Moore, Pandemic, Community Economic Development Organization discussed on Pause
First of all. My name is meredith and I work with momentum here. Calgarians. So for anyone who doesn't own momentum the Community Economic Development Organization. That uses economic approaches to poverty in Calgary, and so we believe that every person should have access and be able to participate. Fully, in the economy and work towards a shooting that and so as you can imagine that works sort of necessitates a number of of very broad indifference approaches in order to be effective as that's working not only with people who are experiencing poverty, which is a large body of work at momentum in and of itself, but also with the policymakers, community champions and businesses to and so the work I do specifically fits into sort of that second category we operate a network of community focused businesses called the local network offer training programs for individuals looking to develop socially minded local businesses an work at a systems level to really create the environment for these activities to be successful. and. So the rationale behind that work is the understanding that of course, if we're, it will create the conditions for an inclusive economy by as sort of supporting and furthering the work of others who care about the same things that we do. Will ultimately be further ahead in our mission. Amazing. Thank you for being here until with everything changing and happening just on a daily basis. Things are so rapid right now, it leads to lots of questions and thoughts on her mind, and if you'd like to share the first part of your question that would be lovely and I do know that it is both the economy and to make sense paired with what you do for work. Yeah of course. So yeah as I have mentioned before it's sort of A. Two part question. That I hold. So the first part being a sort of reflecting on what said Copeland Nineteen has revealed about the economy so far and so. I think in terms of this question, there have been some really just incredible demonstrations of collaboration and innovation I during this pandemic but it's also highlighted a lot of of course, inequality, Moore inequity where our systems really aren't as up to support everyone, and so they're sort of that positive in that negative this I'm thinking through right now I and so on. That first part of you know as stewards of the local network, we've witnessed businesses collaborating in some really innovative. I am bold ways. And funnily enough. I truly do credit the pandemic actually per providing a sort of the destruction as to make that possible. There's like no rulebook as they say for operating a business during a pandemic and I think that's really meant that businesses are able to really show up for each other in a different way than previously. In. So I actually I think the album was a previous guest of this podcast and so I'll maybe ucla him as an example has been collaborating with a of other businesses and organizations I in our network at generous solutions. For suicide prevention as well as a number of local. Firemen foods wires to offer virtual. I live cooking class. We've had so many businesses in our network offer up there like warehousing space or restaurant space. For example, on to share resources with one another we host networking events and have just these really wonderful large groups show up for these sort of collaborative networking conversations and so even able to support these kinds of. Conversations in collaborations in really exceeded an intensive ways it's really quite different than. Before. I'd say in that way, it's also affected us in our own work. In that, we're able to consider opportunities to lend this kind of tangible support that just really wasn't part of our work before So I'll give we launched the be local store, for example. So this sort of came out of a recognition that many businesses were struggling with the needs of get online quickly amid pandemic and dealing with lots of overhead and figuring out you know the Logistics Oba delivery system. and. So we thought, okay, why don't we create a marketplace where customers can access products across local businesses a number of local businesses in one sort of simple transaction and businesses can access multiple customers with only one drop off delivery per week, and we sort of a centralized the rest of of that for them and so yeah, there's a great learning there obviously in like Howard, flexing our muscles and Engaging and supporting the local economy and observing. How clever and open businesses have been? I mean comments about that actually just in a recent episode. Remember she back now about how I started seeing a shift to local practices. A lot of people I follow on social media supporting local more often or at least showing that they're supporting local more often which I love to see and I also love brought in the piece of how the different local organizations are helping. Each other out is we are coming back to this sensitive can be during the pandemic in. That's an opportunity that we might not have had without the pen. Yeah. Yeah it's really awesome and yeah, just lovely to observe in the local network. You know it's a values based business networking so We're comes together with this understanding that we have these shared I values and understanding of collaboration reciprocity and. You know what says sort of sustainable communities look like and so it's really been really wonderful to see businesses sort of acting out those those values during this time. So. These are all sort of like a positive reflections that we've had in engaging in the local economy during this time but there's also as sort of this other piece of inveigling inequity and so what we observe I really is that those who are more vulnerable economically but are also Moore have been sort of disproportionately negatively affected by a copay ninety nine I've been challenging myself to think about. How do we make the economic system more