Connecting our communities

The story

In 2008, Lyn Hellyar and I both served on the Board of the Downtown Vancouver Association. Lyn was the Executive Director for the West End Business Improvement Association. We were exploring ideas on how community business associations could benefit from creating a community communication centre. Lyn had taken responsibility for organizing the 2008 Conference for the Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia. The conference theme was Committed Community Builders. Lyn invited me to create a workshop to explore the idea with delegates to the Conference.

The Association of Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia, was created in 1991 to represent the interests of the Business Improvement Associations in British Columbia and to create opportunities for associations to work with one another around their common interest in creating strong, vibrant, and successful commercial neighbourhoods in the downtowns and main streets of their communities, and strong, resilient, and sustainable local economies.

The Committed Community Builders Conference for the Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia took place from May 1 to May 3, 2008 in Penticton, British Columbia.

The workshop

This is how the workshop was described in the Conference Program.

Connecting your community through the media

‘In the arts, media are the materials and techniques used to produce a work. This presentation and workshop illustrates the opportunity we have to create a cooperative self-sustaining communications centre and media system. You will learn ways to connect, inform, and engage the people you serve.

We now have the technology, the know how, and the ability to create our own media – to keep our community informed – to let one another know who we are, what we do, and the opportunities we contribute – and to engage our community in creating a community that works more economically and successfully through cooperative enterprise.’

The workshop presentation

This is the online slide presentation used to begin the workshop discussion

Imagining and creating community media

Why community media

Our common enterprise is to build community
Creating connections around common interests creates community
We can connect and create community with community media
Our stories are our media
Our stories create our community
Our stories create our community culture
Our stories create our community media
Our media for connecting our communities are the stories
that contribute to creating our communities of common interest

The opportunity

The success of our enterprise, of any enterprise, lies in our ability to create connections and relationships with the communities of interest we contribute to and create around our enterprise

The success of your businesses lies in your ability to create connections and relationships with the people and enterprises in the communities you do business with

Web sites broadcast to a global community and to every community of interest served by the web site.

A web site is a communication centre

We have the technology, know-how, and ability to create communication centres to serve the common interests of the communities we are part of and do business with

We have the ability to create communication centres and a community media system to give our communities the ability to create connections with one another with stories, information, ideas, and opportunities that contribute to our community interests

You have business interests in common. You have the ability to create cooperative community enterprise around your common interests

You have the opportunity to create communication centres and a community media system to serve your communities and create connections, relationships, and activity for your businesses in the process

What a communication centre could do

A communication centre could give community contributors the ability to tell their stories about who they are, what they do, and how they contribute to the interests of the community

A communication centre could give community contributors the ability to keep one another informed about issues of common interest and concern and to contribute their point of view on ideas and initiatives that contribute to community interests

A communication centre could give community members the ability to contribute information, ideas, stories, and opportunities of interest, request information about events, developments, stories, and opportunities of interest to them, and communicate with one another around ideas and initiatives of common interest to the community

How a communication centre could contribute

A more informed community is more able to understand what issues, ideas, and initiatives are important to community interests and to the interests of community contributors

A community communication centre could gather, organize, and connect stories, information, ideas, and points of view around common community interests

Different points of view could contribute to increasing understanding of community interests and issues, and of ideas and initiatives being considered or being acted upon

A communication centre would create a history of the people, enterprises, and events that contributed to creating the community which could inform new community members and could provide a resource for other communities to explore for stories, information, ideas, opportunities, and connections

A communication centre could give the community the ability to explore opportunities and ideas for creative community enterprise around community interests

Community media

A community communication centre is community media. A number of communication centres serving different communities and different communities of interest is a community media system

Communities are defined by common interests. Communities of common interest are part of and contribute to other communities of common interest

Communication centres can be created to serve communities of place, of common practice, and of common purpose

Communication centres in a community media system agree to communicate and operate in a consistent manner with the same structure, systems, and ways of doing business

Quantum media

A quantum community centre is a cooperative community enterprise owned and operated by the community it serves

