Vancity’s plans to accelerate impact.

I wrote a blog post for the CU Water Cooler today about the public release of Vancity’s internal Three Year Plan.

Vancity

Why publish our internal plans? It’s all about transparency and getting the word out about what we’re doing, in the hopes that publishing our plans will be useful to our sister credit unions and co-operatives, as well as values-based banks and organizations focused on marrying their economic performance with environmental and/or social performance.

Check it out, and please comment on the article if you have something to add.

The CU Water Cooler Symposium agenda is out.

CU Water Cooler Symposium

The 2014 Credit Union Water Cooler Symposium

Anyone who follows my blog is very, very likely to know how much I love the Credit Union Water Cooler Symposium. It is a somewhat inexplicable combo-conference focusing on the Credit Union-ness of topics such as Marketing, HR, technology, design, and other opportunities and challenges we all face. I love it because it defies convention, and is loaded with brilliant people and an endlessly surprising agenda. I love it because, like my work, it isn’t pigeon-holed into any one focus.

It’s one of those things where the sum is far greater than the parts.

The 2014 Symposium agenda came out this weekend, and I’m so honoured to be a speaker again this year. My talk is called Sawdust, Empty Bottles and Moustaches: A Retelling of the Co-operative Story and I’m working on it now, telling the genesis story of the co-operative movement and linking it to today’s surge of the collaborative economy, and drawing on my very early experience on the Board of Modo. We’ll see how it all comes together, but I’m having a great time putting it together and thinking through the narrative.

So, think seriously about joining us in Austin, Texas this September 11th and 12th for what will promise to be an amazing time. The Super Earlybird discount ends on March 31st, and you can get in for only $329 (and if you’re a credit union employee, you’re eligible for an additional $100 discount).

Thanks for your vote and support.

Modo

Thank you! I am so humbled and honoured to have been elected to the Board of Directors of the Modo Co-operative. It’s a great organization, and I look forward to being useful to the organization, the management and the members as we all work to develop “vibrant communities created through sustainable transportation”.

I deeply appreciate all the Modo members who voted for me, as well as any of you who endorsed me, or simply expressed support. It means a lot to me!

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Why I want to be elected to the Modo Board.

I’m running for election to the Modo Co-operative Board of Directors. If you’re a Modo member, I’d love to earn your vote online or at the AGM.

If you’re not from around here, you may wonder, what’s Modo?

Modo is a not-for-profit carsharing co-operative incorporated in 1997 to foster carsharing and raise awareness about the benefits of sharing cars over individual ownership.

Modo Co-op

Why do I want to serve on the Board of Modo? Well, I have four main reasons, actually. Here’s my campaign video, and my reasons are spelled out below.

My first reason is that I’m a co-operator at heart. I love co-ops for their democratic and community ownership model, and have belonged to many co-ops over the years. I lived in a housing co-op, where I served on the Board as Treasurer, and currently work at Vancity, a financial co-operative and one of this area’s great supporters of co-op development. In 2009, Vancity sent me to Bologna, Italy to study co-ops with a few members of our staff, our Board and our community partners in a region where co-ops flourish and prosper. I believe I can help make Modo a stronger co-op.

My second reason is that I’m a digital leader. I worked as a digital strategist and producer for well over a decade, and for many years at Vancity I was the Director of Digital & Community Engagement where I oversaw online banking, our intranet, social media and other digital channels. My experience will serve me well at Modo because digital tools are crucial to members to book our cars and engage with Modo, and we support other car sharing co-ops through licensing our online booking system.

This is me at the party after last year's AGM.

This is me at the Modo party after last year’s AGM.

My third reason is my strong community investment experience. As Vancity’s Director of Business & Community Development I lead a team that invests Vancity’s assets in community projects, organizations, entrepreneurs and companies that contribute to a more equitable, sustainable and vibrant place to live and work. I understand the role Modo plays in our community ecosystem, shaping the transportation and community infrastructure required for a sustainable, inclusive future.

My fourth and final reason is that I’m very passionate about Modo. I strongly admire Modo’s brand focused on “disownership” – a brand that competes very effectively against larger corporate players. I am fascinated by the sharing economy, and I believe I can help Modo enable more people not to own a car of their own (or at least a second car), which is critical to reduce greenhouse gases and increase our region’s livability. I have been excited about being on the Modo Board for the past year since I attended last year’s AGM.

I’d be deeply honoured to be on the Modo Board if the members choose me to represent them. If you’re a Modo member, I do hope you’ll consider voting for me online or at the AGM.

Thank you,
William

Be a great crowd.

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Iron & Wine at the Commodore Ballroom, November 3, 2013

When I was growing up, Vancouver was a much smaller city. It was a city that, when I visited the States, many people I met hadn’t heard of (and sometimes they didn’t even realize that Canada extended all the way north of Seattle).

As an avid concert goer, we got a lot of tours coming through Vancouver, but many others skipped us. Now Vancouver is a world-class city and virtually every musician includes us in their itineraries.

I’ve lived in Seattle, Los Angeles and Vancouver, and, having been back for over a decade now, I’ve noticed something remarkable about artists when they play Vancouver. They seem humbled, sometimes ever overwhelmed by the audience’s love and support. Vancouver has some of the best crowds I’ve ever been a part of, and they create fertile ground for some amazing shows. They create an energy that is amazing to be part of, and they create a mood that encourages musicians to perform at their best. In fact, they often remark on how great our crowds are.

I took the shot above when I saw Iron & Wine this past week, and he seemed truly honoured to be playing for us. You could feel the connection between artist and audience – almost a sacred bond of trust. And you know what, I bet he’ll never skip Vancouver when he tours. That energy will keep him coming back for more.

It’s a lesson for all of us. To be grateful and humble and supportive and devoted. To be a great audience and keep our heroes coming back and wanting more. Whether that’s our members or customers, our staff, our colleagues or our boss. It’s a simple lesson from the mosh pits of Vancouver.