robust so that everyone can withstand. These shocks when they occur. And so. Now. They've kind of tied up that pace around how it showing the tracks in the economy. Should we jump forward to how are we GONNA? Keep keep the good things that have been happening throughout the pandemic moving forward and also address the vulnerabilities that have present as well. So then looking forward. I have mentioned the question in sort of a sitting with is, can we use some of these lessons or observations to shape the way? That we really like emerge from this. And I think part of it requires a letting go of this notion of when things go back to normal. A phrase. You sometimes hear right and instead being willing to dominated discussion with a new narrative as. A, what do we want our new normal to look like and so I just recognizing nets business models have changed our entire economic climate has changed and so yeah, I suppose I. Really Hope that we're able to look at this sort of a a fresh perspective that is okay with a future that doesn't look like the past, and so I think that's one piece of it and I think that is happening to some extent. For example, as I mentioned to a before I've been I'm really quite excited by how discussions of universal basic income have been making their way into sort of the mainstream at just an indicator even that people are understanding a need for more socially robust. Economy, and I've spoken to some business owners in the network who have completely changed their business models during this very short time period I and really take the perspective that you know this is their new business model and they're not going back. Then of course, there are others as sort of can't wait to go. Back to normal as they say and so I'm like I said the question I'm just sort of holding his how can we continue these collaborations and innovations and continue the conversations that are sort of critically examining the cracks in our system so that we can all come out stronger. Yeah. You bring in a very neat point. There have how do we balance the two of getting back to normal in the like the good things that used to be our normal. But then how do we do we move to a new system that is supporting people and organizations and things that were supported for the pandemic like this strange balance need to fix a lot of these vulnerabilities we also want to be able to do some of the things and yeah definitely interesting teeter totter I picture at us. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely. Yeah. In terms of forward, you know I hope these questions. But then have to ask myself okay like how how do we make these things possible or reality, and so I know I certainly have a desire for this sort of new and improved economic system coming out of a pandemic and I think it is possible I think for example, there are ways that public policy can support in terms of supporting the solar, the local economy supporting local for crewmen procurement from. March lines, groups, and black indigenous people of color. For example, I think there are ways that businesses can continue these conversations and I think that individuals can also make really for change simply by where they choose to spend and save in those. Sort of small choices that we make every day. and. So yeah I'm just or Novem challenging myself I suppose now to dive in each one of those things a little bit more in understands like what are the the tangible actions that we take in each of those areas to move this forward I'm also interested to understand more about. Sort of what's happening in the ecosystem to for these conversations as well. Yeah good point we've been talking about these big questions not elec comes after this like having, we actually do this and move it forward and yeah not. Too old practices. Yeah. Yeah. Absolutely and I think Yeah. That's where we can really start seeing some like lasting change as well. Yeah I hope we do see some change come from this. I'm I'm thinking we will, and I'm hopeful we will and I guess we'll have to. Wait and see makes action that it happened. No. Absolutely. When one of the things that I wanted to to bring back up because I just loved it he said, we need to make the economic system more robust and start looking at it in different ways in fixing these vulnerabilities that we're seeing and you also brought up the point that the pandemic has had. Two Sides to the coin. It's curious the positive things that have come from it like you said, this collaboration bringing back to community, and then also these negative things that it's hit a lot of communities harder than some an it's young as we need to start doing something about that and not not not that we haven't seen that before but I think maybe it's been the fire underneath a lot of people to start getting those things really moving into practice so. Yeah absolutely. The example that comes to mind for me when we're thinking about that is. Sort of the effects of Kobe's in some of these tacking facilities, for example, writes in it's like, okay. While we then should question like what are the demographics that are primarily working in these conditions and questioning if that plays a role in how we've responded. or The working conditions that they're they're in that allows us to happen right and then also asking ourselves. Okay. We'll. What are the supports in place that? Yeah allow us to support people through that I. Think about people and Care Facilities, for example, who are perhaps more vulnerable and who are also more vulnerable to the pandemic. And how do we really and tip the scales a little bits so that their treated more equitably during the pandemic? During and then even like you said afterwards. Pandemic hopefully. Yeah. Yeah, just changing those systems. Yeah. Yeah. Well, this has been a wonderful conversation. Thank you for for sharing thoughts that are on your mind in the questions you're sitting with and actionable items moving forward of how to keep the questions questions going. Oh, of.