Joel Solomon's 500-year vision for Vision

Post by Mike Klassen in


Christopher Columbus landing on the shores of America 500 years ago inspired Solomon

Just when you think you've heard it all when it comes to Vision Vancouver, along comes something new to make you sit up and ask Whaaaaaa? In part one of a recently published interview with Joel Solomon in The Huffington Post, Vision's chief bagman and puppetmaster says he and his co-horts have a 500-year vision for the planet. He describes how he met Carol Newell on Cortes Island and hatched a plan:

We met on this little island off the coast, pulled together a visioning session for others in the Vancouver area who were thinking similar thoughts and asking themselves the same questions about how they might use their lives in a positive way. And we just talked and talked and talked. It happened that we were meeting on the 500th anniversary of Columbus' discovery, and so it occurred to us to think about what had gone wrong in the last five centuries and what we could possibly do that would have a positive impact on the next 500 years.

Solomon says that they will achieve this with shorter term 50-year strategies:

A 50-year timeline frees you. We found that we could think outside of all kinds of boxes and believe the impossible. And it was a good fit for someone who was living with the thought that death was nearby. We decided on a 500-year vision and a 50-year strategy. We gathered a team, created a model, and began to work in a way that we hoped would have an impact on the region and create a ripple effect.

I re-read the interview twice to make absolutely sure that there are no plans to have Solomon's head cryogenically frozen to allow him to rule once science can resurrect him.

In part two of the interview by Julia Moulden published in the spring Solomon again describes the big picture plan he has for social change:

We had this idea to work in a number of streams at the same time - for profit, not for profit, leadership, and public service - because we wanted to apply a whole-system approach to change.

Moulden presses for more details on what the pieces of Solomon's strategy are. His answer is revelatory, as he indicates that politics is a key part of his bold 500-year plan.

JM: Let's talk a little bit about each piece, beginning with Renewal Partners.

JS: Renewal Partners was designed to make lots of small investments in early-stage businesses such as Happy Planet Foods. Our long-term thinking allowed us to invest "patient capital" - we weren't looking for the rapid growth and quick exit that traditional investors are, and which can have such a destructive impact on communities. In just over a decade, we made more than 100 investments, the last one not long ago. Renewal's annualized rate of return was 12.2 percent and two thirds of the organizations we invested in are still operating, still creating jobs.

The second piece was TIDES, the largest congregator of progressive philanthropic financial assets in North America (of course, there are much bigger foundations, but I'm talking about things that people can participate in). TIDES was founded in the U.S., and we helped bring it into Canada, where it is now one of the larger grant makers in the country.

And then there is Hollyhock, an education, networking, and retreat centre whose mission is to inspire and support people who are making the world better. It's based on a unique idea - that education is not just an intellectual process, but also a psychological, spiritual, and physical one.

So the first three we're well aware of already – Renewal, Tides & Hollyhock – although it would be very hard for many people to disconnect them. Invest in business, and leverage as much charitable money as possible into activist organizations that pass muster, and train people to think the right way in a remote setting. Then Solomon describes the final piece of his "50-year" strategy, one that may surprise a lot of people, including those he support with his money.

Most recently, we've been working with others on Vision Vancouver, a new political party. Mayor Gregor Robertson had a landslide victory - just days after Obama's win - on a progressive platform: greenest city in the world, end homelessness, a creative and entrepreneurial economy. The election of Mayor Robertson is the result of creating conditions where these things could take hold. Nearly 20 years of moving in a purposeful direction.

It's an astonishingly bit of frankness from a political organization that has never allowed the public to peer inside it. Solomon admits that Vision Vancouver is a tool of a greater cause, and that Gregor Robertson is a mere cog in his machine.

Solomon has "created conditions" for nearly 20 years to see his vision for power in British Columbia realized. He's moved in a "purposeful direction", which might include investing millions into Happy Planet Foods, supporting Robertson's move into provincial politics, and creating an opening for Robertson to take the top job in Vancouver.

I have to tip my hat to the man, as he's been very effective at delivering on a strategy that knows no bounds. His timelines are centuries into the future, his financial resources are substantial, and as long as Gregor Robertson does what he's told, they are riding this all the way to the top.

- post by Mike


When it comes to access to Gregor, it doesn't get much closer than this.

Why is thinking big picture/long term such a scary proposition?

Another reason why the MSM is in a death spiral - this should have been ferreted out and on the front page before the last election. And they say that Stephen Harper has a secret agenda.

Notice how even Joel was fooled by Gregor's promise to "end homelessness". Has Magee not given the new talking points to Solomon? Now it's ending "street homelessness". That's much more achievable in their quest to affect social change.

Michael you have done great work on this research. Where is the MSM on all of this? All I read in the Sun is how great Robertson is and how good he looks on tv. How relevant is that? This blog must have hundreds of thousands of dollars in it's research budget considering everything you've written on this topic. Too bad nobody in the MSM has access to your vast resources.

