Funtopia: Building Leadership to Create Change Conference
This week I have the pleasure of introducing to you one of O.U.R. interns, Leah Boisvert (who owns Amusé Bistro with her husband, Brad) our Social Finance Coordinator. Last week she attended the Building Leadership to Create Change Conference in Vancouver and felt compelled to impart some of her experience to us! So, without further ado…. Leah:
Welcome to FUNTOPIA! I was lucky enough last week to have the opportunity to attend the Building Leadership to Create Change Conference in Vancouver hosted by Community Economic Development. The conference was a fabulous mix of topics, amazing speakers and innovative community leaders and thinkers. There were loads of workshops, Open Space forums and symposiums to chose from. One of the workshops I chose to attend was on Transition Towns. In this workshop we were asked to create our vision of our ideal village … and thus Funtopia was born.
Funtopia, just like the name indicates, is a village based on fun, because who doesn’t like fun! In my vision, the people in funtopia live rich, full lives that are aligned with the Transition Town movement. Community efforts focus inward on creating a thriving local economy, eco-system and intentional community. Community members consume primarily locally produced food that is full in flavour and rich in nutrients from the well maintained local soil. Younger members of the community spend time at the ‘Grandma`s University’ where the elder members of the community can teach and pass down knowledge and culture to the younger generations. Community dinners allow community members to take a break from cooking while allowing other members to share their favourite dishes.
Funtopia sustains a healthy living economy, where members of the community are highly productive because they work in the areas that they are the most passionate about. A large portion of the community is entrepreneurs who take advantage of numerous community investments and mirco lending financing that are available. And there are lots of these funds to go around because all members of the community invest their dollars (funtopia community dollars that is) locally, where the repayment rate is 99% because of the personal relationships built. Community members are also quick to lend support and coaching to new entrepreneurs and, of course, support the local business through their patronage. All of which create this a well rounded and sustainable community and economy.
This work shop was just one of many presented at the conference, and I know that this ecovillager left with a lot to think about. As I continue to contemplate the ideas and quality of life that were discussed for Funtopia and that I value in the way I live my life, I am reminded of another village I know …