The Need for Teams
Did you know that water has a high specific heat? This means it takes a lot of energy to warm it up or change its phase.
Working towards our ambitious goal of all waters in Canada in good health by 2030 requires a lot of energy - especially collaborative energy. The problem is, the capacity to coordinate this kind of meaningful collaboration is too often overlooked!
That’s why one of the OLW key services is to provide dedicated, backbone support that builds capacity for Teams. We offer coordination, facilitation, and funding so that Teams can maintain their collaborative actions long-term.
Having a high specific heat also means that water retains heat really well! Similarly, once Teams get going, we’ve watched them really take on a life of their own to drive change.
What Teams Do
Water is also powerful - picture: glaciers, water falls, or landslides. Our Teams try to channel this kind of raw water power, as collective people power, coming together from across the country to collaborate on behalf of the waters.
Teams are collaborative forums where OLW Network members drive action on a shared water goal, related to one or more of the impact measures in the Shared Measurement System.
Currently, OLW supports three Teams:
- The Green Infrastructure Community of Practice supports implementing municipal action plans that improve green infrastructure, municipal natural asset management and combined sewer overflows.
- The Community-Based Water Monitoring Collaborative legitimizes and promotes community-based water monitoring as a method to ensure accessible data, open-access hubs, and informed decision makers.
- The Canadian Coalition for Healthy Waters convenes groups committed to advocating for federal government leadership around freshwater policy.
We know that a consistent limiting factor for collective action is access to funding. We also recognize that collaborations take time. They are long-term processes, often undefined at the outset, that take various forms and approaches on their path to driving change. As conveners we not only facilitate collaborations, we also fund them, in order to provide the conditions for their emergence and continuation over time.
The OLW Strategic Collaboration Fund invests in long-term strategic collaborations by funding existing Teams. There is no application process for these funds; rather, it is funding allocated to Teams when resources permit.
Our Innovative Collaborative Funding Model
Team funds are participant-led, trusting members to allocate their funds collectively, as they see fit. For example, they have been used to recognize the value of collaborative work by compensating participants’ time or to leverage additional funds for a Team project that complements their work. In all cases, we have found that shared funds cultivate shared commitment to taking action together.
If you’re interested in learning more about an active Team or in seeding a new one, please contact us!
“Working together as a Team made change feel possible. I am so pleased to be part of a group who shows up because they care so deeply. It is nice to feel like we're all on the same Team, rather than in competition! The sense of community has been remarkable.” ~ Community-based Water Monitoring Collaborative participant