Jane’s Walks 2017

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Discover the city through 150 walking conversations

This year is the 9th edition of Montréal Jane’s Walk, programmed by the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre.

Spring is back, bringing with it warm weather, the greenery ... and Jane’s Walk! The Montréal Urban Ecology Centre (MUEC) invites you to rediscover the city with the unveiling of the 9th edition programming for this event organized by and for citizens. With more than 80 walks in 19 Montréal boroughs and districts, citizens will have plenty of opportunities to stretch their legs on May 5, 6 and 7! Find out where walks are happening HERE, or organize your own: https://www.150conversationsenmarche.com/en/organiser-une-promenade/creer-une-promenade/

Read the full press release here: http://citiesforpeople.ca/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/PJ2017_communiqu%C3%A9-presse_programmation_ENG.pdf

An Appeal to White People: Relearning our Concepts of Good Will, Intention, and Inclusion

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Alissa Firth-Eagland

(This is an abstract. The full essay is available by clicking here.)

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Cities need to be created and designed by people of good will. Exercising good will is hopeful. It expresses deep belief in reciprocation, co-intentionality, and a shared design of our future.

Canada has a 400-year history of assimilation and Indigenous resistance, which began with the legislated removal of the human rights of the Indigenous peoples living here and the claiming of their land by our ancestors: colonial settlers. Until Indigenous peoples in Canada can self-determine laws, education, community structure, and governance, the conscious, unconscious, and constructed racism that has subjugated Indigenous peoples will continue. People who self-identify as white can show good will towards groups subjugated by racism, economies, class structures, government policies, and systemic expulsion, but only without expectations for reciprocal gain.

This text is an appeal for self-determined co-intentionality. Co-intentionality is the willful exertion of energy by diverse parties in a shared direction undertaken with the belief that it can result in change: people with autonomy determining common needs. Self-determination is the right to live as one chooses. It is the power of a people to decide its own political status, independent from outside interference. It is not given, artificially assigned, or even offered. Indigenous self-determination is community action driven to respond to community needs and desires.[i] This right has been stolen from Indigenous peoples with deep effects on culture, spirituality, and language.

As white people, our responsibility is to radically restructure our colonial relationships to Indigenous, immigrant, and culturally diverse peoples. Our role is not to speak for others but to speak for ourselves. That can be our contribution to changing the system. The only way I know how to confront racism is to speak for myself, not for others.

I’m a settler and a curator. Settler colonialism is lodged in capitalism’s economic language of exchange. Curatorial practice is entrenched in a history of decision-making. Left unchecked, these histories assimilate collaborative, creative relationships. The word curator means ‘to care for,’ and previously this referred to caring for a collection of works by deceased artists. More recently the definition of curatorship has shifted to mean assembling temporary exhibitions in white cubes. My preferred definition of curators is that we create public dialogues about art and ideas that address the world in all its complexities.[ii]

How does the practice of a curator change when working with artists and communities who value self-determination above all else? To act as a chooser in this case can over-determine potential outcomes, but more seriously, it can verge on the assimilative. This can be a critical moment of learning for a curator because it requires more mediative and meditative skills: negotiation, relationship-building, reflection, embodiment, and presence. In cases like this, working co-intentionally can transform the individuals involved and the commissioning organization. This requires a different kind of care, and that means—in contrast to historical and even many contemporary approaches—that artistic intent supercedes curatorial intent. This co-intentional approach trusts that the intentions of both will be satisfied if the intentions of the artist are satisfied.

Co-intentionality, at its best, is destabilizing, especially to dominant parties. It’s not easily packaged with established processes like proposal-making, consultation, advising, and mentoring, which is typically how inequitable social hierarchies are structured. It requires for all parties to define what is needed for their communities, and then for one to let go. Both as an organization and as individual members of that organization, Musagetes is relearning our responsibilities and role as a cultural broker in Guelph and as an international producer of socially engaged artistic projects.

