Tag Archive for 'community'

Inspiring Communities

I love ideas that WORK. And especially when those ideas make such an inspiring difference in local communities. Here’s one that’s worth a very close look.

Have you ever heard of the Invercargill Licensing Trust? I presented at a conference at Invercargill on the South Island of NZ in October 2007, and just loved the concept of this Trust. Apparently, there are about 20 all around NZ (and probably lots more around the world). Essentially, money that has been spent in the community, stays in the community.

Here’s how it works (and apologies to the Trust if I misrepresent some of these points).

The Trust owns all licensing (ie alcohol) venues in the city…. and some restaurants and motels as well. All profits from these venues are then spent in the community itself. So, rather than some multi-national directing the profits back to New York or Abu Dhabi, the money directly benefits the local people.

And wow! Don’t they benefit. For a population of 50 000, Invercargill has some of the most outstanding sporting facilities I’ve ever seen outside a major capital city… and even within them as well. Amongst other things, they include an astonishing swimming venue (which includes a wave pool), rugby fields, and even a world-class cycling velodrome. The indoor basketball / netball courts are something else, I assure you. There is even a huge rock-climbing wall built into that complex.

And then you come to education. Their conference (the one I attended) is superbly organised, and includes a high class conference dinner. All FREE for the attendees. To attend, they just need to teach in the local community. And the funding spreads further. As far as I know, most (all?…) classrooms have received interactive whiteboards.

Why am I telling you all of this?? Well, I’m just wondering why it doesn’t happen more often. In a world that is sometimes driven by the profit motive, it’s just so inspiring to see that this concept can and does work.