Emerging Leaders for Sustainable Community Development (ELSCD)

Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada

August 11 - 17, 2019


Emerging Leaders' Dialogues Canada in partnership with Royal Roads University is delivering the Emerging Leaders for Sustainable Community Development (ELSCD) program.

This innovative 6-day program, promotes relationship building and reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous individuals and communities. The program combines three key learning opportunities; theoretical modules led by seasoned academics, experiential learning while visiting key regional leaders within Victoria, and peer based dialogues which will develop leadership competencies.  

Participants are energetic, visionary leaders in their fields. As the central theme of the program, models of sustainable community development and issues of governance will be examined from a regional and national perspective, with an emphasis on organizations and communities where best practices are making a difference.

Strong leadership is essential across all economic and cultural sectors. To achieve results and to nurture and promote values and guiding principles, it is necessary to invest in our human resources. Executive learning accelerates the development of leadership capacity, productivity and innovation. This executive program will teach you to create and implement strategies to balance competing priorities while forging collaborative relationships across indigenous and non-indigenous communities, and sectors. You will explore the tools required to tackle economic and social issues, and create an environment of collaboration between industry, labour, civil society and government sectors.

During the program, the growing recognition of the importance of strong cultural intelligence in leaders is addressed; and you will develop the capabilities required to work effectively across cultures. You will explore strategies for how indigenous and non-indigenous communities can work together to share best practices, different perspectives, and together better Canada's society and economy.


The program themes are woven throughout the program in the three topical areas:

a. Blue and Green Economies
b. Technology and Innovation
c. Tourism and Culture

The module component will be delivered by Royal Roads University and will be divided into modules which are examined from an Indigenous/non-Indigenous perspective and consider the leadership challenges and strategies within each thematic area.

Participants will be divided into experiential learning groups and spend three days visiting business enterprises, government departments, and civil society organizations in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. These on-site visits to organizations and communities provide the opportunity to discuss challenges and strategies with leaders from varied organizations.

Working within groups to collaborate and dialogue on a common project with such a diverse mix of organizations exposes participants to a range of issues from multiple perspectives and creates opportunities to look beyond the scope of your regular context within your own organizations. The insights gained from these meetings promotes dialogue, understanding and connections which inform the final written and oral presentations. As well, the groups create concrete action items designed to engage in post program alumni engagement, one of the founding tenants of Emerging Leaders' Dialogue Canada, ensuring that ELSCD will continue to evolve.

Through ELSCD's unique learning experience, you will develop key competencies in:

» Cultural intelligence
» Complex problem solving
» Ethical decision-making
» Collaborative negotiation
» Inclusion & diversity
» Promotion of innovation
» Conflict management

Program impacts include:

ACQUIRE innovative skills to implement reconciliation and sustainable development techniques within your own organization;

DEEPEN your understanding of cross-sector organizational leadership practices;

CREATE A NETWORK of leaders across business, government, labour and civil society;

FOSTER increased economic opportunities and partnerships between Indigenous and non - Indigenous organizations and communities;

OBTAIN A CERTIFICATE of completion from Emerging Leaders' Dialogues Canada and Royal Roads University;

BECOME A PART OF the global Emerging Leaders' Dialogues 10,000 alumni network



Government, businesses, civil society organisations and research institutions all have different goals, tasks and responsibilities. The private sector has an efficient, market-oriented approach; civil society organisations' have in depth knowledge of local circumstances; research institutions contribute expertise; and public administrators are adept at policy building and transparency.

By working together these sectors can bring together the necessary experience, knowledge, investment, technologies and resources to address industry issues which may have been overlooked by a single-sector programme or approach.

The Emerging Leaders for Sustainable Community Development program is unique amongst leadership programmes for operating cross sector opportunities. Enabling emerging leaders to experience and understand what processes other sectors operate under. This intensive program develops peer-to-peer critical leadership competencies, including collaboration, integration, and critical thinking. It also places great emphasis on trust, integrity and leadership with accountability. This creates connected leaders who can create partnerships across sectoral, cultural and geographic divides.


Reconciliation is a complex concept with a variety of definitions. One of the commonly used definitions is provided by the United Nations: Reconciliation is a key objective in building sustainable peace and preventing a relapse into conflict. It is about (re) building relationships among people and groups in society and between the state and its citizens. The process is highly context sensitive, and each society must tailor its approach to the nature of the conflict and the character of the transition (UN, Building Just Societies: Reconciliation in transitional settings, Ghana 2012).

Indigenous peoples in Canada and internationally seek a quality of life that others take for granted. Sustainable community development must harness the human resource capacity of Indigenous peoples and enable them to benefit from the lands and natural resources in their communities.

Their effective and sustainable use is critical for economic development, building partnerships with industry, and maintaining strong relationships with other communities. Leadership is required to tackle these issues and help guide Canada and other countries towards models of inclusive development.

Sustainable Development

On September 25, 2015, countries adopted a set of goals to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity of all. The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development consists of 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Governments, businesses, civil society and the United Nations have started to mobilize efforts to achieve the SDGs. Balancing the need for sustainable development with economic growth is a challenge for all sectors of society. Achieving this through a lens of reconciliation and multi stakeholder dialogue is challenging. ELSCD provides participants with an academic framework to understand sustainability and allows them to see first hand the way organizations are, or are not, incorporating sustainable practices into their operations.

Multi-Stakeholder Approach

Many sectors of society grapple with the complicated landscape of sustainable development. Within the juxtaposition of economic, social and environmental issues affecting businesses, governments, NGOs, and other organizations, there are new complex challenges as well as emerging opportunities for innovation. Public, private and civil society organizations are facing increased pressure to integrate economic, environmental and social issues in their economic development plans. The Emerging Leaders for Sustainable Community Development program chose to take a multi stakeholder approach to reconciliation and sustainable development challenges as they are too interrelated and complex for any single organization or sector to address in isolation.