Thursday, November 17, 2005

Bill Strickland at AIGA 2005

For years, Bill Strickland, Manchester Craftsmen's Guild and Bidwell Training Center, has been shaping young minds and redefining social change.

This past September, Bill presented at the AIGA in Boston on "The Design of Leadership", and offered this message:

    Give people the tools they need, treat them with respect and they will perform miraculous deeds.

From a sleeping bag on the second floor of a dilapidated building, Strickland built one of the most extraordinary organizations in America, employing and training thousands and bringing positive change and entrepreneurship to Pittsburgh's city center. Strickland restores our faith in ethical, accountable and visionary leadership.

Jason Kottke was present, and offered this:

    Bill Strickland blew the doors off the conference with his account of the work he's doing in "curing cancer" -- his term for revitalizing violent and crime-ridden neighborhoods -- in Pittsburgh. I can't do justice to his talk, so two short anecdotes. Strickland said he realized that "poor people never have a nice day" so when he built his buildings in these poor black neighbohoods, he put nice fountains out front so that people coming into the building know that they're entering a space where it's possible to have a good day. Another time, a bigwig of some sort was visiting the center and asked Strickland about the flowers he saw everywhere. Flowers in the hood? How'd these get here? Strickland told him "you don't need a task force or study group to buy flowers" and that he'd just got in his car, bought some flowers, brought them back, and set them around the place. His point in all this was creating a place where people feel less dissimilar to each, white, rich, poor, everybody has a right to flowers and an education and to be treated with respect and to have a nice day. You start treating people like that, and surprise!, they thrive. Strickland's inner city programs have produced Fulbright Scholars, Pulitzer Prize winners, and tons of college graduates.

Here are some links to Bill's presentation:

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Guide To Financing For Social Enterprise

VSEF is pleased to proactively distribute reading material to help social entrepreneurs advance their projects. On the sidebar we've added a "Reading Material" list.

Perhaps appropriately our first item is a Guide To Financing For Social Enterprise from Western Economic Diversification Canada and distributed via Small Business BC*.

The document offers a rich catalogue of social enterprise in Vancouver, along with some key local financial links.

* Good luck finding a hard copy.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Employment Opportunity: East End Food Co-op - General Manager

The East End Food Co-op is seeking a General Manager for its store operations.

A consumer co-op, EEFC has operated in East Vancouver for 30 years. Current annual sales reach $2.5 million. The subject of co-op case studies, this co-op mandates wholesome food and fair practices as well as community presence. Staff is unionized.

The Board seeks a GM with experience in grocery, retail, organics, bookkeeping, computer skills, board and member reporting. Salary linked to experience. Benefits package.

Send resume and cover letter to:

GM Hiring Committee,
East End Food Co-op,
1034 Commercial Drive,
Vancouver, BC, V5L 3W9,

or send e-mail to
No phone calls please.

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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Mapping the Social Economy in BC

The BC Social Economy Rountable is busy mapping the provincial initiatives currently underway to build a strong social economy here in BC.

Are you on the map? They're looking for your help and this link will get you started.

The Roundtable is ... "an informal body, with representatives from many social economy stakeholders – from active enterprises to economic development networks to financial institutions. The membership is organic, changing as new stakeholders join the Roundtable to ensure the broadest possible representation of the BC social economy."

Current participants are:

This link will take you to mapping database.

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