Summer Street dreaming big about future


A group of engaging individuals from all over Pictou County and beyond met this weekend at Summer Street Industries to discuss what shape the society may take by the year 2030.

“At the beginning of the day, our Client Council each spoke to how reality is for them today as part of society,” explained Bob Bennett, executive director of Summer Street. “We spent the rest of the day trying to imagine what the ideal society would look like by 2030.”

Bennett said with an idealized future in place, the group worked backward and discussed how to arrive at such a society.

“It’s really blue sky thinking,” Bennett said. “When you think about all the things you and I take for granted now, well a hundred years ago that would have been quite a dream. But it has to start with dreams, and try to go backwards from there.”

The notion of inclusion was a big factor in the discussions- from the inclusion of those with disabilities, to matters of race and gender.

Participants pictured “a society with very little or no distinction between people with a disability and people who don’t, which would probably carry right through to all kinds of other things- race, gender- to people feeling like they’re part of one big, healthy society,”

Bennett explained.

Bennett said that for some, inclusion may mean full time or part time employment, for others it may mean the feeling of enjoying a shared standard of living.

The actual discussion, Bennett said, was “bigger than just Summer Street”. The ideas raised, he said, will be digested throughout the summer and will be compiled into a report for the board to review when it resumes in the fall.

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