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Micheal Kluchkowski

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Reply with quote  #1 
This picks up from Bradbetz on the general discussion forum.  Wild ideas welcome here.
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Brent Morrow

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Reply with quote  #2 
Not really a big fan of businesses that depend on off islanders coming here (the ferries being what they are). Promoting Cortes as a destination will only help to escalate our already unaffordable property prices. I think many islanders would rather keep Cortes under the radar as hard as that may be.
Just my take.
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BradBetz

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Reply with quote  #3 

I was thinking about a model of having students come in for terms of 6 months to 3 years.  I do want people to come to live here on a full-time basis.  I want the median age of the population to drop.  I want the people who are moving here to have respect for the island and their fellow inhabitants. I understand your view, but I believe that controllable growth is much better than the current situation.  If the property is unaffordable now, is the situation going to get better?

As for flying under the radar, I think we are living in the wrong century for that.  Social media has and is changing the world.  One video about Cortes that goes viral on Youtube has a maximum potential audience of 1,000,000,000 viewers.  That’s a lot of zeros.  More likely but less sensational is that wealthy people talk to their real estate brokers about nice vacation places and Cortes becomes very visible just through sale searches.

 

As per why I like education, the following relates my experience with one educational organization.  I lived in Saskatoon for about 40 years.  For those of you who are not acquainted with the city, the University of Saskatchewan is a big part of Saskatoon.  In my family, my wife and daughter went to school there, and I worked there.  No, no, I was a janitor, not the Chancellor.  Anyway, I’m not sure but I think all my family used the various university facilities in one way or another.

The biggest hospital in the city was originally called the University hospital. It was closely associated with the University per se, and it was often called a “teaching hospital”.

The University has a heavy agriculture component.  There are barns, fields and test plots right inside the city.  A big research park was spawned on university land, and it is full of high tech bio science research firms.  Not saying I agree with everything they do, but you can’t deny how the university was instrumental in developing the businesses.

The University raised funding for a device called a particle accelerator, which is used for medical diagnostics, among other things.

So, in short, there is a lot of students, a lot of staff and a lot of stuff going on there, but how does this 100 year old institution with 20,000+ full time students relate to Cortes?

The U.of S. is far from a perfect institution, but you can interpolate and extrapolate what it does well.  Here are a few things I know an educational organization that is designed correctly can do.

It can bring money directly into the community.

It can foster business by teaching people how to grow, process, market and sell.  It can develop the business models and infrastructure to do this.  It can develop apprenticeship programs.  It can research everything and anything.  It can start, develop and build a business, and then transfer it to a private entity.    

It can lead or support funding initiatives.

It can create an awareness of and a charisma about the location it is in.

It can develop credence and accessibility for economic initiatives. 

It can reduce the median age of the community.

It can be flexible in what and how it teaches.  Another strength is that the community has the ability to control the organization.  I think that there’s a number of options open to Cortes, but I don’t think that there is any other option that provides as much direction or long term impact that the right type of educational organization(s) can offer.

And last (and in my opinion) most important, the right type of school can bring in young energetic people.  Heck, it can even attract old energetic people.

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Sandra Wood

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Reply with quote  #4 
Yes, I like this idea too, as others have envisioned Cortes as an island of innovators & educators.

A few years ago a couple of University Professors spent a winter 9 month sabbatical on Cortes and they came very close to creating a programme for Master's Students who would potentially be studying Sustainability as part of a degree in Environmental Sciences.

Idea would be to house them during the winter "off" tourism season from September thru April or May (when there is vacancy at places like Hollyhock, Channel Rock, holiday homes that would otherwise be sitting empty i.e. not being used by locals for year round housing, and/or there could be student home stays with local residents who have a spare bedroom). Class room teaching space could be provided at those facilities or at Linnaea.

Community teachers & guest speakers on sustainable topics could include:  Linnaea Permaculture Farming, Co-op models from shellfish to wholefood and craft stores, Eco-forestry by the Community Forest, Eco-villages like Tiber Bay & EverWoods, Social Venture Enterprises by Hollyhock, and much more.

On a completely other hands-on life-skill direction: there could also be an apprenticeship building program for small home construction, fine furniture, and other value-added wood products, in partnership with the local Cortes mills & Community Forest Co-op.  We could be using the timber coming out of our own forests to rebuild the docks, restore the barns, create new affordable housing, and other community spaces while training apprentices & employing locals. ~ Sandra








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Brent Morrow

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Reply with quote  #5 
To Brad
I'm not sure how we got from creating more employment and communal work spaces to building a Cortes University with the intent of enticing people to move to Cortes full time to work, study, and live. I'll play along though even though I'm totally against the idea.
Cortes is what it is. It's a remote island of roughly 1000 inhabitants and that hasn't really changed over the past two decades at least. What has changed (as has most other places) is that the price of land and building materials has shot up much faster than wages. Then there's the ferry, food, gas and computer and internet costs, the latter which most of us didn't have before 2000.
As for Cortes being an educational destination it already is. Hollyhock has been educating people from all over the world for decades. Linneae Farm has taught farming, gardening and permaculture for decades. Some of these students have decided to make Cortes their home after attending various workshops and programs. This is all good. So I guess I'm just a little confused as to how your ideas differ from what is already happening on Cortes ?
I'm not worried about youtube videos going viral. I've searched for them over the past 15 years and there really aren't too many of them, nor have they gone viral. As for wealthy people buying on Cortes , some do but there are many other islands and far flung places for them to chose from. In the end if they chose Cortes that is because they really like this place and want to be here. So I don't think that is a big issue either. People come to Cortes for their own individual reasons and I think that's the way it should be. I'm not really in favour of trying to promote the island in a kind of marketing campaign to entice more people.
It would be great if you could be more specific about what kind of educational model you have in mind, what age group are you targeting, and how would it be paid for.
Thanks, Brent
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BradBetz

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Reply with quote  #6 
Great post Sandra!  Major coincidence, as I was thinking of how Profs on sabbatical are almost ideal guests.  My daughter and my son-in-law are on sabbatical his year.  My daughter's husband has to be in a specific spot to further his research, but my daughter could have gone anywhere there was internet.  More info that is pertinent, my daughter has (I believe) one major in electronic technology.  One of the things she has done in the past is work on systems at her school to archive theses. So . . .

Do you know who the Profs were, where they taught and if they did any electronic archiving?  I wonder if they would be amenable to either continuing the work or passing it on to other people, assuming that it wasn't completed.

The other thing that occurs to me is parallel to the Master's course. Could/should we be asking Profs to sabbatical here who have the pertinent skills, and if so how would we pitch them on focusing their work on specific "issues" Cortes has?

Brent, I do have some thoughts about your post, but I am an extremely slow writer and I'm this deep in work (as I climb a 100 year-old fir tree and reach as high as I can).   I will get back to you ASAP. 
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