Delivering Sustainable Solutions With Next Generation Partnerships and Ecosystems

In pursuit of water-health equity for Indigenous & rural communities​

May 2024

Rural communities face challenges of growing complexity which require increasing breadth and depth of skills, all in support of expanding community solutions. This requires innovators to adopt new strategies and internal capabilities.

Community Circle (formerly the Reseau Centre for Mobilizing Innovation) is a nonprofit center of excellence dedicated to the design and implementation of innovative solutions for drinking water quality and community health in Indigenous and rural communities. Community Circle’s problem-solving approach empowers communities to define success on their unique terms, while building grassroots trust and confidence in proposed solutions to drive projects from concept to execution and beyond.

In this webinar, Community Circle leaders Madjid Mohseni and Irving Leblanc described the practices required to upgrade partnering arrangements from basic research to full solution-oriented and end-to-end ecosystems.  They shared insights about how a deep partnership between researchers and community members developed through an initial collaborative project to improve water quality, building a solid foundation from which a wide range of projects have been launched. Together, the Community Circle team has solved several long-standing boil water advisories in rural settings, redefining sustainability, the economics of drinking water, and community health along the way.

Key Takeaway Messages

  • Communities co-leading HIBAR projects need to share equally in the benefits of the project outcomes.
  • A culture change is needed for academic researchers to shift their focus to what society truly needs.
  • Communities participating in co-production through HIBAR projects take pride in the positive outcomes.
  • The time required to build trusted relationships is often not compatible with typical grant funding cycles.
  • Long-term funding commitments are often required to sustain the positive outcomes of community-based HIBAR projects.

Watch the full webinar recording and a short video with key takeaway messages below. 

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Webinar Speakers

Madjid Mohseni
University of British Columbia

Irving Leblanc
Community Circle

Madjid Mohseni is a professor of chemical, biological and environmental engineering at the University of British Columbia. An internationally renowned expert in drinking water quality and advanced water treatment processes, he is the the Scientific Director and co-founder of Community Circle.

Irving Leblanc, P. Eng., is Former Director, Infrastructure at the Assembly of First Nations (AFN). He is the Chair of the Board and the Co-director of Community Circle and has been involved in its governance and evolution since 2008.

Watch the full webinar recording

Watch key excerpts from the webinar