After decades of community organizing I've learned that extraordinary acts are not reserved for the special few and that everyone’s actions are necessary to transform our world. The vast majority of people want to make the world a better place. Magnificence occurs when we sprinkle our work with beauty and love. I am optimistic about what we can do together. ~ Al

Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation

book-cover-mockupImpact explores the difference between short term success and lasting impact.

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Ready to Improve Your Impact?

Between them Vickie Cammack and Al Etmanski have successfully launched numerous social enterprises, organizations, social purpose businesses, coalitions, advocacy and funding initiatives.
There is no mistake they haven’t made and few scenarios they haven’t experienced.
Along the way they have observed six deep patterns of change-making which are described in Al’s book, Impact. They are keen to share their experience with groups ready to think and act like a movement.

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Latest Blog Series


Lessons from the World of Disability

If we are to prevent our dear world from cascading out of control we had better make sure everyone’s gifts and talents are welcomed. In fact the collective wisdom, insight and engagement of people with disabilities may just be what will save us.

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Confessions of a Non Swimmer in the Currents of Culture

All my life I thought that the way to solve social problems was to make a big splash. To protest unjust ways of doing things, change laws, secure large sums of money, elect sympathetic politicians, mount popular public education campaigns, invent and spread innovative solutions. In preparation for approaching change differently, I’ve taken lessons from some of the strongest cultural swimmers I know. If I can keep my head above water long enough I’ll keep you posted on what I’m learning.

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If you don’t know there are potatoes in the borsch …

My Polish ancestors used to say: “If you don’t know there are potatoes in the borsch there could be orphans working in the mine.” In other words if you don’t know what’s going on in your own backyard there could … Read More

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Blessing Your Presenters

Many years ago J.R., a remarkable community organizer was consulting in a northern Inuit community. One night after supper when stories were being told J.R. told a funny one involving his two young children. The room gasped. No one laughed. … Read More

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You Don’t Need to Start Another Movement

The question I get asked most often is, “How do you start a movement?” My answer is always, “You don’t need to start another movement. All you have to do is contribute to the movements that you are already part … Read More

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Adversity Makes you Wiser

Eventually the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” will strike you or someone or something that you love. The adversity or tragedy will be deeply personal. It will appear in a variety of forms – accident, loss, death, indignity, cruelty, … Read More

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The World Needs More Peace Makers not Social Innovators

The world needs more peace makers not social innovators. Why? Because there are already tens of millions of social innovators out there. Maybe more. There always have been. There always will be. People are very ingenious about inventing themselves out … Read More

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Easy Sell

Want to make your life better? How about your family, neighbourhood, community, country, world? Have I got a deal for you. All you have to do is: Take risks Get comfortable with ambiguity Ditch your habits Forget  your traditions Become … Read More

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Death’s Tug of War with Mystery and Science

Death grabbed my pen several decades ago when I was finishing a sentence that I had written a couple of hundred times before, “PLAN creates good lives for people with disabilities.” To my surprise the pen continued, “and good deaths for their … Read More

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Intellectual Imperialism and the Vocabulary of Harm

The headline of a recent Medium post, “The Age of the Imbecile” caught me at a bad time. I’m immersed in examining the harmful impact of words on people who experience a disability. “Imbecile” is one of the terms developed … Read More

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Percé Rock and the Crumbling Patriarchy

The French writer and surrealist André Breton wouldn’t have been the first man to think it but he’s the first one that I know of who wrote it. The excerpt below is from his book Arcanum 17: “The time has … Read More

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