The primary purpose of the Consortium is to convene an annual symposium to facilitate an informed, inclusive, international dialogue among key decision-makers and other interested people and organizations.
The annual symposia are unofficial and separate from the formal Columbia River Treaty reviews in each country. However, the symposia play a valuable role by creating a safe place to exchange information and foster mutual learning, develop cross-boundary relationships, explore complex Treaty and international river governance issues, and help shape the future of the Columbia River Basin.
The annual symposium is governed by the Chatham House Rule -- "When a meeting, or part thereof, is held under the Chatham House Rule, participants are free to use the information received, but neither the identity nor the affiliation of the speaker(s), nor that of any other participant, may be revealed." In other words, every person is participating on their own behalf and does not represent any organization or institution in any official capacity. The goal of the Symposium is to facilitate informed dialogue and deliberation, not to stake out positions or to negotiate solutions per se.