Q & A
Q. Can you tell us about the Generator Project
A: The Generator Project is a movement that was inspired by the summer Blackout of 2003 on the Eastern seaboard of Canada and the United States. In the days following the power outage something special happened. With all the distractions that keep us preoccupied each day in our lives turned off, people connected. Face to Face. It is the importance of those face to face connections that the Generator Project is all about.
Q: How can people participate and support the movement?
A: We want people to commit to powering down from the hustle and bustle of life and the distractions that we face every day. We want people to connect with friends, family and neighbours face to face. We want you to register your Generator Project at www.GeneratorProject.org so we can track the movement around the world. If you let us know what you are planning for your Generator Project, we can share some of the amazing ideas with other people looking for fun ideas as well!
Q: When is the next Generator Weekend?
A: The next Generator Weekend is May 5,6,7, 2017. We hope will join us by getting connected with your family, friends or neighbours.
Q: What are the benefits to connecting face to face and building social connections?
A: There are a ton of great benefits from getting connected face to face.
- Mental and physical well-being.
- Lower levels of anxiety and depression.
- Increased happiness
- Higher self-esteem.
- More empathy for others
- It can increase your longevity
In general, most research states that by staying connected with family, friends or your community, you will be happier, have fewer health problems and live longer. Interestingly, if you don’t have social connections, many of these positives work in the opposite direction resulting in some of the following.
- Increased loneness
- Increased anxiety
- Increased states of depression
- Increased later in life cognitive decline
- Vulnerability to disease and death
- Increased mortality
In general, increased isolation increases the risk of premature death from all causes by 50% and has an effect on your mortality risk roughly comparable to smoking up to 15 cigarettes a day, and greater than obesity and physical inactivity.
Q: Is there a particular time that we are supposed to run a Generator Project on the weekend?
A: Anytime between Friday night at 5pm until Sunday at midnight is the window to participate in the Generator Project. As for the start and length of time for your event, it is up to you! Do what you think works for your gathering and the type of event that you wish to host.
Q: Who Can be a Generator?
A: Everyone can be a Generator! By planning and registering your intention to host your own Generator Project at www.GeneratorProject.org, you are officially a Generator. We appreciate your leadership in getting your friends, family or community together and are excited to hear about your story after the event. Don’t forget, the size of your gathering isn’t the important part. It’s about getting connected and enjoying the people that you invite to spend time with.
Q: What is a Generator Project?
A: A Generator Project is any gathering created to encourage face to face social connections inspired by the Generator Project campaign message. It can be as small as you and a friend or neighbour having coffee, to a family or community BBQ or as large as a street long party or activity.
Q: How big does it need to be?
A: There is no commitment to size. It is whatever works for you. It might be you and your neighbour for a coffee, it might be the kids on the street for a basketball game or it might be a street long pot luck. Whatever you want to do in order create some face to face connections that will drive some incredibly healthy results.
Q: Is there a cost?
A: Absolutely not. The investment that people are going to make is in themselves and the community around them. Does it get any better than that? No cost and you and your community reap all the rewards!
Q: What if people are already well connected?
A: This movement Is about everyone. If you are someone that gathers your friends and neighbours or even host your own street party, that is awesome, we welcome you as experienced Generators. You can really help lead the social connection of a street, neighbourhood or community. Join us for the Generator Weekend by doing your thing and don’t forget about including those that can use a little extra support in getting connected. Seniors, people with disabilities and even those workaholics that might need a little reminder! ? We know you will feel great in doing it as well!
Q: What about someone who doesn’t naturally connect with others?
A: For those who struggle with the idea of getting connected, please use the Generator Project as your excuser to reach out. Remember, this is not a competition and the goal should be quality over quantity. Start by reaching out to those you feel most connected to and then broaden your gatherings as you see fit moving forward! Most importantly, have some fun!
Q: What if I have never done this before? What do I do to create a Generator Project?
A: Honestly, it can be anything that feels good to you. It could be as small as you inviting a neighbour or a friend over to your house for a coffee or tea, or it could be as big as a street party. It could be about gathering the kids on the street to play a sport, some arts and crafts or maybe a board game competition. We have lots of suggestions on our website which you can check out, but don’t make it complicated. If cooking seems too big of a task, just do drinks, if money is an issue do a BYOD (bring your own drinks). The power is in the connection, not in what you serve or do to get people there.
Q: What if I am nervous to invite people I don’t speak to regularly?
A: Know this. May people feel the same way. Whether it is people that you know well or people that you don’t know well, it’s always a challenge to put yourself out there and invite people. The funny thing is that we have all been on the receiving end and know what our usual response is to receiving an invite…Wow, I would love to get together and thank goodness that someone sent out the note. We all have that need to be connected and when people finally send out the note it just gets that energy building. Use the Generator Project as your excuse to reach out. Quality over quantity.
Q: What if I live in a condo?
A: There is some research out there which suggests that connecting in condominiums or apartment buildings is tougher than in other low rise dwellings. The taller the building the more disconnected the community. One suggestion we like is hosting an event for the people on your floor? A wine and cheese, beer and burgers, a hallway dinner or a good old coffee talk.
Q: Where can people go to find out more about Generator Project?
A: People can head over to www.GeneratorProject.org to register their event at no cost and find out more about the campaign and the benefits of social connectedness.
Q: What are you going to do with the information that I provide you?
A: Our goal with the information provided by any Generator is to grow the campaign around the world by spreading the momentum of the campaign to partners, new countries, new Generators and people passionate about coming together with their family, friends or community.
Q: How often are you planning on scheduling a Generator Project?
A: Due to the success of the initiative, we intend to host Generator Weekends each spring and fall to remind people to stay connected. We hope that by hosting these regular occasions that people will make us the excuse to send out the invite that they have been meaning to send out or use the Generator as the kick off to their more connected life, outside of Generator Weekends.
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