Pinpointing AB Seed's North Star
Addressing the existential crisis-inducing question: what's our purpose?
Almost a year ago, our Steering Committee members gathered to discuss AB Seed’s “north star” with the goal to establish a mandate that would not only define AB Seed’s purpose and guide our work but also reflect the range and diversity of the broader ecosystem that we support and engage with. It quickly became apparent during these discussions that the challenge before us was not coming up with a collective vision. We had that. The challenge was capturing this vision in a way that honoured the diverse experiences and perspectives that formed its very basis.
In line with what others in similar spaces have done, our initial instinct was to create a vision/mission/purpose statement for AB Seed. With a wide array of perspectives and organizations represented by our network, we had to ask ourselves: how might we express that diversity of thought in a united way? We soon realized a traditional approach was not going to be smooth.
We wanted to create something specific enough to provide clarity and solid guidance for our actions but also broad enough that every member of the ecosystem could see themselves in it. For us, this was non-negotiable. We wondered: why should our new ecosystem stick with old approaches? We tried something different to gather our perspectives together.
The end result of this work is our creatively named “Guiding Document.” The headers of this document serve as broad representations of AB Seed’s purpose.
The use of questions is intentional; we aren’t here to tell the ecosystem how it should be built but to facilitate the discussions and excitement necessary for us to build the future we want together.
The quotes within the document come directly from our Steering Committee members and a visioning exercise they participated in, to ensure representation of the broad and diverse range of organizational approaches that exists in this ecosystem.
The bullet points provide clarity on how we might work together to achieve our collective vision.
The goal of this document was to move away from reaching consensus on a single statement; after all, it was not a single idea that brought us together but a collection of them knitted together with shared values and aspirations for Alberta’s future. We believe this document encapsulates what we had set out to do: provide an overview of what AB Seed’s north star is and provide a document that members of the ecosystem could not only see themselves in but actively want to be a part of. We hope you see it this way too.