PEACE RETAIL OPERATION VISION
I talk about our Canadian Centres for Teaching Peace (“CCTP”)
Peace Retail Vision. I put it in writing as talking points as follows.
[See our Peace Shoppe concept
[See our Peace Shoppe concept
First, a number of key words come to my mind that we work to
embody in our Peace Retail Operations: unique,
uplifting, socially responsible, viable and sustainable over the long run,
supports community building, fair trade and local products and services
(as much as possible), multi-lingual, non-partisan, inclusiveness and
culture, race, religion, belief, sex, age, education, occupation, etc. we want
everyone who walks in our door to feel at home, and feel good (people may not
remember what you say, but they remember how you make them feel). Visitors
at our Victoria affiliate often say they come just to de-stress and feel better
after a trying day.
CCTP is uniquely positioned to be excellent at the “Peace
Shoppe”, because we are Canada’s foremost peace educators, with business
expertise, and a holistic vision and process of Community Culture of Peace
Programs around the World (housed in virtual and concrete Community Centres for
Teaching Peace/Peace Cafés). Our Victoria colleague, Valerie Pusey (owner
of Full Circle Studio Arts, ref. http://www.fullcirclestudio.ca
) brings key peace retail and store design expertise to our Team. (Note
– the description “Peace Shoppe” is just for purposes of this article; we
plan to come up with possibly a more suitable name.)
We plan for between 1,500 and 2,500 square feet, more or less, at
the first floor main building entrance. We plan to carry a broad line of
peace related goods and services including, but not limited to, art, crafts,
gifts, clothing, books, music, furniture, jewellery, etc. in our retail and
We would also be very willing, happy and able to act as welcoming
centre for visitors to the building, and guide them to all the services offered
throughout the Peace Building.
The planning process includes: planning the store concept; doing
an environmental scan, survey and business plan; connecting with local and other
suppliers; financing and ordering furniture, fixtures and inventory; store
set-up; hiring. We can envisage the requirement for financing equipment,
inventory and working capital of as much as $250,000 depending upon size.
Assuming we received a “green light” to proceed, we are
confident that we can meet critical time lines. We would commence planning
and action immediately with Valerie Pusey to visit the community to work full
time for a week to ten days on the local project development aspects.
We plan to hire a local manager for the day-to-day operations of
the Peace Shoppe, supported by our Management Team. All staff would be
trained “Peace Guides”, so that they may respond to visitors’ questions in
a most suitable way.
We are very happy to collaborate with other tenants and peace
organizations in the planning.
CCTP has a vision to operate our Community Centres for Teaching
Peace along the lines suggested in the book ‘The E-Myth Revisited: Why Most
Small Businesses Don’t Work and What to Do About It’ by Michael Gerber
(ref. http://www.e-myth.com ).
In other words, to create a franchise model (with spiritual base) that can be
used anywhere in the world to help raise peace consciousness through education.
I have taken on the responsibility to initiate the development of this model,
and I am connecting with people with the right skills to ensure its success.
CCTP plans to do this through several branches: Community Centres
for Teaching Peace (mandate of peace education programs), Peace Cafés (mandate
of a ‘home’ for reconnecting community, bringing the
communal ‘campfire’ indoors, with a resource centre), Peace Shoppe
(mandate of providing keepsakes of peace, and being a “peace tourist welcome
centre”). In most cases, I imagine these three branches to be happening
in close proximity, such that the visitor will hardly be able to notice walking
from one to another.
The CCTP logo is an Inukshuk. For millennia, massive stone
figures built in the image of a human have stood silhouetted on the treeless
Arctic horizons. Created by Inuit people, these Inukshuks serve as guides
to point out a journey or a safe passage. The Canadian Centres for
Teaching Peace believes this is a fitting Canadian symbol of the journey to safe
and caring communities and world. We see our role as guides, creating safe
space and a resource centre for raising peace consciousness.
