In order to support the work of the Hakai Institute, we needed to create facilities at our research sites: dormitories, dining halls, meeting rooms.
These facilities were not used 100% of the time for our own work. From time to time partner organizations and affiliates asked to use our facilities for meetings and workshops. We agreed, thinking initially that we were simply doing favors for friends. But we found that many of these meetings also provided significant benefits to us, so we decided to be more proactive, to develop the concept as an asset.
We established the Quadra Centre for Coastal Dialogue (the “Quadra Centre” for short), as a venue for small meetings that generate ideas that touch upon our existing core interests, but extend them to broaden our scope. As the name suggests, the main hub of the Quadra Centre is the Hakai Institute’s Quadra Island Ecological Observatory. From time to time we also expect to convene Quadra Centre meetings on Calvert Island and in Victoria where appropriate.
We model the Quadra Centre loosely on the Banbury Center, which is affiliated with the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory on Long Island, NY. The Banbury Center calls itself a “scientific think tank” and perhaps that is the best first way to refer to the Quadra Centre. (The Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory is itself one of the inspirations for the Hakai Institute.)
Science in some form will no doubt be a key part of every meeting held at the Quadra Centre, particularly in the first few years.