Speaking to us from Alberta, Canada, Doug Griffiths talked about ways to help communities become prosperous and enduring.
With a background in teaching and farming, Doug was a politician for 13 years before resuming his long-time passion for community development.  Among other things he wrote 13 Ways to Kill Your Community, portions of which he summarized in his time with us.
One of Doug's discoveries in his first rural development project was that every high school student in the project had dreams but would do something to sabotage his or her efforts.  The answer?  Don't discourage young people; find "boomerang" strategies--giving them a reason to return to their home town.  Also recognize that young people today live in a "gig" world and thus may not be interested in joining a service club that meets the third Thursday of every month.
Doug highlighted acronyms from his book illustrating things to avoid in community development:
  • NIMBY  (Not in my back yard, as with affordable housing)
  • BANANAS (Build nothing near anything)
  • NOPE (Not on planet earth)
  • CAVE (Citizens against virtually anything)
  • FEARS (Fire up everyone against reasonable solutions)
Doug stressed the importance of cooperation between communities, saying that communities that try to stand alone will die.
From the Q&A it was clear that Doug's presentation was of great interest to an attentive audience of members and guests.