Building Calgary’s Social Economy — One News Story at a Time

New Scoop news co-op invites people to Oct. 3 event to discuss engagement

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Can a new approach to news help build Calgary’s social economy? As someone deeply engaged in the area of social entrepreneurship, Mark Durieux sees tremendous possibility for this.

Mark is one of the founding members of a news co-operative, New Scoop, that is to be piloted this fall.

Through both a methodology called Generative Journalism and the active participation of its members in cultivating and sharing stories, New Scoop will amplify, connect and reflect the city’s assets as a social economy.

“I’m really convinced that through this modelling approach people are going to be able to see the positives of what’s going on (in the city’s social economy) and want to emulate that,” Mark says.

“Success breeds success.”

New Scoop is hosting an engagement event on Friday, Oct. 3 — a chance for Calgarians to learn more about the co-operative’s intent and consider how they could get involved. For instance, community members have the opportunity to become consumers and sharers of the New Scoop content. They could also help lay the groundwork for new content – by sharing leads for stories, for instance.

As Mark puts it, “We want to have a lot of people involved in being the eyes and ears of good things going on in Calgary.”

Calgary could be poised to become a social entrepreneurship hub in Canada. Mark is convinced of this: in his role as a sociologist as well as lead author of the new Social Entrepreneurship for Dummies, he connects with many social entrepreneurs across the city starting exciting businesses.

The fact that the city has one of the world’s most progressive mayors and that the province has introduced a new $1-billion Social Innovation Endowment Fund this year also bodes well for the city’s social economy future.

To complement all of that with a generative, co-operative news service — the possibilities only become more exciting.

Add to that the level of synergy that the founding New Scoop group has experienced in the last few months and the promise heightens even further. There is a high level of faith between group members. Imagine rolling that kind of culture into the larger Calgarian milieu, Mark says.

New Scoop in Calgary could become a template for other cities as it combines the possibilities in Generative Journalism and co-operative business for the strengthening of a social economy.

“If we can make Calgary fly, then the possibility of doing it elsewhere is going to be really heightened,” Mark says.

“That’s my highest hope, is that through this kind of process we would be able to be agents of change within urban centres right across Canada.”

In addition to Mark, members of the New Scoop steering committee include Sidney Craig Courtice, Greg O Neill, Sharon Ulrich, Peter Pula and Sarah Arthurs.

The Oct. 3 New Scoop engagement event takes place 9:30am to 11:30am at Prairie Sky Cohousing, #100 – 402 30 Ave NE. All interested participants are welcome. If you have questions, e-mail sarah.arthurs(at)prairiesky.ab.ca.

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