“Cities have the capability of providing something for everybody, only because, and only when, they are created by everybody.”
Inspired by Jane Jacobs, an urbanist who believed firmly in economies being created by and for the people, Thrive brought together neighbourhood champions, entrepreneurs and local economy leaders at a Community Huddle on October 27. The purpose of the event was to engage and inform the community about Thrive’s new approach in advancing a thriving, resilient and inclusive economy for all in Calgary.
At the event we heard that the community looks to Thrive to:
- “Raise the profile of inspiring economic activity that can benefit all Calgarians”
- “Activate resources and leaders who champion economic equity for all”
- “Build networks of champions to empower communities to solve their own problems”
Through a participatory art project that had attendees envisioning their dreams for community we learned that Thrive’s values resonate with our community. You care about:
- inclusion – a healthy economy is one where no one is left behind
- ownership – connecting local knowledge and talent to solve local challenges
- relationships – recognizing that economies are social constructs that emerge from meaningful collaboration between local leaders and community resources
- prosperity – spreading sustainable solutions to create resilient economies
You will see these values expressed in the way Thrive engages with the community and through the learning and resources we offer. Moving forward, Thrive’s emphasis is to support communities and businesses to build and sustain the local economy from the ground up. We use a community economic development approach that invests in people and places to build community well-being, fosters local ownership and provides valuable social benefits. You can connect with Thrive to:
- Grow your leadership in building the local economy
- Launch a social impact venture in your community
- Accelerate a socially-minded business
- Access resources to move your idea forward
- Be inspired by what’s working in other communities
We asked the community, what skills they needed to create sustainable social and economic change:
- “How to be effective challenging existing economic models”
- “Business management to improve my business’ efficiency and ability to grow”
- “Skills in hosting meaningful and participatory conversations in the face of challenging topics”
- “More insight into the lived experience of folks who struggle to build strong communities”
- “How to leverage resources to build citizen capacity in order to create local economies with social impact”
We were also reminded of the important role Thrive plays in demonstrating how we as individuals are key influencers on the local economy through our purchasing and investing choices. We will continue to exemplify and demonstrate how the smallest of actions can create significant changes in creating a resilient economy.
We asked the community, what individuals or groups could increase their impact with Thrive.
It was affirming to see the growing number of individuals and groups working on projects that have social impact in Calgary. Since the Community Huddle, we’ve been reconnecting with old friends and making new ones as we reach out to the individuals and groups identified. We are also curious about how to connect with others in Calgary, wanting and looking to create an impact in the local economy, who weren’t at the Community Huddle and don’t know about Thrive.
It has left us thinking critically about how Thrive can broaden its reach to identify individuals working on emerging projects that are seeking to create social change in our city. As we move into 2017, we are spending time developing a communications strategy to meaningfully engage with a growing number of individuals interested in activating sustainability in Calgary – from those with lived experience, to business and community leaders.
Thrive was humbled by the feedback we received that the Community Huddle was the ‘folk fest for community economic development.’ This was a refreshing reminder that coming together matters in deepening our relationships with one other. We learned that people are seeking intentional purposeful engagement that moves us towards action. In the new year, you will be invited to join conversations hosted by Thrive as we pilot programs to activate change.
As one of our core values, we know that relationships matter. We value our relationship with you and are grateful for the many contributions you offered at the Community Huddle. To stay in touch with us, connect with:
- Philip if you are a neighbourhood champion or entrepreneur seeking to create social impact in your community
email@example.com | 403-204-2681
- Barb if you are curious about learning initiatives offered through Thrive or are working on a collaborative project to advance a local economy for all
firstname.lastname@example.org | 403-204-2668
- Chas if you are an entrepreneur looking for business training to integrate sustainability into your day to day operations
email@example.com | 403-204-2670
Thrive takes great pride in our strong network of partnerships to reach real people, create real opportunities and champion real change. We look forward to connecting with you again as we collectively build a thriving, resilient and inclusive economy for all Calgarians.