Tag Archives: Start Up Canada

Why a Networked Artisanal Economy will work for PEI

This is a great future for PEI and is in our reach. This is why the QSC is backing StartUp Canada and their visit in the week of May 7th.

If you like this vision – join us at the QSC on May 8th – details here

One of the most challenging parts of PEI’s situation is that we don’t have enough young to sustain our society in the next 25 years. This problem is shared by all the Provinces in Atlantic Canada.

For a generation, governments have tried to change this by doing their best to attract large employers to set up operations here. This has not worked and, as the industrial model further concentrates, has even less chance of working now.

So we have a government sector that is too large, on PEI 65% of GDP, a large group of people living off the social system, a few people with jobs and a lot of ultra small businesses. The only sector here that has any chance of keeping our young home and of attracting young from away is the very small.

In the past the very small was only for hobbyists. The web now makes it possible for once were hobbyists to access a global market. Young women in villages in England sell knitting patterns to a market in the millions. Authors self publish books on Amazon.

For what is also new is that there is a large and growing market for products and services that people can trust – defined as those made by persons and not faceless organizations. Grass Fed Beef versus Feedlot Beef. Real soap versus chemicals. Real IT support versus and Indian Call Centre. Real Toys versus dangerous ones.

So who would come and do this? Are not all the young going to the cities? Yes many still leave the boonies for the city. But many of the city folk are now leaving the city. Those that are leaving the city are among the most aware and thoughtful.

They cannot make a good living in the big city anymore.

For they too cannot get the paid work that will enable them to pay the high prices for housing. Many also don’t trust the faceless organization as an employer anymore either. They don’t trust them to keep their word as an employer or keep the quality of what they do.

They see no future for themselves as employees of the big or as citizens of the big.

These people want to make a difference. They want to raise their kids in a real world. They don’t care about the flash and the glitz. They want to do real things and so be real and live in a real place.

They want to find a REAL HOME.

PEI is a great place to do this from.

There is a huge spread in housing costs in favour of a move here to support you. A 700 square foot condo is priced at about $350,000. You can buy a mansion for that here or say 50 acres and a home for half of that in Eastern PEI. You can find the home at a price that will not be a millstone. A low housing cost is a prerequisite for a life of meaning.

Then we offer community. Not a thousand friends on Facebook – but a real human community. There are networks of Foodies, Film makers, Artists, Musicians, Programmers, Marketers, Teachers, Writers – You will find support right away.

We offer a REAL BRAND – for with all our faults – this is still a REAL community and we are SMALL and will never be that corporate.

And so what do these people do for us? 10,000 families that have these values moving here in the next 10 years would change everything for the better. We would restore the vitality of our society. We woud build the economy that can sustain us in difficult times.

We would have a future. So I ask – Get Behind this – I know of no other way.

 

A Vision for a “Maker Economy” on PEI

I am part of a new national network called StartUp Canada that will launch in March. The objective if to create a powerful supportive national network that will help shift us from a bureaucratic to an entrepreneural culture.

I am the PEI blogger for this. I was asked to do a video about why I am involved and how I see things on PEI. Here it is.