a social lab initiative co-convened by the Red Deer River Watershed Alliance and the Alberta Ecotrust Foundation. A social lab is another name for time and space set aside for a group of diverse people to explore big questions and experiment with new ideas and actions. This lab is centered on the question “How can we work together to maintain or improve surface and groundwater quality in the Red Deer River watershed?”

Beginning this April, a group of approximately 25 to 30 committed change leaders from government, business, academia, the non-profit sector, and the general public will come together to launch Alberta’s first social lab dedicated to water quality issues. Over the coming months, the Project Blue Thumb lab team will work together to build relationships, explore the issues, and actively design and test solutions to maintain and improve water quality in the Red Deer River watershed. 

Reos Partners (www.reospartners.com), world class facilitators and pioneers of the social lab process, will facilitate lab activities using a systemic, creative, and participative approach. Reos Partners has guided the successful launch of labs that have tackled a wide range of challenges including, among others, accelerating innovation in the US electricity sector and developing the future of democracy in Brazil.

When done well, labs create sustainable solutions to complex shared problems by using a process that goes beyond traditional planning to foster:

  • New knowledge and skills
  • Strong social networks
  • Applied solutions
  • Capacity building

Project Blue Thumb: Action on Water Quality Issues will complement and enhance the RDRWA’s ongoing efforts to develop an Integrated Watershed Management Plan, yet will focus on building collaborative relationships among participants and the active development and implementation of solutions. Please see Infosheet 4 for more detailed information on this exciting initiative: www.rdrwa.ca/node/53

Please contact Josée Méthot, the RDRWA’s Watershed Planning Coordinator, with any questions at 403-340-7379.


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