I love great ideas! Especially the ones that start out small but then revolutionize an industry. In 2007, a like-minded group of individuals, including Pam Warhurst and Mary Clear, wanted to find a way in which everyone could help improve their own community. Their solution: They taught their local residents to take control of their community through gardening and eating.
“The answer was food,” said Warhurst in her TED Talk. “Everyone understands food. Food gets people talking; even better, it inspires people to take action.” They started with small herb gardens and community plots in a Northern England town called Todmorden. Then they planted corn in front of a police station, fruit trees on the sides of roads, vegetables in front of the senior center, and even planted gardens in the cemetery, where “things grow really well because the soil is really good!”
And this all happened without a strategic plan. They didn’t even ask permission. Cheers to leveraging power through small actions and thinking differently. I’ve found myself walking around my neighborhood looking at open spaces and medians and wondering what a vegetable garden would look like vs. planting annual flowers.
Warhurst and Clear’s movement now has a name: the Incredible Edible. “This is a movement for everyone,” Warhurst said. “If you eat, you’re in.”
“Can you find a unifying language that cuts across age, income and culture that will help people find a new way of living?” Warhurst challenged. “Can you help people see spaces around them differently and think about the resources they use differently? Can you find that common language and then can you replicate it? The answer is YES. And that language would appear to be food.”
So the next time you are sitting around the table brainstorming ideas for that next CSR/community relations program or event for your clients or your organization, maybe begin with a small idea. It may create a movement and make the world a better place.