Blog Series

Browse through some of Al's most popular blog posts, produced as series.

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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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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What are you skating towards?

I invited people I’d reference on my blog to write about an idea, concept, or phenomenon that is capturing their attention. I was particularly interested in what was on their horizon, not yet clear, still amorphous.

If a theme emerged this year it was that of the citizen – citizen as being, citizen as doing. Being – anchored in the values of the heart, mystery, fallibility, joy, delicious ambiguity, empathy, love. Doing – the messy, unglamorous, tough work of constructive destruction, cooperating with opponents and strangers, intervening to stop atrocities…

If these essays are any indication we may be witnessing a reclamation of our narrative as citizen fused from personal and shared values, at the intersection of voice and agency and forged out of necessity and commonality.

May the year bring you, dear reader, a long river to skate away on.

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Tips for Solution Based Advocacy

All governments today are experiencing financial challenges. Reminding them of their previous bad spending decisions, or not accepting their current financial reality, means your ideas or concerns stand a good chance of being ignored. Proposing alternate financing solutions like many social entrepreneurs do, will get their attention. Leveraging government funding to attract new money; or identifying new funding partners will signal your intention to be constructive.

Unlike the strait jacketed role of Opposition critic, solution based advocacy gives your creativity an opportunity to flourish.

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On Poverty

This series supports a campaign to eliminate poverty by sharing a variety of initiatives that might just be an indication the stars are aligning on this national embarrassment.

Embarrassments like the recent report on child poverty by the UN which ranked Canada 17th out of the 24 richest countries. Nearly one in 10 Canadian children are still living in poverty!

Eliminating poverty is not just something we should do, but can do.

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Becoming Visible

I asked the individuals I profiled and referenced during my first year as a blog columnist to answer this question: What would you like to become more visible in 2011?

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