Cochrane Ideas – December 2021


featuring distinguished economist

Friday, December 10th @ 7:00 pm

Zoom link:
(“doors open” at 6:30 pm)
Meeting ID:    895 1576 9797
Passcode:    086233

Trevor Tombe is a Professor of Economics at the University of Calgary and a Research Fellow at The School of Public Policy. His research, which focuses on economic and fiscal integration, internal trade, and fiscal federalism, has been published in top economics journals, including the American Economic Review, Journal of Monetary Economics, and the Canadian Journal of Economics. He also serves as Graduate Program Director in the Department of Economics, is on the editorial board of the Canadian Journal of Economics and is Co-Director of Finances of the Nation. In addition to his academic research and professional service, he is deeply committed to promoting the public understanding of economics through policy publications and active media engagement.

 Current world events make this presentation particularly relevant
to all Albertans.

Please do join us … and bring your questions! 


Cochrane Ideas – November 2021

Martin Parnell

Friday, November 12th @ 7:00 pm
via Zoom (“doors open” at 6:30 pm)

Zoom link:
Meeting ID:     852 4107 8737
Passcode:      810072
International keynote speaker, author & local Cochranite, Martin Parnell …

Through his Quests for Kids initiative, Martin Parnell has run 250 marathons in one year, set 5 Guinness World Records, summited Mount Kilimanjaro in 21 hours, raised over $1.3m for the humanitarian organization Right To Play, and given the gift of hope to some 27,000 children. Martin has also published 3 books, including The Secret Marathon: Empowering Women and Girls in Afghanistan through Sport, and is the executive producer of The Secret Marathon documentary. Through books, films, articles, keynotes & workshops, Martin shares his message of having a “Finish the Race Attitude.” Martin is a member of the Rotary Club of Cochrane, is married to Sue, and has 3 children & 3 grandchildren.

While recovering from a rare & life-threatening blood clot on his brain, Martin read about Zainab, the first woman to run a marathon in Afghanistan. He was so inspired by her story that he decided that if he was able to recover from his illness, he would run with her at the next “Marathon of Afghanistan” in support of rights for girls and women. Martin Parnell’s presentation takes the audience on an inspirational journey into a country known for political chaos & female oppression. Audience members will be transported to a country of beauty, hardship & complexity, sharing in the despair, resilience & friendliness of the Afghan people as they continue to strive for freedom & equality for themselves & their fellow citizens.

As you can well imagine, recent events in Afghanistan lend an added dimension of urgency & importance to Martin’s message.

We do hope you will join us for this topical presentation and what promises to be an engaging follow-up discussion!

Cochrane Ideas – October 2021


Friday, October 15, 2021 at 7 p.m.
via Zoom (“doors open” at 6:30 p.m.)

Zoom link:
Meeting ID844 0657 0666
Passcode: 740060

Mark your calendars, everyone — You do not want to miss this!

For the October gathering of Cochrane Ideas Group, we are thrilled to present Terry Poucette, PhD, from the Stoney-Nakoda First Nations of Treaty 7. Terry has a BA in First Nations studies and both a master’s degree and a doctorate in public administration. She is a Team Lead in Indigenous Relations with the City of Calgary, as well as an adjunct professor at both the University of Victoria and Carleton University.

Terry’s doctoral dissertation was on effective First Nations governance. She is passionate about the need for First Nations to transition out of the Indian Act and implement their inherent right to self-governance.

Please DO join us for this highly topical presentation.
We are confident you can look forward to an engaging follow-up discussion!

Hope to see you on Zoom!

Cochrane Ideas – September 2021


Friday, September 10, 2021 at 7 p.m.
via Zoom
“Doors open” at 6:30 p.m.

Cochrane Ideas Group will gather virtually once again in September.
We hope that you will join us!

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID:   839 9141 8725                             Passcode:   895019

Well, folks … we had hoped that this next gathering of the Cochrane Ideas Group would be an in-person meeting and we had, in fact, rebooked our speaker, Mansoor Ladha, for a presentation. Unfortunately, given that Alberta is diving head-first into a fourth wave of Covid-19 and the number of active cases is rising daily, it was deemed unwise to move back to an in-person meeting just yet. Fingers crossed for a live gathering in October!


At this juncture of a full 18 months into the Covid-19 pandemic, we thought it might indeed be an opportune moment to have an IDEAS round-table discussion on where we have been, where we are at now, and where we think we are headed!

There are myriad aspects of the pandemic that provide food for thought and discussion:

* Coping with the ups and downs of Covid shutdowns and re-openings (personal & small business)
* Covid-19 variants: Reimpose restrictions? Or “open for business”?
* Long-term effectiveness of the vaccines
* Booster shots
* Vaccine cards or ‘passports’ for international/domestic travel
* Back to school & how that looks
* Mandatory vaccines in the workplace
* Restrictions worth keeping in place post-pandemic

At our Ideas round-table discussions, we do not have a designated speaker or presentation; rather, all participants are encouraged to arrive ready to share their thoughts and opinions on the topic at hand. As always, we invite a respectful exchange of ideas and an in-depth discussion of our experiences and thoughts. See you there!

