Although the primary focus of IGNITE is future-proofing member infrastructure, sometimes situations arise where IGNITE can also help future-proof the member’s social infrastructure.
As part of the MAPLE project, ADRA committed to providing financial support to the Wiikwemkoong Outdoor Adventure Leadership Experience (OALE). OALE is an intensive youth leadership preparation program designed to promote culture and community, and help youth develop resilience and well-being as protective factors for their personal growth and development.
Through a ten-day, 140 kilometer canoe trip, youth learn valuable life skills such as leadership, perseverance, and the ability to work together. In the summer of 2017, the program was in dire need of specialized outdoor expedition equipment to accommodate the rough terrain of Northern Ontario. Through its charitable network, ADRA arranged and then donated a significant amount of money toward the purchase of canoes, tents, and other outdoor equipment.
Team members from ADRA not only donated money, they also donated time. An ADRA team member went on one of the canoe trips with the youth and created an amazing 30 minute video of the experience. The IGNITE Team wishes to thank ADRA for its commitment to the MAPLE Project and particularly for its generosity of time and money toward the OALE Program.
One of our member projects included reducing the electricity consumption in the local community arena. As we collaborated with the project team, they told us it was also important to fix any electrical issues as we encountered them.
It’s always exciting when one of our members gets a great win, and the Arena project was a great win for the community. The Arena got amazing new lights for the entire building. This lighting retrofit reduced the annual power cost attributed to lighting by nearly 70%. By working closely with the electrical contractor and the project team, we vastly improved the lighting quality throughout, but particularly over the bleachers and ice pad. After the lighting change, there were areas of the ice pad with at least twice as much light quality, which virtually eliminated previously dimly lit areas on the ice surface. We also worked closely with the electrical contractor to fix a few nagging electrical issues. All this was done with a neutral impact to the member’s operating budget. Feedback from the community has been very positive.
Taking control of aging infrastructure is a challenge for any organization. What IGNITE offers its members is a means of simplifying the process to address the present issues affecting public sector infrastructure. IGNITE provides access to all the resources required to not only get the job done presently but to future-proof the asset by ensuring the long-term operating costs are considered for every aspect of the project.
“As soon as you open your mind to doing things differently, the doors of opportunity practically fly off their hinges.”
― Jay Abraham, The Sticking Point Solution
The successful long-term launch and management of assets includes an overwhelming number of choices and issues to address. To properly manage these assets, decision-making project teams (Project Teams) need to be selected, and designated champions (Asset Champions) need to direct these teams. Through a process of collaboration, this team should develop an infrastructure plan for each asset. To encourage effective management and to ensure the infrastructure plan remains on track, the champion needs to direct the project team to separate complex plans into many “bite-sized” components and attain a forward-moving consensus at each meeting through a process of collaboration amongst a cross-section of stakeholders. The champion should always direct these meetings in an unbiased manner.
Project Team Meeting
By adopting this collaborative and “bite-sized” strategy, the Project Team focuses on developing a short-term manageable action plan under the direction of the Asset Champion. As it is the duty of the Asset Champion to remain neutral and unbiased, the Champion neither approves nor disapproves Project Team choices. Rather, the main duty of the Champion is to encourage a dialogue between stakeholders and to ensure no one leaves the meeting without a short-term action plan to execute prior to the next meeting. Through this collaborative, “bite-sized” approach, the Asset Champion can guide the team project through a series of meetings to successfully launch and manage these complex initiatives.
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Although the primary focus of IGNITE is future-proofing member infrastructure, sometimes situations arise where IGNITE can help a member fix systems or mechanical process flow. As we all know one of the greatest needs we have as humans is blood in the event of an emergency. Blood cannot be created or fabricated, it must be donated. With all the challenges of acquiring enough blood, losing any of it from mechanical processing failures must be avoided.
Walter Manitowabi, Director of the First Nations Sustainable Communities Program of IGNITE Infrastructure Association, presented at the Assembly of First Nations 2017 National Housing and Infrastructure Forum being held in Montreal, Quebec, October 30-November 1. During his presentation, Manitowabi announced the national launch of the First Nations Sustainable Communities Program.
Manitowabi participated in a panel discussion on Skills Development and Capacity Building. The panel also discussed opportunities to support First Nations with innovative project development and financing models. “It is crucial, now more than ever, for First Nations to develop new ways of project development and financing. The current government programs are broken and have been broken for a long time. Yes, First Nations do need a national strategy with new delivery models and new federal programming, but until then, First Nations need a new approach to infrastructure – a community driven approach that is supported by IGNITE.”
Innovative Strategy Will Improve Economic Prosperity and Social Well-Being
October 11, 2017 – Manitoulin Island, Ontario – The Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, one of the 10 largest First Nation communities in Canada, is honoured to be the first community to participate in the First Nations Sustainable Communities Program, developed by IGNITE Infrastructure Association Inc. (IGNITE). Elected Chief of the Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory, Ogimaa Duke Peltier and Director of the IGNITE First Nations Sustainable Communities Program, Walter Manitowabi, celebrated the official launch of the program in Ontario, as well as the successful completion of Phase One of the Wiikwemkoong project, today at a ceremonial red ribbon event. Endorsed by the Chiefs of Ontario, the First Nations Sustainable Communities Program provides support to First Nations in developing comprehensive, community-driven plans that reflect local opportunities and constraints. Through the program, IGNITE works with First Nations communities to design, build, finance, and deliver project implementation strategies; which are developed collaboratively with First Nations Leadership through needs assessments and comprehensive energy and facility audits.