SLOWest is a grassroots community network in the west end of Ottawa exploring how to live in an environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling way. We envision radically reducing our environmental footprint and energy consumption, developing local food, economies and culture. In addressing these challenges we also seek to address longer-standing concerns about poverty, social inequity and individual suffering.

Vision

The communities envisioned are full of vitality, beauty and joy. Post-carbon life could be far more enjoyable and fulfilling than our current alienated consumer culture that’s based on the myth of perpetual growth. These communities are thriving, resilient and abundant, less anonymous and more connected. Individuals and families experience increased belonging and sense possibilities within these communities.

SLOWest’s invitation is to come together to develop such communities in Ottawa West!

Our Approach

We think the following combine to form a creative and life-giving response to the opportunities within the crises we face:

  • focus primarily on what we can do rather than on what ‘they’ should do:
    - our actions are one way to encourage others to do what they need to do;
  • honour and follow your passion/interests and work on the ‘pieces’ that attract you while staying connected to the ‘whole';
  • undertake responses together - not just as individuals and households;
  • move into action together on specific projects:
    - don’t stay with discussion or wait until we have it all figured out;
  • focus on a specific geographic area so discussions and projects are grounded, practical and tangible;
  • maintain a ‘human scale’ to the initiative;
  • address social and economic inequity in the design of projects;
  • identify, engage and build on the existing strengths and assets of the community;
  • support this outer work through a deepening of our relations with our selves, each other, the natural world and the source of life - the heart and soul of transition;
  • as a group we need to ‘be the change’:
    - welcome the uniqueness of each person;
    - find unity within our diversity;
    - respect each person’s experience as true for them;
    - find responses that go beyond polarizations.