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Arts in Action Society

Groundswell: Grassroots Economic Alternatives

Groundswell is an eight-month training school for people under the age 35 to develop the skills to build sustainable enterprises, including but not limited to co-ops, self-employment, social businesses, collectives, non-profits and other grassroots economic configurations. We actively target low-moderate income and immigrant youth, primarily from the Eastside of Vancouver and suburban areas, particularly Surrey. We will expand over the next 3-5 years to serve 70 participants annually, which given the very significant interest seems entirely reasonable. Critically, our vision for Groundswell is to work with all graduates on a long-term basis to establish a lasting supportive network of community enterprises. This vision is not possible on our own, and thus we have been expending a huge amount of effort to collaborate with local community groups and other organizations working towards a new economy. We were met with an overwhelming response when we first opened for applications in Spring 2013 and already have a huge amount of interest with a swiftly-growing applicant list for 2014.