The Global Co Lab Network encourages others to host living room gatherings focused on change making, with a goal towards empowering the next generation (see here for a simple tool kit on how to address a salon in your living room). Living room salons on the environment sponsored by the Co-Lab helped inspire Alicia and Lorne to found a new series of living room meetings—sparking the founding of “Freedom Is Not Free.”  Here below are notes from their gathering last night that the Co Lab attended written by Alicia Korten:

We had an extraordinary meeting last night – 25 people present, including many leaders from our community. We had the great pleasure of welcoming Arlington, VA county board member Christian Dorsey who shed light on upcoming economic proposals for Arlington. As I forgot to do this last night, I want to thank Christian Dorsey for helping ensure funding for our community radio station – AIM.  There is great interest in exploring a community-centered model of growth for Arlington, and some concern about Arlington becoming Amazon’s HQ2. All opinions were welcome, and we had many viewpoints represented in the room.   Below is a summary of the discussed proposed action plan for Arlington on how to address its budgetary challenge.  If you have ideas on next steps for our community, please reach out to me.  Alicia

Proposed Action Plan for Arlington
Concurrent activities can happen at once.
Define Arlington Values and a Values-Driven Vision.If not community-directed, others’ organized pressure fills the vacuum.
Strengths/Asset Mapping.Find out what is here, figure out how to optimize. Find out what is missing and how to fill these gaps.
Best Practices Survey.Do best practices survey of similar areas that have done great things to build resilient, local economies and decide which examples to localize.
Map out the public spend, where it goes starting with local or outside of Arlington. Create plan to redirect that spend so that it is regenerative, not extractive.
Prototypes.Create prototypes so tires can be kicked; scale must be part of the plan – all prototypes must be in an ecosystem context (see “Define Arlington Values” and “Strength/Asset Mapping”)
Ecosystems.Create ecosystems, not just prototypes. Prototypes and one-offs perish. How can this all work together? Not, what’s the cool one-off thing we can do? Ecosystems provide resiliency and require collaboration based on values.