Page 1

Volume 1 Issue 8 • April 2019

published by ZX Media Corporation


Bend your brain in all the right ways. JUNE 5 – 7 TELUS CONVENTION CENTrE

GET TICKETS TODAY AT:

Inventurescan.com


A Grassroots Magazine • For Community by Community • Our imperfections make us great !

CONTENTS

Krista Malden

Kenzie Webber Master Creator

INNOVATION

EDUCATION

A Tool For Relentless Innovators 6

The Business of Education

22

The ‘BENEFITS’ of Innovative Disruption 12

Maker Mind STEAM Day

34

BUSINESS One-Piece IT

18

What’s Possible 19 Tell It Like It Is

COMMUNITY How to Journal 38 SHEInnovates

Community Connector

41

20

CONTRIBUTORS Stacy Richter

Peter Lafontaine

Jennifer Cockton

Jade Alberts

Jill Quirk

Heloise Lorimer

Sophia Fairweather

STEAM Team

Adette Lacerte

We Are Calgary

Zanika Malden

Carol O’Dell

Diane Swiatek

Natascia Vervena

Les Mottosky

For Questions, Comments or Information please contact publisher@communitynowmagazine.com Copyright 2019 ZX Media Corpoartion, Calgary Alberta Canada

Subscribe for your free issue of Community Now! At www.communitynowmagazine.com

Community Now! Magazine Copyright 2018, published by ZX Media Corporation. Volume 1 Issue 8 April 2019

All rights reserved. This magazine or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher and writer.

Credit to Errorist_Artist aka Zanika Malden

Our Mission: Promoting curiosity, communication and engagement in making Calgary a stronger and better place to live, to be educated, do business, promote innovation and community celebration.

Community Now! \\ 3


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INNOVATION

Innovation \\ 5


A Tool For Relentless Innovators

T

Les Mottosky

he secrets to successfully implementing innovation are communicated to us in many mottos: “you have to become comfortable with risk”, “fail fast then fail faster”, “if an idea won’t leave you alone, that’s the one to execute.” These ideas serve a purpose in the proper context, but where do those ideas for innovation come from in the first place? There’s a case to be made that curiosity (not creativity, imagination, playfulness, or any other kin of those childlike behaviours) is the root of all meaningful innovation initiatives. Curiosity is in many ways the ultimate business strategy. From conception of the idea to the sustainable business, curiosity influences the entire innovation cycle; the hatching of the concept, testing it with the customer, taking it to market, informing the service model, and improving on 6 // Community Now!


Micheal Gelb, author of “How to think like Leonardo da Vinci” makes the bold claim that da Vinci was the most curious human to ever live. Of the seven principles for learning to think like Leo, Gelb listed Curiosity as the first, because it’s the driving motive and influence of the other six. There’s also some evidence that da Vinci got in trouble in school for asking too many questions, but the more credible evidence for Gelb’s claim is the quantity of questions in his notebooks. A curiosity contemporary of da Vinci’s and the man who dedicated his life to discovering (and writing) “The Origin of the Species”, Charles Darwin was so inquisitive, that the author of his biography, Peter Brent, titled the book: “Charles Darwin, A Man of Enlarged Curiosity”. Albert Einstein, still the gold standard for the classic genius, believed about himself and is heavily quoted: “I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious.” (If those ’Old School’ examples aren’t credible to you, it may not be a coincidence that Elon Musk named the SpaceX Mars surface explorer ‘Curiosity’.) When it comes to progress, based on the connecting thread of innovators past and present, there is no greater driving force than curiosity.

the product going forward. Asking high-quality questions and really wanting to understand the reality of the market, will always serve the interests of the business. It appears that the most impactful creators and influential innovators of the past century understood the irreplaceable role curiosity played in achieving their intentions.