 We continue to look forward to the day
when we can gather in person once again!

Cochrane Ideas – June 2021


Friday, June 11th, 2021 at 7 p.m.via Zoom, “Doors open” at 6:30 p.m.

Cochrane Ideas Group will gather this June for yet another Zoom meeting. We continue to look forward to the day when we can gather in person once again.
Zoom link: expired

At the last gathering of the Cochrane Ideas Group before the summer break, we welcome you to join us at a “Death Café”.  This event will be hosted and facilitated by Heinz Unger but it is expected that everybody participates.  We will sit around in a virtual circle – yes, a “live” Death Café would be preferable – eat cake and drink tea or coffee (or something more stimulating), and we will talk about death.  Such a gathering is intended to increase our awareness of death which is useful at any age, and it is hoped to help us to make the most of our lives.  There is no agenda, no objectives and no specific themes but it should rather be an open and confidential discussion, talking in a respectful manner (very much a Cochrane Ideas principle) about the unique experience of death, and there’s no intent to lead participants to any conclusions, products or any course of action.

Death Cafés are a social franchise and are supported entirely by volunteer efforts.  More than 12,000 Death Cafés have been held all over the world over the past ten years.  The Death Café website    provides much more information.

Please note that a Death Café is not meant to be bereavement support or grief counselling.

Cochrane Ideas – May 2021


Friday, May 14, 2021 at 7 p.m.
via ZOOM
“Doors open” at 6:30 p.m.

Cochrane Ideas Group will gather this May for our second ever Zoom gathering:
Zoom link: expired

At our next gathering of the Cochrane Ideas Group, popular “CBC Starman” Don Hladiuk will take us on a journey to Mars! In addition to being Calgary’s eye on astronomy and space science news, Don has a passion for encouraging students to consider a career in the space sciences, careers such as engineering, planetary geology, exo-biology, physics, computer programming, PR, space chemistry, construction and so much more!


There is a child in school today who will become the first astronaut to land and walk on the Red Planet. To inspire and prepare this “Mars Generation” for the challenges of space exploration, Don has been running a Mars landing activity.

In his presentation, Don will share some of the latest exciting news and discoveries from robotic explorers currently on the Red Planet. After the Mars exploration update, Don will describe the Mars simulation activity he has developed and discuss how it all started and evolved into the popular Mars Day experience. If time permits, he will also mention a few upcoming events to watch for in our Night Sky in the months ahead.

Don’s presentation will be followed by a Q & A session with Ideas participants.


Don Hladiuk has been interested in astronomy and spaceflight for as long as he can remember. He has twice been President of the Calgary chapter of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada (RASC). Since 1984, Don can be heard on the CBC morning show, the Calgary EyeOpener, where he shares his passion for space exploration.

Before the Covid-19 pandemic, Don was one of the enrichment lecturers for Road Scholar’s “Astronomy Above the Arctic Circle” program. He has also been a leader on several solar eclipse tours all over the globe and has seen 15 Total Solar Eclipses, three annular eclipses and two rare Venus Transits. Don is an active volunteer with several organizations and even has asteroid 73704 named after him for his many years of community service!

In November 2020 Don was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Cochrane Ideas

Our first ever Zoom gathering
9th April

Six women panelists, Ideas April 9th: top left:                                                                                 Heather Kerr, Pat Verge, Nadine Eichinger, Lynda Cooke, May Cummings, Judy Bopp.

Our first-ever Zoom gathering of Cochrane Ideas on April 9th was, by all accounts, a resounding success! The six women panelists responded in a variety of interesting ways to the question of how they have challenged the world: some shared their own personal journeys or what they have learned from other women who have changed the world; others talked about how the world has challenged them or how they have challenged themselves. A common theme that emerged was the idea of connectivity and oneness, the thread that unites us and makes the world a better place for all. Various audience members commented on the great selection of speakers and how inspirational they were. Thank you to all those who participated in our April gathering of Cochrane Ideas!

Cochrane Ideas – April 2021


Friday, April 9, 2021 at 7 p.m. via Zoom opening at 6:30 p.m.

Like everyone, we look forward to the day when we can gather in person once again. Meanwhile, we have chosen to gather virtually and hope that you will join us at our first ever ZOOM gathering of the Cochrane Ideas Group: 
Zoom link: expired

Six accomplished women from Cochrane and area speak to this year’s International Women’s Day theme of #ChooseToChallenge. With a variety of backgrounds and rich life experiences, each of the women will respond to the question: How have you challenged the world?


JUDIE BOPP   Co-founder of Four Worlds International, and a Director of the Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning, Judie is a specialist in curriculum design and development and organizational transformation. She is well known for her expertise in culturally based and experiential learning and has designed and written numerous learning programs for schools, colleges, and adult training programs. Judie has a wealth of international and North American experience providing training, technical support and evaluation services related to program development and organizational change. She is also the current Chair of the Rotary District Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Judie has a PhD in education and a master’s degree in curriculum development.