Because power structures of colonialism reproduce themselves still, our cities are in a state of deep disrepair, socially, economically, politically, and physically. Until we become curious about ourselves and our own subconscious suppressions, we remain part of the problem. For those in positions of power, like white people, we need to acknowledge our own privilege, and more seriously, our complicity. What motivates people to get involved in their cities? How do we co-intentionally define resilience with all voices? How can we not only include people and welcome them in, but co-create our intentions together? This must be done with eyes wide open, humility, and a conscious search for shared intent. We must open our hearts and minds to difficult conversation and we must be ready to change. After all of this, we might be ready to receive an invitation from Indigenous peoples to work co-intentionally towards a mutual objective, such as a more just, healthy, and resilient world. 

 

Featured image: Underground Railroad Quilt, presented to Guelph Black Heritage Society by Reta and Don Raegele of Guelph. Courtesy of the Guelph Black Heritage Society

[i] My understanding of this concept is informed by dialogue with artist Cristóbal Martinez.

[ii] Karen Love, Curatorial Toolkit: A Practical Guide for Curators, 2010. Accessed online October 24, 2104 at http://mgnsw.org.au/media/uploads/files/Curatorial_Toolkit.pdf

Global #MapJam 2014 to Put the New Economy on the Map!

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On October 13th, the Sharing Cities Network will launch the Second Annual Global #MapJam to bring activists together in cities around the world to map grassroots sharing projects, cooperatives, community resources, and the commons where they live.

Mapping all of the shared resources in your city not only shows that another world is possible--it shows it’s already here! Asset maps are powerful organizing tools. They make community assets more visible, create a base for further community development, spark new collaborations, and illuminate openings for new projects to fill in the gaps. They also get a lot of web traffic! Depending on the size of your city, your map could easily get thousands of visits in just a few months after creating it.

Scheduled to coincide with New Economy Week, the Map Jam will launch on Indigenous People’s Day and continue for two weeks from Monday, October 13th - Sunday, the 27th.

Global #MapJam Day will take place on October 16th featuring a 24hr mapping ‘round the world across multiple continents and timezones

The second annual asset mapping event will build upon the tremendous success of last years campaign when 500 mappers partied together in 60 cities and made 50 maps in just 2 weeks launching the Sharing Cities Network in the process. Groups in many cities have already begun to step up and are planning to host #MapJams in Barcelona, Frankfurt, Hartford, Louisville, Nairobi and Rochester just to name a few and many groups from last year will be coming back together… who knew that mapping could be so much fun?

The #MapJam has received a broad base of support led by the Sharing Cities Network  and partners including: New Economy Coalition,US Solidarity Economy Network,Transition US,Center for a New American Dream,OuiShare,P2P Foundation,Post Carbon Institute,The People Who Share,Students Organizing for Democratic Alternatives,Solidarity NYC,Data Commons,  RIPESS (International Network for the Promotion of Social Solidarity Economy) and many other community and Sharing Cities groups.

Interested in organizing a #MapJam in your community? Or attending one? Please sign up here to get involved.

#MapJam’s are easy to organize and a small, dedicated group of people can get together for a few hours to map as many shared resources, cooperatives and sharing services in their city or town as possible. Like a musical jam, it should be fun, social, and jammers should find a groove as they work. Join the Sharing Cities Network facebook group to get the latest updates and meet other ‘map jammers’.

Join us to Put the New Economy on the Map!

Sign up now to host a #MapJam and you will be provided with a comprehensive Guide to Mapping, Webinar, Q&A/Support Calls and Promotional Materials to support the success of your local event.

New Economy Week 2014

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What would it take to build the economy we need, one that works for people, place, and planet?

New Economy Week is a public exploration of creative resistance – an opportunity to shine a light on the thousands upon thousands of efforts that everyday people are making right now to build a new kind of economy. 

From October 13-19, the New Economy Coalition (NEC) will be hosting live keynote panels, publishing powerful essays, and spotlighting member events (open-houses, info-sessions, film screenings, panel discussions, pot-lucks, etc.) from across the US and Canada — with the goal of raising the profile of those doing this work and diving into some of the questions that stand between us and a New Economy.

NEC has partnered with YES! Magazine online to share some of the best responses to their 'questions of the day':

1. How can we honor and learn from the rich histories of communities building New Economy institutions on the frontlines of fights for racial, economic, and environmental justice?

2. How can we catalyze public conversation about the need for systemic change and the viability of economic alternatives that put people and the planet first?

