What Are You Skating Towards in 2012?

Quid Tum – What next? is a declaration of our faith in the future, in the power of human ingenuity. It encompasses passion, curiosity, exploration, truth seeking. As readers will know, this blog is about the power of creativity and … Read More

What Will You be Reading for the Holidays?

Each year David Mitchell President of Public Policy Forum asks a number of Canadians what they will be reading over the holidays.  This year the results were published in the Books section of the Globe and Mail (Saturday December 17). … Read More

Vancouver seeks TED prize

"The physical design of cities and their economic functions are secondary to their relationship to the natural environment and to the spiritual values of human community." Lewis Mumford Half the world's population of 7 billion live in cities.  Another 2 … Read More

Natural Care Webinar

The capacity to care is the thing which gives life its deepest meaning and significance. Pablo Casals The slide-deck for my webinar, Natural Care – It’s In our Nature, is now available on line. I offer some definitions. Natural freely given … Read More

Donald MacPherson – Swerving Around the War on Drugs

I liken Donald MacPherson to Thomas Clarkson the original community organizer.  Clarkson was the unassuming, tireless workhorse behind the successful 18th century campaign to end the British slave trade.  Donald is the legendary community organizer behind the 4 Pillars Drug … Read More

33 Revolutions Per Minute – A Nod to John Lennon

Pop music helps resist oppression.  Change, protest and movements are usually accompanied by songtracks. We Shall Overcome was introduced to Martin Luther King by Pete Seeger and it became an anthem for those resisting racist oppression in the 60's.  I … Read More

Taking Care – It’s In Our Nature

Natural care is heart work, accompanied by joy, grace, and tenderness.  It can also be messy, unyielding and decidedly unglamorous.  And it is playing teeter totter with an elephant. Natural care is the topic of a webinar I will be … Read More

BC’s Advisory Council on Social Entrepreneurship Releases Interim Report

Together: Respecting the Future is now on-line. http://socialinnovationbc.ca/ You can access and comment on the draft report using Google Docs. To download a full copy of the Draft Recommendations click here. This draft report represents the current thinking of members … Read More

Imagine Canada – Standing Still, Leaping Boldly

I've always been partial to imagination as opposed to dreams.  Imagination has an element of intentionality, of agency. Dreams start too far back in the unconscious for me. Bold leaps of imagination inspire bold actions. This sense of purpose and … Read More

Caledon’s Tribute to Tom Kent

I became aware of Tom Kent a seminal figure in the development of Canadian social policy just after I moved to Halifax in the 1970's.  At the time he chaired the Cape Breton Development Corporation establishing the model of regional … Read More

Pre-Occupy Post-Occupy

"Democratic governance must evolve rapidly if it is to guide us through our social and environmental challenges. We require a deeper, more integrated form of democracy."  John Richardson Founder Party 'X' The lingering memory of a recent Paul Hawken speech … Read More

Linda Perry’s Big Picture is Priceless

Linda Perry’s feet are planted as solidly on this earth as anyone I know.  This means she can simultaneously keep her ear to the ground while at the same time keeping her eyes on the big picture.  These two vantage … Read More

BC Innovation Summit to be Broadcast Live

On November 25, 500 social innovators will gather at Vancouver's new Convention Centre for BC's first Non-Profit Partnership Summit: Collective Impact through Social Innovation. The event, hosted by the BC Government, has been designed to stimulate conversation among business, labour, … Read More

Implementing Shannen’s Dream: Inspiring Approaches through Changemakers

15 year old Shannen Koostachin of Attawapiskat First Nation in Ontario had a dream – to go to a real school.  A school that was safe and comfy, offering culturally based education for herself and her classmates.  She led a … Read More

War Horse – They Shot Horses Too

War Horse  is the best play I've ever seen – meaningful, disturbing, and persistent.   Others agree.  In December 2010, War Horse was dubbed "the theatrical event of the decade" by The Times  and it welcomed its millionth visitor at its … Read More

The Solution to Misplaced Humility

Another creative piece from the talented author, commentator and founder of Informed Opinions – Shari Graydon.  

