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Thursday, February 10, 2011

Embrace the Act of Imagination

I was at the Sir Ken Robinson lecture in Red Deer last night.  This amazing event drew over 700 people and was sponsored by the ATA, Red Deer College, Creative Alberta and the Red Deer Advocate.  Another indication of a yearning for real change in Alberta.

The lecture was video taped and I hope we will be able to feed the need for change at the next Learning Our Way to the Next Alberta events in Edmonton March 17th.  You can get tickets online using this link. It promises to be another inspiring evening.

I received a tweet from a teacher who was at the SirKen event. She bought his recent book and asked him to write a line to new teachers when he signed the book.  What he wrote resonated with me, and I expect with most of the readers of this blog. He wrote: "Embrace the Act of Imagination."

This is not an abstract ephemeral aphorism but more of an admonition that the status quo for our society is unsustainable, socially, economically and environmentally.  I would even say our adversarial  and personally nasty approach to political culture is unsustainable.  

There is a shifting consciousness starting amongst a growing group of previously apathetic Albertans that we need to start thinking for a change.  It is not a groundswell yet but it is gathering momentum.  The opportunity for the Alberta Progressive Conservative Party and the Alberta Liberal Party to respond to the change will come from the results of their pending leadership decisions. The same can be said for the newer, smaller but intriguing Alberta Party as an agent for positive political change is these revived citizens seek a leader.

Full disclosure I am an Alberta Party member and working on the Glenn Taylor campaign to lead this new movement.  I also had an Alberta Liberal Party membership to support David Swann' s leadership and as a PC member I supported Dave Hancock's leadership bid in 2006 and moved my support along with Dave to Ed Stelmach on the second ballot.   I have let both of these memberships lapse and feel a bitter sweet irony that both these gentlemen are now leaving political leadership positions and I expect politics as well.  

My sense is the Alberta Party with it aim of "doing politics differently" is the closest thing Albertans have  as a choice that will pick up and deliver on the spirit behind Sir Ken Robinson's advice to "Embrace the Act of Imagination."  Alberta is ready to move beyond the Alberta Advantage of corporate tax cuts, royalty breaks and industry subsidies.

The next Alberta is about a struggle for defining narrative about the Alberta Aspiration.  What does that mean and how will we see in ourselves and define ourselves as we move forward into the creative age and not just the industrial age of resource extraction as our reason to be.  The new narrative will be written by Albertans in part as a result of who these political parties choose for leadership.  Another big part of writing the next Alberta narrative will be decided when we citizens select and elect our new government as we pause about  how we are poised for striving and thriving in the changing world we must all face individually and together.

Granting your consent to be governed is partly a forfeiture of personal power to a politician so be careful who you vote for.  In a generative time like Alberta is in today full of challenges, threats as well as strengths and opportunities citizenship should be more than merely voting.  It should be the active act of embracing and imagining our aspirations as Albertans.

That is the stuff that motivates me to be so heavily engaged in the Alberta Party and the leadership campaign of Glenn Taylor. Visit his website and the party website and if you are at least curious take the next step and join the party and become a Glenn Taylor supporter.  Be the change you want to see happen.