Projects Director

  • Posted:Jun 10, 2024
  • Apply by:Aug 09, 2024
  • Job Type
  • Contract / Full Time
  • Job Level
  • Other
  • Location
  • Alberta, AB
  • Impact Area
  • Other
  • Impact Category
  • Other
  • Company Type
  • Other

About this position

Rural Routes to Climate Solutions (RR2CS) shines a spotlight on the climate solutions that Alberta’s farmers, ranchers and rural communities can benefit from. RR2CS is happy to announce that we are seeking a Projects Director to lead our two unique initiatives —the Regenerative Agriculture Lab (RAL) and our Siksikaitsitapi Agriculture Project (SAP)—and join our great team of community organizers, facilitators and communications specialists.

About Us:

At RR2CS, we're on a mission to cultivate climate solutions in rural Alberta. Through innovative projects and community collaboration, we're helping pave the way for a more resilient future. From regenerative agriculture to Indigenous-led initiatives, we're dedicated to making a positive impact on the environment and empowering local communities.

As the Projects Director, you'll be at the heart of our efforts. You'll play a pivotal role by steering and guiding our projects, engaging stakeholders, and securing funding and exploring alternative income streams that propel us forward.

Key Responsibilities:

Leading Projects and Supporting Teams:

  • Be the guiding light for our project managers, proactively identifying and addressing project  challenges and obstacles to ensure their success and smooth project execution to help them succeed.

  • Work hand-in-hand with our teams to design and deliver workshops, webinars, and other interactive events by providing strategy guidance and direction.

  • Nurture a culture of collaboration and inclusion that makes RR2CS a great place to work.

Communications, Organization, and Logistics:

  • Support the Communications Manager in producing compelling communications and identifying unique strategies that bring our projects to life and engage our audience.

  • Keep our projects running like a well-oiled machine by coordinating logistics and ensuring everything runs smoothly.

  • Dive into grant writing and sponsorship development, identifying funding opportunities and building relationships with sponsors to support our projects.

Stakeholder Engagement:

  • Foster meaningful connections with our advisory committees, including Blackfoot Elders and Knowledge Keepers.

  • Build bridges with external organizations and partners, forging relationships that benefit our projects and the communities we serve.

Resource Management:

  • Keep a close eye on the purse strings, managing budgets and resources with care and precision.

  • Rally the troops and recruit participants for our projects, tapping into our partnerships and network.

Who you are:

You’re awesome. Some might say you’re a wizard at the three C’s:  communication, coordinating, and comfortability. You make people feel welcomed and wanted. The past few years have been hard, but you’ve taken the changes in stride, and can thrive when working remotely and independently. You understand the challenges of managing a team that works independently too, so you strive to stay connected and positive. We’re not the type to hover over your shoulder, asking “Whatcha doing? Whatcha doing?”, which you’re relieved to hear.  At the same time, the rest of the RR2CS team is there to help during times of uncertainty or when clarification is needed, which you greatly appreciate. 

You see mistakes as an opportunity for growth. You know how and when to pivot, and when to ask for help. We’re all in this together, after all, and a high tide raises all boats. 

You’re a delight to speak with, thoughtful, flexible, and passionate about Mokaksin (traditional Blackfoot knowledge), agriculture, empowering rural communities and food security (or maybe it is all of the above). 

If this describes you, we’d love to hear from you!

What we need:

Full transparency: this may be the strangest Projects Director role you’ve ever come across. It also might be one of the more exciting ones you’ve seen recently, because unique initiatives like RAL and SAP require unique leadership.

Both of our current projects are participant-driven, so the participants ‘lead’ the project by determining its direction and what activities the project should undertake. The Projects Director works alongside the project managers and coordinators who invite, inform, and connect with participants. Working with these groups, the Projects Director builds out and maintains a bigger picture of the projects at all times.

The Projects Director has to stay up-to-date on key issues and have a good sense of what is happening within each project. Anticipating next steps will also be important in ensuring the projects have the resources it needs to grow and evolve.

Experience in facilitating and hosting groups is a plus; flexibility, strong listening skills, planning and project management are required and; thinking outside of the box is helpful. Afterall, Rural Routes is in the solutions business. 

Anytime someone on the team asks a ‘why’ question about the project they are working on, the Projects Director is the person who needs to be able to answer. The Projects Director has to understand the vision of each project and the strategies behind them inside and out. 

What is the Regenerative Agriculture Lab?

RAL is a social innovation lab where participants work together through a series of engagements (e.g. workshops and webinars) and collaborative initiatives to respond to a very timely question:

How might we grow Alberta’s regenerative agriculture system in a way that preserves its integrity, while maximizing the positive social, environmental and economic impacts for communities?

RAL aims to respond to this question by:

  • Hosting a forum for innovation and collaboration for a network of committed regenerative agriculture ‘actors’ in Alberta.

