Allegorical Tale, Mythical Village. Building, Growing.
|Things Worth Believing In||Secondhand Lions|
|There’s a long speech I give to young men. Sounds like you need to hear a piece of it. A piece.
Sometimes the things that may or may not be truth — are the things that a man needs to believe in the most. That people are basically good. That honor, courage and virtue mean everything. That power and money, money and power, mean nothing. That good always triumphs over evil. And I want you to remember this. Love — true love never dies. You remember that, boy. You remember that. Doesn’t matter if it’s true or not, you see. A man should believe in those things because those are the things worth believing in.
— Uncle Hub’s speech in the movie “Secondhand Lions”
We believe in the things expressed in these pages because these things are worth believing in. Doesn’t matter whether they are true or not. We believe that people are basically good and that most of us want simply to live in peace and harmony with ourselves, each other and the planet. ~your humble narrator
Stepping through our Table of Contents …
The Centresa Concept outlines some of the beliefs and convictions that should be part and parcel of any enterprise or organization. Our Code of Ethics, Belief & Disbelief, Social Responsibility, Guiding Principles and Things Worth Believing In are discussed in this section.
Our Core, Our Centre comprises Religious Education, Environmental Stewardship and Social Action. These are three core principles that are at the heart of the Centresa name and mission … Centre [for] Religious Education, Environmental Stewardship and Social Action.
Educational, Media & Business Services put forward the concept that there is a symbiotic relationship in the triad of education, business and media services. The Centresa business plan experimentally creates multiple revenue streams (within a community environment; see also “Pathways“) to address this funding opportunity:
“The key weakness within the progressive movement’s business plan […] is that a large part of our revenue relies on donations. […] There’s a lot of value being left on the table here, and there are many lost opportunities to sell progressive products and support progressive companies.” (Continue Reading: Progressive Movement’s Business Plan).
A Grassroots Company – Centresa believes in Democratic Corporate Structures; Fair & Equitable Commerce; Respect for the Natural Environment; and Harmony between Belief & Action. Our structures and processes are created by the people who do the work. As a Utopian Community, we are encouraged to experiment, learn, change, improve and quickly move forward. “What If?” and “Why Not?” are front & centre in every discussion.
Community Builder – is our online “learning, sharing, networking, advocacy” centre. Here is where the call to action is answered. Having come forth with a plethora of principles and beliefs, products and services, the roots of a grassroots company that loves to experiment … here we begin building and growing the online community that will accomplish their goals. Developing educational and advocacy applications within the NationBuilder framework is our first mission.
Centresa Village – is the physical incarnation where a community of learners, teachers and advocates come together in a relaxed, natural, eco-friendly environment. The Village is anchored by an “Old Virginia Farmhouse Restaurant,” and includes a eco-retail store (“One Small Planet”) specializing in all things environmental, a media / publishing centre (“Hello, World”), and of course, my personal favorite, “Mr. Sam Clemens’ Bookstore.”
|Once upon a time, in a time yet to be…||Scarborough Faire|
|In addition, Centresa Village offers a simple, relaxed park-like atmosphere, with pathways leading from the restaurant and the retail section, into a “village square” that includes an earthen stage, food vendors, entertainers. Flanking the square are workshops, meeting rooms and a small auditorium. Outdoor spaces are crafted as classrooms, game, yoga, tai chi areas. Even a small outdoor movie screen.
As you’ll see in the “Village Tour” coming up next, we make every effort to practice what we preach. That practice includes being gentle with the land in our construction. It includes (retro-) fitting our buildings with solar and wind energy. It includes adventure pathways, outdoor classrooms and treehouse meeting spaces. There are stumps where free speech is encouraged and respected.
Scarborough Faire in Duck, NC, has much of the look and feel that inspires the Village. Except, let the kid pet the pony, dad. Geez.
Aeon LakeTown is Japan’s largest eco-friendly shopping center and was developed to exude affinity for people and nature.
On a vast, verdant lakeside area spanning 224,000 square meters lie two distinctive shopping and amusement zones, Kaze and Mori. Designed for walkability, universality (amenable to all), and community (a place for relaxation), they are at the pinnacle of eco initiatives in Japan and provide all customers with an eco-friendly experience. The Kaze and Mori zones offer spaces and services imbued with an affinity for people and nature. Examples of such affinity are endless. Pedestrian-friendly promenades. Comfortable benches for resting or waiting for friends. Driver-friendly parking. Clear public announcements. Refreshing restaurants, fun shopping, and spacious courtyards. Eco initiatives open to participation by all. Lively eco events. Warm greetings, refreshing fountains, and friendly staff. A relaxing time and good memories. Such affinity is fundamental to Aeon LakeTown’s services and shared by all staff.
Village Tour – a narrative account of several of our Colleagues as they introduce their friends to Centresa Village. Our walking tour takes place on a typically day at the Village. We’ll observe a workshop, take in a solar panel display, let the kids run off some energy in the “shrubbery maze” … who knows what might be around the next turn? (Coming Soon: Tours of Store Fronts & Community Centres).
A Pattern Language – is the “the soul” “the bible” “the blueprint” for any Centresa project that touches the ground. Any thought given to Village, Storefront or Community Centre must be viewed through the lens and the prism of A Pattern Language.
A Pattern Language: Towns, Buildings, Construction is a 1977 book on architecture, urban design, and community livability. It was authored by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa and Murray Silverstein of the Center for Environmental Structure of Berkeley, California, with writing credits also to Max Jacobson, Ingrid Fiksdahl-King and Shlomo Angel. Decades after its publication, it is still one of the best-selling books on architecture.
The book creates a new language, what the authors call a pattern language derived from timeless entities called patterns. As they write on page xxxv of the introduction, “All 253 patterns together form a language.” Patterns describe a problem and then offer a solution. In doing so the authors intend to give ordinary people, not only professionals, a way to work with their neighbors to improve a town or neighborhood, design a house for themselves or work with colleagues to design an office, workshop or public building such as a school. (emphasis mine)
All of the above — literally, our Table of Contents, everything we do — is recorded, analyzed, edited, repackaged and offered as books, videos, plans, workshops, community guides, legal considerations, activist playbooks, project organization manuals — all of which finances our progressive message, activates citizens, and strengthens our communities. It took us a minute to get here but here we are … and thanks, my friend, for sticking with me so long … here we are, essentially an educational publishing company that creates blueprints for community change within the process of creating community change.
|Now truth be told — ’tis I, your humble narrator, once again — I doubt that all of this is going to come to fruition because a chorus of dedicated, talented people, suddenly emerges to take up the cause of creating and building this Allegorical Tale of a Mythical Village. I doubt that Warren Buffett or Bill Gates is going to drop a million seed money on us this week or next. “Shark Tank” seems a long shot. I doubt that President Obama will accept the position of Chief Executive Community Organizer, now that he (alas) needs a new job. But I do believe there are some ideas here in the Village of Centresa that might be useful. So in an act of foolish bravery or brave tomfoolery, here ’tis. ~WF||Our Mission Statement