Gord Tulloch is the innovative Program Director of the largest community living organization in British Columbia - possAbilities. His command of history, theoretical constructs and ethics qualifies him for the indispensable role as the community living movement's philosopher in British Columbia. It's a pity his other responsibilities limit his writing and commentating. Here is his response to What would you like to become more visible in 2011? You can also Download Becoming Visible - the complete collection of essays.
I would like to see more community, and by that, I mean more natural and organic systems of connection. Besides philanthropic relationships, the closest our over-burdened social and health systems come to accessing community is usually through volunteers, which in the end, and in most cases, resembles an unpaid quasi-professional classification. One only has to sift through volunteer policies and processes, replete with background checks, liability insurance, monitoring mechanisms, codes and restrictions, etc, to know that by the time a formal system is done enlisting the aid of community, it has remade it, in its own image. Usually.
Finding solutions to social problems has to be about building better communities and engaging them; it is not about building more robust social service systems. The answers must come from slipping into the vast, awesome, and indefatigable currents of community. I donʼt think we have begun to contemplate all the relationships and partnerships that might be engendered—whether with businesses, artisans, neighbours, clubs, etc.—and how this will change the complexion of everything.
Read a recent article on how Gord is infusing social finance and innovation thinking in his organization.
Community living refers to services and supports for people with developmental disabilities.
Please share and distribute to your friends and through your various networks, websites etc. I think you will agree - these are too good to keep to ourselves.