Navigating Our Future
Discovering the path to a thriving future in the Salish Sea Bioregion
Navigating Our Future is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization based in northwestern Washington State. Navigating Our Future is dedicated to providing a space for residents of the Salish Sea Bioregion to:
learn more about our ecosystem's health, and,
ways we can improve quality of life in the region through podcasts, forums, programs, and storytelling.
Navigating Our Future produces podcasts and community forums, bringing together citizens and experts to chart a trajectory to a thriving future.
Listen to the Navigating Our Future Podcast series below.
About The Navigating Our Future Podcast
Navigating Our Future is working to create more resilient, regenerative communities and the best action plans to create such communities in our bioregion.
By spotlighting local, regional, national, and global experts engaged in this vital work, Navigating Our Future explores the defining sub-systems and qualities that comprise a healthy, resilient, regenerative and thriving community/bioregion and the best action plans to create such communities in our bioregion.
We hope Navigating Our Future can evolve into a trusted community resource hub grounded in stories of hope and action.
Based in the Salish Sea bioregion of northwestern Washington State and southwestern Canada, Navigating Our Future is grounded in a community perspective.
Why A Bioregional Approach?Our power comes from our deeper sense of “place”—at the local level, the community level – and by extension the regional level. We cannot rely on state and national governments to lead this transformation. We have to start leading today. We believe that progress at the bioregional level can ripple out and influence other communities and bioregions around the country and around the world. Navigating Our Future is committed to share our learnings from the challenges and successes we experience with other communities engaged in similar work and hopefully learn from them as well. At the same time we will become part of a national and global network of other bioregions engaged in the same work. Ultimately, the future is uncertain. It's up to us to change the future. Community is the key for bringing awareness to residents about the top problems and their solutions to put us on a path to a healthier, more resilient future for human and non-human life. With informed, engaged, and empowered communities, we can chart a path forward, together.
What Topics will Navigating Our Future Explore?Navigating Our Future will explore an array of essential qualities that contribute to the health and wellbeing of a community. These qualities include (but are not limited to): 1) RESILIENT AND REGENERATIVE CITIES & COMMUNITIES DEVELOPMENT 2) FOOD SECURITY 3) FINANCIAL SECURITY 4) HEALTH AND WELLNESS 5) HIGH QUALITY 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION 6) CLEAN WATER, WATER CONSERVATION AND SANITATION 7) AFFORDABLE AND CLEAN ENERGY 8) AFFORDABLE and CLEAN TRANSPORTATION 9) WELL-DESIGNED AFFORDABLE, ENERGY EFFICIENT AND HEALTHY HOUSING 10) SOCIAL, RACIAL, AND GENDER EQUITY 11) RESPONSIBLY DESIGNED ECONOMY 12) CLIMATE ADAPTATION AND RESILIENCE 13) THRIVING NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT 14) AFFORDABLE, SAFE, ACCESSIBLE AND EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATIONS 15) STRONG, VITAL, PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY 16) CULTURE AND ART Our goal is to devote a complete podcast episode to each quality (beginning with, but not limited to, the above list), zooming in to explore the nuances of each topic in the Salish Sea bioregion and beyond. After each deep dive, we can look holistically at each quality as part of an interconnected system. These initial qualities have been chosen based on research by global authorities in the field of sustainable community development, while also incorporating indigenous and community perspectives.
How can Residents Engage and Participate?NAVIGATING OUR FUTURE PODCASTS AND PROGRAMS Navigating Our Future's podcasts and programs spotlight authorities in sustainable community development who can knowledgeably inform the public about: our current situation in their field the path we are on as a community and society the challenges and consequences of staying on this path other options available to us compare outcomes of both paths—in value created (economic, social, environmental, political); cost—including “full-cost” accounting (what is being passed on to be paid by future generations) action steps that can be taken to begin the solutions designing work Podcast episodes contain: who the interviewee is, how they came to specialize in their area of focus, and what is meaningful to them the current state of affairs in their local community, the Salish Sea bioregion and nationally/globally areas of greatest concern now and in the future suggested path toward solutions Listeners will be able to access current and past podcasts at navigatingourfuture.org. Text transcripts will also be available. Other vital information, such as the interviewee’s website or additional resources research, videos and so on may also be included on navigatingourfuture.org. We encourage listeners to send their questions and comments on to us, following any of the podcasts. C ITIZEN ENGAGEMENT PROGRAMS But NOF encourages more active citizen engagement. While we want all residents to have effectively ways to share their feelings, questions and suggestions, we also invite them to assert their citizen power through a process of democratic self-governance when it comes to the making of decisions that will impact their community, their lives and the lives of future residents. FORUMS During our forums, community residents will be invited to respond to many of the questions our guests are discussing and answering. How residents feel about these issues is most important to us. If people have suggestions as to ways we can improve our services to our communities, we want to know! NOF'S OTHER PROGRAMS AND SERVICES NOF's other programs, processes, services and tools are designed to support the work of residents in their communities so they can more effectively chart the path to their future. These offerings provide citizens in any community ways for them to begin a process of discovery to determine the best path to their desired future. Finally, we invite suggestions from our community as to how we can improve our services to residents. Please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What is Unique about NOF's Approach?Our podcasts and programs are bioregionally-based and designed to offer doorways to more in-depth information on our website to better inform people in our bioregion about how they can be empowered to create a regional solutions path to deal with the aforementioned existential challenges. They will be offered processes, tools, resources and support to develop their own community program to engage residents in democratic self-governance process to chart their future to a more resilient, regenerative and thriving quality of life.
