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Making a Splash Through Opinion Leadership Krista
Making a Splash Through Opinion Leadership
Opinion leaders influence others. They have more knowledge and they get more press. They're also known as thought leaders. Read on to see how thought leaders at the River Valley Alliance and Visual Arts Alberta - CARFAC are teaming up to influence others.

"Opinion leadership is a balance between having new ideas and the ability to reach others," writes Charles Kadushin. "Opinion leaders are more precisely opinion brokers who carry information across social boundaries and between groups." 

So how does this work? Here's an example. A lawyer named Brian W. L. Tod is enjoying the morning newspaper and reads notices that the North Saskatchewan River is ranked as one of Edmonton's top five assets. He thinks to himself, "Imagine the entire river valley linked and accessible to all as one of the largest metropolitan river valley parks in the world." He shares his idea with friends and colleagues, the idea begins to grow and soon the

River Valley Alliance is born. 

Building 88 km of trail and seven municipalities is no small task, but a group of volunteers take it on. Soon the board attracts volunteers from all seven municipalities: Devon, Parkland County, Leduc County, Edmonton, Strathcona County, Sturgeon County and Fort Saskatchewan. The board includes Provincial representatives, mayors, aldermen, councillors, business people and citizens; more thought leaders who spread the RVA's vision of creating one of the largest metropolitan river valley park systems in the world for year round accessibility and enjoyment.  

The neat thing about the RVA is that the group keeps attracting diverse opinion leaders who carry the RVA's idea to new groups. Last year, their successful "Winter in the Valley" photo contest received a wide range of submissions. This year, the RVA has partnered with Visual Arts Alberta - CARFAC to launch a "Marking the Valley" contest to showcase the river valley through artwork. The partners will also host an en plein air workshop on May 4 with Alberta artist Robert Sinclair to promote the river valley, and so the vision of creating a continuous park for everyone's enjoyment will spread to a new group: artists. And who knows where the next thought leader will take it from there. 

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Showing 2 Comments
Avatar  Kelly O 4 years ago

Hi Krista, not an important comment .. but just wanted to say I really like the colors in this graphic

Avatar  Tanya 4 years ago

Great post, Krista! I love your example of the opinion leadership in real life! :)