If the key to being driving greater innovation is being more curious, then how can we become more curious? That question itself contains an illusion. We’re all born seemingly infinitely curious, and over years of conditioning from culture and education — for most of us — our curiosity takes a backseat to other traits the world more readily rewards us for. It helps to believe that this endless well of curiosity is always available to us, we just need some new tools to access it. It so happens that there are such tools. One such ‘curiosity tool’ we’ll be exploring in this article has a 40 year history of transformational potential for those who apply it consistently.

(continued on next page) Innovation \\ 7


(continued from page 7...) Fittingly, it’s rooted in the story of a person who got very curious to solve the biggest problem in their life. When he was in University, Tony Buzan, the inventor of Mind Mapping, discovered a puzzling and distressing pattern: the harder and more he studied, the worse his marks got. Having discovered the pattern, Tony wanted to understand what was going on with his brain that wasn’t allowing him to create the results he wanted. He went to the university library and asked the librarian for a book where he could learn more on how the human brain works. The librarian directed him to the Psychology section - a discouraging result for Tony, given he was already a psychology major. With this new awareness that there were no books to explain why his brain seemingly became less effective, the more he used it, Buzan left determined to figure it out for himself. He began by digging into the notebooks of Leonardo da Vinci. Then he moved to Darwin and Einstein’s notes. In the cross-referencing of these luminary innovators, he noticed a pattern in how they visually expressed their thinking. Buzan termed this pattern “radiant thinking”, and set out to formalize and codify these raw structures. In doing so, he invented Mind Mapping. While the guidelines, applications, expressions and understanding of Mind Maps have evolved over the years, their efficacy has remained. (Tony Buzan leveraged Mind Maps to transform his University experience, his life, career and his legacy - including being nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and winning the Toastmaster’s International Gold Gavel Award. (It should be mentioned that Tony Buzan, himself is a breathtakingly consistent innovator and a prolific creator, having authored over 8 // Community Now!

100 best selling books. He’s the most published author in BBC Publishing history.) In addition to aiding memorization, generating ideas, structuring complex thinking, organizing lists and making presentations, Mind Mapping can also be used to stimulate curiosity. By leveraging the psychological concept of gestalt (simply put: our innate desire to see something get completed), we can stimulate our brains to explore new and novel concepts more broadly and deeply. (Major KEY: You don’t have to be an artist to Mind Map!!! This is a tool to visualize, deepen and transform your thinking and add innovation capacity. Your Mind Maps will never hang in a museum - it’s for your own reference and benefit.) Here are the barebones basics - 7 guidelines to help you create effective Mind Maps: 1. Start At The Center. We’re conditioned to start in the upper left-hand corner of a blank page, even though our eyes and brain want to focus on the center. A Mind Map begins in the middle of a landscape (sideways 8.5x11) page. Beginning in the centre of the page will allow unit to freely and naturally explore the directions of your branches


We’re

all

born

seemingly

infinitely curious, and over years of conditioning from culture and education — for most of us — our curiosity takes a backseat to other traits the world more readily rewards us for.

2. Central Image. When putting pen to paper, your Mind Map begins with a word or image symbolizing the concept you want to explore. Why an image? Images stimulate memory, association and imagination. 3. Colours. Use lots of colour while Mind Mapping. Colour stimulates the brain with it’s vibrancy and visual energy. Using colour will also allow you to code and organize your Mind Map as it evolves. 4. Branches. Think of the Central Image as a “book title” and Primary branches as “chapter titles”. The secondary, tertiary and subsequent branches are the content of the chapter. When creating the initial primary branch, start at 1 o’clock (if your landscape page were a clock), ensuring it connects to the central image. The branch should be thicker at the base, getting increasingly thinner. This mimics the structure of branches in nature and creates a visual hierarchy to explore the branch, which aids with memorization and presentation. Explore the subject of each Primary Branch to it’s conclusion before starting on the next branch. (You can always add more branches later.)

