Checking in with Landing Locals founder Colin Frolich this past month, he told me his organization has “more leads than we can handle.” The company is one that had an exquisite vision, it saw a need (workforce housing), looked for what’s there (lots of second homes), and found a way to unlock the potential. The fledgling firm founded just three short years ago has hit the right note and is now landing all over the country in similar communities with high percentages of second-home housing stock. Read about this exciting expansion here.
It’s an election year and Moonshine Ink collaborated again on the Truckee candidate forums held the first week of October. I know I speak for many when I thank every candidate who volunteered to lead this election season, see election coverage. We especially recognize those candidates who participated in the forums, getting up on the dais to share their vision for how best to serve this local community. It is not easy to put yourself out there and to answer the tough questions we media partners put together this year (watch the forums at ttctv.org). I appreciate and applaud you all.
Landing Locals and these candidates epitomize the idea of unlocking the potential that we contain within ourselves, within our community. There is an incredibly inspiring and moving TEDx Talk from 2016 that declares this is the way humanity must go to solve our vexing issues. In it, Cormac Russell, a community development specialist who has worked around the globe, posits that solutions to a community’s issues must come from within and be sourced from its strengths.
Too often, he says, consultants are brought from outside of a community to solve “what’s wrong.” That’s going at it backwards, Russell says, we should begin with “what’s strong within a community.”
Russell shares several examples in his talk of regular everyday citizens making remarkable changes in their communities. One dealt with a current problem plaguing our region — that of trash. On the Wirral Peninsula in the U.K., litter was becoming a huge problem. The usual response is to organize pickups or lobby local government to figure it out. Here on this sandy beach, a guy named Frank decided to build a pirate ship.
An organic idea and structure were pieced together, galvanizing the people of New Brighton, with many hands pitching in, building, and cleaning up the area. The “Black Pearl” ship, composed mostly of driftwood, is now one of the biggest tourist attractions in the area, with thousands visiting yearly, even hosting a few weddings aboard. You can follow the project on Facebook. The ship itself has been rebuilt a few times, but through it all, the beach is the cleanest it’s been. All done by pirates.
What’s key, Russell says, is for people to “identify the solution in their own words and to create the solution with their own hands.” He goes on to explain why it works: “You know, everywhere I go, I find that when people create things themselves, they own them in a way that you can never ever own that which has been created for you.”
I’ll close with this quote Russell shares because it sums it up quite “beautifully.” From Rosabeth Moss Kanter, the Harvard academic: “When we do change to people, they experience it as violence, but when people do change for themselves, they experience it as liberation.”