‘Solutions Economy’ leader to speak in Port Alberni

Denise Titian, November 29, 2017

Shaun Loney is the author of An Army of Problem Solvers.

Port Alberni — 

An author and entrepreneur is coming to Port Alberni promising to share his ideas on economic development while simultaneously addressing social issues.

Co-sponsored by Tseshaht and Hupacasath First Nations, the Shaun Loney event is intended for individuals and groups interested in health, First Nations, education, social justice and economic development issues. Loney himself will deliver a public address at Port Alberni’s Echo Centre on Nov. 30 followed by a seminar at the Tseshaht Administration building on Friday, Dec. 1.

“Loney brings a strategic approach to the problems we face today,” said Tseshaht elected Chief Cynthia Dick. Communities today deal with poverty, homelessness, drug and alcohol addictions and more. Chief Dick says Loney offers solutions by taking a community approach to the issues and working with available resources.

“We as Nuu-chah-nulth always talk about a time when our communities were happy, healthy, whole, thriving and everybody had a role in the community,” said Dick. Shawn Loney’s approach goes back to that same perspective; the way of bringing the communities together to create action and a sustainable, healthy collective, she continued.

Author of the book An Army of Problem Solvers, Loney says poverty has no causes; it is simply the absence of prosperity.

Loney has been called one of Canada’s leading social enterprise developers. He offers a fresh, new perspective on addressing social and economic development issues with what he calls the solutions economy.

 “We need to make reconciliation extend in very practical ways to as many people as possible. And we need to redefine prosperity to something broader, deeper, and more inclusive than simply economic growth,” wrote Loney on page 147 of An Army of Problem Solvers.

Loney speaks of solutions to help solve many of the stubborn social challenges Nuu-chah-nulth are familiar with in their region. His book describes effective social enterprises that “combine business smarts, common sense, ingenuity, community rootedness, and basic human caring,” in a way that is beneficial for the health and social fabric of communities.

The book comes at a time when Canada is discussing what reconciliation between indigenous Canadians and the rest of the country means. Loney argues that we can’t achieve it without allowing the re-emergence of local economies.

The event is sponsored by the City of Port Alberni Economic Development, the Alberni-Clayoquot Health Network, Alberni Valley United Church, Alberni Valley Transition Towns Society, AV Social Planning Council, Alberni Retired Teachers Association, Tseshaht First Nation and Hupacasath First Nation, among others.

There will be a public address by Loney on Thursday, Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. the Echo Centre. Admission by donation.

The seminar starts Friday, Dec. 1 at 9 a.m. at the Tseshaht Administration Building. Admission is $20.