Since 2007, I’ve been writing on civil society, philanthropy, social enterprise, and public diplomacy.

The writing included on this site has been previously published through a variety of networks, including The Conversation, Alliance Magazine, Trico Charitable Foundation, Foreign Policy Association, Social Venture Partners Calgary, Social Innovation Generation, Social Finance.ca, and the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Enterprising Prizes

The Social EnterPrize Awards were created by the Trico Charitable Foundation in 2011 to recognize and celebrate leadership and excellence in social entrepreneurship across Canada.  The awards look for the best practices, social impact and innovation of organizations...

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Belief. That we are selling more than widgets.

Michele, you should go into business. Dad, I don't want to make widgets. Sell widgets. Or improve widgets. - Adamant 20-somthing Michele Belief. The theme of the 2015 Skoll World Forum. A combination of faith and pragmatism. What carries us through when things get...

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The Holy Grail of Social Entrepreneurship?

We’re often asked for our definition of social entrepreneurship.   In the past three years, our answers have morphed.  We started purely on the non-profit side, but encountered problems whereby “everyone” was becoming a social entrepreneur.  As we shifted toward the...

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The trouble with transformation creep

The mantra for transformative change has become ubiquitous. After all, who would opt for treating symptoms, often derisively labelled as applying band-aids, rather than striving for a cure? While the clarion call of transformation also beckons for us, we’re concerned...

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I.M.M.A.A.M.M.M

Instead what we know is that in the best examples of social enterprise – we see organizations first looking to their assets -What can we leverage? What are we really great at? Who is in our community? – to build their businesses. They don’t use the lowest common denominator of “How much can we charge our beneficiaries for this service?”

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#givingtuesday, I didn’t.

It feels blasphemous to admit that I didn't buy into Giving Tuesday.  I'm certain this admission will count against me in the do-gooders tally.  On Giving Tuesday, I silently floated through the day afraid to admit my concerns.  It was only after a glass of wine with...

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Delving deeper into power

My kudos to Alliance for taking on the topic of power and philanthropy. It’s not a topic that we often wade into very deeply, and, as Peter Buffett’s op?ed in the New York Times showed, once the surface is scratched a multitude of perspectives and opinions emerge....

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Lysol Wipes

On the Saturday after the Calgary flood, I signed up to the (then) fledgling YYCHelps.ca as a volunteer. On the Monday after the flood, our family returned home, cleaned out the fridge and took stock of what we could offer. Our first stop was our Community Center.  We...

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