Pecha Kucha – Prounounced “Bloody Awesome!”

Ok, I’m sure some of you have not heard of Pecha Kucha (pronounced pe-cha-ch-ka, depending on who you ask) I’m going to give you the super quick, 411 on the gig.

20 presenters get 20 slides, 20 seconds each for a total of 6 minutes to speak about whatever topic that relates to the particular PK event.

Last night, in Vancouver, was the best EVER Pecha Kucha I have ever been to! No kidding. It was so great and inspiring and, well, even my crazy vocabulary cannot describe how awesome it was.

The event was all about sustainability and Metro Vancouver’s goal to become the world’s greenest city by 2020. Each presenter had something to offer toward that goal.

There were 2 women who saw the garbage being created at public events and did something about it, saving countless recyclables from becoming land-fill fodder.

Another sold ethical SWAG (stuff we all get). Sounds dubious but she really does get stuff for corporate swag that environmentally and human rights -ally ;) ethical. They got Pategonia to put their giant catalogue on ethically-created USB drives thus saving tons of paper and waste.

My favourites were the people speaking about growth and how we now have both the technology and the drive to create environmentally sustainable housing.

Actually, if I’m going to be perfectly honest, my very favourite was Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. Aside from the fact that he is not hard to lovingly gaze upon :) he is also 100% behind the initiatives to put Vancouver on the map as the world’s greenest city.

His domain is Metro Vancouver which means the surrounding regions need to be onboard too.

This is where I got really excited. The project I work on, outside of Vancouver, will be part of Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy. That means that when the project gets past our council it will have to go to Metro and Metro have already made it clear that a project like the one here in T-town is exactly the kind of smart growth initiatives they are talkin’ bout!

Ok, that’s super boring government stuff. Only people who really like government stuff like to read stuff like that. (I like it but I’m weird)

Here’s the cool stuff, the stuff that makes me proud.

Vancouver is arguably one of the most beautiful cities on the planet. A drive from West Van toward Whistler can bring tears of awe to even the most cynical individual. Mountains, Ocean, Islands, temped weather, it’s all here. People flock here like fruit flies on a banana.

We know that more are coming. Many, many more. We know that we want to be the greenest city on earth. (without getting into it I will say that those of us who know that our reliance on oil is coming to an end, know this) We know that sustainability will be the key to preserving the beauty of the Westcoast. And we also know that our reliance on imported food needs to start moving to a reliance on locally grown, organic options.

Knowing all that, every single person in BC should be looking for ways to prepare. Anyone that sticks their head in the sand or allows others to make up their mind needs to start to wake up.

Throwing stones at sustainable growth propositions or casting doubts on projects to further a personal agenda is short-sighted, selfish and does nothing to improve community.

Some people in the town I live in have chosen to rail against the project. They site obstacles such as traffic as reasons to toss the entire thing out the window. Their focus on the smaller picture has muddied the waters and taken some of the attention off of the massive gains for our community.

I have to be honest, my faith wavered a little.

But last night has not only renewed that faith, it’s made me see that the ideas in our plan are so much more ahead of their time than even Metro can believe.

Thank you Pecha Kucha! Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Hey, maybe we’ll host our own PK on the site one day!

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