Environmentally & Socially Responsible Event Planning * Consulting * Staffing * Catering

What our clients say about us...

  • “You have extraordinary attention to detail. You took care of the little things (like the place setting utensil twine and the food platter you sent up to the girls’ room) that we didn’t even think about. We’d be able to tell future clients to feel confident that everything will be taken of with style, even the things they may not have thought of beforehand.” – John, on his wedding

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Day After Second Harvest's Toronto Taste 2011

I am tired, sore, and above all extremely happy.

I've made mention of some of this before in my previous blog posts about my involvement with Second Harvest as a volunteer.   Not just content to do a small bit I wanted to get right in to the nitty gritty and help where I could be of most help and do what I love, which is being a part of something greater and representing Simplicity as an agent of social change.

Nothing could give me greater joy in having the opportunity to be a part of Toronto Taste 2011!  In hindsight I would have loved to speak more  about it as a build up, but for fear of being noobish in my work with Second Harvest I was pretty reluctant to do so.   This mainly came from trying to comprehend my role in such a big event.   I also wish I wasn't so busy as to be able to take a few more pictures of the event.  It went by so fast that it almost feels like it was a blur, yet the end results are palpable.  These end results were most tangible as I sat there on the steps of the ROM, fifteen hours into my self enforced "shift".

As I sat there at midnight, completely and utterly exhausted I watched the huge tented area slowly be taken down and the last of the hardy volunteers and Chairman Mills staff strike down everything and anything resembling a rental.  There was a sense of completeness of something grand drawing to its natural conclusion and I was once again part of something bigger, fantastic and even connected to a whole lot of great people who believe in something greater than what we are as individuals.

It was certainly not sad or bitter sweet, just blissfully tired layered over a feeling of completeness that comes at the end of seeing an event to the very end.  Perhaps a wholeness, in which all you expected and more came true all at once.  It was fulfillment and justification of purpose for what we, I, and Simplicity do. I'm exhausted and happy.

More photos to come, and certainly more updates.

Friday, June 3, 2011

What is Agency?

I think agency is one of those often misunderstood concepts that is generally relegated to being tossed around in university lecture halls and most people just let it fly by them.

What IS agency you ask?  Perhaps it's best described as the ability to do stuff.   I believe that agency is a defining factor of what separates people who achieve things from those who do not and just take life as it hits them in the face.

I think that we hear the call of our own agency every day but we're so used to being beholden to people and organizations that things happen TO us, that we don't stop and think about how we can ACT instead of REACT to our environment.  Now, before I get on my soap box about social change, I really want to explain this point I just made.

I feel that every day I meet people who talk about problems they encounter in every day life.  Whether it be work, jerks on the subway, bills, or coworkers who drag others into messy office politics and backbiting.  I am sure you know what I mean -- it's the every day stuff that we complain about, that fuels our evening conversation over drinks with our friends when we reconnect.  Yet there seems to be this sense of "woe is me" that sticks in my craw because the topics of complaining are acceptable is a daily occurrence.  It sticks in my craw because it evokes a feeling that I hope many of us get -- "That's not right.  Something should be done."  That is the beginning of agency.

Can I do something about (it?)
           /                       \
     YES                    NO

This is what agency is.  The ability to do (stuff).  To get (stuff) done.  I believe that we all have a responsibility to one another, in some way or form, and this cannot be ignored or passed off to someone else.  At the very same time, agency is not just something that is not blatantly used.  It must be exacting and measured, and above all real and applied with fore-thought.   Otherwise its not true Agency, its just something that helps people sleep at night.    Other times it can be good to enact Agency but we should always be ask at what cost does it come at?

I've been interacting a lot lately with larger organizations and this unsettling feeling I've been feeling lately seems to have come from the real meaning of agency and how much Agency really takes place.