65,000 Vietnamese boat people were welcomed to Canada in 1979. More than half of them were privately sponsored by community groups.In fact, so strong was the outpouring of caring that the Canadian government had to invent a system for private … Read More
You know more about social change than you think.
I'm grateful for the many readers who've reach out after reading Impact to share how they are making the world better. Their stories would fill another book or two.
Extraordinary acts are not reserved for the special few. Your actions are what changes history. Together let's resurrect the extraordinary contributions of so called ordinary people!
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I was asked to present at two different events recently which were organized to discuss major policy reform. Ironically the individuals responsible for ‘encouraging’ the discussion were not in attendance. In answer to ‘why?’ the response was, “They would be too … Read More
Particularly if that person is Donald MacPherson. In the late 1990’s a neighbourhood in Vancouver was known as the Killing Fields because of its high overdose death rate (nearly 200 in 1998 alone.) Starting today (April 19th, 2016) the UN … Read More
In answer to the question, “What’s an unlaunch?” here’s a favourite recipe. Find a local sponsor willing to become an alchemist – sharing, blending, experimenting… Choose a room that will enlarge people’s spirits Decorate the room with flowers, branches, boughs, … Read More
There is a great deal of caring, conserving, creating, innovating, entrepreneuring, protecting, advocating for all life on earth (human, plant and animal) that is done by so-called ordinary people. A quick scan of my friends and neighbours reveals C. who … Read More
So much going on. Each of the following deserves more attention. Ever wonder about the health of documentary filmmaking? Its financing? Its commitment to social justice? Its ‘competitors amidst Youtube, Vimeo and other emerging social platforms? Tracey Friesen has done … Read More
That line from the anti-nuclear bomb folksong “Atomic Talking Blues” has been swirling around my brain since the release of recommendations by the joint Parliamentary Committee on physician-assisted dying. The song refers to Einstein’s sober conclusion that we are not … Read More
It’s a matter of survival. A major source of social innovation is rooted in the challenges of ordinary life. Our creativity when faced with a predicament, defines us as a species. It’s not a specialty reserved for a few. People’s … Read More
I’ve heard Nora Young the smart host of CBC’s Spark end her radio show with the wish that her listeners understand that all technologies come embedded with values and assumptions. Furthermore, she emphasizes, those values are those of the dominant culture. … Read More
Profound social change requires movements. Movements open our hearts and minds. They create the favourable political conditions for legislative change, resource allocation and policy shifts. The recent Paris Climate Agreement would not have happened without a global, grassroots climate movement … Read More
Watching the video of Melissa Etheridge’s 2005 Grammy tribute to Janis Joplin always starts me shimmering. She performs Piece of My Heart mere days after her last chemo treatment for breast cancer. Melissa is bald. Too tired to move around, … Read More
The Registered Disability Savings Plan (RDSP) enables Canadians with disabilities to do something most of us take for granted, save money. Already the accumulated amount in registered plans across Canada exceeds $2 billion. By itself, this is not enough to … Read More
I severed my connections to mainstream media because: It does not cover the indispensable and abundant happenings of civil society. Civil society is where problem-solving to make the world a better place takes place every day, everywhere and by just … Read More
Not surprisingly, folks with a disability, their families, friends and supporters are determined to make the world a better place for all people with disability. We also understand that in doing so we are making the world a better place … Read More
Dear family and friends, I wanted to let you know I am fine and that I am thinking of you all. The events of Friday night have left me weary. My heart is broken. Pas de Loup, the restaurant where I … Read More
A remarkable event is taking place in Winnipeg next week – Canada’s first ever Indigenous Innovation Summit. I wasn’t certain whether I should accept the offer to participate. What could I say that would make a difference? Everything I’ve ever … Read More
My soul is Maritime infused. My earliest memory is of tap dancing as a toddler to Don Messer’s Jubilee on the radio. My Mother was a Prince Edward Islander. I cut my community and political organizing teeth in Halifax. Scents, … Read More
Vickie and I had a short essay about vision rejected recently. It took us a while to understand why. They wanted vision as ‘content.’ We imagined vision as ‘vehicle.’ Vickie and I agree about the importance of describing the details … Read More
By all means get to know the latest concept. Date it for a while. Allow yourself to become infatuated with its appearance of perfect possibility. I do! But don’t get too enraptured. Another concept is just around the corner. If … Read More
There is a lot of activity in the social and philanthropic sector to attract investment from banks. This pursuit is a component of what is generally referred to as social finance. Impact investment is another popular description. Many see it as … Read More