Movers and shakers from varied demographics and backgrounds meet to discuss issues that they believe would benefit their community.

Movers and shakers from varied demographics and backgrounds meet to discuss issues that they believe would benefit their community.

Techno push to empower South Surrey and White Rock

MLA-sponsored process enables stakeholders to assess community needs

An online decision-facilitation service is helping  stakeholders in South Surrey and White Rock gain greater insight into making the community more “caring, resilient and connected.”

A June 25 meeting at Rotary Field House, sponsored by Surrey-White Rock MLA Gordon Hogg, was the first step in a significant local trial of the methodology of Ethelo Decisions, an organization that uses a computer algorithm to reflect diverse input on complex issues.

The service was offered pro-bono to the community by Ethelo to demonstrate the effectiveness of the model, invented by John Richardson, a mathematician and lawyer who founded the Pivot Legal Society, one of Canada’s leading human-rights organizations.

It’s proven effective in mediating conflicts, Richardson and fellow Ethelo principal  Kathryn Thomson say, because the algorithm helps identify and define areas of potential consensus and innovation, leading to fairer, more balanced decision-making.

Hogg said he wanted to make sure the South Surrey meeting – first in what he sees as an ongoing series of in-person and online encounters aimed at fostering connections and encouraging initiatives to make the community a better place to live – was a good fit by inviting service recipients as well as recognized movers and shakers.

“I wanted to make it as apolitical as we could,” he said, noting the invitation list included such local social activists as Susan Keeping and Don Pitcairn (who each challenged Hogg in last year’s provincial election), as well as elected officials such as White Rock Mayor Wayne Baldwin and Coun. Helen Fathers, Surrey Coun. Judy Villeneuve and longtime Surrey school trustee Laurae McNally.

The meeting, attended by some 47 stakeholders, represented all age groups, from youth to seniors, Hogg said, noting that attendees split into subgroups to discuss and identify key issues of importance.

“There were some pretty robust discussions,” he said, concluding that the first step of the process seemed to have been successful.

“As people were leaving, more than half came to me and said that they appreciated the approach. One gentleman told me he was going to rethink what being in a community means.”

Rather than approaching issues with a specific agenda or set of assumptions, Hogg said he wanted to challenge participants to take a more fundamental approach based on a core set of values.

“How do we take care of each other?” Hogg asked. “How do we look after each other? How do we look at people not for the defects we have, but the gifts we all bring?”

Participants will continue to be contacted and the plan is to have another full meeting in the fall to discuss what the logarithm suggests about input received, he said.

“There are a lot of options that could be explored, whether they are options for government to respond to or whether they’re initiatives that people themselves can take,” the MLA said. “Research has shown that people who feel safer in their homes are those who know more of their neighbors’ names – maybe holding more block parties would be something that could be looked at.”

Hogg said that when Metro Vancouver conducted a study of issues that residents felt were most important, it was anticipated that the frontrunners would be poverty and homelessness.

“Instead, the biggest issues were people feeling isolated and alone – how do you get people engaged?”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Surrey Fire Service at a garage fire in the 14400-block of 82A Ave on March 22, 2021. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
‘Perfect storm’ of variants, increasing COVID cases are concerning for Surrey fire chief

Between police and fire, Larry Thomas said there are 8 confirmed cases, 18 others isolating

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Small plane crashes at Delta’s Boundary Bay Airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

Signage on a South Surrey sidewalk reminds pedestrians to respect social-distancing guidelines. (Photo: Tracy Holmes)
Surrey records 4,400 COVID-19 cases in March

New cases almost doubled between February, March

The Rotary Club of South Surrey is planning to host another shredding event on April 17, 2021.(Contributed file photo)
South Surrey Rotarians to host shredding event

April 17 fundraiser to offer secure shredding by donation

Surrey Fire Service is on scene of a fire in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue Saturday morning (April 10). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Surrey crews on scene of house fire

It happened in the 12300-block of 72A Avenue

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and Premier John Horgan describe vaccine rollout at the legislature, March 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
1,262 more COVID-19 infections in B.C. Friday, 9,574 active cases

Province’s mass vaccination reaches one million people

B.C. Premier John Horgan responds to questions during a postelection news conference in Vancouver, on Sunday, October 25, 2020. British Columbia’s opposition Liberals and Greens acknowledge the COVID-19 pandemic has presented huge challenges for Horgan’s government, but they say Monday’s throne speech must outline a coherent plan for the province’s economic, health, social and environmental future. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Horgan’s NDP to bring in throne speech in B.C., Opposition wants coherent plan

Farnworth said the budget will include details of government investment in communities and infrastructure

FILE - An arena worker removes the net from the ice after the Vancouver Canucks and Calgary Flames NHL hockey game was postponed due to a positive COVID-19 test result, in Vancouver, British Columbia, in this Wednesday, March 31, 2021, file photo. As vaccinations ramp up past a pace of 3 million a day in the U.S, the NHL is in a tougher spot than the other three major North American professional sports leagues because seven of 31 teams are based on Canada. (Darryl Dyck/The Canadian Press via AP, File)
Vancouver Canucks scheduled to practice Sunday, resume games April 16 after COVID outbreak

Canucks outbreak delayed the team’s season by eight games

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod, seen here on April 9, 2021 with four-year-old sister Elena and mom Vanessa, was born with limb differences. The family, including husband/dad Sean McLeod, is looking for a family puppy that also has a limb difference. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
B.C. family looking for puppy with limb difference, just like 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy McLeod born as bilateral amputee, now her family wants to find ‘companion’ puppy for her

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Emergency crews on scene after a small plane crashed in a grassy area on the northeast side of Boundary Bay Airport Saturday morning (April 10). A freelancer said the plane caught fire and one person was transported to hospital by BC Emergency Health Services. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
1 taken to hospital after plane crash at Metro Vancouver airport

Plane appears to have suffered ‘significant’ damage, says freelancer

A vehicle that was driven through the wall of a parkade at Uptown Shopping Centre and into the nearby Walmart on April 9 was removed through another hole in the wall later that night. (Photo via Saanich Police Department and Ayush Kakkar)
Vehicle launched into B.C. Walmart removed following rescue of trapped workers

Crews cut new hole in parkade wall to remove vehicle safely

Four members with Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans were out at Cultus Lake on March 28 and 29 hauling trash out of the waters. (Henry Wang)
PHOTOS: Out-of-town divers remove 100s of pounds of trash from Cultus Lake

Members of Divers for Cleaner Lakes and Oceans hauled out 470 pounds of trash over two days

As of Saturday, April 10, people born in 1961 are the latest to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine. (Black Press files)
B.C. residents age 60+ can now register to get their COVID-19 vaccine

Vaccine registration is now open to people born in 1961 or earlier

Most Read