Throughout the centuries, the beautiful foothills of Western North Carolina have drawn people in. Today in Asheville, North Carolina, a city of about 80,000 residents, we receive over 10 million visitors each year. That’s 12 tourists for every individual living in Asheville. People come for the pristine nature, amazing local food, independent small business, performance arts, and a strong sense of community that makes Asheville voted one of the 100 best places to live in America. But as development increases at an astounding rate, with 7 new hotels under construction in 2016, questions arise about the future of our special city. How will we keep…
Housing affordable for low income communities?
Our traffic jammed streets pedestrian and cyclist friendly?
Healthy locally produced food accessible to all?
Safe and green spaces for children to play?
Local businesses viable in the face of mega corporations?
COMING TOGETHER AS A COMMUNITY OF ENGAGED CITIZENS
The unConference is a community designed event held throughout downtown Asheville. Using social sharing technology, the people will collaboratively decide which questions and solutions to focus on. Each space will be facilitated to maximize the engagement and creativity of participants. No lectures, so-called “experts”, or stagnant dialogue allowed!
It is time for the people to organize, decide what they want, and make it happen as an empowered community. It is up to us to move Asheville forward together!
In a typical conference the “experts” present “the issues” and provide little room for dialogue. Participants generally leave feeling tired and unheard.
The unconference model is different… very different. We imagine creating a space for innovative exchange among participants, places for spontaneous street art, and deep planning sessions to design the Asheville we all want to see.
Asheville City Council recently dove into a two day retreat to imagine our city in 20 years. The vision they created is inspiring – a city that generates its own electricity, has affordable housing options for all, and is surrounded by edible landscapes. Sounds great, right?
But why do we need to wait 20 years for this vision to materialize?
By organizing as a community and holding our own visioning retreats with a cross-section of society – we can make change happen now.