LYNDA COOKE   Lynda is originally from West Vancouver and obtained her Bachelor of Engineering (Bioresource) from the University of British Columbia. Lynda got her first engineering job with Urban Systems Ltd. in Kamloops. She transferred to the company’s Calgary office in 1991, where she has been a Partner for 27 years and was a Director for 15 years. Lynda continues to work with Urban Systems as a Senior Municipal Engineer, having enjoyed serving myriad small to mid sized communities, including Cochrane, for almost 25 years. Lynda’s love of athletics saw her ski racing throughout her teenage and university years, and she continues to play hockey. Her love of the outdoors and of an active lifestyle gets Lynda out horseback riding, fishing, camping and playing golf.

MAY CUMMINGS   May was born in Iran but grew up in Sweden. She later married a Canadian and moved to Canada. Before moving to Calgary after her retirement from teaching, she lived in the Inuit village of Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, the First Nations community of Bella Bella, BC, and Saskatoon, SK. As a high school teacher in Saskatoon, May co-wrote the Saskatoon curriculum for the grade 12 local courses of World Religions and Global citizenship. She served as the President of Immigrant Women of Saskatoon and of the Saskatoon chapter of the United Nations Association in Canada. She is now active within the Calgary Interfaith Council. May’s exposure to different cultures and languages reinforces her understanding of the importance of finding ways to apply the principles of the oneness of humanity in an authentic way. May has a Master of Law from the University of Uppsala, Sweden, and a Bachelor of Education from the University of Saskatchewan.

NADINE EICHINGER   Nadine grew up in “very small-town Saskatchewan,” with just five students in her high school graduating class! She trained as a physical therapy assistant and worked for the Brooks Health District for several years in hospital and homecare. She and her family moved to Cochrane in 2001. After staying home to raise her three children, Nadine became involved with the Seniors for Kids Society, a non-profit intergenerational mentorship program. In her dual roles as School Facilitator and Fundraising Coordinator, Nadine coordinates the volunteer seniors, does grant writing and is responsible for the bi-monthly newsletter. Working for the Seniors for Kids Society has broadened Nadine’s sense of community and taught her the importance of story-sharing. She and her husband feel blessed to be able to raise their children in Cochrane. Her favorite things about the area are the people and the surrounding beauty, a beauty that brings a bit of peace to her world every day. Nadine likes to camp, boat, fish and ride her paddle board.

HEATHER KERR   A retired operating room nurse, Heather took advantage of her career to travel and work in four different countries: Canada (four western provinces), Australia, Papua New Guinea and Norway. Travel is a passion for Heather, and she has toured and trekked on all seven continents. Heather also loves music and plays alto sax in a Cochrane band. Her other interests include hiking, skiing, writing and reading. Heather is married to a great traveling partner and is looking forward to their next trip.

PAT VERGE   Pat is a writer and editor who has lived in Cochrane with her husband for over 30 years. Her life has been greatly enriched by relationships with the Stoney Nakoda people over many years. Her latest book, “Equals and Partners: A Spiritual Journey Toward Reconciliation and Oneness, Wazin Îchinabi,” chronicles the story of these friendships. Pat is of Irish and Croatian ancestry, a mother of two and grandmother of four.

Cochrane Ideas – March 2021

Save the date
7 p.m., Friday, April 9th, 2021

Great news – Ideas is back! Although we held out against the Zoom steamroller as long as we could, after a Covid hiatus of more than a year now, the Ideas Group Board has finally relented and decided that we can wait no longer. As such, we will soon be hosting our first ever Zoom gathering of the Cochrane Ideas Group!

Save the Date: Friday, April 9th, 7:00 pm

This website will be updated with topic and speakers in the next week or so. The Zoom link to join the gathering will be sent out closer to the date of April 9th. If you would like to participate in the Zoom gathering and are not yet a subscriber on our email list, please go to our website at the link below and email us through “Contact Us.”

We are so excited to be hosting the first Ideas gathering of 2021 and hope that you will be able to join us on April 9th for some stimulating conversation. Make sure we’re on your calendar and stay tuned for more details to come!

Your Cochrane Ideas Group Board

Cochrane Ideas – March 2020

It is with great regret that we had to cancel our March & April Ideas evenings.

A man who used to attend Cochrane Ideas emigrated to Edmonton some years ago.  He formed an Ideas groups there and contacted us, hoping to drive down here with 10 or so Edmonton people.  We were delighted.   They wanted to get to know us, and we were keen to get to know them.  What topics do they deal with?  How do they conduct their meetings? After months of negotiating we were ready to see them here on 21 March.

But we’re sorry to let you know that our joint discussion with Edmonton guests could not go ahead due to concerns about current Coronavirus outbreak.  We are following recommended protocol adopted by many other groups in Alberta to restrict larger public gatherings.

We hope that the next Cochrane Ideas evening will be in May, but we will continue to keep you informed.

Be well, Ideas subscribers!