20 for ’19

January 3, 2019 Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Google+ leaders & followers,living la vida local!,stories

by Kim Todd

o my what a time what a time what a time.  guide to the good is a living breathing social enterprise generating revenue!   the bits have come together and in honour of coming on to the big ’19 we’re pausing in that fuzzy netherland between the 24th and the 6th (with a girt big storm day to boot!) to count out 20 points – some magic, some marvelous, some just business-as-usual – to catapult – or ease – us into 2019.

not chronological, not by importance, not a step-by-step recap, not comprehensive – no order at all.  just 20 clumps of things that happened and helped it all happen on the road to here.    

1 – the makers the farmers the thinkers the dreamers the do’ers who (from need or will or opportunity) make their own way in this community.  maybe they make their thing because they didn’t get that government job, or maybe they were driven driven driven to make their own thing because of a problem or an inspiration. no difference. within our ‘we’ it is our ‘theys’ who weave together the fibres that makes our community a vibrant tapestry.  if we were business trendy we’d say ‘ecosystem’. on Christmas I was the happy giver of many local, social, and green prezzies i was familiar with, and those in our house were the happy recipients of many lovely local social green things that were new to us.

ok so this is lot of local! NONIA, Auk Island Winery, Tulip Baroo Bakery, Graham Blair woodcuts, Dildo Brewery, Newfoundland Distillery, Solar Sea Salt, the sock knitter, Wild Mother Provisions, Boulder Publications, Indigena, The Salt Box, Artistic Wood Creations, Newfoundland Chocolate, Karen’s Woodworking, St. John’s Soap Works, Sweet & Saucy, Manna Bakery, Kubasonics, Breakwater Books, Newfoundland and Labrador Sol Salt, Britaniola Soap, Ragmaw, and right across the whole she-bang, Balsama – a hiking stick carved from balsam wood collected after a clear cut.  there were more!

2 – ~ Live Sustainably NL Board of Directors – Chair Bobby Bessey, Treasurer Gail Ryan and Kelly Bavis, Meghan Keating, Emad Rizkalla and Jeff Tulk. these guys came on one by one to share their ideas, their vision, their support, their expertise and their time.   

images of Board of Directors - Bobby Bessey - Chair, Emad Rizkalla, Gail Ryan - Treasurer, Kelly Bavis - Secretary, Meghan Keating (Ashley Harding photo), Jeff Tulk

top row l-r / Bobby Bessey – Chair, Emad Rizkalla, Gail Ryan – Treasurer, lower row l – r / Kelly Bavis – Secretary, Meghan Keating (Ashley Harding photo), Jeff Tulk

3.  the right now – guide to the good has a staff of two – Kim Todd and Katherine Saunders making the doughnuts, and Andrew King and crew running alongside us at this start-up phase and getting geared up for guidetothegood. 2.0 and the app. we’re out there on billboards, on Rogers TV, on the radio, in the Overcast and we’re keeping going!  

we’re shouting out all about our amazing local social and green communities all over town! we aim to make local social and green the easy choice!

4 – the girls – the guide to the good has been coming into its own for more than a decade.  parent non-profit ~ Live Sustainably NL grew its mission organically from conversations with women in their 30s-40s, mostly with young-ish kids.  these mostly mamas were frustrated with the gap between what they wanted to do and what they were actually able to do, and they didn’t have time to fill it.  so to all of you – Read Hots Book Club, Marlene’s family events, Ladies Learning Code (Juanita Burke & Dana Parsons), NLOWE, Y Enterprise Center, the geils, the rowers, the soul warriors, the breakfast girls, the girls who offered support and the girls who offered criticism and the girls who didn’t see that there was much to be done and shared those views, thank you. 

a group of smart women – moms, wives, friends, professionals – who make a point of making the world a better place by doing their thing. these are the Read Hots book club and are a representative sample of the gaggles of women doing amazing things who show up all over the place.

5.  Memorial University and all it entails – it’s big and a bit sprawly and if we only go by the feed on our phones we are more likely to be familiar with associated challenges than with all the amazing things it brings to our community.  it brings a LOT.  for starters, Memorial Humanities, Department of Philosophy Ethics Program – 24 credit Diploma with a specialization in Environmental Ethics.  this program, with its amazing profs Dr. Steve Blackwood – Grenfell, Dr. Peter Gratton – St. John’s, Dr. Sean McGrath – St. John’s & Dr. Peter Trnka, Program Head – integrated academia – that is credibility, rigor, connections, communications and context to and opened doors that we went through, below…

6 – more Memorial – Genesis – Genesis is the entrepreneurial incubator at the Bruneau Centre.  guide to the good did the lean-start-up evolution program.  the program built terra firma and grounded and translated ideas to entrepreneurial viability.

