What Does Literacy Have to do With Municipal Elections?
It turns out that literacy has a great deal to do with municipal elections…especially in the Highlands. This is why we have BOTH decided, at the last moment, to put our names forward for re-election as municipal councillors. Yes, we are running again.
Integrated Decision Making – FIVE Capitals – Systems Thinking
In addition to being literate in the basic sense of reading, riting, and rithmetic, there are 5 other ways that are critical for elected officials to be literate. Literacy with the FIVE capitals, each with their own currency, is easy when you live it like we do with our Eco-Sense lifestyle, but full literacy is lacking with most politicians at all levels of government.
Story-Telling and the FIVE Capitals
Five years ago we had a nursery customer who turned out to be a City of Colwood staff member – he was an engineer. We gave him a quick tour of the homestead after he picked out his fruit trees. He was amazed at the integrated systems including our lifestyle, food, energy, water, carbon/natural capital and finances. He was so inspired that that he asked to bring the rest of Colwood’s engineering department for a tour. They came for a tour and we spoke about integrated municipal infrastructure.
An hour after the tour the phone rang, and a request was made to bring the Public Works and Parks departments for a tour. In this tour, we discussed integrated asset management planning and management of built and natural infrastructure.
A day later another request, this time for the Planning department, many whom we knew already, and evolved into integrated land use planning, net-zero zoning, and how to think of multiple capitals from a planning perspective.
The last call was for a tour with Colwood’s council, the CAO, and finance – discussions focused on integrated governance.
The story continued. Colwood Public Works then asked for a workshop to teach them how to construct Ferro Cement concrete curvy beds. Video on building concrete curvy beds.
Then Engineering hired us to consult and design a food forest for a new park. This new park integrated stormwater catchment system into a hugelkulture (saving many $100,000’s in built infrastructure). The engineering team employed the concept of watching and observing local high school students make their own pathways through the park, then engaged the trade students to build out the trails for the student’s chosen routes. The culinary students were invited to look after a culinary section of the food plants. First Nations were invited to have a native and healing plant section.
And Finally, we were invited as special guests at the ribbon cutting – the developer for Royal Bay was also in attendance and whether they knew it or not the intention was to show what the City would like emulated in the commercial development section of Royal Bay.
Despite not sitting on the Colwood Council – we influenced the whole of the council and staff and empowered them to employ integrated systems thinking that incorporated the 5 capitals in the decision making process.
Have you guessed what the five capitals are?
Social (relationships, governance, trust and hugs)
Natural (life, food, water, nature, habitat, carbon, soil, etc)
Manufactured (roads, buildings, trails, etc)
Human (skills, education)
How are you going to vote in this municipal election?
Please vote for literacy…especially in the Highlands.