THE RIGHT MINDSET, THE RIGHT STORIES
Throughout Atlantic Canada there are stories of communities that, despite significant challenges, are beating the odds economically and socially.
The Fogo Island Inn, the brainchild of Fogo Islander and millionaire Zita Cobb and the Shorefast Foundation, stands out for its proof of the adage “if you build it, they will come.”
Natalie Slawinski, associate professor at the Faculty of Business Administration, Memorial University (MUN), has studied the Shorefast Model
While not every community is blessed to have a millionaire with a vision, she says, the ideas of Shorefast can be applied, even on a smaller scale, in other communities.
Progress is possible by examining local treasures and unique assets and connecting local citizens with outsiders (visiting artists, academics and industry experts) to explore ideas.
The key is a mindset of positivity.
“Communities facing longterm challenges can develop self-defeating narratives,” says Slawinski in an op-ed cowritten with John Schouten, MUN’S Faculty of Business.
They say the right stories can reframe challenges as opportunities, shift mindsets from scarcity to abundance, and remind us how people have overcome challenges in the past.
“Compelling stories change behaviours and motivate people to take risks and do the hard work of building something new.”
SHOREFAST FOUNDATION IS A REGISTERED CANADIAN CHARITY THAT INVESTS SURPLUSES FROM THREE VENTURES — FOGO ISLAND INN, A FURNITURE-MAKING ENTERPRISE, AND A TRADITIONAL SINGLE-HOOK-AND-LINE COD COMPANY WHICH SUPPLIES MANY ONTARIO CHEFS — BACK INTO OTHER FOGO ISLAND PROJECTS.