5. Use Curves. Curved branches add an organic shape that appeals to the eye and brain and avoids jarring, boring and less organic straight lines. Using this guideline adds to the efficacy of your Mind Map no matter what purposes it serves. 6. One Concept Per Branch. Whether you use an image or a key word to describe your branch, you only want to use one word/image per branch. (If it is a word, use upper case letters as it increases legibility of the Mind Map). The key word or image should also be roughly equal the length of the branch line. This creates a visually appealing Mind Map and adds efficiency of space to the use of your page. 7. Use Images. It’s said an image is worth a thousand words and nowhere is that more true than in Mind Maps. A 40-plus year history of Mind Maps suggests an optimal ratio is 80 percent words, 20 percent images. That said, if you’re creating your Mind Map to memorize some material, it may be helpful to use images as often as possible.

(continued on next page) Innovation \\ 9


(continued from page 9...)

A Mind Map of How To Mind Map: These seven fundamentals can get anybody Mind Mapping - though Tony Buzan says it takes about 100 Mind Maps to find one’s groove. But how do we use a Mind Map to stimulate our curiosity? Start with an image or a word representing the subject you want to explore. Draw eight Primary Branches, (at 1, 2:30, 4, 5:30, 7, 8:30, 10 & 11 o’clock) leaving adequate space to explore each one completely. Label the first branch WHY, the second WHAT, the third HOW, and the fourth branch WHO. (You’ll still have 4 unlabelled Primary Branches once you’ve done this first part, we’ll get to those in a minute.) Now choose a labelled Primary Branch and explore it comprehensively, using the internet or other resources you require to answer those questions. Be prepared to use your imagination, and creativity. Also, commit to pushing these Primary Branches by exploring each of them, three or four branches deep. These deeper explorations into each branch is where you stretch and strain your curiosity muscles. Once you’ve fully explored the first four Primary Branches with the aid of those ‘Why’, ‘What’, ‘How’, ‘Who’ prompts, you should have created enough material to generate subjects to fill the 10 // Community Now!

other four Primary Branches. Take the ideas you want to explore further, turn them into Primary Branches and explore those. Within 20-40 minutes, you’ll have explored a subject that you may not have had the tools to explore earlier. Your first couple of times may not be smooth or easy while you explore this application of Mind Mapping. With consistent practice and healthy doses of persistence and resilience, your natural curiosity loosens up and becomes more available to you. With practice, you will notice changes in your curiosity. The Mind Map has proven to be a brilliant and simple framework to explore our latent curiosity. It also has amazing and remarkable applications for memorization, creativity, organization, communication and even group brainstorming. To explore Mind Mapping further, turn your curiosity loose on the internet to learn more about how to apply Mind Maps to your innovation efforts. You’ll find lots of free articles, videos and software to help with your practice. It’s a four decades old tool being used by an estimated 250 million people around the world, and more to the point, will allow you to remain innovative, productive and curious.


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The ‘BENEFITS’ of Innovative Disruption 12 // Community Now!


The rub is that change is hard. Innovation and disruption force changes that most people are uncomfortable with. Change is inevitable. A crude summary of Darwin’s theory of evolution is that change is necessary for survival. How does an innovation like a selfdriving car contribute to the millions of years of evolution that gave a cheetah its speed? Only time will tell.

I

By Stacy Richter

nnovation and disruption are often used in the same sentence. Innovation is sometimes disruptive and disruption is sometimes innovative. They are not always the same. Innovation is about doing things better while disruption is changing the normal course of things. Both have a way of changing how we go about our day.

Meaningful and lasting innovation can only be absorbed in bite sized pieces. Imagine a staircase that you are walking up and all the stairs are different sizes. Some are larger than others and take more energy to step up. When the step becomes too large, we will stop and wait. Some are so small that you can just skip right over and on to the next step. How we adopt innovation is very much like that staircase. We continue to climb the innovation staircase. When the innovation requires too much of a change, we will stop and refuse to adopt the innovation. If the innovation step is too small, we become uninterested and skip right over the step; on to the next. The benefits of innovative disruption have a double meaning. First, the inevitable change is meaningful and lasting when it can be adopted in bite sized pieces. Innovation evolves from one disruption to the next. The ones that stick can make dramatic improvements to the lives of people. (continued on next page) Innovation \\ 13


