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. –

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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 © |


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


||| 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 © |


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


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. |


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

CO-OPS | A Growing Model of Enterprise.

WAYFINDERS LOGO 2019COOPERATIVES | There are seven general principles that all cooperatives follow.

  1. Voluntary & Open Ownership: Open to all without gender, social, racial, political, or religious discrimination.
  1. Democratic Member Control: Cooperatives are democratic organizations controlled by their members—those who buy the goods or use the services of the cooperative—who actively participate in setting policies and making decisions.
  1. Members’ Economic Participation: Members contribute equally to, and democratically control, the capital of the cooperative. This benefits members in proportion to the business they conduct with the cooperative rather than on the capital invested.
  1. Autonomy and Independence: Cooperatives are autonomous, self-help organizations controlled by their members. Any agreements with other organizations or external sources of capital ensure democratic control by the members and maintain the cooperative’s autonomy.
  1. Education, Training and Information: Cooperatives provide education and training for members, elected representatives, managers and employees so they can contribute effectively to the development of their cooperative, and inform the public about the nature and benefits of cooperatives.
  1. Cooperation among Cooperatives: Cooperatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the cooperative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.
  1. Concern for Community: While focusing on member needs, cooperatives work for the sustainable development of communities through policies and programs accepted by the members.

Source: The International Cooperative Alliance ©

Wayfinders Business Cooperative © Edmonton, AB


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment