Our second virtual conference April 27-29 had 132 participants, a few more than last year’s, which might have been because 2020’s ReForum was held in July. Our technical platform held up reasonably well, never without glitches, but that’s the virtual world for you.
The nice thing about virtual conferences is the ability to involve people from farther away without having to factor in travel time and expenses. Our keynote speakers were from Portland (Dan Leif) and Seattle (Moji Igun). Session presenter locations ranged from Vancouver to Montreal, Paris and Amsterdam. Having access to people and stories from so many places was amazing. Another nice feature is having recordings of all the presentations so that we can go back and catch concurrent sessions or things we might have missed the first time. Session topics included organics, building materials, public education, re-designing products, repair and an update on Saskatchewan programs.
This year’s ReForum included interactive sessions in the form of discussions on specific topics (organics, rural recycling, education, mattress recycling), media reviews, where participants watched a documentary, read an article, or listened to a podcast and then discussed it together. We also tried a social platform, gather.town, that allowed people to interact and move around in a virtual reception format. Noon hour lunch sessions featured local musicians Jay Maillet and Ellen Froese performing and storyteller Joseph Nayhowtow exploring Indigenous perspectives and teaching us Cree songs.
Thanks to our sponsors for supporting the ReForum. In 2022, we’re planning to be in Regina at the Doubletree by Hilton April 27-29.