We are committed to the realization of a society that all citizens enjoy and contribute to and that demonstrates ecologically sustainable living. We recognize considerable challenge.
We believe that constructive social change is achieved through the actions of individuals supported by their communities and either supported or constrained by institutions and cultural norms. Principled living and action develop through practice that arises where individuals have time to consider their circumstances and their influences, individually and collectively, upon the environment and others.
We develop, organize and facilitate processes and events that bring people together. We focus on conversation, workshops and publications – in person and online. These processes and events are developed in collaboration with the people involved and affected in order to reflect the diversities and potential of local individuals and communities.
We have an interest in public fora and publications that encourage participation and submissions from any interested individual. We see these as means for mutual learning about the diverse practices of inquiry and communication.
We have an interest in improving accessibility and usability of our online or computer mediated processes and publications.
There are benefits to proceeding with such work in Kitchener-Waterloo because of the opportunities – and because of the challenges and disparities – that exist.
The area has a number of innovative and experienced people and institutions: Waterloo Regional Public Health Department (with an innovative social determinants branch), Grand River Conservation Authority which is recognized internationally for its watershed planning; Municipality of Waterloo environmental policy; two universities; active grassroots organizations that have networks including regional/municipal governments and NGOs; and a mix of labour, light industry, small business and other sectors.
In addition, the area has some of the worst pollution and air quality in Canada and some of the highest levels of disparity between rich and poor. There are issues with affordable housing and inclusive social groups and institutions, especially in relation to revitalization of downtown Kitchener; environmental pressures from development; as well as other conflicts and disparities.