3. How can we connect and learn from successful experiments, pilot projects, and campaigns to build broad-based power and effect deep transformation at scale?

4. How do we transition to a renewable economy without leaving the workers, young people, and communities most impacted by extractive industries behind?

5. How can we support neighborhoods, cities, towns, and regions as the fertile ground for the kind of economy we need?

Get Involved!

We invite you to join these conversations online and to host some conversations of your own in your community.

Two Months, Twenty Cities, One Movement – The Blue Dot Tour

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The David Suzuki Foundation has announced the Blue Dot Tour - a cross-country celebration featuring David Suzuki and a star-studded line up of Canadian performers, artists and leaders.

They are doing this to  promote a simple idea: That all Canadians should have the legally recognized right to drink clean water, breathe fresh air and eat healthy food.

From September 24 to November 9, 2014, David Suzuki and the Blue Dot Tour will take this message on the road. With stops in 20 communities from St. Johns, Newfoundland to Vancouver, B.C., this is a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed.

As David makes his way across the country, he'll be joined by other Canadian icons who believe that by coming together to take action locally, we can guarantee all Canadians the right to a healthy environment no matter who they are, or where they live.

David says this is the most important thing he’s ever done.  Around the world, more than 110 nations already recognize their citizen's right to live in a healthy environment. Canada is not one of them. But by standing together, The David Suzuki Foundation believes we change that.

Visit www.bluedot.ca for dates, line-ups, and tickets.

For more information, contact the David Suzuki Foundation at 1-800-453-1533

 

Photo credit: Bluedot.ca

July 17th is #iCollday!

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OuiShare is proud to be organizing their second International Collaboration Day this month, with over 45 co-working spaces hosting open co-working days and talks about connecting and collaborating. Join the community at events in London, Barcelona, Paris, Cordoba, Sevilla, Valencia, Donostia, Nice, Frankfurt and many more!

iCollDay is a set of globally-connected events – facilitated by co-working spaces – to build collaborative relationships across all sectors and disciplines.

The inaugural iCollDay took place on 16th January 2014 and saw 45 co-working communities in 30 cities from New Zealand to San Fran participate.

>> Add your event here
>> See all events

 

OuiShare is a think and do-tank with the mission to empower citizens, public institutions and companies to create a collaborative economy: an economy based on sharing, collaboration and openness, relying on horizontal networks and communities. Learn more about OuiShare here

 

 Photo Credit: What's Up?

Sparks of the New Economy at 100-in-1 Day

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On Saturday June 7th, citizens in Vancouver, Toronto, Halifax and Montreal created acts of urban change as part of 100-in-1 Day, a movement uniting people across the nation to make cities better. Each Canadian city hosting the event was fortunate to witness an outpouring of engagement. Two numbers tell the story: A total of 460 interventions took place across Canada - many more than the stated target of 100. Halifax had five times as many actions (on a per capita basis) as any of the other cities. Go Halifax!

We’ve taken a closer look at some of the interventions that have new economies at their heart. New economies are about taking a holistic perspective on the nature and origins of wealth, and evaluating the ways in which economies can work for people and the planet through shared, just, and lasting prosperity. This includes fair trade, the sharing economy, collaborative consumption, alternative measures of progress and wellbeing, social enterprise, and social finance.

OVER 460 URBAN INTERVENTIONS ACROSS CANADA IN 1 DAY!

Toronto featured 174 interventions, including one on the reclamation of public space. In the People's Queen Street, people occupied parking spaces on a major street, and filled the spaces with grass, hammocks, back yard patio furniture and games. Similarly, public spaces came alive with people participating in public poetry (Halifax), hosting a piano picnic (Vancouver) and hosting a potluck in a park

In Halifax, 52 interventions took place. In one, people shared ideas for a new tool library...

“Setting up on the street and selling hot dogs was a great opportunity to raise awareness about the Tool Library in the community where it will be located. We received useful input on our lending policies and some neighbours took the opportunity to donate tools. Like many of our engagements, the most fulfilling aspect was watching people come to grips with the concept of a Tool Library for the first time. We hope it will spark other ideas for the resources we can share.” Halifax Tool Library

Montreal was also buzzing with energy as over 87 interventions took place in the urban fabric - even families got into the action, planting a garden that would encourage eating their leafy greens...and plenty of muddy playtime. One of the 83 interventions in Vancouver was the Match Maker booth hosted by Kits Space Projects at Vancouver's Maker Faire. It provided an opportunity for makers to connect with the Strathcona Resource Exchange where business waste is repurposed for creative projects and new economies...and people see what’s possible when waste is recognized as a resource.

