Seminars 2012

TitleThe Resilience Imperative: Navigating Transition in Turbulent Times
November 1, 2012

An Evening with Mike Lewis at the University of Alberta

The sustainability and wellbeing of our communities – economically, socially and ecologically – has become the urgent challenge of the 21st century. Mike Lewis, co-author of The Resilience Imperative: Co-operative Transitions to a Steady-State Economy has come to the conclusion that we must and can reweave our lives and economies on a more local, resilient and sustainable basis. He brings his message of hope and possibilities to Edmonton. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Sponsored by: The Work and Learning Network, BC-Alberta Social Economy Research Alliance (BALTA), Canadian Centre for Community Renewal, Net Impact, Canadian Centre for Corporate Social Responsibility, Environmental Research and Studies Centre.

Title: The Leaders We Need Are Already Here: Now What Do We Do?
October 3, 2012

Presenter: Margaret (Meg) Wheatley

Some of the greatest frustrations of leaders these days are knowing what to do, but having neither the time nor resources to do those things. Even when we want to take a long-term perspective and develop others to be leaders, we get caught in the whirlpool of tasks and crises that keep us from those development activities. 

Fortunately, there's a simple way out of these frustrations: creating time to think together. 

During the day with Meg Wheatley , participants: 

· Explored the characteristics, strengths and challenges of leading learning centre organizations. 

· Discussed the value of critical thinking and reflection for effective leadership. 

· Learned about a basic model of how change happens. 

· Explored a process for working together within an organization. 

· Were introduced to the Emerging Leadership Development Framework and Assessment Tool. 

Co-sponsored by ECVO and the WLN

More information


Topic: The Changing Nature of Work in the ‘Alberta-Bubble’
April 19, 2012

Presenter: Linda Duxbury

Albertans are living in a resource rich-bubble that means we are some of the wealthiest people on the planet. Yet workers across all sectors including teaching are not immune to the radical shifts we are witnessing across North America. The often unfulfilled promise that technology would lessen workload, combined with the demands of family and growing personal aspirations, is challenging our assumptions about organizational well-being. Drawing on recent research on the work-lives of Calgary, Alberta teachers and other professions and sectors, Duxbury will help to contextualize the changes we are witnessing in the broader workplace and outline some promising ideas for enhancing organizational health.   

Sponsored by the Edmonton District and Central North District Locals of the Alberta Teachers Association and the Work and Learning Network for Research and Policy, University of Alberta

Title: Workplace Learning, Knowledge, Practice and Transformation 
April 12, 2012

Presenter: Dr. James Avis, University of Huddersfield, UK

Dr. Avis' paper explores conceptualisations of workplace learning, knowledge and practice. It sets the discussion in its socio-economic context, one in which knowledge is seen as the route not only to societal competitiveness but also to wellbeing. Such arguments emphasise the turbulent environment in which work is set as well as the fluidity and rapidity in the transformation of knowledge. The paper examines the different ways in which knowledge is conceptualised within these debates, arguing that transformation is frequently set on a capitalist terrain rather than being tied to a radical political project.

Journal Article PDF Document

Title: Workplace Safety: Innovative Practices and Strategies for Critical Safety Thinking
March 29, 2012


  • Laurel Aitken, Farm Safety Coordinator from Department of Alberta Agriculture and Rural Development
  • Grant Pelletier, Manager of Industry Mentorship and Support from ENFORM – The Safety Association for Canada’s Upstream Oil and Gas Industry
  • Erin Prensolo, Program Review Coordinator from Alberta Construction Safety Association
  • Moderator Art Deane

Many people spend a third of their lives in the workplace. To keep workers safe and productive, it’s crucial to have a safe, clean, and hazard-free work environment to minimize the risks of injuries, accidents, long-term illnesses or even death. Panel presenters from The Safety Association for Canada’s Upstream Oil and Gas Industry, the Alberta Construction Safety Association, and the Agricultural Industry will share practices and strategies to train workers to use innovative and critical thinking to identify, predict and prevent hazardous situations in the workplace. Each will speak about the safety programs in their organization or in organizations in their industry. 

Speaking Notes PDF Document Art Deane - Some Canadian Facts on Workplace Safety

Speaking Notes PDF Document Laurel Aitken

PowerPoint Presentation PDF Document Grant Pelletier

PowerPoint Presentation PDF Document Erin Prensolo

Title:  I’m online with a zillion options: Work-learning in those “other” spaces 
February 9, 2012

Presenter:  Terrie Lynn Thompson, Ph. D.

Workers are faced with possibilities of wider networks of knowledge generation and the need to draw on, produce, and manage multiple knowledges; processes which are increasingly more mobile. With everyday use of smart phones, iPads, and sophisticated computing technologies to tap into podcasts, social networks, and blogs, professional work-related learning practices are increasingly permeated with the web. Most learning “ecologies” of adult workers reflect both formal and informal learning activities. Terrie Lynn’s research focuses on web-enabled learning practices outside formal educational programs. Such knowledge spaces are diverse, diffuse, and often quite messy, invoking questions about inclusion. In this talk, Terrie Lynn spoke on: 

  • present research on the experiences, dilemmas, and strategies of workers when they go online for work-related learning activities 
  • explore the notion of “learning ecologies”: self-constructed learning spaces that integrate a mix of technologies, resources, activities, and people 
  • delve into the sophisticated digital fluencies that are now required by adult learners to ensure digital inclusion in online knowledge generating activities 
  • examine the implications of increasingly complex human-technology entanglements.

Slide Presentation PDF Document