Date of Award
The purpose of this project was to co-create better conditions for and with those regulated by a small drinking water system program run by the State of Vermont. This endeavor was carried out through survey collection, ongoing conversations and relationship building with nine operators, and culminated with a potluck roundtable discussion with those involved in the project. In order to create positive change within the system I am a part of, I also focused on shifting my internal conditions through critical inquiry into my own privilege and positionality as a government regulator.
Outcomes of the project included an improved understanding for me of the diverse perspectives of water system operators, as well as a report to the TNC Program Coordinator outlining the findings of our work which detailed substantial changes that the TNC Program should make to increase equity, transparency and communication in the program. An unexpected result was the flexibility I was able to find in what I had viewed as a rigid, bureaucratic program. It is recommended that co-creating materials and co-visioning better futures with regulated communities can orient us to thriving for the long haul. This can be accomplished by creating opportunities for modes of governance that challenge systems of oppression imprinted within ourselves and in our current government structures.
Matthew Kolan Ph.D
Your non-Rubenstein School Graduate Faculty Committee Member
Dr. Heather Laine Talley
Phillips, Bridget C., "MASTERS PROJECT: RELATIONAL REGULATION: CO-CREATING A MORE EFFECTIVE AND ACCESSIBLE GOVERNMENT PROGRAM WITH SMALL WATER SYSTEM OPERATORS IN VERMONT" (2019). Rubenstein School Leadership for Sustainability Project Publications. 18.