Citizen actions explored the links between the economy and ecology in Toronto: people came together to discuss what engineering means to them; they walked through a ravine while pondering the effective integration of nature and people.

Interventions encouraged local and indigenous food consumption, including by designing a First Nations Indigenous Garden, by holding a permaculture blitz, growing an organic food forest (Vancouver), by distributing seed bombs, and by learning about urban beekeeping (Halifax).

And across the border in Boston, Canadian Justin Ritchie (nonprofit The Extraenvironmentalist) recorded a livestream of the New Economy Coalition conference, CommonBound. He interviewed Mike Lewis of the Canadian Centre for Community Renewal. Other speakers from Canada include Béatrice Alice of Chantier de l’économie sociale and Mike Toye of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network (CCEDnet). Web: http://commonbound.org/register

WHAT DOES REAL WEALTH MEAN TO YOU?

The One Earth team took to the streets of Vancouver to discuss new economies, talking with people to figure out what “real wealth” means to citizens. Our question, “What does real wealth mean to you?” generated interesting responses like, “people reclaiming their power”, “access to sports”, “being in love”, “accomplishing your goals”, and “kindness”. An 88 year old pensioner we spoke with said that real wealth “is loving what you do”, while a 5 year old girl confidently stated with that “snails” make her feel wealthy.

These genuine responses to understanding wealth brought to light an important aspect to consider while re-evaluating our current economic system. They reveal that wealth is a state of being, and not necessarily a state of ownership. This is what the new economy is striving to highlight through these generative discussions on the roots of value, money, and exchange.

Economics has traditionally been about understanding the allocation of scarce resources - but what we saw on June 7th was an abundance of happiness, enthusiasm and connection, not scarcity. The intangible qualities of what real wealth can mean - creativity, innovation, equality, participation, capacity, and ability - all expand the more they are used. These are important to keep in mind when thinking about what we want our present and future to look like, and how economies should be understood and measured.

Our commons don’t need to become a tragedy - they can, instead, be bountiful and rewarding shared assets. 100 in 1 Day showed that through people coming together to act, express, engage, connect and design what they want to see in the world, we join together on the path to manifesting that reality.

JOIN US CITIES FOR PEOPLE IN FOSTERING NEW ECONOMIES...

Cities for People will continue to explore the different ways in which we all engage with new economies. Sign up on our mailing list to receive updates and invitations to future events, access to insightful discussions, and prizes.

Click the following links to get involved in the upcoming events:

- Sharefest TO, July 16, Toronto

- New Economy Week, 12-18 October

- Cities for People Toronto Leadership Summit, 12 November, Toronto

You can also sign up to watch the recorded livestream from the new economy conference by CommonBound June 4-6th, Boston.

Photo credit: Lucy Gao

100 Ways to Make Ideas Seem Possible

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CityScapes: The Natural & Built Environment

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With more than 80 percent of Canadians living in cities, the need for resilient and livable cities has never been greater. Our economic, social and environmental success depends on the quality of life provided by cities.

And yet, our cities face unprecedented challenges- from aging infrastructure and increased traffic congestion to inefficient energy systems to urban sprawl. Our cities need to work better.

Innovation is a key driver of our prosperity, but our urban centres seem to struggle to find ways of encouraging and adopting innovation. Nowhere is this more evident than in our built and natural environments- our parks, public transit, energy and housing.

Smart planning, innovation, experimentation and investment will be a determining factor in the resiliency of our urban centres. We cannot build the next 100 years of infrastructure using the concepts and methods of the past 100 years.

CityScapes will be a platform for driving innovation that tackles our critical infrastructure issues and advances our economic, social and environmental prosperity. It will bring together the public, innovators and decision makers to accelerate the shift to more livable and resilient infrastructure in cities across Canada and beyond.

Transformative change can happen when Canadians are engaged with new ideas, in ways that are relevant to them.