As communications director for Summer of Solutions, I’m featuring every program to paint a picture of the diversity of solutions young people are building across the country. This post features the powerful work happening in Corvallis, OR, as related to me by Nathan Jones.
The Summer of Solutions is a summer program designed to empower youth to create self sustaining community based solutions to environment and social injustice, climate change and economic insolvency. We work to build an inclusive, local community that connects across the country that will propel us into holistic, renewable energy economy.
Oregon’s Summer of Solutions program is three years in the making. In the summer of 2008, Nathan and others led a summer program called the Northwest Institute for Community Enrichment. Throughout the summer, the NICE kept in touch with Summer of Solutions – Twin Cities, and at the end of the summer they decided to team up for summer 2009 to run their programs simultaneously on a national scale.
Since then, the NICE has turned into an organization that runs year-round, and the programs have been growing and expanding.
The Projects: This summer, the Summer of Solutions – Corvallis team will be continuing a listening project that has already started. While the team currently working on the listening project finishes it up, new program participants will begin a replica of the listening project in another neighborhood.
Teams of solutionaries will enter specific neighborhoods in Corvallis and conduct a listening project surrounding how solutions for energy efficiency. After the listening has been conducted, the people working on the listening project will provide specific follow-up and support to this neighborhood, at the same time that a new listening project is begun in a different neighborhood in Corvallis.
After this initial follow-up stage is completed, solutionaries will bring interested community leaders together in a forum. Nathan said he’s not quite sure what will come out of these forums, but that’s part of the point. Community members will form groups around their interests that will create community-based solutions for Corvallis.
NICE Projects: The NICE is positioned to run Grand Aspirations programs year-round. Programs that he and his fellow Oregon-ites are moving forward with are designed to be year-long programs that Summer of Solutions participants can plug into.
One really exciting project in particular is the development of a permanent site for the Northwest regional Summer of Solutions. The idea is to get an old abandoned house, school, church, any sort of building, and then fix it up. The building would serve as a model for sustainable living, as well as a space to host people for conferences and gatherings.
The physical space for the NICE building will more likely be in Portland than in Corvallis, but participants who are interested in this particular project would be able to plug in in various ways.
As a Coordinator: Go here
As a Participant: Go here
For more information, contact Nathan Jones at nathan [@]thenice[.]org