Making hope possible (a salon series?)

To be totally honest, I’m not particularly keen at being back in the office today. After a week of holidays and three days of training (in conflict management), my inbox is piled high and my motivation to tackle it is low. But still, I am brought back to the computer and to this blog after it all – and I rather miss posting here.

I’ve got friends in town for a week, and because one of them has some particular insight into the new union being formed by the CEP and CAW, we are having a small private salon (and dinner) at our home this evening. The talk is titled “A New Union?” and we will be exploring what this new organization might look like and what opportunities a new direction could raise for Canadian labour. Being a bit of a political geek, I’m looking forward to welcoming others of my ilk into my home for discussion. Even more than that, Brian and I are thinking of hosting a regular salon series out of our home starting with this event and carrying on into the fall. Perhaps a bi-monthly affair with a donation for dinner – we’re hoping the next one will involve a new book that’s just come out on reslience and localizing our economy (more info once the author responds on that).

Going back to school has reminded me just how much I enjoy the whole dinner and intellectual conversation equation – and although I will have more of that in my grad program this fall – I really don’t think there is such thing as too much engagement with others!

I’m thinking too, that such a series could put into practice something I think the labour and progressive movements fall far short on: rather than making hope possible, we too often focus on convincing the world of despair*. With that in mind, a salon series focussing on possibilities and visions could draw out some potentials for direction that we don’t see otherwise.

We’ll see how it goes tonight of course – a dinner of burgers and salads, and some insight into Canada’s new industrial union – not your normal party fare, but perhaps a new project for our home in 2012/13?

* A paraphrase of Raymond Williams “To be truly radical is to make hope possible rather than despair convincing”.

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