Survival of the Kindest

Charles Darwin believed that kindness, sympathy, empathy,and compassion for all life both human and non human was the highest moral achievement. "Looking at humans, as a naturalist would at any other mamiferous animal, it may be concluded that they have … Read More

Social Gold: Ted Jackson’s Financing Strategies for Non-Profits in a Turbulent World

Ted Jackson, community organizer, fellow Frontier College alumni and Professor at Carleton University presented the following speech at the 52nd annual meeting of the Quinte West Association for Community Living.  A comprehensive analysis and call to action relevant for all … Read More

Happy Birthday John McKnight

It’s early September and I really should be downstairs at work.   But the morning sun has attracted a golden finch to the railing.  And juice from an Okanagan freestone peach is sticking to my bearded chin. John McKnight in autumn … Read More

Future Quotient – Loving Future Generations

200 Japanese pensioners volunteered to begin the cleanup of the Fukushima power plant earlier this year.  The self-proclaimed 'Skilled Veterans Corp,' asserted that they, not younger people, should risk radiation because, "they are more likely to die of natural causes … Read More

What Canada Needs Most – Resilience – Important new McConnell Publication

 A Resilient Society is Inclusive, Sustainable and Innovative.  That pretty well sums up the fruits of the JW McConnell Family Foundation's journey over the last fifteen years.  Fifteen years of learning, risk taking and jettisoning assumptions.   A period in … Read More

Don’t Miss Alison Lawton

There it was on page S-14 of Saturday's Globe and Mail, a full page UBC ad profiling a remarkable documentary produced by UBC journalism students on the perils of dumping millions of tons of electronic waste, particularly on workers and … Read More

Charles Leadbeater – Setting the Post Bridget Jones Agenda

"At the core of a good society, a fulfilling life and an effective state are relationships among people, between citizens, with public services that provide care, recognition, purpose and motivation."  Charles Leadbeater Charles Leadbeater has been tracking and chronicling creative … Read More

Representation Agreements – I Am Because We Are (2)

I wrote the following story nearly 20 years ago when we were in the midst of a law reform campaign to establish Representation Agreements as a grass roots alternate to traditional adult guardianship. (see my previous post – Love in … Read More

Representation Agreements – Love in the Architecture

Simone Weil the French mystic, philosopher and social activist wrote, "Intelligence is enlightened by love."  So is legislation.  After a nearly 25 year journey the British Columbia government recently affirmed the status of Representation Agreements, a grass roots alternative to … Read More

Stephen Huddart’s Beautiful World

"There's always someone trying to make change happen and to make our world even more beautiful," observes Stephen Huddart, the new President and CEO of the McConnell Family Foundation. And that pretty well sums up Stephen's inspiration and delight in … Read More

10 Recommended Summer Reads from Ashoka’s Changemakers

Summertime and the living is easy.  But no fish are jumping on the west coast.  Instead geese are migrating – already.  They appear to be seeking the same hidden sun as the rest us.  Never mind, a little rain and … Read More

Mother Time

One of the great pleasures of being nestled within the family arm of the disability movement is enjoying a diverse group of people who have at least one thing in common – love for their family member who has a … Read More

Kirsteen and Cat Main – Making Words Visible

I used to see her hanging around art festivals.  Like every young poet with something to say.  Waiting. Waiting for a chance to share her poems.   …A single tear falls remembering the happy timesSo far and few betweenAnger not … Read More

Diogo Vasconcelos – He Was What He Shared

Conviviality is a word designed for Diogo Vasconceleos – gregarious, intimate, cheerful, gracious.  You could settle in to a deep conversation with him the way the earth settled into an orbit around the sun.  Simultaneously attracted by his energy and … Read More

Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge – Cambodian War Crimes Tribunal Resumes

On June 27th (2011) the four most senior officials of the Khmer Rouge regime went on trial in Phnom Penh – more than 30 years after they were driven from power.  Finally.  This is Case #2.  The first trial convicted … Read More

Learning from the Canadian Caregiver Coalition’s Success

There are no coincidences in politics.  If an issue is on a platform or a policy agenda, it’s because someone or a whole lot of someones worked long and hard to put it there. – Effecting Policy Change It is … Read More

Preston Manning’s Barometer of Canada

It is worth paying attention to Preston Manning.  His impact on Canada over the last twenty-five years is profound.  He created a political movement from scratch and founded two political parties (Reform Party and the Reform-Conservative Alliance ) which became … Read More

Lost and Found. a poem for Fathers’ Day by Tom Konyves

Tom Konyves is a ground breaking Canadian poet and talented video producer, who just happens to be my neighbour.  If you’ve ever enjoyed poetry on public transit you can thank Tom who initiated the first Poetry on the Bus collaboration … Read More