  • Celebrating, learning from, and widely sharing the stories of Albertans who have been putting regenerative agriculture practices into action on farms and ranches.

  • Working on collaborative initiatives that enable regenerative agriculture to accelerate its awareness and impact across Alberta and the Prairies.

  • Co-creating a shared vision of a regenerative agriculture system that the future requires of us.

  • Generating strategic initiatives—different forms of collaborative work or projects that participants can undertake together to accelerate adoption of regenerative agriculture.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic and one of the worst droughts in memory, we successfully completed Phase 1 of RAL in 2021. Phase 1 participants were mainly agricultural producers. Phase 3 is currently underway working with agricultural producers and other stakeholders like extension groups, colleges and research institutes, agricultural inputs companies, government and food and beverage companies.  

What is the Siksikaitsitapi Agriculture Project?

SAP empowers Siksikaitsitapi agricultural producers and traditional harvesters with traditional knowledge, resources and peers to engage with and implement culturally-appropriate agricultural climate solutions (i.e. they align with Blackfoot culture). The vision of SAP is the widespread adoption of these solutions within the Siksikaitsitapi helping to address the social, economic and environmental issues its members and many Indigenous Peoples face. 

SAP began its journey in 2021 and in 2024-2025, the project aims to build a collaborative platform for Siksikaitsitapi members to learn together and decide on two things:

  • which agricultural climate solutions align with Blackfoot culture, and

  • how these solutions can positively impact community health and food security.

‘Building’ this collaborative platform looks a little something like this:

  • Organizing ‘community convening moments’ (e.g. meetings, workshops, field days) for Blackfoot agricultural producers and harvesters to learn about and discuss agricultural climate solutions together and explore where they intersect with traditional knowledge, food security and community health.

  • Celebrating, widely sharing and learning from Blackfoot success stories in land stewardship by using Rural Routes’ tried and tested communications tools (e.g. podcast, Farmer’s Blog, videos) to support and supplement the conversations happening in the community convening moments.

There are likely project activities we haven’t even thought of yet for SAP and that’s the beauty of a participant-driven project. If it fits into the ‘bucket’ of agricultural climate solutions that align with Siksikaitsitapiissinni or Blackfoot culture and can address either community health or food security, we can consider it for the project. Don’t let this job posting hold you back.

Wages: $35.00-$38.00/hour (depending on level of experience). You will be working as a contractor and are  responsible for ensuring that necessary payments for income tax / CPP have been made.

Hours: 32-40 hours/week (depending on level of experience). Typical work week with Rural Routes is Monday to Thursday.

Location: Alberta. While this is a remote position, the successful candidate must reside in Alberta to participate in in-person gatherings and events.

Qualifications:

  • Experience and comfort in using online tools (e.g. Google G-Suite, Trello, WhatsApp, Slack) and working virtually, as this is a remote position
  • Strong planning and interpersonal communication skills

  • Previous project management experience

  • Knowledge of agriculture and/or rural Alberta social, economic and environmental issues

  • Understanding of climate change mitigation and adaptation including agricultural and/or nature-based climate solutions, especially regenerative agriculture  

  • Experience in developing and stewarding relationships with potential and current partners 

  • Strong team-communications skills, especially when working with project participants, RR2CS team and partners

  • An ability to understand the complexities of systems or sector change and the complexities of our strategies

Assets:

  • Previous Projects Director experience

  • Knowledge of Siksikaitsitapi (Blackfoot) culture

  • Ability to communicate clearly and confidently

  • An inclusive and supportive management style

  • Experience in fundraising, especially completing grant applications 

  • Awareness of social innovation labs and related approaches 

  • A willingness to problem solve to overcome the challenges and evolution the Lab may face

  • Related to the above, an ability to ask for help when needing clarity or support

  • Natural ability to take charge, speak up, and make sure others are heard

  • Experience or understanding relevant to one or more of the RAL strategic initiatives: supply chain distribution; data compilation; land ownership models; biodiversity and; agricultural extension services.   

  • A sense of humor. Listen to our podcast episodes The Coordinators, What We Do and 50 More to better understand our sense of humor. 

Requirements and Expectations:

  • Report to and work closely with the Executive Director

  • Participate in weekly team meetings 

  • Overnight travel. Typically, RAL has four 2-day in-person events per year and SAP will likely have 3 one-day, in-person events per year. In addition to this, Rural Routes has two 2-3 day team building meetings per year. Your mileage and accommodation will be covered by Rural Routes and if child care is a barrier to participation, we’ll work with you to try and address it. Most of our team has kids so we get it. 

  • Using online tools like WordPress, Google G-Suite, Zoom, Trello, WhatsApp and Slack

  • Keep track of and manage your own hours, invoices and expense claims

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