During the 1990s, the Pikes Peak region's population swelled by 25 percent. But that net gain of 100,000 masked our transitory nature. During that decade, about 300,000 people moved here while 200,000 departed.
One of the Independent's missions is to catalyze community-building initiatives. As sociologist Robert Putnam has written, just as a screwdriver (physical capital) or a college education (human capital) can increase contentment and productivity (both individual and collective), social connections impact the well-being of every citizen and community.
In this day of cyber communities, nothing beats sitting down with interesting people to converse on a particular subject over coffee, chocolate and/or wine. So the Independent with Poor Richard's, Citizens Project and KRCC-FM 91.5 is launching the "Indy Hour at Poor Richard's." Starting today, and most Thursdays from 4:45 to 6 p.m., we will host a participatory dialogue with a guest or timely topic. Free and open to all at Poor Richard's, 324 N. Tejon St. Some samples:
Sept. 6: Chat over a beer or coffee with Indy executive editor Ralph Routon. Discuss news, sports and more. Let Ralph know what's on your mind.
Sept. 13: "Leading for Sustainability: What's Different?" a conversation with Dr. Laura Quinn led by Cecelia Jacobs, both of the Center for Creative Leadership. Dr. Quinn helps organizations pursue sustainability and corporate social responsibility.
Sept. 27: Sean Paige, Gazette editorial page editor, in a Q&A session moderated by Independent publisher John Weiss with KRCC news director Eric Whitney.
In addition, the Independent sponsors more than 100 community-building events every year. Following is a partial list of events we support and/or sponsor:
Sept. 15-16: Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Fair, a 175-booth gathering with talks by Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman (KRCC-FM, weekdays, 7 p.m.); Peggy O'Mara, publisher of Mothering and photographer John Fielder. New Belgium Brewing Co., 500 Linden St., Fort Collins, $5 admission. Visit sustainablelivingassociation.org or call 970/224-3247.
Sept. 18: "Colorado Springs 2020: The Future of Our City," an interactive forum geared toward 21-to-39s, emceed by City Councilor Jan Martin. Brainstorm with local leaders on what the region might look like in 15 years; recommendations will go to City Council. Starts at 4 p.m., Pioneers Museum; open to all, $10 for chamber members, $20 for non-members. RSVP to 575-4383 or coloradospringschamber.org.
Sept. 18: Bill McKibben, author of The End of Nature and Deep Economy, 7:30 p.m., Colorado College, Shove Memorial Chapel, 1010 N. Nevada Ave., free. The Indy is not a sponsor, but we urge you to attend what will be a great lecture.
Sept. 21: The Medal is the Message: Global Ideas in Hand-Held Sculpture, an international symposium with artists from 32 nations, hosted by local-based American Numismatic Association. Opening gala, 4-9 p.m. Live music, food, drinks and lecture. Visit money.org or call 482-9857.
Sept. 22: "Give Peace a Dance," a Pikes Peak Justice and Peace Commission event celebrating the International Day of Peace, Paragon Ball Room, 3125 Sinton Road. Visit ppjpc.org or call 632-6189.
Sept. 28-30: "Principles & Practices of Nonviolent Activism" seminar, Broadmoor Community Church, 315 Lake Ave., $5 registration for all three days. More than two dozen government, media, law enforcement and civic leaders are already registered. Contact Bill Durland at email@example.com or 201-8597.
Oct. 9: Manitou candidates' forum, time TBA, Venue 515, 515 Manitou Ave.
Oct. 13: U.S. Rep. Mark Udall town hall meeting, 3:30-5 p.m., Carnegie Room, Penrose Library. Meet and question the Democratic Senate candidate.
Oct. 16: School Districts 2 and 11 candidates forum, Penrose Library.
For information, contact Renee Hartslief at 577-4545 or firstname.lastname@example.org.