After the first Commonwealth Study Conference (CSC) held in 1956, the new alumni of the program found it such a worthwhile experience that they determined to make it available to subsequent generations of emerging leader. Since then, every program has been led, planned, and funded by people like you who want to remain engaged with your cohort and with new program participants. Being engaged alumni is a great way to help incoming participants whether through scholarship donations, hosting experiential dialogue tours, or joining program planning committees, your involvement can bring about a whole lot of good for leaders who are now in the position you once occupied. We're sure that you probably appreciated the help you got back then too!
Ways you can engage with ELD Canada:
1. AS A DONOR: "Pay it Forward" to enable a future leader to benefit from ELD Canada's experiential leadership experience. By providing monthly or annual giving, your donations will be used to provide scholarships to emerging leaders whose attendance would not be possible without the financial support of alumni donors.
Yolanda McClean, CCELD 2011, is currently serving her fourth term as diversity vice-president on CUPE's National Executive Board.
In 2016, Yolanda successfully lobbied her employer to secure a donation for ELD Canada which she contributed towards funding the Alumni Reunion, in St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada. Yolanda and other participants were able to attend a session on impactful leadership insights and practical tools that enhanced alumni capacity to generate new possibilities, and changed the way they worked and related with others in order to achieve meaningful results.
2. AS AN AMBASSADOR: Alumni participation in programs creates a broad and diverse base of cross sectoral support. Ambassadors are alumni who help ELD programs by recruiting participants, hosting experiential tours, and promoting ELD Canada and our Dialogues. High levels of alumni participation can inspire major donors, corporations, and foundations to increase their own support. People and organizations want to invest in successful institutions that others are supporting too!
In 2018, CCELD 2011 alum, Ben Almond, Canada Regional Managing Director & SVP of Jacobs, was enthusiastic about supporting the ELSCD 2018 program being held on Vancouver Island.
Ben participated in three important ways: He and his team welcomed one of the groups for a dialogue viewing economic development through an Environmental Planning Practitioner lens (with a focus on regulatory change), Proponent lens (with a client present), and an Indigenous business lens; Ben was also able to secure a Jacob's bursary which enabled a participant to attend the program; and finally, Ben was a member of the closing day panel and provided comments and feedback on the group presentations.
3. AS A VOLUNTEER: ELD Canada prides itself on offering quality programs and to ensure that we continue to flourish we look to alumni to assist with running the Dialogues, becoming a group leader, speaking about your alumni experiences and acting as advisers on working committees. Volunteering also allows you to grow your professional network, meet eminent speakers and leaders, and stay up to date on leadership challenges and innovations.
In 2017, Paula Amos, a Partner at Indigenous Worx, became part of the first cohort for the ELSCD program. Paula stated that "Coming from an Indigenous perspective, the ELSCD discussions were very empowering, and culturally and intellectually stimulating and differing opinions and dialogue was had in a respectful learning environment."
Given Paula's expertise in the tourism sector on Vancouver Island, and her vast professional network, she was an ideal fit to serve on the ELSCD 2018 Advisory Committee, alongside other alumni. Paula's enthusiasm for the program didn't end with the committee, and she chose to join us on site as a Group Leader for the length of the 2018 program, guiding a group of 15 participants through the experiential dialogues and presentations.