Happy New Year to all members of the Network across the globe! We are excited to see so many new ISW initiatives happening around the world and we look forward to hearing about many more collaborations within our various communities.
The ISW Network Executive Team has continued to meet monthly via Zoom to discuss ways in which we can best help to sustain the Network moving forward. The pandemic has certainly changed the way in which institutions offer and support ISWs and, in many aspects, hosting virtual and hybrid options has enriched the ISW Program considerably. This is especially true of our Network-sponsored virtual professional development (PD) events, which have frequently attracted over 100 participants from around the world.
After prolonged discussion, the Executive Team has decided to shift its focus to hosting more opportunities for virtual PD gatherings in place of annual Spring and Fall Institutes for Facilitators and Trainers. We are also moving away from offering Network-sponsored FDWs/TDWs in the Vancouver, BC area. This change will enable us to focus on communication and other mechanisms for enhancing the ISW Program across the expanding Network. This decision was also influenced by other factors, such as sustainability and building member capacity, Edenvale Centre (in Abbotsford, BC) no longer booking residential retreats, rising costs of airline travel, shrinking institutional budgets, and the ongoing uncertainty of the pandemic.
However, it is still important to come together face-to-face whenever possible, as that environment offers different kinds of opportunities for collaboration and community building. To that end, we would like to encourage the work of our Local Representatives (LRs) in bringing regional and inter-institutional teams together for PD activities (in addition to their possible shared offerings of ISWs and FDWs). The LR initiative was launched in early 2020 and a number of institutions have been successful in hosting regional PD events. A recently revised ISW Sustainability Plan, highlighting the LR initiative, can be accessed on the Network website. A list of LRs can also be accessed on the Network website.
To assist LRs and Trainers in creating regional PD opportunities, we are hosting a virtual event on Thursday, June 8, 2023, from 9:00 to 10:30 am Pacific Time. LRs and Trainers are encouraged to attend so that we can engage in conversation about potential collaborations and regional initiatives. Registration is open now.
Questions about the LR Initiative or the upcoming PD event on June 8th can be sent to us via the Contact Form on the website.
With gratitude, we recognize that we live, learn, teach, and play on traditional lands, and we acknowledge and pay our respect to the First Nations and Métis ancestors of each place and reaffirm our relationship with one another. For more information about the land you are on, please visit resources such as www.whose.land and native-land.ca.