Exec-Team: From Autumn to Winter
Well – it’s definitely the fall and what that means for O.U.R. Exec team is that we have moved into the lean time of the year when we tighten our belts and (with very few exceptions) move into volunteer mode for the winter. We also have to juggle the seasonal shift as those who have been contributing on a more short term basis move on and we figure out how to maintain the activities.
What is new this fall is that we have two new spaces in which to host the community. The Taj 2 Community Classroom that has been enjoyed by so many groups since the roof went on that it has been a challenge to find the time to complete it in between the events. The many community events in this space really underlines the logic behind our investment in creating the infrastructure for the sustainable enterprises that will allow us to host people year round in a financially sustainable manner.
The other big development, the Community Commons, has been growing before our eyes and we are looking forward to the first meals to come out of this unique educational kitchen and dining facility sometime in the new year… we are looking for donations of commercial kitchen equipment..!
It is thanks to the multiple community contributions, donations from many professionals, and support from environmentally aware corporations like Roxul ( insulation for the roof of Taj 2), and VicWest (the metal roofing for Taj 2) and as well as the increased revenue from events that we have been able to do as much as we have.
It is also an indication of how important this infrastructure is to O.U.R. ongoing survival that we need all the help we can get to create an organization that reflects the values of this community and is financially viable (see our recent blog posts: the Coop Corner update and the open letter from Brandy Gallagher for more).
In line with our four strategic initiatives (operational sustainability, develop site infrastructure, strengthen education and outreach and enhance community health and well-being), this year has been really defined by our work with the pilot governance model we are integrating – find out more in Rick Juliusson’s recent blog post.
While not without challenges, the process really demonstrates how a balanced mix of participation and structure can support the crucial experience of ownership in all involved that makes the sort of culture shift we are involved in possible. (Two inspiring books on this theme are “We the People” and “Power and Love”).
So, we move into the winter with trust that the short-term challenges can be worked out to allow us to continue the work of providing a life-changing destination for so many people.
With thanks, Patrick, Nicole and Brandy.