Last Saturday was my second time at Vancouver Change Camp and, just like the first time, it was a day full of very thought-provoking sessions about how ordinary people can change their world for the better.
The last event took place right at the peak of the Occupy movement. Although I didn’t go to any of the sessions led by people involved with Occupy Vancouver, they did tend to dominate the overall theme of the day. This year’s event was more diverse (I even pitched and led a session myself – a last minute decision, of which more later, possibly at Occam’s Corner rather than here!), with no overall theme. However, I chose to attend sessions along a personal theme: politics. I met people involved in an organisation called PlaceSpeak (a platform that anyone can use to state their thoughts on any aspect of local politics, and that politicians can use to assess public opinion); someone running for office in the upcoming Provincial election; and tons of other interesting people. I participated in conversations about public consultation; making politicians accountable; how to contact, influence, and help your representatives; electoral reform; and how to encourage longer-term thinking in politics.
We covered more ground than I can get into in a single blog post (selected thoughts of mine and others are still visible on Twitter though), so I’ll leave you with the most awesome thing I saw all day: a video made by Frances Ramsay, a local high school student who went to several of the same sessions as me, sporting a most excellent “Future Climate-Change Voter” button. Frances had some great suggestions about engaging young people via better education about the political system, and having lived here as a non-citizen for seven years (and getting my citizenship ten days after the last Provincial election. GAAH!), I completely understand her frustration at not having a vote when you’re surrounded by people who don’t care and don’t bother.
Enjoy! And remember – if you have a vote, you have a responsibility, too.