PEACE RETAIL OPERATION VISION

 

Hi,

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 pictures.]   

·         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 celebrates diversity.  

·         Regardless of 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 wholesale operation.

·         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

http://www.peace.ca

 

THE ECONOMICS OF PEACE BUILDING THROUGH PEACE EDUCATION

 

Hi,                                 DRAFT FOR DISCUSSION

 

I 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.

Here 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 another way.

·         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 principle)

·         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).     

I 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.

Regards,

Robert Stewart stewartr[at]peace.ca

http://www.peace.ca