The Rural Islands Economic Forum (RIEF) led to the formation of the Rural Islands Economic Partnership (RIEP). Now RIEF is a key initiative for collaboration and advocacy across the rural islands of British Columbia (BC).
No One Island Can Be Resilient Alone: Leveraging Our Collective Power for Rural Island Success
While a patchwork of community organizations and business leaders served various rural islands, there were no official channels for cooperation between all of the economic stakeholders across the islands. That changed when the first Rural Islands Economic Forum (RIEF) was held in November 2019.
Representing the diverse interests of over 22 rural islands, 110 people—Indigenous community members and leaders, local community builders, entrepreneurs, green and clean technology innovators, tourism officials, rural island service providers, and spokespeople from all levels of government—gathered for two days on Pender Island, Tsawout Nation.
During RIEF, attendees shared information, networked, and discussed relevant topics relating to the economic resilience of the rural islands, especially in the context of climate change.
The positive response to the Forum affirmed that we are at a critical turning point for the economic resilience of British Columbia’s rural islands!
“We’ve created momentum here that is infinitely valuable to our goals and challenges. I made many beneficial relationships and established a great network.”
“A small, intimate venue, with direct access to dynamic, innovative people. It was inspiring and tremendously constructive.”
“Excellent presentations and conversations! I learned much, and was also able to share things that seemed of value to others.”
"In my professional association, I have never been to a conference as relevant as the two days that I have had here."