At CCTP, we wish to follow principles such as fair trade and
social entrepreneurship, in which everyone involved in our organization is
encouraged to develop streams of revenues to help ensure our long term viability
and sustainability, as an organization and as individuals. I believe we
are on the leading edge of a Peace Industry, and that there is tremendous value
in what we have to offer (including our Peace Toolkit; ref. http://www.peace.ca/toolkit.htm
). I have written some further thoughts on the Economics of Peace
below that may interest you.
I hope that these comments will help interested and supportive
partners to do your visioning around this. I trust we can come up with
transformative and creative solutions together. I know our partners brings
a lot to CCTP, and you provide an inspiration and model to us. I believe
that CCTP provides our partners with a well
established peace infrastructure, processes, support,
resources, connections and inspiration that will help our partners realize their
highest and best vision, purpose and potential.
I am sure there are ‘Other’ key things I could say, which will
be teased out in the process of our dialogue and developing relationship.
I look forward to discussing this further with you.
Bob Stewart stewartr[at]peace.ca
THE ECONOMICS OF PEACE BUILDING THROUGH PEACE EDUCATION
DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION
am taking this opportunity to invite discussion on an important matter to the
success of the Community Centres for Teaching Peace, and advancing a Culture of
Peace in the community, related to our economics for various goods, services,
workshops, etc. that we offer.
are some thoughts I would like to share. They are not "cast in
stone", and I look forward to working out a reasonable formula (and your
help through discussion would be appreciated; I believe you are probably already
quite aware of many of the thoughts I will share):
There is a cost related to our time, space, equipment and other assets, etc. and
it is significant. It is critical that the Community Centres for Teaching
Peace be viable and sustainable over the long run. (i.e. law of economics)
We are not government, subsidized by the taxpayer (and it is tough to compete,
for example, with the Library who is). We are in the process of finding
I believe that everyone should be remunerated a fair day’s wage for a fair
day’s work (i.e. fair trade principle).
It is human nature that people do not value free “stuff” (i.e. the ‘buy
in’ principle; a good book on this is “The Economic
Dependency Trap: Breaking Free to Self-Reliance” by Calvin Helin. Book
Review at http://www.troymedia.com/2010/12/04/book-review-the-economic-dependency-trap
Part of the problem in the past is that peace people have felt they had to give
their services away for free (i.e. the ‘missionary’). As a result,
peace people often did not have “two nickels to rub together”, and suffered
from a sort of “poverty” (i.e. an impovished mindset). I have seen
peace people lose their spouse and family (and dreams) because they could not
take care of them.
Peace people need resources to be more effective, and take care of themselves.
There is an important distinction between “Self first” and “selfish”.
As they say on the airplane, “place your own mask on first before helping
others”. (For a good discussion of this, you may refer to the book “How
to Make one Hell of a Profit and still get to Heaven”, by John Demartini
– highlights of the book are available at http://www.peace.ca/profit.htm
I see a lot of value in the tools in the Peace Toolkit (ref. www.peace.ca/toolkit.htm
). Part of our mandate is to raise awareness and educate about these
values (a good book demonstrating the value is “The Hard Truth About Soft
Skills: Workplace Lessons Smart People Wish They’d Learned Sooner” by Peggy
Klaus; ref. http://www.bettersoftskills.com
). In fact, I believe we are on the leading edge of a new and extremely
important “Peace Industry”.
Network premium concept – It is expected that all
participants in the Community Centres for Teaching Peace will have the
opportunity to network with other like-minded professionals which will
significantly help in everyone’s ultimate success. There is a value to
this which we would like to recognize with our participants. If our
clientele (and their clientele) are more successful, we will be more successful.
This will result in a unique type of synergy. (i.e. mutual benefit
The bottom line is that we want you, our clientele, to be as successful as
possible, because we believe in the importance of peace education to help
advance a Culture of Peace in our community. The Community Centre for
Teaching Peace is happy to support you as best we can. We know that
“we” collectively will reap benefits accordingly (some of which we may not
even be able to imagine at the moment).
appreciate the opportunity to have this dialogue with as many people as possible
to help formalize our thoughts on this. Your thoughts, suggestions and
input is invited and greatly appreciated.