Signals of Coming Disruption

Big change doesn’t just click on. It occurs over time, starting out often as weak signals of the change to come. Sometimes it’s like the old frog in the boiling water story. Put the frog in when the water is cool and turn up the flame and eventually the frog realizes its plight, just too lateContinue reading “Signals of Coming Disruption”

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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 unanticipatedContinue reading “What’s wrong? People are suffering.”

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What does “living” mean in a Living Wage?

The Edmonton Social Planning Council just published research that indicates the living wage in Edmonton should be $17.36 per hour for a two-parent family with young children and both parents working 35 hours per week. The monthly budget prepared for this sample family assumes both workers are making $17.36 per hour. Before going further, setting a livingContinue reading “What does “living” mean in a Living Wage?”

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Why Not Free Public Transit? (Updated)

Update Introduction: This is the first time in my long career in the non profit sector that I actually believe a Task Force will make a big difference. I am talking about the Mayor of Edmonton’s Task Force to Eliminate Poverty. Because of Mayor Iveson’s consistent leadership and voice on this matter and because ofContinue reading “Why Not Free Public Transit? (Updated)”

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Premier Prentice – My Two Cents about the Budget

UPDATE… at the request of the Edmonton Journal, I rewrote the piece below and the EJ published it HERE. Dear Premier Prentice: We met west of Edmonton at a BBQ when you were campaigning for your position. I appreciated your speech and remember thinking you could be a strong Premier and move our Province forwardContinue reading “Premier Prentice – My Two Cents about the Budget”

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We Need More “Human” in “Development”

In an Edmonton Journal article written by David Staples on May 9th, he asked:  “Is Edmonton suffering from a bad case of Big-Shiny-Thing-itis?” Often the answer is in the question, isn’t it? Our community spent $90 million on the Art Gallery. The Arena and the Museum will cost $820 million. Add to that all theContinue reading “We Need More “Human” in “Development””

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The Scoop on Social Impact Bonds

I just came from an excellent meeting with local colleagues who lead some of the best known non profits in town.  We were talking about a number of things, but one topic was the emergence of social impact bonds (SIBs) as another method of financing social/health programs. Social Impact Bonds are very new and theContinue reading “The Scoop on Social Impact Bonds”

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Thinking about Progress

I am glad to see so much attention being paid by many community groups to addressing poverty. The Vibrant Communities initiative across the country is heartening and it is producing results in terms of achieving poverty reduction for thousands of households. An evaluation of this intiative is forthcoming, if not already released from Tamarack. IContinue reading “Thinking about Progress”

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Community Transformation, Not Just Sector Change

There is a growing body of information about the trends and forces facing non-profit organizations and even more opinions on how the sector needs to address them. There is a lot of talk and a good amount of action taking place around shared services and shared space. Social enterprise is becoming more of a playerContinue reading “Community Transformation, Not Just Sector Change”

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Too many NonProfits?

There are 19000 non profits in Alberta.  That is one non profit organization for every 189 Albertans, so a ratio of 1:189. What do you think of that number? Does it suggest to you there are too many non profits? Well let’s dig deeper. Consider the following: There are 728 Albertans per Sports Groups 1,894Continue reading “Too many NonProfits?”

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