The main goal our team has set our eyes on is how to create a forum about the Columbia River salmon controversy where different stakeholders have the chance to express their views and objectives while hearing conflicting ones. This would hopefully help the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, which we hope to assist with in this project. We gathered feedback from others to better the focus of this goal and how we aim to achieve it. It helped us focus our sights greatly.
First, an important note we gathered was that a key limitation to successfully putting together this project in the future will be to achieve a real conversation amongst all actors. A forum with key stakeholders unable to express their interests and inquiries will not get much done. Implementing a structure where everybody is heard in a conversational manner will therefore be of great importance.
One way to integrate that feedback into our project, would be to find a professional moderator to moderate this forum. When discussing this with the group working with Portland Harbor Community Coalition, a member saw firsthand at a forum with PHCC how a professional moderator can help the flow of a conversation within a forum.
Another important note we received was the importance of including the public in these forums. This incentivizes more stakeholders to make themselves a part of it, as it would be detrimental for those stakeholders to have the public hear arguments without considering that missing viewpoint.
The next piece of advice given was to structure these forums with more than a month’s time in between so there can be a plan that is carried out to attain a larger outreach. The more people are there, the more successful our project will be.
There are multiple questions that we are considering but cannot provide answers to. This includes the questions of where student involvement fits in; we hope this fits into the planning phase of course, but do not know specifically, and would need to find a way to fit this into the forum itself. The question of how outreach will actually be conducted is extremely important to consider as well. Lastly, we will need to dwell on how to actually bring in opposing stakeholders, so that the forum can be as successful as possibly.