CO-CREATING OUR WORLD | It is the year 2020, and by the end of it, the start of a new decade, travelling the humanities of diversity, identity, inclusion, cultural awareness and the complexities of technologies aiming at simplifying our lives – we seek clarity; a 20/20 vision of balance & equilibrium. In several fronts, from the local to the global, back and forth, 2019 wasn’t an easy one; we learned through trials and errors, successes and failures that the human journey is never about perfection – but, progress. A dear colleague of mine would say we must watch-out for the “convenient illusions” thrown in our paths – another friend would add “watch-out for placebos to keep us quiet or paralyzed by fear.”

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?” – Rabbi Hillel

EL CAMINO | When we are engaged and working with people in a multiplicity of activities, in several levels of connectivity, it is essential we seek to understand their realities, complexities, and challenges vis-à-vis our own. We can then propose pathways leading to solutions, improvements or innovations. In other words, understanding the whole and engaging people in manageable | doable parts so they can own it as they should. We are talking about our own personal “El Camino” – in that light, coming to terms with what we can actually do, is helpful. Experience tells us that we [usually] move forward incrementally – as that’s how lasting change unfolds, a new reality emerges, soon its settles and becomes “the new normal” …

“Instead of trying to change your entire life in January, the simpler strategy is to adopt a twelve-month plan where you’re making constant improvements.” – S. J. Scott

ESSENTIAL SAILORS | What works, what doesn’t, what need “tweaking” and adjustments, what creative strategies can enrich praxis and transform it? Depends on the particular endeavour(s) you are engaged with, and especially if you are in a leadership position of influence; what can you drawn from others that will bring potential innovation to the fore? Here’s an interesting thought; we need to think ourselves as sailors and our resolutions need to fluidly fit into the world that we are co-creating guided by a more humane compass & understanding about economics, human creativity, community & individual needs-wellness.

“One resolution I have made, and try always to keep year after year is this: to rise above the little things.” – John Burroughs

CONVICTIONS | Callings, vocations, leadership in the service of others are powerful human values-emotions; remaining truthful to them not always easy. But, in a recent project-related meeting I heard we seem to be entering a larger cycle; something is shifting, relationships changing, economies reinventing and our planet’s ecosystems stretched to dangerous levels. This is then the time to get proactive, for participating in any way, shape or form in the transformative conversations unfolding all around us.

In this light, to my fellow cultural-creatives out there, keep creating the opportunities for community, for fair | just economies, keep helping us to open our eyes to what is happening and what needs to be done collaborative-cooperatively. Let’s us say yes to human scale economies, and let’s show-up with resolve; let’s picture ourselves building a better, healthier world. If we can visualize it, if we can feel it, it will become. Blessings.

PS. In case you have not seen this 2011 TED Talk, have a moment with it. The history of our world in 18 minutes with David Christian |

CO-CREATORS 2020.jpg


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LA PAUVRETE N'EST PAS NATURELLE 2019While sharing a coffee with some colleagues the other day, the topic of poverty and its undercurrents was brought forward. One of my fellow-travellers – let’s call her Mary – works directly with an agency that deals with it in several ways, though she often wonders whether they are making a significant difference in a transformative fashion, or just settling for providing the necessary help to fellow citizens facing serious hardships – the so called bandage intervention, of course necessary.

Then, another colleague – we may call him Jimmy – who was until recently involved in policy making dealing specifically with the issue of poverty, said some adjustment were made, increases in support, and additional resources brought to bear. While sipping our coffee I couldn’t help but think why in a city|province and country as wealthy as ours we have poverty in the first place?

  • “There is no fundamental social change by being simply of individual and interpersonal actions. You have to have organizations and institutions that make a fundamental difference.” – Cornel West

Who could possibly benefit by having families, individuals and many kids living in constant hardship, and I am not talking just about people who may receive financial support from governments, I am also talking about the so called “working poor” – a big segment of our population that no matter how hard they work and produce, they are constantly falling behind, struggling to meet their most basic needs, including having enough money to buy food or medicine.

My friend Mary said how appalling it is to witness families and/or individuals having to make decisions such as – “do I buy these medicines” or “do I buy food” … Jimmy concurred, even if in his position, he was far from the frontlines of poverty and hardships – his empathy towards his fellow-citizens always showing on his skin, so to speak.

  • “Love and trust and justice, concern for the poor, that’s being pushed to the margins right now, and you can see it.” – Cornel West

But, which organizations? Which institutions? Governments? Non-profits? The private sector? Banks? The conversation moved to exploring the notion of social responsibility in a larger canvass, equity and sharing resources in whatever form possible and ideally within a dynamic cycle of engagements by those directly affected by the ups & downs of our economic system, even if it sometimes for temporary relief. Then Mary said something requiring deeper thought; how do I as social worker and others in the field can create or be part of a larger social impact in poverty alleviation; eventually, its elimination? Has the time for a guaranteed basic income come? …

