Creating a Culture of Collaboration

The ORCA 2018 meeting hosted a wide ranging series of key note and challenge area presentations and discussions that engaged over two hundred and fifty members from across the ORCA community. There was a wealth of information shared across diverse participants from over one hundred and twenty different government departments, academic institutions, and private sector and Indigenous organizations. The opportunity to network amongst such a cross-section of members of the Canadian OST community was unprecedented in Canada. The meeting was successful in enabling new potential partners to get to know one another and to discuss common challenges and opportunities. The creation of a successful culture of collaboration is based on factors such as trust, respect and the common belief that collaboration will achieve much more than by working individually - all of which were encouraged over the two-day ORCA 2018 meeting.

This emerging culture of collaboration that embraces the diversity of science and the science community in Canada, will be able to develop innovative solutions addressing the challenges and opportunities associated with the six specific challenge areas. The activities noted within the Paths Forward for each challenge area speak of new ways of collaborating to advance efforts in these key themes. The outcomes from the challenge areas highlighted the need for the ORCA Community Platform to be a critical piece in the forward actions of ORCA. The Platform has the potential to encourage the culture of collaboration and cooperation that would advance the alignment of efforts, plans and funding around shared priorities, and to share knowledge on international science priorities and potential partners.

New partnering opportunities emerged at the ORCA meeting and at the same time it was recognized that greater efforts need to be made to reach out to the Indigenous and local community levels to increase their participation in OST activities, such as the sharing of infrastructure and data. A diversity of science knowledge - natural, social and Indigenous knowledge- should be brought together in support of public policy, regulation and decision making in OST.

In reflecting back to the CCA Reports, the efforts that ORCA has undertaken are addressing the identified gaps relating to information and coordination of ocean science in Canada. These efforts will be achieved not just by individuals within Canada, but also within a new culture of collaboration that brings the diversity of the OST community together to address the challenges we face.

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