Let the games begin.

So the Olympics start tomorrow here in Vancouver. I gotta admit, if I had lived here when the vote took place to approve the olympic bid, I would have voted against it (we were living in LA at the time). I just wasn’t that into it.

Then I became complacent, I was resigned to the massive spending, and just hoped for the best.

But then in the last few months buildings started opening, the new SkyTrain line opened, the excitement started building and I became much more optimistic.

When I found out a couple of weeks back that the torch would pass right near our place, like four houses down at our nearest street corner from where we live on the flame’s way to opening ceremonies, my excitement increased.

Now, wandering around town, everything is ready. My work is across the street from Olympic Village and the Russian pavillion for the Sochi 2014 winter games. Our home is not far from the stadium where opening ceremonies take place. My life is right in the thick of things, and it’s pretty cool.

Because Vancity is a slang term for Vancouver, and I monitor what people blog and tweet about Vancity, I get to see where Apolo Ono is hanging out and how much he loves my hometown.

I’ll take pictures of the torch passing near my place tomorrow and take some photos from the Vancity head office roof and post them.

Let the games begin…

Supporting the Vancity Community Foundation.

One area of Vancity that I’m excited to get more involved with is the Vancity Community Foundation. I didn’t have much to do with the Foundation until fairly recently when I chose them to receive the donation made in my name when I was named GonzoBanker of the Month back in March.

And then recently, I went to their 20th anniversary celebration, and was in awe of what they accomplish in our communities every day. Brave, inspiring work that reminded me of all the reasons I work at Vancity.

Here are those videos, and I urge you to check them out.

Community Stories


Donor Stories

I have written before that one of the main things I love about doing what I do at Vancity is that it is an organization whose presence would be sorely missed by many in our area if it were to disappear. It is an organization that matters, which is not a sense I’ve ever had about the companies I’ve ever worked for before. It is a profound thing.

I’ll be writing more about the Vancity Community Foundation soon, we’re about to launch a very cool way to support their work.

BarCampBankBC2 was a local, reflective event.

BarCampBankBC2BarCampBankBC2 took place today. Tim McAlpine, Gene Blishen and I decided to make it a lower key, locally-focused event, given the economic times. It took place in the Vancity board room, and about 25 people from FIs and FI-related organizations took part in the conversations. The conversations focused a lot on co-operation, and, as often happens at BarCampBanks, the participants were mostly from the credit union world.

We talked about co-operation amongst co-operatives, about innovating new products, about channel strategy, about pulling together our members’ data to help them understand their finances more easily.

As I reflect, I think the main theme that emerged was the implicit or explicit barriers that are in place in our various organizations that hinder innovation, agility and sometimes even common sense. In some ways it was a ‘grass is always greener’ conversation where smaller organizations envy the resources bigger organizations have, and larger organizations envy the agility and lack of silos in smaller organizations.

It was a pleasure to discuss the issues of the day with some Twitter friends, including @eddron, @wendyholm, @dcesarini, @currencyTim, @pennyminder and @ebrett. Almost all of whom were at BarCampBankBC last year. So, I think we’re safe to say we’ll do it again next year. Perhaps same place and same weekend…

The wifi was spotty, and the conversations were involved, so there wasn’t a lot of Tweeting, but the Twitter tag was #bcbbc2, if you want to see the commentary.

On a personal level, BarCampBankBC2 marks the end of one of the busiest periods in recent memory for me. Starting with buying our house, going to Bologna, moving, launching the League of Kickass Business People in Vancouver, Ivan starting Kindergarten, finishing a major business case to revamp our intranet and bring enterprise 2.0 to our organization, writing an online service experience strategy, driving Vancity’s co-op week activities, plus some critical business issues at work and, oh yeah, my day job. Summers are usually a little slower, but this one was jam packed, almost all with outstanding items, but slightly more than my plate could hold. It’s one of those times where I’m excited about all the different things I’m involved with, but I’ve still been looking forward to having some of them behind me and not in front of me.

So there it goes.

Less than a week until BarCampBankBC2.

We still lots more room at BarCampBankBC2. I know that there will be people from most of the major credit unions and FIs in the region, plus some visitors from Alberta, Washington State and Oregon. Should be a good time.

If you know anyone who works in financial services and is interested in a freeform, innovative forum to learn, share and discuss, please spread the word.

See ya there!

Trend City Vancouver on September 23rd.

2ndlokvancouvereventsep24th.eventbrite.comOn Wednesday, September 23, join the League of Kickass Business People for a stylish, thought-provoking evening with Vancouver’s leading trendspotters, tastemakers and opinion leaders.

We’ll ignite conversation and networking with a panel discussion on what’s hot and what’s next in design, branding, style and media. Plus, we’ll supply appetizers and beverages.

We’re counting on you for heated debate and sizzling conversation as you exchange ideas and build relationships with heavy hitters in Vancouver’s business community. Plus, tweet your questions, trends and observations on our live Twitter wall before, uring and after the presentation – #lokbp!

Our last event was a sold out, smashing success, and tickets for Trend City Vancouver are pre-selling quickly. Get your tickets today to avoid disappointment!

Pricing for Members: $30 in advance and $40 at the door (to become a League of Kickass member, just create a profile at www.theleagueofkickassbusinesspeople.ning.com – it’s free!)
Pricing for Non-Members: $40 in advance and $50 at the door

Order Today:

Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Location: Cossette, 5th floor, 1085 Homer Street, Vancouver
Networking: 6:00pm to 6:45pm
Introduction: 6:45 pm to 7:00pm
Panel Presentation: 7:00pm to 8:15pm
Apres party: 8:15 pm onwards

Kirk LaPointe
Managing Editor of The Vancouver Sun, Adjunct Professor at University of British Columbia and author of themediamanager.com

Ginger Grant, PhD
Digital storyteller and creative business consultant. Author of Re-Visioning the Way We Work and Branding: From The Inside Out.

Eric Karjaluoto
Creative Director and Principal at smashLAB, Founder of MakeFive and design/brand/experience blogger at ideasonideas.com

Paul Melo
Designer, photographer, style-spotter and founder of stylequotient.ca and meloCreative.

Angele Beausoleil
Associate VP Strategy and Client Service at Fjord Interactive, former CEO of ITP Entertainment, interactive media marketer, inventor and Renaissance woman.

Agent Wildfire | Cossette-Fjord Interactive | Flip Video | Vitamin Water| Granville Island Brewery

The League of Kickass Business People is a network of headline stealers, trend spotters, tastemakers, rainmakers and opinion leaders who live, work, play and think ahead of the mainstream. The group was established by Sean Moffitt, former VP of Marketing for Molson, and one of Canada’s leading experts in word-of-mouth and social network marketing. There are 1,800+ Kickass members in Toronto and Vancouver, participating in exclusive networking events that draw over 200+ business leaders. Learn more at: www.theleagueofkickassbusinesspeople.ning.com

BOOK YOUR TICKETS TODAY: 2ndlokvancouvereventsep24th.eventbrite.com

See you on September 23!