The "new school" capitalists (of Vancouver!)

Hmmm, "The new school capitalists of Vancouver". Kinda has a nice ring to it, now THERE is a reality show I'd like to see!

Yeah, yeah, I know all good bloggers are supposed to have a niche. But folks, I've had several past lives already, and am a bit of a renaissance (wo)man, so I can't stand censoring my many interests!

It's a far off memory now, and most of you probably don't know this, but... (good lord... I just did some shocking math...) just over 10 years ago I earned my Bachelors degree from SFU, where I majored in Human Geography (with a minor in Fine and Performing Arts). What is "Human Geography"? People always ask me this, so:

Human geography is one of the two major sub-fields of the discipline of geography. Human geography is a branch of the social sciences that studies the world, its people, communities and cultures with an emphasis on relations of and across space and place. Human geography differs from physical geography mainly in that it has a greater focus on studying human activities and is more receptive to qualitative research methodologies. As a discipline, human geography is particularly diverse with respect to its methods and theoretical approaches to study.

Thanks Wikipedia! In other words, though I did take some physical geography classes like climatology, soil science, and biogeography, instead of focusing on landscapes and studying a lot of mapping and GIS, I mainly studied peoples' spacial behaviours and the relationships between place, space, and various other social science topics. My classes were things like health geography (which I later got my Masters in), political geography, economic geography, environmental geography... you can pretty much study any topic through the lens of geography - I think that's why I gravitated towards it, must know all the things! 

Though I specialized in Health Geography during my MA, for the later years of my BA, I focused on taking classes in urban planning, resource management, regional planning, and sustainable development. Yep, I was a full fledged eco-planning nerd, and in fact that's what I intended to have a career in. Later, I became discouraged trying to find work in my field, and ended up getting into web development, but my love of urban planning and sustainable development has continued to be strong. 

There you have it. If you ever wondered why I spend so much of my time and energy learning and sharing info about politics, transportation, health policy, sustainability, local businesses, and the like, it's because it's a genuine passion of mine. I may not ever end up building a career around it, but it's important to me, and I care a lot about sharing this information, trying to get other people interested in it, and empowering us all to make better choices.

Not Business as Usual: A Film About Disrupting the Business Quo

All that to preface how excited I was when I heard about this new documentary that a group in Vancouver, Institute B, had released. The description of the film says:

It was the promise of something better…

A better life for your family, a better start for your business, a better legacy to leave the world. Founded on the virtues of hard work, equal opportunity and a free market economy.

But somewhere between the dreaming, and the making, and the buying, and the selling – we were duped. And we’re just now beginning to realize how badly...

This feature length documentary tracks the changing landscape of business with the rising tide of conscious capitalism and features the inspiring stories of several subversive entrepreneurs from Vancouver who are redefining what it means to be successful.

I sat down to watch it this morning, and it's an inspiring glimpse into many of the major socially and environmentally conscious businesses that call Vancouver home. You'll see Mark Brand notorious restauranteur de Save On Meats, Joel Solomon from Renewal, Suzanne Siemens and Madeleine Shaw from Lunapads, and so many other local business leaders from this city in the film. 

Many of you know what a long-time Lunapads enthusiast I am - the extended segment in the last third of the film about their work with Afripads and Pads4Girls gave me goosebumps. Madeleine and Suzanne are not only inspiring business women, but they provide a shining example of what kind of positive impacts we can all strive to have.

This matters. Please make some time to watch it, and spread the word.