When I say that these past few years have been globally unprecedented, I think a grand percentage of the global population can agree with me.
And it is occurring to me that things might continue to decline, and that it is time for we the citizens of our community to start to come together.
The main issue here is that many of the ways we have traditionally come together have changed over these years, and the fabrics of our isolation, among other things, has really come to characterize this time.
The good news is that there are solutions to these issues, and what I am about to lay out here is a template of one that I want you to run with and implement. The ideas is simple: a community space for normal folks to come together and meet, trade, post adds on a sizable bulletin board, farmers to sell their goods and CSA’s to organize, and for community members to house meetings. I call the idea The Meeting of Life, or just The Meeting for short.
The idea is to have a non-corporate space for people to communicate with one another either in meetings or on bulletin boards. To trade with one another directly. To get out of the sun, and listen to music and have a cold or warm drink, and munch on locally produced food. To house community yard sales once a month. To buy and sell groceries and farm products. To hold workshops, and with an outdoor space where people can tend a garden laboratory to teach the arts of gardening in the desert. A place to teach car maintenance and art, and to tutor children in the STEM fields. A place to go and hear live music sometimes, and dance. A place where I can post to sell my trailer or find a house to rent or find work or workers. A place people can come to get help fixing their bikes or appliances or automobiles. A place where people can learn about gardening and art.
A place that is not competing with other similar Meetings that might prop up, but instead sees it as opportunity for shared branding, power in numbers, and collaboration.
Instead of virualizing our communities via a social media that is not trustworthy, let’s explore actually meeting one another. Visiting. Trading. Growing things. Fixing things. Let’s have a non-corporate space where we can vocalize a need for items or a need to sell items, or to get help, or to help.
Let’s get our sense of community back: together.
I think branding as a unified 'movement' (if you will) is important for unity and for the idea to grow and improve through sharing. For that reason I include the logo file here blow. Please take it and use it. Or also use the advertising slogan: "What is the Meeting of Life?"
There is no shortage of permutations from this and ways to create a flow, ranging from business guild memberships to advertising opportunities.
Think of spaces in your community lying vacant and doing neither the community nor their owners any good. These spaces can be spruced up by a groups of 3-5 or more committed persons who are part of the initial Board of the Meeting. These are entrepreneurs who have the energy and some time to devote to creating a Mission, Statement of Values and Offerings, a Community Calendar and Schedule of Fees for vendors and members, finding the right place to house it, and most importantly, planning for and building the bulletin boards which will be a central and essential aspect of this idea.
In addition to membership models, if there is a Cafe and seating areas, local produce stands, food vendors as well as a meeting/conference room space, there is no end of creative ways to rent space for larger meetings and workshops. In addition, weekly or bimonthly music and refreshments at an affordable price will also be a good source of revenue. The keys is to meet a need, and bring in people. The flow of resources will arise naturally if you provide for the needs that people are having to come together as a community.