How nice that our local government is an extension of a social experiment by a New Ager. Luckily he gets to try out his aspirations on our taxpayer dime. Without public consultation.

Who should be worried about "globalization' when we have a chance at "solomonization"?

The last time a dude tried anything like "A Thousand Year Reign", it didn't turn out to well for him or his party.

Let The Resistance Begin!

The Thought of The Day

"The search is over. We have our man. All we need now, is to find him a Village and send him there!"

Day in day out, Vision Vancouver supporters, manage somehow to establish themselves, more and more, as the 'idiot' breeders in town.

Solomon & company on the other hand are becoming word for word the definition of Parasitism (Parasitism is a type of symbiotic relationship between organisms of different species where one organism, the parasite, benefits at the expense of the host.)on a civic level, in Vancouver.

Remember that blacked out list of donors and attendees from a few days ago? That one, was the official Vision Vancouver list of diseases, symptoms and side effects. No wonder they didn't want to make it legible!

I don't know about you but from what I've heard, Solomon is a Family Guy...

We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

The lesson is that we are all submissive puppets in Solomon's world. Yes, his mystical plan has been successful, but only an aroused, involved and active public can turn back his ambitions. I wonder when most folks will wake up and recognize what he is doing? his

I'm surprised that Solomon and company didn't go for a full thousand year Reich. Why settle for a half-reich of 500 years when you could have gone for the all the way with a full 1,000?

thousand year reich?
submissive puppets?
secret agendas?

Come on people--is that the best fear mongering you can come up with?

The real problem is the uber rich supporters of provincial and federal politicians with 5 year "visions" of becoming even richer at the expense of people, the environment and the future. Just look what happened in Alberta. The Conservatives finally tried to stand up to the oil companies by increasing royalties. The oil companies then funding the Wild Rose Party to get the Conservatives to back down.

Or in the Gulf States where the politicians are in the pockets of the oil companies. That is not turning out well for them at all.

It is really refreshing to find people who are really concerned about the future rather than just the next quarter.

My only concern with a 500 year vision is that it is not long enough. When we are rapidly using up fossil fuels that have taken millions of years to form, there is a strong argument that we should have a million year vision.

Hmmmm a couple of New Agers, with a bucket of money they didn't have to work for and they have convinced themselves that they are ohhh sooo progressive and know what is better for us than we do.

Makes sense in a holistic Hollyhock world of puffy clouds and unicorns.

Thanks for the repeat, boohoo!

i think it's rathger catchy, myself...

Bob, the problem is that the people who should care the most are the ones who spend all their time working to create wealth. The lefties spend all their time figuring out how to get their hands on it and redistribute that wealth.

Taking the long view is catching on. The Long Now Foundation's Board of Directors is a who's who of truly brilliant people. The organization is also looking at thousand year time-lines to effectively plan for the long-term health of our planet and its residents.

does anyone else besides me find this incredibly unsettling?

'the lefties'

bill, you truly are a keeper.

Boohoo, I too wish we could all join hands around the campfire singing Kumbaya and musing about our 500 year plan. In the real world the problems are more immediate and the right and left have very different solutions. At some point you have to choose which world view you support and advocate for it.

In the context of the following I would argue we're in desperate need of long term thinking and planning:

“Human activity is putting such strain on the natural functions of Earth that the ability of the planet’s ecosystems to sustain future generations can no longer be taken for granted” ~ Statement from the Board of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005,

"Human pressure on the Earth System has reached a scale where abrupt global environmental change can no longer be excluded. To continue to live and operate safely, humanity has to stay away from critical ‘hard-wired´ thresholds in the Earth´s environment, and respect the nature of the planet's climatic, geophysical, atmospheric and ecological processes" ~ Johan Rockstrom, 2009, lead author of "Planetary Boundaries: A Safe Operating Space for Humanity"

"We are entering the Anthropocene, a new geological era in which our activities are threatening the Earth´s capacity to regulate itself. We are beginning to push the planet out of its current stable Holocene state, the warm period that began about 10,000 years ago and during which agriculture and complex societies, including our own, have developed and flourished" Will Steffen, 2009, co-author of "Planetary Boundaries: A Safe Operating Space for Humanity",

I am not saying that Solomon's vision should be THE vision but without a doubt we need one. And urgently.

Grounded, I see a couple of problems with your proposition:

1. Only a world government could implement such a plan. The G8/G20 could not agree on a world plan for the economy over the next five years let alone 500 years. I don't think a country the size of Canada would have much influence on a world government.

2. That world government would have to be totalitarian and not democratic. You could develop a very sound plan but in a democracy, the people have the right to be wrong, and they frequently are.

I think these problems are insurmountable but maybe I'm just being too pessimistic.

"Invest in business, and leverage as much charitable money as possible into activist organizations that pass muster, and train people to think the right way in a remote setting."...

Priceless. Simply priceless. Great piece, Mikey.

Check out!

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