This October the Vasudhaiva Ride launched in Canada! With events in Toronto and Guelph, Ontario, Ben brought the story of the ride to people from many walks of life. From local artisanal beer sponsors to live music and the first prototype of a community issues & resource map, Ben was able to raise funds for the ride and grow the community of people sharing in the story of One world, one family!
Guelph, Ontario is Ben’s hometown, and has always been a resilient and diverse community of artists, activists and people engaged in the social and political goings-ons of their town. After years away, Ben returned to Guelph to launch the ride with the people who helped shape him from the early years.
The Guelph Launch happened in the eBar of the Bookshelf: bookstore, café, bar and cinema. We are inspired by the support of people in Canada, and we know that this community will continue to grow exponentially as the ride gets underway. Here’s to making it happen, one country and one community at a time! Thanks to everyone who participated in the Guelph event. Special thanks to Brian Schirk for the photos and DJ-ing! Read more for the "community map" created at this event!
Community Mapping Event
During the Guelph launch, Ben engaged Guelphites in creating a community issues and resources map: a map of the different ISSUES within a community and the tangible,local RESOURCES available to address these issues.
HOW IT HAPPENED (and how to DO it!)
As people arrive, they are invited to identify an issue that their community is facing, to write this issue down on a piece of paper, to place this on one of several tables in the room and to walk around the tables and observe the issues others had identified. People then group the issues together thematically, and are invited to join the issue-group that speak to them most. Each group then works together to name the common topic before them: eg. water, housing, energy, racism. Once in an issue-group, every person in the group identifies themselves within the topic, as a "newby", "interested", or a "host", according to their level of previous engagement with the topic.
Each group then maps out THREE THINGS:
1. What the issue is about.
Explained in simple words: this is for the "newby" who has only a basic understanding of the issue.
2. Challenges to getting involved: such as lack of information, complexity of issues, etc. This is for the people "interested", perhaps who have already looked into getting involved.
3. How to get involved.Tangible links to people, places and organisations to contact in order to get involved. This is for the "host" who is active in this issue.
The Result in Guelph…
We passed the mic around and shared the findings of this work: small resource maps reflecting the issues being faced in the Guelph community, from “caring for quieted and marginalized voices", to “diverse communication and inclusivity with the goal of social change, decision-making and evolution", to addressing the corporatization of water and “making healthy food accessible in an environmentally conscious way". After the event Ben took these resource maps and compiled them for the final product…
Community Issues & Resource Maps are a co-creative, community-owned project that results in a tangible tool for engaging with the issues in one’s own community. Inspired by Open Space Technology, this is a process that is open to everyone and designed to lead to collaboration and tangibly addressing and resolving an issue.
Thanks to these events in Canada, the community of people who are connected through the Vasudhaiva Ride has grown to include a greater diversity of people passionate about the wellbeing of those around them and keen to hear stories of others working around the world for the wellbeing of their communities, families, neighbours and strangers. Our Canada events mark the inclusion of another continent (North America), in this journey that is quickly growing to include a truly global network of movers and shakers.