What is NOF's Plan of Action to Accomplish Our Goals?Navigating Our Future will develop an interconnected framework that integrates all of the work around a focus on creating more resilient, regenerative communities in our bioregion…and see what emerges. Navigating Our Future focuses first and foremost on educating the public in ways they understand about how we view our world and its challenges in order to discern the best possible path to take and the solutions and opportunities that surface along the way. Doing so communities will determine the best actions that emerge as crucial to moving forward on a life-affirming path. NOF's supporting programs and services provide actionable information in a variety of free and easy ways for most people to access and act upon. Residents in the region will learn more about how they can get engaged in their community and co-design the work necessary to transform it so that they are better prepared to adapt, survive—and in many ways—thrive in the future. The current challenges we face are forcing us to adapt to a dramatically changed world. But these challenges also provide people with an opportunity to consider questions like: How and why are we integrally connected with all life on earth and why does that matter? How can understanding this change our view of our world? How could it change our decision-making? What do we gain by nurturing instead of destroying life? How can life be better for all of us–human and non-human inhabitants of our bioregion and the earth—by choosing a more life-affirming path? And how do we go about the work of supporting the growth of more healthy life in our bioregion?
What are the Plan's Phases?Phase I Educate residents from a whole systems perspective on the challenges we face in each community and in the bioregion. The initial data captured will probably provide some insights into what is possible. The information garnered from the podcasts, addressing as many of the 16 component elements and perspectives as possible will serve to broaden and deepen people’s worldview. It will also provide community connections and, in turn, we hope a significant community of participants, with all of their talents and abilities, will arise in communities throughout the region who have the will and the way to begin to transform their communities by designing a more life-affirming path to our common future. Our work from that point forward is to continue to invite residents to get more involved, which may be as basic as signing up for our free email newsletter. NOF's goal is for more residents will value our services, participate in our programs and begin the work in their communities to choose their future. Phase II Develop and seek funding for an Assets-Based Community Development Assessment Project to better understand the resources available to us to achieve our goals. Discover the connective tissue among the communities and the common challenges faced to determine how best to leverage those assets to develop a more resilient and regenerative community. Invite key stakeholders to join a Regional Research Team that uses their essential knowledge of and capabilities with human, environmental, physical and financial assets and liabilities in the region to help the better understand our current challenges and the losses we have already experienced as well as the ones that may still be ahead of us because of our current path. But they will also discover a better path that benefits all life in our region, leading us to the best solutions, options and opportunities to consider as we progress toward a healthier, more resilient and regenerative future. At various points in the process, polls/surveys, and other methods of community engagement and input will be used to determine what fellow residents feel about these issues. Phase III Create a participatory, deliberative democratic process available to communities in the bioregion. NOF will help guide the design and implementation of this process at the bioregional level and in as many communities within the region as is possible. The key will be if and when the residents show sufficient interest in taking more responsibility in the self- governance process when it comes to decisions that will most impact their lives. Phases I & II are all about educating citizens about the bioregions current state of whole health and provides a target of achieving a healthy, resilient and regenerative community. The Phase III process is designed to invite and empower them to more actively engage in co-designing their path forward into the future. This process provides a way for the community to: - Intelligently deliberate about the current state of being in the region/community and explore possible paths forward - Participate in a consensus-based decision-making process to determine the best path forward and the action plans to achieve community goals and objectives - Implement the Plan Phase IV Support the community when it implements the plan Storytelling –Telling the stories through our site of all the transformational developments taking place throughout the region; championing the Implementation of the Plan. Connecting people, resources and communities through our webbed network. Expand the high-quality, affordable services and programs to support the growth of the bioregion as well as local communities in the region. Invite more residents to join and participate Expand our collaborative network of non-profit organizations, regional and local businesses, community governments, religious organizations and others to engage them in the work. Create a permanent ongoing public forum that continues to engage residents in a participatory, deliberative democratic process to chart the future of their communities and the bioregion.