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Category: Collective Impact

The Music of Collaboration

  At the Cities Reducing Poverty: When Mayor’s Lead gathering that Tamarack’s Vibrant Communities hosted in Edmonton April 5 to 7, one of my many roles and privileges was to be an MC at a reception at City Hall for summit participants. At this event, the trio Asani performed their version of our national anthem and two other incredible songs, sung in their native language. (At the end of this posting is a video of them singing O Canada.) What I heard and saw and felt were received by me… Read more The Music of Collaboration

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Why Speak Ill of Charity?

It’s sad. There are too many people who speak ill of charities. Some making sweeping accusations or conclusions without any real evidence or understanding. Some prefer to focus on the mistakes charities make (and of course they make some) rather than the good they deliver, There are some who think the continuation of social problems means charities have failed because not everyone is housed, or healthy, or free of violence. Imagine saying to a heart surgeon she is a failure because for every life she saves, others die from heart disease… Read more Why Speak Ill of Charity?

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Tamarack 2015 Community Impact Summit. Phew!

What a summit it was! 260 people from Canada, the United States, Denmark, Guatemala, Singpore, New Zealand and beyond, working and learning together, inspired by the likes of Al Etmanski (my favorite speaker at the event), Fay Hanleybrown, Stacey Stewart, and Karen Pittman – all of whom gave keynote addresses. Dozens of workshops were led by Paul Born, Mark Cabaj, Liz Weaver, and other Tamarack learning leaders. I was honoured to be one of two artists in residence, doing music and spoken word throughout the week and to be able to give two… Read more Tamarack 2015 Community Impact Summit. Phew!

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What’s wrong? People are suffering.

I never understood “don’t shoot the messenger” as the stereotypical retort the messenger must use to defend her delivery of a message. Maybe we need a new cultural utterance like “You know how the messenger shoots those who don’t listen.” Sometimes the message is actually a question, albeit unsettling in that the inquiry is unanticipated or more often, unwanted. We tend to prefer questions we can answer from our current inventory of answers. It allows us comfort and stability. Even when we craft something new or design an innovation, all… Read more What’s wrong? People are suffering.

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What are “Market Forces” Anyway?

I was reading an article about the NDP Government’s dialogue with the oil industry. I apologise for not recording the URL, but one of the major topics was the environment of course. One CEO was quoted as saying something like the government should let big business deal with environmental goals based on market forces. While I would agree that the government and the oil industry need to work together, it struck me that I am not quite sure what market forces really means? So I did a bit of looking.… Read more What are “Market Forces” Anyway?

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Guaranteed Minimum Annual Income in Alberta?

The Mayors of Edmonton and Calgary are talking about it (read). Many agree with them and I am one; it’s worth a good look. In fact, I suggest that a guaranteed annual income be considered as a foundational strategy to lift hundreds of thousands of people out of poverty. Whether or not it will work depends on a myriad of factors that I do hope we will aptly include in a comprehensive approach to poverty elimination. I won’t pretend that I know what the answers are for what ails us.… Read more Guaranteed Minimum Annual Income in Alberta?

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Let’s Take a Break from Doing Good

Let’s forget our worries and our doubts and walk together unencumbered by the need for a destination. Let’s close the big books of plans and studies and turn down the volume of all that best practice noise. Let’s prefer to have faith in something less predictable and confining. Let’s agree to never again meet in board rooms, or scrawl our logic models on white boards, or wax eloquent about the innovator’s dilemma. Let’s run outside into the blue and green grinning wildly. Let’s throw away our shoes and dig our toes into… Read more Let’s Take a Break from Doing Good

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On Creativity and Collective Impact

“I never made one of my discoveries through the process of rational thinking” -Albert Einstein At Tamarack’s Collective Impact Summit in October 2014, I had the pleasure of hosting a dinner with about ten of the summit participants. My co-host was the wonderfully creative Elayne Greeley who did some incredible art work of the summit proceedings. The topic of our dinner conversation was Collective Impact, Creativity and Personal Change. I chose this topic because all too often practitioners of Collective Impact discount the creativity required to do this work and… Read more On Creativity and Collective Impact

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