Fall Session starts next week, but first let's see what the summer had in store for Groundswell and the alternatives-to-business seeking community. Kevin Elliot, a participant from Groundswell's first year and editor of the Agorian, a soon-to-be launched online magazine, has been in touch with the team at Groundswell over the summer and sums up the excitement and swell we've been creating. Are you part of the groundswell yet?
“Not business as usual” never before sounded so counter-intuitively promising. The excitement Groundswell fosters in the community through its summer events is in anticipation of contributing to a new way of thinking about doing business and what it means to live together.
Groundswell is making a splash in the city’s burgeoning “new economy” movement after wrapping up our inaugural year last spring and since growing in unexpected ways.
A summer of buzz has helped us refine the program and spread its message, and people are coming out and noticing.
“We hosted a community discussion forum at Café Deux Soleils and an inadvertent scheduling conflict pushed it to a Saturday night,” explains Groundswell’s operations coordinator, Paola Qualizza. “But the fact that every table was occupied and people stayed after hours – on a Saturday night in summer – speaks directly to the fervour for social and economic change around which Groundswell is mobilizing.”
As we emerge from the infancy of our launch year, Groundswell is ballooning into a continually growing community itself.
“It is exciting to see new projects emerge, but what is most interesting about Groundswell is to see what happens when we start putting them together, creating a supportive network and community,” says co-founder Matt Hern.
We are excited about continuing to promote the core idea in the program, which remains our commitment to building towards a sustainable society that functions outside of strictly for-profit mentalities.
The feedback on this core idea has been overwhelmingly positive. “The variety of people we have reached through our open houses all summer is indicative of the desire for changing the status quo,” says Qualizza. “It is not just about doing something innovative, but about finding the right people for our program to make meaningful change in their lives and ours.
“That is why the quality of participants is so important to us – it is about people willing to take a different path in life to stay true to themselves.”
This is the momentum that Groundswell is seizing upon to enter our second year, in the hopes of building a sustained community as our alumni grows. “I am mostly excited to see how the community we have developed here will change into something new while staying strong and vital,” remarks first-year participant, Claire Gendron. “Not only are our projects just starting, but the mutual support we will provide for each other is also just beginning.”
What's next? Check out Groundswell's Ice Cream Social on Wednesday, September 3rd to meet the new Fall cohort and enjoy some final sweet summer scoops with the Groundswell Community.