Where do you live? Each night over 7 billion people on planet earth call some place their home, where they rest their head and get a few hours sleep. Human beings invariably live in relatively close confines with other folks, and over the years the idea of a local “block club” has evolved in many areas. Research and experience tells us that these Block Clubs invariably work for the benefit of the local community, resulting in a local Captain looking out for the local residents, and perhaps a Block Club Party once a year. The Block Club acts as a local “safety net”, allowing the folks on the block to work together for the betterment of the community. Imagine if our world was made up of a series of block clubs which are implemented by a system of multi level blocks, villages, districts and then by governmental units designed to cover each and every neighborhood. While this is a grand vision, the use of the “virtual world” on computers, the internet (world wide web) and other technology allows us to relatively easily create the system and to create the Block Club Captain virtually as well.
An active community minded person could take on a District and start to “divvy” it up into the Blocks using a google map to help understand where people live, then enlist folks to become captains on their blocks and then implement the minimum duties of reaching out to the block by communicating and doing a local census of the residents. By enlisting dog walkers or others who get out of their house and walk about, there can be a relatively constant contact between the residents and the Block Club to create a sense of community and even security while providing other avenues of activity, even economic activities like finding jobs for those who need work, or some local cottage industries. Thus the vision of local but connected Block Club System begins to unfold.
Since this is a local system that is being implemented globally, there are many opportunities for local merchants, professionals and others to sponsor the World Block Club’s activities in a local area. For instance the local pharmacy or bank branch wanting to show its support for the community could sponsor the local village and by providing some small financial support for the operations could associate its enterprise with the community, which can be shown on the World Block Club’s local website or by showing the sponsorship on flyers or other communications. ie World Block Club Olde Franklin Towne, sponsored by Warren Prescriptions, your local Block Club sponsor. On our google earth maps we could identify the business sponsor by showing it on the aerial view with a marking on its roof. There are a myriad of opportunities for sponsorship for those who want to associate their good name with the local or other communities (Block, Village, District, etc.) Professionals may want a little larger scale sponsorship then the local bakery since their services are not as primary as the daily bread.
The Art of Place
Each Block and Village has unique characteristics based upon the physical built and natural environment in tandem with the people who reside there. This makes the Block Club an organic and growing concept. The local businesses, community groups, religious groups, etc. make the area what it is and their sponsorship and involvement is critical. By creating the “grid” for local activity the WorldBlockClub provides the opportunity to make a better neighborhood and to define the area. Local business areas can also participate by making more of their business blocks- naming, light pole banners and other actions will make each District remarkable while bringing that local vitality down to block level through the Block clubs themselves.
Act Local / Think Global
What are the actions on the local level that are minimal activity that can enhance a sense of belonging and safety? While the idea is to cover the whole world with a safety net and a system of love and understanding, these actions need to take place on each and every block in order to make this whole world a better place. By creating the grid on the internet, and going into a Virtual world block club we create a world system but we implement block by block with the overall world system creating the virtual reality to start and giving local activists a system and a banner to do their good community work where the live with their neighbors. With a set of simple principles, world wide, the local work proceeds to tie people together for a better local and world community- the common unity of safe water, clean air, safe streets, vibrant economic activity and good neighbors.
Block Club Captain
Leadership is necessary to carry out the World Block Club’s local missions. By creating the Virtual Block Club Captains on our website(s) we can build out the concept and show the functionality of the Captains even before someone fills the roll and making it more likely that a human being will take the position and reach out to his neighbors. In the beginning stages we can appoint or accept the application of Block Captains which will lead to annual elections for the selection of Block Captain and Co-Captains which will be an exercise in Democracy and will allow us to be an Academy of Leadership with the development of so many leading at so many different levels.
Each Block, Village, Precinct and District is made up of consumers, workers and business people. By doing a human need, skills and resource assessment, the World Block Club can add an economic presence to help and to receive help. If 5 young men in an area need work, theWBC can match those available with a work opportunity, work on transit issues and create a win win situation. The WBC can distribute products on a discounted basis to the population in an area, or present other discounts like some of the web based companies like “groupon.com. Emphasis on Health Services would be a natural fit. With local sponsors presenting specials to local block clubs the sky is the limit for a vibrant commercial opportunity that supports the World Block Club.
The first fundamental activity is reaching out and determining exactly who lives on a block, including the residents in each homestead, with a focus on children, both preschool and school age which can help with planning for schools and the providing of specialized services for both young and senior, as well as those in between. We can also focus on those who may be missed by the Government. By using our unique database, we can sort through the human needs and human skill bases to determine our opportunities and to meet our human wants. A basic Neighborhood Profile format will be part of the system, and allow us to serve at a higher more detailed and focused basis.
In today’s hustle bustle world there is often a feeling of being lost. By design the World Block Club reaches out to determine first exactly who lives in each house on the Block. Activities on a block by block, village by village or precinct by precinct basis can be organized. Since the World Block Club is designed for flexibility and local implementation the various social activities will be scaled and customized to local communities. We can reach the isolated grandma or other senior citizen, matching them with the child who comes home to an empty house after school, and providing services for both. The Block Party and Block Meetings will be a part of every blocks way of life.
Crime and other problems basically start somewhere, and its most often in someone’s home. By knowing who lives in our neighborhoods, due to our census and local counting, we can determine if a child needs support so he / she will not go off the “deep end”. The Block Captain will have access to the Social Services of the Government and the Non Governmental Organizations (NGO) to help those in need, and will be trained to call the police / fire departments as well as to bring code violations to other officials thus creating the Safety Net we all want to enjoy in creating another level of security in our neighborhoods. In enlisting dog walkers and others who make a regular habit of getting out and about our blocks, we can assure the eyes and ears that are needed to see and hear, then take action to assure a safer world due to the World Block Clubs presence on each and every block.
Element of Belonging
Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM), yes the World Block Club is designed to reach out and touch literally everyone on a somewhat regular basis and to bring them together on their Block, where they live. Just the idea that each of us knows that there is someone on the Block who we can reach out to is a comfort. The Block Captain and Co-Captain will be a visible presence both in virtual reality and literally on the Block. Grandma knows there is someone there for her, and for everyone, who stands for the community. Today, when the family may need a little help the World Block Club provides that Element of Belonging that may be missing in a home or a neighborhood. Ultimately, teams in different sports or games can be developed, Tee Shirts and other paraphernalia will make our neighborhoods better places and more welcoming. When the new family moves in the Block Captains will welcome them and help create a warm neighborly environment.