Harnessing Human Power
What does “home” mean to you?
Think about it for a moment.
Last week, I asked this very question of over 50 participants in a business, community and government forum in the Hunter on the topic of homelessness. Safety, love, comfort, warmth, family, belonging – were some of the words used to describe what home meant to the participants.
Imagine if circumstances saw that taken away from you. How would you feel then?
Did you know that the average Australian is just two pay checks away from homelessness? Around the world, many people are living pay check to pay check, struggling to make ends meet. It’s a global issue of crisis proportions and its rapid increase is dramatically impacting men, women and children of all ages.
So what can we do as people going about our daily lives, facing our own challenges and struggles? Indeed what can we do about any crisis from food shortages, poverty, bullying and global warming?
We can begin at home. We can think global and act local. We can start a revolution or a devolution and make a positive change in our own home, backyards and communities.
“The only Revolution that can really change the world is the one in your own consciousness.” Russell Brand, Revolution.
We can begin to change our own ways of thinking, to challenge outdated systems and to create new resilient systems where people and communities have a say in their own destiny. We can develop an approach that enhances the whole yet respects the individual. We can buck against neat obedience and compliance. We can refuse to accept the status quo and instead become a force for healing and hope.
We can choose.
We can choose a new reality.
We can choose a new approach.
We can choose to create our own community-led solutions and not wait for the government or an institution to solve it for us.
This month The Sista Code held a very special event in support of the Got Your Back Sista Charity supporting women and their children who have escaped domestic violence to start again. The ‘1000 People 1 Voice’ event held at Hunter Stadium saw groundswell of Hunter residents, men, women and children come out to show their support and raise funds for this growing need.
Sadly family violence is on the increase and its impact far reaching. It is also often the cause of women and children becoming homeless. An issue my colleague Michelle Crawford and I want to tackle. To do this we have launched a people driven brand called Human Power aim to have a broader, more cooperative discussion, inspired by the voices of real people.
Our why is to unite people and leverage their power so together we can create a more humane world. We want to tackle global issues that impact us locally in the Hunter and we want to share our journey, what works, what doesn’t what’s created and impacts with others so they may replicate it in their communities around the world also.
We want to establish new partnerships and collaboratives that see government, business, citizens, community groups, investors, developers, religious groups, educators and not-for-profits all working side by side for the betterment of all. We want to create forums and projects that generate possibility, hope and certainty within the chaos.
Our first of eight projects is reducing homelessness in the Hunter. Last week we began with a forum, one that invited government, the business community and citizens to the table to share their ideas, expertise and energy towards finding new solutions. The forum opened participants up to what’s possible and their feedback has been positive:
“Feeling uplifted by the generosity of spirit in the room tonight and the willingness of people to get involved. I expected the topic to seem sombre but it was genuinely exciting to discuss it with a solutions focus.”
“I found last night to be engaging, thought provoking, inspiring and seamless in its flow. You could tangibly feel the energy of the group opening themselves to the humanistic need of others, accepting the challenge that lay ahead to address this multifaceted complex issue as a united community, step by step.”
“The Human Power event totally opened my eyes to a snippet of the reality of homelessness in the Hunter and for that, whilst it was challenging to hear, I am truly grateful for knowing more about it.”
One community in Canada, a town called Medicine Hat have already achieved this seemingly impossible task. They’ve worked as a community to end homelessness using a simple systems planning approach.
There was shared community ownership, the right people at the right time, a community-wide planning approach and a nimble coordinating body not bogged down by bureaucracy.
The results have been stunning. No person in that community will be homeless for more than 10 days as their “housing first” approach ensures they are swiftly found a place to live so then all their other issues and needs can be addressed.
It is complex.
It is important.
It is possible.
What can you do to create change in your home, your workplace or your community? What issues have impacted you or your loved ones and are going unaddressed? If you want to change the world all you have to do is #startwithU. May you feel the need to speak up and speak out and may the force of Human Power be with you.
To find out more about the Human Power movement visit www.humanpower.com.au
As a workplace futurist and company culture hacker, Heidi Alexandra and her team are the secret super power for Australia’s most innovative cultures and brands. Heidi Alexandra created a simple model, called The UQ Powerhouse, that codifies what makes healthy, happy and productive workplaces for the future. She believes it is possible for businesses to balance people, planet and purpose with profit and that together we can end workplace bullying, depression, anxiety and suffering. Find out more at www.UQPower.com.au