Archive for June, 2010

Resilience is an Attitude

June 7th, 2010

A couple weeks ago we wrote about the different terms we use to talk about this movement we’re creating. If you missed it, you can check it out here. This week, we thought we’d take a closer look at the next buzz word “resilience” and coin a new catchphrase. You can thank us later.

After everyone comes to understand that it’s going to be nearly impossible to take our current lifestyles and make them sustainable, we’re going to focus on making the communities that we live in resilient. A resilient community is one that can survive on its own in the face of extreme challenges. What would happen to your community if the price of oil spiked sharply and the constant caravan of trucks bringing food in suddenly stopped? Where would you get food after the three-day supply in the grocery store ran out? What if an earthquake severed the ancient pipe system bringing fresh water to San Francisco from Hetch Hetchy? Maybe at least then people would stop defecating in fresh water.

Who's got the local adult diaper source?

A resilient community doesn’t have to ask itself these questions because it can provide everything it needs on its own. This is the main focus of the Transition movement and its leader Rob Hopkins, and it’s a noble and achievable goal when you’re talking about a community in rural England. Unfortunately, this goal of resilience is a little bit more difficult to imagine let alone achieve when your scope is a major US city or even a neighborhood like ours is. The fact of the matter is true resilience might be outside of our grasp, and the profound departure from our current way of being that it would require makes it very difficult for us to understand how to even begin to move towards it. Growing a garden, supporting our peri-urban farms, getting our businesses on the right path, setting up a water cistern and learning to sew are all great steps to take, but they won’t solve the problem. Are we urban dwellers doomed to fight a battle we simply can’t win? I don’t think so. Rather, I think we have a leading place in the resilience movement, despite the fact that we will almost certainly fail to make our communities functionally resilient in the near term.

You see, a fully-formed resilient community does feature true foodsheds and watersheds, diverse local » Read more: Resilience is an Attitude

Summer of Sustainable Business: A Working Group Update

June 1st, 2010

The main work of the Wigg Party is divided among four Working Groups, which meet periodically to plan out the organization’s efforts surrounding local foods, transforming the Wiggle, re-skilling the community, and promoting sustainable business practices.  The Sustainable Business subcommittee met last week, and we have so much exciting stuff brewing, we thought it only made sense to give everyone a snapshot of what we’re working on, and hopefully you’ll take part in some of it as well:

Divis Art Walk!Wigg Party at the Divisadero Art Walk: this Thursday, June 3rd, 6PM until late

As the area represents a key section of the Wigg Party’s turf, it’s important that we rally up as a group to show our presence in the community and support the businesses along Divisadero.  And you know what that means: food, music, art, and wigs!  Come out and join us at the Wigg Party station near the Harding Theatre this Thursday evening for the fourth Divisadero Art Walk.  Check out the Art Walk’s blog for more info–see you there!

I Bike SF logoI Bike SF in June: Lower Divsadero/NOPA

The mayor’s office has instituted a new program to promote biking around the city.  The simple design of I Bike SF is that bikers receive discounts for shopping at participating stores in a particular neighborhood each month.  May’s neighborhood was Hayes Valley, and we’re psyched to report that the I Bike SF neighborhood for June is Lower Divisadero/NOPA!  To get your discount, ride to a participating business (they will post the I Bike SF logo near their entrances, or check out program’s official site for a full list), and present your helmet or bike lock.  Support these businesses–you’ll get a discount and prove how beneficial it can be for shops to show commitment to sustainable transport though biking.

CM LogoA Carrotmob of Our Own – This Fall

One major initiative for the Sustainable Business Committee over the next few months is to organize a Carrotmob of our very own.  The Wigg Party’s initial foray into Carrotmobbing at the Duboce Park Cafe in April showed us that the idea of rewarding businesses for pledging to become more socially responsible is a powerful thing, and we’re excited to leverage the social networks of the members of the Wigg Party to direct a ton of business to a local shop.  We’re looking at dates in the early fall, and businesses in the Lower Haight/Divisadero/NOPA area.  One question for our readers: we’re looking for model sustainable businesses (in particular, coffee shops) who are getting energy efficiency right.  It would be ideal if we could point to existing businesses for ideas on practices our next Carrotmob host should put into place with the earnings from the event.  If you can think of any examples or have a business in the wiggle area you’d like to be considered for the Wigg Party Carrotmob, let us know in the comments.

On Our Minds Going Forward

We find the local currency movement compelling as a way to encourage members of the community to spend their money… » Read more: Summer of Sustainable Business: A Working Group Update