The Local Good -The Good 100 Experiment
The Good 100 Experiment is a two day workshop hosted by The Local Good where people with a desire to make change from different fields - like the local food community, artists, social activists, local business, social enterprise, government, indigenous rights advocates, charities, funders, design thinkers, nonprofits, alternative media and more - come together to have meaningful conversations. This dialogue fosters trust and connection between good people who are up to good things. The experiment plants seeds for collaboration as a chance to share what one knows while learning from others.
What is being woven at The Good 100 Experiment are hundreds of ties with a common thread. Many attendees at The Good 100 Experiment have been surfacing in ABSI Connect’s exploration of Alberta’s social innovation ecosystem. Each person or organization that attends the experiment contributes towards a stronger and more impactful solutions-based community. This unfolds as The Good 100 Experiment gathers local businesses that have developed as social enterprises (Verdigo, Sustainival) and co-ops (Alberta Yarn Project), design thinkers that are acting around social innovation (Connect-To-Do), citizen led-tech meetups (Open Edmonton), and cross-sectoral advocacy groups that have developed circles of shared responsibility and stewardship towards Indigenous rights, such as Wichitowin. Together, they learn from each other making space for conversations around what is a “new normal.”
The addition of each common tie makes the network stronger, enabling the experiment to seed things it never could have done on an individual scale.The collaboration supports positive impact in Edmonton because the sum of its parts lead to a stronger whole.
The Good 100 Experiment reminds me of my grade 10 chemistry class. I learned that you can take carbon atoms and assemble them in particular hexagonal patterns of ties to make graphite. The graphite is soft and opaque. I also discovered you can take the same carbon and rearrange it into a covalent patterns of ties to make diamond. The diamond is hard, clear and multifaceted.
Their properties differ dramatically not because the carbon is different, but because of the way the patterns of ties have been arranged. It is not about the nature of the carbon atoms themselves, but rather the nature of the how the carbon bonds are arranged. When we begin to connect and assemble in new ways, we produce results that we could have never foreseen.
The Good 100 Experiment is creating spaces and facilitating new bonds through “Saavy do Gooders,”such as Nadine Riopel, who create ties between Edmontonians with the common thread to do good and create change. By facilitating opportunities like this, Nadine and others empower people to organize in new ways producing new properties that may uncover possible diamonds in the sediment of the social innovation ecosystem.
These pattern of ties, and how they bond people through The Good 100 Experiment, is something we can use. It becomes a reservoir of value because what connects or flows across the ties is the richness of experience, learning, insight, competencies, and perspectives that can collectively and collaboratively inform the inventive or innovative solutions we seek.
In other words, it will take the sum of our talents and experiences to tackle our most complex problems.
The future we want to see in AB...
As a province, we are building this reservoir and we are discovering some of the connector pieces like The Good 100 Experiment and AlbertaIN. Now as we gaze towards the future, how do we begin to connect in new ways to develop systems that are mutually supportive and aware of each other? This may happen if we develop awareness across geographical boundaries and sectors of other socially innovative projects. As we uncover the connectors, how can we can begin to imagine versatile communities that arrange themselves and bond in ways that are similar to the hard, clear, and multifaceted properties of diamonds.