Views from the Edge

The Holy Grail--Next Steps

My research/practitioner team just met over the weekend in Kingsburgh, Nova Scotia to discuss what we thought we should be doing over the next year. Kingsburgh is a very beautiful place, an old fishing village about an hour and a half from Halifax, with very reasonable accommodation right on the ocean, a magical part of this country. It exemplifies some of our problems, however, as many of the old fishing homes have been beautifully renovated and there are huge seasonal homes ranging from 2.5 million to 5 million dollars.

Reclaiming City Spaces

I can’t believe it is Labour Day Weekend, the summer flew by. When I was a young girl, a summer seemed to last forever, and the older I get, it now seems as fast as a hummingbird’s wings. My research agenda has looked at the characteristics of place, scale, limits and diversity, and now we are going to look at the question of time, how our perceptions of time shape place and how we move through spaces. And time may also be cultural, so stay tuned this year as we explore temporality.

Patterns of our Footsteps - Spending more on drugs but feeling no different

August 29th, 2012

The line graph in the figure below shows that Canadians’ personal expenditure on pharmaceuticals, hospital fees, and health services has almost doubled in the last two decades. However, as can be seen with the area graphs, the percentages of Canadians that considered themselves healthy have remain unchanged. We must then ask, what drives this increase in spending? What have we been paying for?

The Good Society--Renewing the Urban Landscape

Some exciting stuff is happening on the ground, demonstrating how to reconcile the ecological, social and economic imperatives for sustainable urban development. SOLEfood’s new downtown Vancouver site grows food, jobs and greens the city at the same time.

What Frames the Picture?

Following about my last post, it is critically important how an issue is framed, how it is constructed so influences our opinions, as shown in this TEDTalks on whether or not we are over medicalized.

Think Carefully about What You Read

 A new Union of Concerned Scientists report, Heads They Win, Tails We Lose, shows how vested interests influence the use of science in federal decision-making. Although it is an American report, we need to think about how much it also applies to the Canadian context.

The Good Society--New Leadership

In an article I just read by Margaret Wheatley, she asks two critical questions.

Food for Thought

Janine Brodie, a Trudeau Fellow, gave a thought-provoking ‘big thinking’ lecture at the 2012 Congress of Humanities and Social Sciences in Waterloo, entitled, Social Literacy and Social Justice in Times of Crisis. Her lecture was a brilliant political analysis of the current trends affecting Canadian society, with a rich history of critical role of the social sciences.

Transforming Innovation

A series of nine planetary boundaries have been identified by Rockstrom et al. 2009. It is becoming increasingly clear that development pathways must reconnect with the biosphere’s capacity to sustain them  (Folke et al. 2011).