Quantum communication centres operate beyond integrity and contributors agree to operate beyond integrity and hold one another accountable for operating beyond integrity

Quantum communications centres operate as cooperative, self-sustaining, revenue-generating community enterprises free from the need for philanthropic or government funding and from private or corporate ownership interests

Contributions from governments, foundations, philanthropists, and corporations to invest in the development of quantum communication centres and to increase their contribution and their ability to become self-sustaining are welcomed and credited

Ownership of domain names for quantum communication centres are held in trust for the communities they serve

Ideas and information contributed to quantum communications centres are considered to be open source with no patent or copyright protection

The contributors to the communication centre are the co-creators and custodians of the interests of the centre and the communities of interests the centre serves

Operating beyond integrity

Operating with integrity is being who we say we are and doing what we say we do.

Operating with integrity creates trust.

What we say and do and how we say and do things is what we come to be known for.

We demonstrate we operate with integrity by living our story.

Operating beyond integrity creates relationships. We operate beyond integrity when we demonstrate we care about and contribute to the interests of others.

Operating beyond integrity contributes to creating trust and to our ability to create connections, relationships, and creative enterprise around our common interests

Operating beyond integrity encourages people to take personal responsibility and exercise personal leadership, excites creative contribution, and contributes to creating cooperative and creative enterprise

Operating beyond integrity improves our ability to creatively explore what we are doing and how we are doing things, and ideas, initiatives, and enterprises that could contribute to our common interests.

Operating beyond integrity creates a foundation for successful creative enterprise.

How quantum media works

All contributions to quantum communication centres would be edited before being published to ensure they contribute to the interests of the communities served and to the interests of the communication centre.

Quantum communication centres would operate with common editorial standards, style, and guidelines and a common approach to storytelling, editing, and organizing information to provide a consistent and familiar experience for readers and to improve our ability to communicate between communication centres.

Editors would organize, prepare, and connect information, ideas, stories, and opportunities to community interests, to the communities of interest who could benefit from the contribution, and to community conversations around interests, ideas, and initiatives being explored.

Stories, information, ideas, and opportunities would be edited to improve their ability to connect and contribute to readers. Editors would be assisted and held accountable by community contributors. Contributors could hire or request editors of their choice.

Editors would replace critical opinion, value judgments, hyperbole, and marketing language with unadorned information to allow readers to come to their own conclusions.

Editors and contributors would identify and provide connections to the sources of information contributed. Editors would be responsible for ensuring contributions are credited, readers are treated respectfully, contributors have the opportunity to tell their story, and writers and story editors are fairly compensated.

Editors would collaborate on how to improve the ability of communication centres to create connections and serve the interests of the quantum communication system and agree upon improvements to editorial styles, standards, and guidelines.

The editors and creative leaders of quantum communication centres are the custodians of the interests of the communities they serve and of the interests of other communities who could learn from, contribute to, or benefit from the communication system.

How quantum media contributes

Stories contributed to quantum communication centres can be connected to the interests of audiences served by other quantum communication centres.

Contributors can create connections with other contributors, other communities of interest, and with our global community with information, ideas, stories, connections, and opportunities to explore. Community media explorers can move comfortably and easily from one communication centre to another.

Co-creators and editors become part of a larger community of contributors collaborating around ideas to improve how quantum communication centres work and contribute to making all communication centres and quantum media more successful.

quantumideas.com

Quantumideas.com is a creative community enterprise whose interests, role, and contribution is to create connections, conversation, and creative community enterprise around common interests by providing a communication and storytelling service.

Quantumideas.com is home for the co-creators of quantum communication centres and the quantum media system providing a place for exploring how we could improve our ability to create connections, relationships, and community, increase the contribution of our community media system, and learn the arts of creative community enterprise.

Our creative community enterprise is to explore, create, and pursue ideas and initiatives that improve our ability to excite interest and contribution in our communities, make better use of our communication resources, and increase our contribution to our common interests from our community resources, relationships, and contributors.