(continued from page 13...) The second meaning is how employee benefits are evolving through innovative disruption. “We recognize how important benefits are to our employees [;] we look to mitigate cost without offering less.” - Cindy Giles, Director of HR at Taro Pharmaceuticals1. As unemployment rates continue to decline (particularly in the U.S.), the demand to attract AND retain top talent is at an all-time high, businesses are looking for innovative ways to structure compensation plans that are meaningful to their employees and won’t break the bank. Companies like Chipotle, Lowes and Wal-Mart are offering enriching perks to attract and retain talent2. It seems simple for large, multinational corporations who have teams of plan administrators to implement complicated and intricate programs. Large corporations (500+ employees) make up less than 1% of all businesses. How do the other 99% of small to medium sized businesses afford to innovate in a way that is meaningful to the employees they hope to retain? Health spending accounts are one avenue where employers can provide a supplemental (or replacement in some cases) benefit program to their employees. A health spending account (HSA) “is

a group benefit that provides reimbursement for a wide range of health-related expenses, over and above regular benefit plans. HSA’s are administered in accordance with Canada Revenue Agency guidelines3.” HSA’s are not a new service even though awareness of their value is rapidly on the move upwards. The problem that still remains is the cost of administration for customizable benefits plans. Benefits providers are challenged with transforming a service that is designed to cover large groups of people for a predictable range of events into a custom delivered service catering to the individual. No one suggests that it cannot be done. It is just too expensive to do profitably. One Calgary based tech company has found a way to enable benefits advisors to provide a white label solution to employers that want to provide

1) People Corporation. (2018, March 18). Innovative Employee Benefits Plans Offer Competitive Advantage in Manufacturing Sector. Retrieved March 31, 2019, from https://www.peoplecorporation.com/innovative-employee-benefits-plans-offer-competitive-advantagein-manufacturing-sector/ 2) Eisenberg, A., & Mayer, K. (2018, March 22). Benefits boom: 10 employers with new, innovative employee offerings. Retrieved March 31, 2019, from https://www.benefitnews.com/slideshow/benefits-boom-10-employers-with-new-innovative-employee-offerings 3) Pacific Blue Cross. (2018). Health Spending Account Benefits Frequently Asked Questions. Retrieved March 31, 2019, from https:// www.pac.bluecross.ca/advicecentre/faq/hsafaq.aspx

14 // Community Now!


fully customized health spending accounts to their employees. Tim Kane and Steve McEwan are the cofounders at myHSA. Prior to launching myHSA, Tim and Steve operated a commercial insurance brokerage until Tim sold the company in 2013. Innovative disruption often comes from people outside of the industry. As Tim explains “the insurance that I was used to and where I came from has nothing to do with this. It’s not the same contacts. It’s not even the same stratosphere.” Steve added that “we were basically going to take an industry that had no technology and be the ones to bring some technology into the space.” Steve also noted that their intention was not to disrupt the industry or the market, rather that they were interested in expanding the market and use technology to bring services to brokers and clients who did not have ready access.

myHSA is a web and mobile app where employees can submit their health spending account expenses for reimbursement. The platform provides the expense validation, approval and reimbursement based on the terms of the benefits plan when the employer enrolls. Administration for users, employers and the advisors has been made simple through the interface where any user who has used a smartphone can use the platform. Launching myHSA encountered many of the start-up issues experienced by most tech companies in other industries. One of those challenges was finding product-market fit in the early stages. Rural advisors were the original target market for the platform but they found that the early adopters were advisors in large cities. myHSA started to gain traction among advisors in urban centers and then the rural advisors began to adopt the platform. (continued on next page)

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(continued from page 15...) One approach that created the foundation for success with myHSA was identify a problem worth solving and then build a business that can solve that problem. Where most innovation attempts seem to fail is that a technology is built first and then the founders go looking for a problem to solve. “Coming up with a complex idea is easy but then trying to build it and make that experience simple, that’s the million dollar skill.” – Steve McEwan, COO. myHSA is now extending the functionality of its platform to enable employer/employee charitable donations with its recent launch of myCharity. Through myHSA’s partnership with Canada Helps, the employer can choose a number of charities it would like to support and then allocates a budget to each employee to decide how they would like to distribute that budget on behalf of the employer.

