So, we’ve quietly been live for a couple of weeks, sharing our purpose and our content with a small group of people. We’ve had lots of positive comments, and our membership is growing.
One piece of feedback keeps coming to us. “Cool idea, but, um, it seems awfully big.” At first blush, maybe. But, when you begin to think about change in small bits, it’s way more digestible. It’s not anything that requires more time or more money — everyone’s tapped, we get that — it is about rethinking your personal power to make a difference. Easy example: Vote on election day. Almost half of us don’t. Imagine how much better governments would be if they represented the choice of ALL the people.
At this early stage in the movement, we thought it might be useful to expand on our FAQs (you’ll find the regular link in the footer of each page). Here are some of the most commonly (oops, frequently) asked questions and our responses.
Is this just about being a better, more responsible consumer?
No, as important as that is. Otherwise we would have called it Consumer Capitalism. This is about using our power as citizens — neighbours, voters, parents, employees, taxpayers, investors, customers, and yes, consumers—to shape the world we want to live in. Guys, it’s OUR world. We need to step up and make choices that we like. Why cede that power to strangers?
Besides, there are other individuals doing a great job focusing on our role as consumers. Bruce Philp just wrote a book called “Consumer Republic” http://bit.ly/cP5Iny, and Alex Bogusky is doing interesting things with his Commons project as part of his Fearless Revolution http://fearlessrevolution.com/. We wish both of them great success.
Then this must be about saving our environment?
Earthly matters matter. Definitely. And environmental consciousness is a huge part of Citizen Capitalism; our daily eco-decisions are a priority because their consequences impact all of. But we want citizens of the world to focus on whole-life thinking. Example: You could devote all your energy to creating a waste-free home, which is awesome, but imagine if you redistributed a bit of that energy to getting the right people elected so they could then create environmental reform that would impact your entire community?
Is there a commercial agenda to this? How will you fund Citizen Capitalism?
There is no commercial agenda, and no funding. This is a project of passion for everybody involved. We’re trying to galvanize a community that will become self-sustaining, that will support and help each of us find new ways to exercise our power as citizens.
If it’s not commercial, is there a political agenda?
OK, you caught us. We have a definite political agenda. We want governments to be effective. We want them to remember that they are employed by citizens, not the other way around, and that we expect them to lead, not pander. We want them to make the tough decisions that will create the conditions for the economic, social, and cultural prosperity of all of their citizens.
If you check our Purpose/Who We Are page, you’ll see that Citizen Capitalism was born in Canada, but it’s not exclusively Canadian. We believe its content is relevant to any citizen of a Western democracy. Many of our conversations may begin from a Canadian pov, sure, but we wouldn’t be honouring our heritage if we didn’t welcome comment, ideas and dialogue from the rest of the world. After all, everyone knows Canadians are nothing if not polite.
How can I get involved?
This is the easy part — just start sharing. When you join the community, you begin to inspire others with your input, you add to our overall learning, expand the concept and encourage fellow citizens to do the same.
What happens if I join?
You get the chance to exercise your power as a citizen for change. You can comment on blogs, answer or suggest a poll. Tell your friends about us, Like our Facebook community page, or follow us on Twitter. Occasionally, we’ll send you email blasts when we hear about really cool ideas that we believe will help and support your newfound thinking.
If you care about change, about bettering the world in easy ways, join us. Remember, we’re all in this thing together. And together, is the only way we’ll succeed.
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