Guiding Principles are the foundation of every organization. They define what is truly important for its success. They should serve as a template for building and growing an organization. practice shows that these principles seldom have any deep meaning to people in their organizations, including their boards and executives and they don't guide organizational lives.
ARSAN's Guiding Principles
Demonstrating possibilities of a new, sustainable way of life
ARSAN is a non-profit educational organization, educating by developing and providing examples of a sustainable way of life
Development of a sustainable local food system
ARSAN strives to be widely known for its commitment to the demonstration of new ideas for a sustainable local food system and its wholistic approach to dealing with all challenges. Its projects provide viable alternatives and a timely response to the growing public demand for systemic changes to the food system and are therefore supported largely by grassroots consumer money. ARSAN coordinates four main projects that together cover key elements of a sustainable local food system:
- Bio-Intensive Demonstration Farm near Viking, AB
- Conservation Village and associated People and Prairie Nature project near Viking, AB
- Local Meats for the Cities which is a co-op based value chain supplying Edmonton consumers with meats produced and processed in the surrounding area
- Sustainable Food Learning Centre in Mundare, AB focused on traditional food processing, which also involves redesigned operations of the nearby Parkland Conservation Farm
All projects are operational but at different stages of their development. They have their own organizational structures under ARSAN's umbrella.
ARSAN remains a charitable organization providing support, promotion, coordination and representation of its existing projects while working on the development of new ideas relevant to the emerging sustainable local food system.Over time and through its commitment to demonstration, ARSAN has an increasingly stronger impact on shaping public opinion about the crucial importance of a sustainable food system and its effect on many key aspects of our collective and individual lives, in Alberta and beyond.
Treating all people and organizations whose input is necessary for organizational success not as stakeholders who have stakes but no rights, but as valued contributors who have the right to expect their contributions will be rewarded by meeting their reasonable expectations
- Open – mindedness
- Participatory democracy
To learn more about each of the Guiding Principles and their importance for any organization click on the respective title.
Guiding Principles are there to stay. They should not be changed, because changing them means changing the organization. One may think about any changing of Guiding Principles as a major surgery; changing them should not be taken lightly, and should be done only if absolutely necessary and only to some of its parts and never to the whole.
All people in an organization, particularly the board and the executives, should be held mutually accountable for their commitments and for following Guiding Principles. Members and the organization's other contributors should feel free to challenge such commitment. In other words, all who can influence performance of an organization should be servants of the organization as defined by its Guiding Principles and its stated Purpose. This is how we treat these at ARSAN. For us they are real and binding. People change over time and the the only guarantors of keeping the organization on track are its Guiding Principles.