About the Generator Project

Hi there, welcome to the Generator Project. The Generator Project was inspired by the blackout of August 14, 2003, on the Eastern seaboard of North America. Over 500 generating units shut down that afternoon and it resulted in the power being shut off to over 55 million people in Canada and the United States anywhere from 2-7 days.

As people tried to make their way home from work or elsewhere, there was a realization that this was not a short-term issue. At first, people came together to make sure that each other was safe and cared for. We see this amazing trait of people to step up for each other during difficult situations repeatedly, and this was no different. Shortly thereafter people started to hear that the fix to the problem was going to take some time and that we should start to make arrangements to deal with the situation. People realized that the new normal, for the time being, was one without electricity and those items and distractions in our lives, that require it to run. Can you hear that? In your house, on the street, in your neighbourhood, SILENCE.

What happened next was truly remarkable. People connected. Not though social media, texting, no phones or any other means of communication, but face to face. Most likely not with people miles away, but with the people you drive by every day on your street, in your neighbourhood or across the road. People gathered for many different reasons. They gathered to support, to discuss, to share, to break bread, to have a BBQ and use up the food that we all thought was going to waste and maybe even the occasional glass of your favorite refreshment because the drinks would get warm eventually! We came together like, dare I say it, they used to in the old days. Before cell phones and computers, before social media, before big fences and 24-hour news channels, before 50 story condos and when the only thing open on Sunday’s was your local convenience store.

People connected. Why? Because we all need to connect. Human beings have a deep need for attachment in our lives whether it be with friends, family or their community. Some research suggests that the #1 indicator or life happiness is being socially connected and the blackout gave us a chance to do exactly that. With no power we were all able to quickly seek one of our most basic needs and get away from the faux connectedness and pressures that society creates today. Maslow referenced this back in 1943 in his Hierarchy of Needs and we are no different today, we just get too caught up in the day to day hustle and bustle that life has become. What the blackout provided us was the opportunity to put the hustle and bustle behind us and focus on our real needs for a period of time.

The Generator Project wants to educate people on the importance of social connectedness and inspire them to take action on Generator Weekends and beyond. We all crave this face to face connection and the Generator Project wants to inspire you to become a Generator by reaching out to your neighbours, friends, and family and get connected by hosting your own Generator Project. Even better, invite someone you haven’t seen in a while or someone you know could benefit from your efforts. It will mean a lot to them and even more to you when you do it!

Your Generator Project doesn’t need to be an all-day affair. It doesn’t need to be big, it certainly doesn’t need to be expensive, but it certainly should be fun, and we hope that the kids will get involved as well. Check out our Get Involved page for ideas and to register your event. Together we can change the world one face to face conversation at a time!