#ChooseToChallenge is the first-ever Zoom meeting of Cochrane Ideas.

The meeting is being held on Friday, Apr. 9 at 7 p.m. via Zoom. You can find the link here.

Its theme centres upon the 2021 International Women's Day theme and features presentations by six accomplished women from the Cochrane area.

Leslie Davies, of Cochrane Ideas, says the theme is "A Challenged World is an Alert World." Because it's their first Zoom gathering, she finds it particularly suitable. 

"We said we have to take up the challenge of a Zoom gathering because it's time, we can't keep waiting any longer," says Davies, "and so we took up that challenge, and we've chosen six women from Cochrane and area to answer the question, "How have you challenged the world?"

Their presentations will be followed by a question and answer session.

"That's always interesting because we have many, many interesting people coming to join us at Ideas, so you never know where the conversation is going to go."

The speakers include an expert in learning and organizational development, a consulting engineer and outdoors person, a teacher and humanist, a community organizer, a retired operating room nurse, traveller and musician, and an editor and writer on reconciliation.

Judie Bopp is co-founder of Four Worlds International and a Director of the Four Worlds Centre for Development Learning. She is the current Chair of the Rotary District Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee. Judie has a Ph.D. in education and a master’s degree in curriculum development.

Lynda Cook got her first engineering job with Urban Systems in Kamloops. In 1991, she transferred to their Calgary office, where she has been a partner for 27 years and was a director for 15 years. She continues to work with Urban Systems as a senior municipal engineer.

May Cummings was born in Iran but grew up in Sweden. Before moving to Calgary to retire 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, she co-wrote the Saskatoon curriculum for the grade 12 local courses of World Religions and Global citizenship. She is currently active within the Calgary Interfaith Council.

Nadine Eichinger and her family moved to Cochrane in 2001. She became involved with the Seniors for Kids Society, a non-profit intergenerational mentorship program, and plays the dual role of school facilitator and fundraising coordinator. 

Heather Kerr is a retired operating room nurse who 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 her passion, and she has toured and trekked on all seven continents.

Pat Verge 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.

It has been about a year since Cochrane Ideas has been able to meet. An attempt was made to hold one live meeting during the pandemic but had to be cancelled.

Cochrane Ideas was founded in 2000 to promote the exchange of knowledgeable and rigorous positions on a wide range of subjects. Guest speakers and discussions over the years have focused on economic, social, environmental, political, historical, biographical, creative, artistic, personal, gender-based, religious, and spiritual topics.

Before the pandemic, the group held eight monthly meetings through the course of a year.