Whistlerites have always had the attitude that if you want something done then roll up your sleeves and get working on it. As early as 1923 the Alta Lake Community Club was formed to organize picnics, meetings and fundraising events to improve community life.
In the 1970s a new wave of people came to live and work in Whistler, but there really weren’t many community services in place, especially for those with children — the Boot Pub served as the local community centre and there were few amenities beyond the garbage dump.
What Whistler did have were young, energetic citizens, who were ready to create the community they wanted to see. Our schools, library, museum, health services, recreational spaces and arts organizations were all created by passionate volunteers. As Joan Richoz, founder of the Whistler Library recalls: “There was a spirit of ‘I can do anything here!’”
Over the last decade we have witnessed the most rapid technological advancement in human history. The Internet has ushered in a paradigm shift of how societies communicate. Websites such as Wikipedia and YouTube have proven the extent to which, with the right technologies, vibrant communities can emerge around crowd-sourced content. More applications using the open, collaborative system are created every day.
How can the success of these mediums be achieved in other aspects of society? Steve Andrews believes it would be nothing short of revolutionary, and wishes to show the public how at the Whistler Museum’s next Speaker Series event.
Steve is extremely excited about the revolutionary implications of the open-source paradigm, especially its potential to replace hierarchical, top-down power with collaborative broadcasting by the masses.
The talk will begin with a historical overview of the open-source movement, discuss some of the more practical and effective applications of this collaborative paradigm, and present an alternative to what he considers overly centralized and bureaucratic governance models. The lecture will conclude with an interactive component, and guests are encouraged (but not required) to bring a laptop, smartphone, or tablet with wireless access.
The talk will be held next Wednesday (Feb. 20). Doors open at 6 p.m. and the show runs from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Tickets are $7 or $5 for Museum members. To purchase tickets (only 60 available), call the Whistler Museum at 604-932-2019, or visit us at 4333 Main Street (behind the library).
Complimentary coffee and tea will be served courtesy of the Whistler Roasting Company. In addition, there will be a cash bar.
Sarah Drewery is executive director of the Whistler Museum.