September 23, 2002


The meeting was attended by 16 members and 4 guests

Stewardship and the Environment

Jim Haliburton reported that all projects are proceeding well with the exception of the Environmental Audit program where he has run into a problem of the discontinuation of the Capilano College Environmental Studies program. As this was the main source of college students to carry out the audits, Jim is now looking for an alternative source of students from a similar program, possibly at BCIT or UBC. If anyone can help Jim on this, please contact him at 604-926-3352.

Visioneers Call to Action, October 20, 2002

Gerri Schwartz and Desmond Berghofer spoke about the upcoming Visioneers Call to Action at Performance Works on Granville Island on October 20. This will be an up-beat day celebrating the 10th anniversary of the publication of The Visioneers: A Courage Story about Belief in the Future by Desmond Berghofer. Primarily, however, it will be a gathering of Visioneers, people who are committed to looking after the Earth and its people. The IFEL will be one of the Exhibitors, as this should be a good opportunity to spread word of the Institute's work and gain new members. Anyone who could provide some time to be at the IFEL table, please speak to Gerri.

One of the co-sponsors of the event is Soga Gakkai International (SGI), a worldwide association focusing on peace and collaboration among all peoples. They are providing a display and inspirational video featuring the life and work of three great Visioneers-Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Daisako Ikeda (President of SGI).

IFEL members are encouraged to support the event. A flyer and registration form can be downloaded here.

Gulf Islands Centre for Environment al Learning

Michael Dunn gave an update on the Gulf Islands Centre for Environmental Learning, which the IFEL is helping to get launched. This was the subject of the May 27, 2002 meeting of the Institute.

The Centre is envisioned as a world-class facility offering experiential, nature-based learning opportunities to school-aged children, families, adult learners, professional organizations and businesses from the region, the nation and the world. The Centre has invited IFEL to be a collaborative partner and we look forward to being a continuing part of this exciting development.

Values-Based Curriculum for Schools

In the absence of Bill Borgen, Chair of the Youth and Education Committee, Gerri Schwartz gave an update on the project to create a Values-Based Curriculum for Schools. The main partners in this project are the New Westminster School District, where the program will be established, and the Faculty of Education at UBC. The Institute plays a supporting role. A meeting of the partners is presently being scheduled and we will have further reports in the future.

Nurture for Leaders

Diane Jennings, Chair of the Spirituality and Personal Development Committee, announced that her committee is sponsoring a retreat on Bowen Island at the Lodge of the Old Dorm Bed and Breakfast on Friday-Saturday, November 22-23, 2002. The purpose of the retreat is to inspire and support people who are giving of their time and energy to be leaders in the community. The number is limited to 18. Cost of the retreat is $100 - $125 per person with one night's accommodation on Friday. A second night is also available. Most meals are also included. Anyone interested in participating should contact Diane at 604-945-7799.


A discussion was held regarding the nature of volunteering and the work of the Institute. The following were the main ideas coming out of the discussion.

1. We need to make the Institute and its work better known, which would attract more members and volunteers.
2. We might link up with other volunteer organizations, like Big Brothers.
3. We should make our website more interactive, allowing members to promote themselves, offer support to other members and ask for support when needed.
4. Essentially, what we asking of members as a minimum is to give a few hours of their time on the 4th Monday of the month to stay abreast of what the Institute is doing through its committees and theme areas. Every member should also offer to participate on at least one of the committees.
5. We need to be careful that when volunteers go out in the name of the IFEL that they accurately report what the Institute stands for

The Leaders Group will take the ideas of this discussion into consideration in planning the future direction of the Institute.

Next Meeting

Date: October 28, 5.30 - 8.30, Vancouver Public Library
Theme: to be announced