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3ThoughtThursday – The process of innovation, Steering Committee, CNA

With great anticipation for back-to-school routine, I bring to you another edition of #3ThoughtThursday.

1) The Municipal Innovation Council, led by Innovation Officer, Dave Shorey, continues to produce significant findings for the eight Bruce County municipal partners involved. Most recently, the MIC onboarded five incredibly talented students to review local municipal practice and these students provided recommendations for consideration. You can see their work and learn more about this process on Dave’s most recent blog post.

Far too often, in every industry, we settle on what we know, what we assume and what we currently do. Spoiler alert: municipal government is no different.

The research conducted by the students provides a new perspective, offered insight into what municipal partners could be considering and also highlighted areas of cost savings/efficiency. This work would not happen otherwise, and no one can argue this isn’t important.

The value of the MIC is research work like this. Municipal professionals are busy each day providing service to residents and visitors. They are clearing roads, repairing sewers, ensuring safe drinking water, planning for growth, supporting local businesses, approving permits, conducting inspections, and so much more.

I understand how municipal government may not have the time and attention to dedicate to improving their process or to seek savings. However, when we experience common challenges amongst a number of municipalities, and partners pool resources, space is created for this work.

Dave and I have had many conversations on what it means to truly unpack a problem and how to best understand a common challenge between partners.

Innovation doesn’t just happen. It takes dialogue, engagement with those doing the work, and a lot of questions. Innovation isn’t simply a shiny new techy thing, but a process which unlocks new value.

Thank you to the members of the MIC and to the research team for this inspiring and incredible work.

2) Next week I’ll host my first Regional Steering Committee meeting for the Clean Energy Frontier Program. What a perfect way to move into a new season. The Regional Steering Committee is comprised of community members, local elected officials, and economic development professionals from across the tri-county region.

Around this table, there are over 30 people who are passionate about the work we’re doing and have put their hand up to support the tri-county’s position as the Clean Energy Frontier region. I am grateful for the experience and knowledge this group brings forward.

3) In last week’s blog post I mentioned the upcoming CNA conference and highlighted the inspiring agenda. In addition to my excitement for the agenda and formal programming, I’ve raised my hand to be a booth manager for the Nuclear Innovation Institute’s tradeshow booth.

That’s right—we’ll be there, virtually, with a virtual booth. Although we won’t be shaking hands and handing out free pens or doodle books, NII will have a booth at the CNA tradeshow to showcase who we are and what we are doing.

If you’re attending the conference, be sure to stop by and say hello!


Jessica Linthorne is the Director of the Clean Energy Frontier program.


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