I recently found this in my diaries from 13 years ago. The year I moved to Nova Scotia.
“The world is not going to get better. The current global chaos is going to increase. The madness we see now will only continue to escalate, I suspect until we hit a massive ecological crisis. I believe human intervention has gone too far globally to be remedied - the battle is lost. The opposite of despair is not hope for me; the opposite of despair is action.
Nova Scotia works for me as a place to begin this new action in my life. It is on the fringes of the madness; what has infected so much of the world has not really hit Nova Scotia yet. It still has slowness and simplicity in its nature. When a pond unfreezes, it is the edges that melt first. I believe that as the world descends further into chaos, that we will need places which hold good human wisdom and practice.”
It felt a bit strange to read it to be honest. It does feel to me like the chaos has only increased over the lat 13 years: the number of ecological disasters, increased economic uncertainty, massive social unrest, the breakdown of trust between citizens and governments, corporate greed running rampant … you don’t need me to continue the list!
That got me to thinking about why Nova Scotia is such a great place to be. In the midst of all this madness we can watch from the edges and make our own decisions. It is like we are part of it but not fully in it all. Thank goodness. More from my diary:
CBC Radio interview #2: democracy, unintentional racism, government power sharing, population decline ... and more ...
This is some excerpts from my latest column in the local paper and the second in a two part series on 'tough conversations for change'. You can read the first one here. You can read the full article on the Lighthouse NOW Progress Bulletin website. I have really enjoyed the calls, emails and comments I have received from these articles. I encourage us all to continue the conversations and allow what we learn from each other to change how we act.
In my last column I talked about the break down of trust in decision makers and the unintended racism that creates unwelcoming communities. This time, I would like to open up conversations around gender inequality and the distribution of power and wealth on the South Shore. I am inviting these conversations not because I think they are divisive but because I believe that by talking about these issues we become more authentically connected across our differences. It is not our differences that are the problem it is our disconnect. The more connected we become the more capable we will be as a region to rise to our collective challenges and opportunities.
Here we go then - let’s dig in:
Here's the video to go with the latest Change Ahead column for the local paper! You can read the full article on the Lighthouse Now website . This one is focused around the need for regional strategies to support localized change efforts. It is not enough to have change leaders making it happen in their own areas of influence - there must be broader strategies to support the overall effort for transformation. This is as true for region as it is for a company or system. Enjoy the video and article and catch you soon ...
It is time we begin to think together as a region. We cannot continue to encourage people to lead change without putting in place the regional infrastructure to support them. We run the risk of our community organizers, small entrepreneurs and local change-makers burning out.
I am excited to be starting a monthly column in the local newspaper LighthouseNOW Progress Bulletin. This is the first instalment. I will do a short video blog to accompany the column each month. This month focuses on what we need be able to lead and work in the midst of change - build relationships, let go of control and know yourself. Enjoy the video and see an excerpt of the column below - follow the link to the Lighthouse site for the full article.
I have the exciting and often daunting honour of working with people who are going through major change that feels beyond their control. That is generally when I get a call. This ranges from large corporate institutions and governments to community driven organizations and loose local collaboratives. My work takes me across the Province, throughout North America and every now and then over to Europe and beyond.
One thing is clear to me. Change means things get chaotic. It’s the nature of it. Change means we are encountering and doing things we have not done before ...
READ THE FULL COLUMN ON THE LIGHTHOUSE NOW WEBSITE ...
This blog post has been provoked by conversations with friends, colleagues and current events. There is an accompanying op-ed piece in the LightouseNOW Progress Bulletin: Welcome refugees for their benefit and ours
The accompanying op-ed piece in this weeks paper (read the full article on the lighthouse now website):
The refugee crisis in Europe is the largest movement of people since the aftermath of world war two. From 1946 – 1962 Canada admitted nearly a quarter of a million refugees. Yet here we are faced with a disaster of similar size and we are not taking in the numbers despite the Ivany report and multiple other channels of research on our economy telling us we need to take 7,000 annually.
My old friend and colleague Lesley Southwick Trask called emailed me from her new home in Portugal on the Camino Trail asking me if I would do an interview for her online radio show. I was all up for it - then she told me it was on women's leadership. That gave me pause to stop and think, you know, being a man.
It's not that I don't think men have a valuable contribution to the conversation on women's leadership ... it just made me stop and check what my contribution might be. How does my life and work help me think about women's leadership? What is my experience of working with women leaders and collaborators and as clients? The interview went some really interesting places - especially in the second half where we got into how experiences of oppression and prejudice lead to building an analysis that supports action that leads to real change. Anyway here's the interview, I really enjoyed the conversation with Lesley and hope you do too. Comments welcome as always.
A short video on the renovation of the new HUB space (49 secs):
A presentation on the HUB expansion - why, what and what next (26 mins):
The new Halifax Central Library opened up in December to much fanfare. People love it. It is an iconic building for the city of Halifax. I was lucky enough to get to lead the team which ran the public engagements that influenced the design of the building.
The engagements enabled the library and architects to be highly responsive to public input through the design process. This has contributed to the enormous sense of ownership that Haligonians feel. Here’s a video of a newscast around the opening so you can get a sense of the vibe. There were some great conditions in place to support it happening. Here’s a few that I can name right off the bat:
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