Making it business

Contributors would pay fees to have their stories published and to keep the community informed about their enterprise. The fees would be used to pay the writers, editors, and creative leaders who ensure the information published contributes to the interests of the communities and communities of interest served by the communication centre.

Business and community contributors could finance the preparation and publication of stories of other community contributors, of community resources, and of events, issues, and opportunities of interest to the community, and to host the moderation of information, ideas, connections, and opportunities contributed to conversations around community interests, ideas, initiatives, and enterprises.

Other revenue could be earned from transaction activity generated by the communication centre. Excess revenues are placed in a trust administered by the community.

Why tell our story and how does it contribute

Stories create connections. To create connections, relationships and successful enterprise, our story needs to communicate to the interests of all of the audiences we have or would like to create a relationship with.

Our story introduces ourselves, who we are, our interests, what we do, what we contribute, what we are doing, how it will contribute, and the opportunities we create and contribute.

We build our brand by living our story. If we tell our story well, we will be able to live it, in the ongoing operation and development of the enterprise – and others will be able to articulate and tell it for us.

Our story tells everyone everything they need to know to determine how engaging with our enterprise can contribute to their interests.

Articulating our interests keeps everyone thinking about how we can do better – with opportunities, new information and new ideas.

A good story attracts interest and creates excitement, is honest, articulates what we really care about, and why. Our story is the most important determinant of a successful enterprise.

Telling Our Story

Communication centres give us the opportunity to tell our story as a doorway to our web site and more information about our enterprise and the opportunities we create and contribute.

Stories create connections. We tell our story to connect with, inform, and excite the interest of our audiences. A well-told story communicates to the interests and context of all of our audiences. Our audiences are the people who are served by, involved in, and affected by our enterprise.

Our story introduces ourselves, who we are, our interests, what we do, what we contribute, what we are doing to contribute more, and the opportunities we create and contribute to the interests of our audiences.

A well-told story informs rather than sells, is simple, clear, honest, and easily retold, and creates an experience for our audiences.

We come to be known by what we say and do. Telling our story contributes to our ability to live our story and make choices about what we do and how we do things that contribute to our interests and the interests we serve.

Our story tells everyone everything they need to know to determine how we contribute to the their interests. Articulating our interests gives all of our audiences the ability to contribute information, ideas, connections, and opportunities that could improve our ability to be more successful in pursuing our interests.

The opportunity for business improvement associations

Business improvement associations create a community by defining the geographic area served by their Association. It is in the interest of the Association and in the interests of community businesses to contribute to the development of their community.

Business improvement associations could become co-creators of  community communication centres, introducing the idea and the opportunity to other community contributors, and contributing the resources, ideas, and connections of community businesses to create the communication centre.

Business Improvement Associations and their members could contribute information, ideas, and opportunities, express their point of view, keep themselves informed, and contribute to creating connections and cooperative enterprise in their communities.

Community communication centres could give business improvement associations and community businesses the ability to connect with and learn more about the interests of the communities they are part of, and contribute to creating community around those interests.

The success of our enterprise lies in our ability to create connections with our communications. Why wouldn’t community business associations want to invest in what could be the highest return on investment for community businesses and for the communities they contribute to creating? Connecting our communities and creating opportunities for contributors to our communities to create connections with one another and for one another.

Our common enterprise is to create community

Presented to the Committed Community Builders Conference
Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia
May 1, 2008.

About the presentation

The presentation was positioned as an opportunity for business improvement associations and community businesses to explore and contribute to creating. The idea, of course, is an opportunity for creative leaders in any community of common enterprise interested in creating connections exciting creative community enterprises around common interests.

I used the West End Community Network to illustrate how a communication centre could give a community the ability to keep their community informed about issues and opportunities, contribute information, ideas, and opportunities of interest to their community, and create connections and conversation around community interests. If the workshop excited some interest I would offer, as a member of the Board of the Community Arts Council of Vancouver, to make a presentation to the Assembly of British Columbia Arts Councils at their next annual conference.

This is what I used to illustrate the idea

www.westendcommunitynetwork.com

Connections

What is a Business Improvement Area?
What is the Business Improvement Areas of British Columbia?