We Share at OuiShare 2016

by Shannon McArthur

I almost didn’t come; it seems I choose, sometimes, not because I WANT something but because I want to avoid something. I imagine that is quite usual but I wish it were different – and perhaps it will be, in time. It is the goal of the Noomap team: to be able to do what you want and little else. Can you imagine a world like that? People living their passions…

Today I had a chance to talk about mine. I haven’t for awhile, being focused on assisting others to achieve theirs, and I’ve found that quite fulfilling. Perhaps you know the feeling? I love to celebrate the successes of my friends! And what I’ve seen today helps me to realize that my friends successes are woven in with mine. The pattern is becoming clear, or at least it seems to be! Today I asked a question and received much more than an answer.

It was a simple question to a panel gathered to discuss: From Seed to Mouth, How Open Source and Decentralization Can Transform Our Food System. I asked for their ideas about how to feed the people in our cities and mentioned that I have a plan. It was not an easy question for them to answer, being outside of the areas of interest of the panel members. After the Q&A, people came over to follow up with me about my idea. A couple of them were from CHINA! We did a short interview and I may be seen IN China before I see China! I was able to share the concept of Our Heart Gardens, and the good news that I move into our first location next month. 

I came to Rotterdam at the invitation of The Meesteren Foundation. They welcomed me and encourage and support me and my ideas – I love that I get to do what I am doing. I am only one of the people whose lives they have affected and the Mayor and City of Rotterdam have noticed – they received the Hart of Rotterdam award last week. Meesteren’s goal is to prototype the sharing economy and show how it is a viable and desirable alternative to business as usual. I have wondered how I was going to get a location and a city that was open to the dramatically different methods of dealing with so many of the problems common to large cities. 

Rotterdam has a wonderful mayor; his office includes a woman with the mandate of developing a “We-Society”. They signed The Charter for Compassion on May 20 and have plans for competing in the Compassion Games. With the first Our Heart Gardens as another way to support them, the citizens of Rotterdam have some major innovation coming their way! 

Sitting here in this cozy apartment at the top of one of the tall residential buildings here in Paris, I am reflecting on the love that has sustained and facilitated the progress of this dream of each of us helping to support each other together. This is Spirit in Action in my life – it’s exciting and what I came here for (this life, I mean!) I had no idea I was to be any more than a witness to what happened for Noomap while they’re here. I just wanted to avoid being alone by being with people I care about – often the best criteria for making a choice.