Adam Kahane’s Impressive Array of Changelabs

I remain convinced one of our BIG challenges is learning to work together both within our community sector and among various sectors including government and business. Apprehension, misunderstandings and mistrust are more prevalent that we care to admit. That is … Read More

Why Government Needs our Help

The central characteristic of most advocacy is to get the right proposition in front of government and to lobby for its acceptance and implementation.  However even when a commitment to action is secured there is often a failure to implement.  … Read More

Joe Coughlin – ‘Slow and Slower’

Joe Coughlin is multi honoured jazz singer who deserves to be better known around the world.  He has won the Canadian Jazz Award for best Male Vocalist three times in the past decade (2000, 2008, 2009.)  Joe is a saloon … Read More

Caring, Daring and Working Hard: The Forces that will shape the Future of Vulnerability

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation uses its significant endowment to support 'disruptive' healthcare innovation.  Their definition of health is far broader than hospitals or health care institutions.  Among their many portfolios is one dealing with Vulnerable Populations.    If you are … Read More

Will Social Finance be in Flaherty’s June 6th Budget?

iPOLITICS.ca is a great website/e-magazine for those who want more than predictable stories or columns in mainstream media.  And they are timelier.  And far more comprehensive.  Well worth subscribing to. For fans of social finance and the recommendations of the … Read More

André Picard – 5 Mantras for Healthcare Reform

I wasn't able to make the Public Policy Forum's annual testimonial dinner on April 28th when André Picard, the Globe and Mail's Health Reporter received the Hy Solomon Award.  However, those who attended were unanimous – his short acceptance speech … Read More

Tipping Toward Sustainability – Frances Westley’s presentation to Nobel Laureates

Canadian academic Frances Westley's recent presentation to Nobel laureates is now available for viewing.  Frances is renowned in academic circles.  Stephen Huddart, incoming CEO of the JW McConnell Family Foundation recounts her 'rock star' status at a recent Resilience Alliance … Read More

Peter Block and Mark Anielski on the Economics of Neighbourliness

Here’s an important cross border convergence of intellect, analysis and passion – Canadian Mark Anieski and American Peter Block.  Both challenging Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as a measure of our well being.  Both seeking alternative measures for the indispensable virtues … Read More

Sheila Fraser’s last Speech a Call to Action for Social Innovators

The blunt, plain speaking Sheila Fraser is retiring as Canada's Auditor General.  She  has become a household name over the past 10 years often referred to as a 'rock star' – a seemingly impossible tag for an accountant.  She has … Read More

Ontario’s Social Innovation Strategy – Summit, Wiki, Roundtables…

Ontario's vibrant social innovation community is coalescing around some major initiatives.   First they held a Social Innovation Summit on May 16th.  Noteworthy was the participation of three Ontario Cabinet Ministers representing the Ministry of Children and Youth Services, the Ministry … Read More

Alan Broadbent on Stupid Rules that Shackle the Community Sector

In this month's Maytree Newsleter, Alan Broadbent addresses the proliferation of 'accountability' mechanisms which have nothing to do with accountability and everything to do with government funders managing risk.  The unfortunate consequence is community organizations who must adhere to rules … Read More

GLEE Finale Features Hard Hitting PSA calling for an end to ‘R’ word

A new hard hitting public service announcement, Not Acceptable, calling for an end to the use of the 'r' word will air tonight on GLEE's season ending show. The PSA gives voice to a variety of diverse communities, each of … Read More

Quebec’s new Declaration on Social Innovation

A group of prominent Quebec activists, government representatives, researchers, academics and community practitioners has just published a Declaration on Social Innovation which is well worth a look.  Quebec is a global leader in social transformation.  Its leadership in creating a … Read More

Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations

For those worrying about the state of natural, spiritual and financial resources we will leave future generations, here is an idea from Hungary whose time has come – a Parliamentary Commissioner for Future Generations.  The Hungarian Parliament established the position … Read More

Patrick O’Neill: Starting Well – Avoiding Poor Beginnings

Patrick O'Neill and his publication Transformational Leader, continues to offer helpful advice to people in leadership positions.  His latest, Starting Well outlines how to avoid poor beginnings the inevitable result of a 'fast lane' mentality in organizations that attempt to … Read More

Rules for Charities Engaging in Advocacy

The advocacy chill for Canadian charities wanting to advocate may not be as frigid as you think.  In Canada organizations that are federally registered as charities must adhere to a set of rules set out by the Canada Revenue Agency … Read More