Food and Dialogue Give Life to Peterborough’s Local Living Economy

Residents enjoy local food, sample Dialogues' possibilities

Jocasta Boone

What happens when you bring together a cross section of the business community, political figures and local advocates and activists to discuss Peterborough’s Local Living Economy?

Magic.

On Aug. 13, Peterborough Dialogues hosted a summer barbecue. Community members came out to enjoy local food, ‘taste’ the Peterborough Dialogues experience and explore the calling question: What If We Created a Local-Living Economy Founded On Our Gifts and Personal Life Purposes?

The invitation was well received and with an hour to showtime we rearranged the office and rented more chairs to accommodate the nearly 50 participants.

“We can choose to leave our economic future to the ‘forces that be’ or we can choose to discover our own potential to create livelihoods we love and by doing so shape a thriving local economy … our way.” — Peter Pula

After enjoying the local eats — sausages from the Community Butcher and sandwiches and salads from Primal Cuts — guests made their way inside to start the conversation.

Participants gathered in triads with those they knew least in the room. The ‘strangerness’ factor is key to sharing deeply and moving into the telling of one’s story from a place of authenticity.

As the dialoguers explored how Peterborough’s Local Living Economy is fundamentally connected to the community’s thriving, questions arose around how to shape, contribute to and create the desired community.

Peter Pula, Axiom News CEO and Peterborough Dialogues founder framed it this way: “We can choose to leave our economic future to the ‘forces that be’ or we can choose to discover our own potential to create livelihoods we love and by doing so shape a thriving local economy … our way.”

After 60 minutes of discovering one another and exploring deep desires for Peterborough’s Local Living Economy, the group came back to the whole to share insights and takeaways. With no two answers the same, it was inspiring to see how the experience made such an impact in so many ways. This is evident in the accompanying video harvest below.

This fall the Peterborough Dialogues is launching a ‘Dialogues Extravaganza’ focusing on the four predominate themes that emerged through the spring and summer Core Conversation series’: New Economy, Local Food, Citizenship and Neighbouring.

If you are interested in discovering, in new ways, the gifts and possibilities already alive in this community we invite to join us.

Special thanks to Greg Anderson of Mimic Holdings, owner of the Old Colonial Weaving Building and Marcelo Sarkis, proprietor of Prima IP, member of Start Up Peterborough and a Peterborough Dialoguer, for helping to plan and host this gathering.

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1 comment

  1. Heather Nixon

    I loved seeing this video. It reminded me of my experience with Peterborough Dialogues. The scene at the end of the video where a participant is holding one participant’s hand then leans forward to embrace another participant without losing contact with the first is, to me, the epitome of Peterborough Dialogues. Like a human string map representation of Peterborough Dialogues! An ideal foundation of connection and contact for our future.