  • “The function of freedom is to free someone else.”– Toni Morrison

Jimmy posed the question – do political parties have to play a role? Of course, said Marco, who had been rather quiet until now – civil society organizations should lead, cultivate its leadership and become the main protagonist, otherwise little will change beside cosmetic policymaking. I ventured to say, as it was time to return back to our endeavours, that we need to take time to articulate what would effective samples of a world (or rather, a city) without poverty could look like, and maybe model or pilot initiatives that would and could empower “the poor” to break free from the bondage of poverty. We all nodded in agreement – let’s keep the conversation going said Mary. –

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Indigenous Empowerment: Tools for Change | by Sonia Molodecky | Natural resource development is the driving force of many economies in the developing world – Latin America, Africa and Asia. Mining is also something we all rely on – our cell phones, computers, iPads even have 10% gold as a highly effective conductor of electricity. But it is not being done in a way that is environmentally or socially sustainable. Conflict is prevalent. Deaths too common. Communities are being exploited. Environment is being ravaged at unprecedented rates. Companies are losing billions. Governments are not benefiting. The model is broken. We at GIDT believe that by giving indigenous peoples the tools and empowering them to participate as informed actors, they will be in control of their own development and resource development can be done better.

Sonia Molodecky is Co-Founder and President of the Global Indigenous Development Trust, an international development organization comprised of leading Aboriginal leaders, which focuses on empowering indigenous communities with the tools to contributed to sustainable economic development and participatory processes in the natural resource sector. After a successful career as a corporate lawyer managing large, multi-stakeholder projects in the natural resource sector at Canada’s largest law firm, and as national chair of the firm’s Latin American Group, Sonia found a need for a more balanced approach to resource development where indigenous peoples are empowered participants in Latin America’s resource boom. – TED © |


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||| In cultures where fathers are highly invested in the care of their children, both men and women respond more negatively to the idea of infidelity, a cross-cultural study led by UCLA professor of anthropology Brooke Scelza found. Jealousy is a well-examined human phenomenon that women and men often experience differently, but the study published this week in Nature Human Behavior also examined cultural differences in the experience of jealousy, by surveying 1,048 men and women from 11 societies on five continents. – UCLA © |


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TOXIC LEADERSHIP | a few days ago, while visiting with some colleagues in the humanities we had an interesting exchange of views about leadership – of various kinds, styles and levels within our respective professional|social worlds. The topic seems recurring and of concern to many. I took a moment to look for something that could illuminate such complex issue & found the following two pieces most helpful and educational. Have a read; let me know what you think|feel about this challenging topic.  

  • TOXIC LEADERSHIP Exhibit A | Toxic leaders breed toxic cultures. Toxic cultures develop more toxic leaders – and you don’t want to be one of them, really. You need to be aware of the impact toxic leaders can have on you and your development|growth because you will be shaped in some fashion by this type of behaviour. According to Padilla, Hogan and Kaiser, there are six characteristics of the toxic leader. Let’s have a look at them:
  • TOXIC LEADERSHIP Exhibit B | A toxic leader is a person who has responsibility over a group of people or an organization, and who abuses the leader-follower relationship by leaving the group or organization in a worse condition than when they first found them. The phrase was coined by Marcia Whicker in 1996 and is linked with a number of dysfunctional leadership styles. Their leadership style is both self-destructive and ultimately corporately harmful as they subvert|destroy internal capacity, staff moral|engagement and organizational structures. |


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TIME to CHANGE: Time for Cooperatives.

TIME to CHANGE | Cooperatives work together for the good of all members and the communities where they are based. Their values and beliefs are very different than the ones from big corporations or large transnationals. This short video tells you a brief story about what cooperatives are and were cooperatives & social enterprises intersect. Produced by Cooperatives for a Better World © | … |||

cooperative (a.k.a. co-operativeco-op, or coop) is “an autonomous association of persons united voluntarily to meet their common economic, social, and cultural needs|aspirations through a jointly-owned & democratically-controlled enterprise“. Cooperatives may include: Businesses owned and managed by the people who use their services (a consumer cooperative); Organizations managed by the people who work there (worker cooperative); a Multi-stakeholder or hybrid cooperatives that share ownership between different stakeholder groups. For example, Care Cooperatives where ownership is shared between both care-givers and receivers. Stakeholders might also include non-profits or investors; Second- and Third-tier cooperatives whose members are other cooperatives, and; Platform Cooperatives that use a cooperatively- owned and governed website, mobile app or a protocol to facilitate the sale of goods and services. –

Cooperatives 2018


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Marketing & Promotions for Small Business & Entrepreneurs with Glen Ronald | May 24, 2019 (R.S.V.P.) Thanks!

TALK SERIES | “Promotions & Networking for Small & Medium Size Enterprises” with Glen Ronald – Friday May 24, 2019 | 10:00am to 12:00 noon @ The Business Link, Suite #500, 10150-100 St. – Suggested donation: $10.00 (thanks!). About: A visual artist and sharp business entrepreneur, Glen Ronald operates Spark: The Branding Shop, a business branding & promotional product company he pioneered 20 years ago. We are thrilled to have him sharing his expertise around brand awareness, promoting particular products|services + techniques he has successfully developed over the years. ||| PS. Parking downtown can be challenging; if you can manage park & ride, we recommend it. – RSVP by May 23, 2019 to: 780.474.6058 | Or by email: | SPONSORED by: Wayfinders Business Cooperative ©

GLEN RONALD - Picture May 2019


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