Nicole Helwig and Boyan Furst lead a session on social innovation at the Landing.

 7 – more Memorial – Centre for Social Enterprise – Nicole Helwig was hired to run the Centre for Social Enterprise in January of 2016.  that Centre is a rock star – it’s a go-to resource centre and place for social entrepreneurial connection and interaction and offers workshops and training, co-hosts the Social Innovation Challenge with the United Church of Canada.  and they connect social enterprises with interns and with the Harris Centre.

8 – more Memorial Office of Public Engagement, Memorial offers an Accelerator grant to partnerships between the University and the community.  #businessforgood is a project that explores the connection between academia and actual practical on the ground work.  we are working on it!

#business for good brought together social enterprise experts from Memorial and the community for a fabulous conversation, exploration and exchange about social enterprise on March 21 at the Centre for Entrepreneurship.  left to right Tom Cooper – Project Lead, (partially visible) – Nicole Helwig – Centre for Social Enterprise & Vic Allen – Four Fires Catering, Dr. Sean McGrath – Philosophy, Emily Bland – Sucseed,  Kyla Bruff – Philosophy, Chelsey McNeil – Choices for Youth, Ever Green Environmental, Dr. Natalie Slawinski – Memorial. 


10 – still more Memorial – access to talent – greenrockers!  the Centre for Social Enterprise co-ordinated three interns – two undergrad and one grad – for thegreenrock in the winter of 2018.  

Centre for Social Enterprise Team 2018 – Eniola Folarin (left), Tanjida Akter (second from left) and Maham Rahim (second from right) with Kim Todd (centre) and Perla Hernandez (right)


11, 12, 13, 14, 15 & 16 CCNL & thegreenrockers – 3 Green Teams & 3 Interns the Conservation Corp Newfoundland and Labrador is a behind the scenes trojan of an organization.  it pulls together people, corporations, and environment and cultural interests and people under 30 so look ahead and build greater things out of the great things we have, naturally.   CCNL has been instrumental to the development of guide to the good.   but they’d never say that.  they are like that.

11 CCNL Green Team 2011 – Kathy Oke, Devon Shears, Mike Fardy, Anna Westin (Team Lead)


12 CCNL Green Team 2014 – Chris Ball, David Mahre, Tamara, Jeff Smyth (team lead)

13 & 14 CCNL interns Chloe Edbrook (2014) and Brennan Snow (2016)


15 – CCNL Intern 2016 & Project Co-ordinator to 2018 – Perla Hernandez


16 – CCNL Green Team 2018 – Eniola Folarin & Jamille Lawlor


17 – quiet supporters – in some partnerships there is the strong, silent type.  we have a couple of those but look forward to publicly acknowledging the partnership, support and encouragement of as-yet-unnamed collaborators.  and our friends at Metro Business Opportunities who came across with a social enterprise loan to get us off the ground!

18 – community – the rich, inspired, diverse communities in the greater St. John’s Metro area are each on their own a force.   when they find common ground and capacity to connect – and they are finding common ground and capacity to connect – the impact will be change for the good of all.  the St. John’s Farmers Market is a huge player – and there are many others!  Newfoundland and Labrador Environment Network, the Y Enterprise Centre, NLOWE, NEIA, ExtraOrdinary Women, City of St. John’s, Clean St. John’s, PerSistence Theatre Company, Junior Forest Wardens name just a few.

the St. John’s Farmers Market is a great agent for bringing together – and there are many others! you can see a few here – NEIA, Memorial entertaining European journalists, PerSIStence Theatre Company, Newfoundland Labrador Environment Network, Forestry Branch, Department of Fisheries & Land Resources, Waterford Valley High & Agnes Pratt Seniors Residence, City of St. John’s & Clean St. John’s


19 – our millennial generation is spanning early adulthood and middle age, and looking ahead to living a life along with making a living.   their expectations include making a priority of caring for things are are important to all.  they are big guiders of guide to the good!  come on come on – your time in now!

20 –  this place this time   it’s cool to read back through these and see that each point starts with a relationship.  even the longest journey breaks down to one small movement.  and while not every movement is forward every movement is connected.  whatever way we are facing, here is amazing and there is work to be done to uplift us all.  here – with the amazing scenery, the resilient history, the spirit and fun and talent, is where we begin.

this place is where we begin