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3ThoughtThursday – Grey County and climate change, collaboration and EcDev

Updated: Sep 1, 2021

Today’s three thoughts begin with a Teams call with Grey County staff, shifts to collaboration, and then lands on the importance of economic development professionals.

1) Earlier in the week my colleague Chad and I had an incredible call with Grey County staff. We set up this meeting last month, after reading about the hiring of a Manager of Climate Change Initiatives. What a cool gig, eh?

The conversation started with an overview of NII, highlighting founding members and existing partnerships. We talked about the innovation branch of the organization and the collaboratively funded programs such as the Clean Energy Frontier and Net Zero Partnerships. The quick slide deck was received with nods and smiles. But, enough about us—Chad and I were there to learn about them.

Chad and I were keen to meet Linda Swanston, Manager of Climate Change Initiatives for Grey County. Her background is fascinating, bringing incredible experience to the area, and she has a fabulous ‘starting line’ thanks to the Grey County team.

If you aren’t aware, Grey County has done tremendous work in drafting a Climate Change Action Plan. The plan (currently in the consultation phase) is robust and full of detail to help Grey County work toward net zero. It is very, very cool.

Without trying, we started sharing ideas of how we could work together to leverage our work. I love meetings like this, and I can’t wait to keep this conversation going.

2) Speaking of collaboration, what a place the Nuclear Innovation Institute is. I had the best week—chatting with colleagues, reframing proposals, tightening up framework, sharing perspective and offering new avenues to consider.

This place truly thrives on collaboration. Even amongst Covid-19 and remote work, the NII team connects to share articles, thoughts, workplans—and we leverage the strengths, diversity, and experience of the team.

Did you see we’re hiring a Communications Specialist? Just saying, we’re a neat bunch and the culture of collaboration is alive and well at NII.

3) Last night I had a woman connect with me through a mutual contact to ask about economic development as a profession. She was curious and I could hardly wait to respond to her message with explanation marks and digital shouts of enthusiasm.

I went on and on through a Facebook messenger chat with this woman, talking about why further education in economic development matters, and how economic development is a critical function in every community.

I shared with her my experience of working in the industry, being fortunate to work with collaborative, innovative and strategic thinkers. EDOs (Economic Development Officers) and roles with an economic development function promote a healthy, vibrant local economy which means an increased quality of life for all.

As a proud board member of the Economic Development Association of Canada, I am committed to sharing the story of what economic development is and why it matters. I am extremely proud of the work I am doing and the outcomes the Clean Energy Frontier program will be achieving.

I love what I do.


Jessica Linthorne is the Director of the Clean Energy Frontier.

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