Vancity has partnered with SFU Public Square’s Community Summit for four years now. We see our partnership as a good fit. SFU, through its Public Square, invites people to grapple with issues we face in society: inequity, local economy, the future of innovation. Their mission is “to be the go-to convener of serious and productive conversations about issues of public concern”.
At Vancity, we’re looking at ways to harness the collective power of our members’ assets to invest in areas that create healthy communities. That’s our role as this region’s values-bases banking institution. In order to do that, we need places where we can convene our members and the public to discuss and deliberate on steps we can take to create communities where we can all thrive. A good partnership is one that can bring more people into that conversation and include more voices and hear from people with diverse opinions, perspectives, and backgrounds. We can’t solve problems and create new opportunities for a more co-operative economy, a cleaner environment, or greater social inclusion unless we partner together.
This year, the focus of SFU Public Square is on city-building. The aim is to “invigorate the public conversation on how people can connect with their cities, find their voice, and enjoy increased participation in civic life.” Nothing could be more important. A disengaged citizenry means that key issues aren’t being addressed and is a recipe for complacency and cynicism.
In order to engage around these vital issues, SFU has focused on the role that the arts can play as a facilitator of dialogue, new thinking, and reflection. To get us outside our experience to build empathy for other points of view.
I look forward to being challenged and inspired to rethink my assumptions and grapple with some new ideas, and as a result, focus on how to make our region better for all.
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.
For the last year and a half I have been tangentially involved in the redesign of two of Vancity’s branches. It’s been an amazing project, looking beyond the expected excitement about new fit and finish within the branch, and at the kind of business we want to do within the branch and how Vancity can best bring its mission and vision to life in these spaces.
We call these two branches in South Burnaby and Port Coquitlam our prototypes, living labs that opened last month. You can see photos, as well as a video that shows what we’re trying to do and why:
I’m excited to be on a panel at the upcoming Internet Marketing Conference coming to Vancouver from September 21-23rd. This will be my third year in a row speaking at the conference. Guy Kawasaki is the keynote, so I likely need not say more…
The topic of the panel is: When is Social Media not working? Social Media is the popular way of reaching people online. At the same time many businesses are failing to gain business advantage from Social Media. How do you know when Social Media is right for you and when it’s not?