Innovative disruption comes in many forms. As myHSA has demonstrated, it starts with a strong desire to solve a problem and then build a business that solves that problem. Tim explains that the tech community is very supportive of each other and encourages anyone who has an idea to reach out to other founders, investors or anyone in the community to help. Just don’t let your idea die without giving it a chance.

About myHSA Founded by Tim Kane and Steve McEwan in Calgary, AB., myHSA is a FREE software used to facilitate Health Spending Accounts. Designed for advisors, the platform gives advisors the ability to provide a range of in-house Health Spending Accounts. myHSA is fully digital meaning no paper, no snail mail, and no cheques. All claims are submitted online through a desktop or the iOS/ Android app. Employee claim reimbursement is directly deposited into their bank account. All reports are available online and in real time, so the information will always be accurate. To learn more, visit https://www.getmyHSA.com/

16 // Community Now!


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Essential Steps to Developing A Successful Business Continuity Plan

Calgary was one of the safest places to live; No risk of volcanoes, earthquakes, or tsunamis. But, in 2013 our city was flooded in 2-3 feet of water in some areas, and even more recently, there was an earthquake just north of us in Red Deer. A disaster, whether natural, malicious, or even accidental could harm the success of your business. Don’t let these issues be a concern. You need a business continuity plan in place to save your business from an IT failure. One Piece IT can help you with your technology roadmap to guide you through a catastrophe.

What is a BCP? A business continuity plan outlines details and steps necessary to re-establish full business functionality should a disaster occur. Knowing how to continue operations of a company during downtime will save you time, money and ultimately your business.

How do you create a BCP? Planning for the worst-case scenario involves setting goals, making plans and determining outcomes.

Goals Your primary goal is to get up and running quickly if a business catastrophe occurs. Achieving the goal means knowing what to do immediately, within 24 hours and within a 3-day time frame. Employees should be aware of policy and procedure during a problem. A Business Continuity plan will: 1. Make sure your employees are responsive in a business disaster 2. Make it easy for everyone in the company to understand what will happen during a natural disaster, cyber-attack, or technical issue 3. Incorporate drills to ensure logical decisions get made during a negative event

Plans Plan to have a hard and soft copy of your business continuity document. What needs to be in your BCP? A BCP should have the following: • The Business Impact Analysis: The identification of the effects the disruption has on business functions and processes. A BIA should incorporate decisions regarding recovery priorities and strategies based on the previously identified information. A great worksheet to use for creating a business continuity analysis is provided by FEMA’s (Federal Emergency Management Agency) Operational & Financial Impacts worksheet. • Recovery: Steps that are implemented to recover critical business functions.

• Organization: Create a continuity team that will come up with a plan to manage the disruption. You should select team members from experienced personnel. Team members can write up the best plan based on their years of knowledge on company processes and procedures. It is important everyone on the team develops a plan that works for all employees. • Training: First, ensure all employees should be trained on where to access the BCP manual and in what sections they should be referencing. We recommend incorporating it as part of your onboarding process and should be refreshed annually. Secondly, the continuity team needs to be tested and trained in business continuity. Practice simulation exercises quarterly to test the plan and strategies in place. These test results should be added to your BCP plan and continuous modifications to your plan should be made.

Outcomes The outcome of a BCP is always to minimize risk and ensure everyone understands what to do in a shaky situation. Testing several times a quarter will clarify what works in various scenarios. Weaknesses will be identified and fixed. Ensuring the plan works for all employees is vital to its success since it is designed to protect personnel and assets. Accessibility is critical for all employees. Take into consideration everyone’s mobility when developing the business continuity plan. Now that you understand the importance of a business continuity plan, do you have one in place? Our Virtual CIO service is the perfect resource to get your plan underway. Contact us at info@onepiece-it.com to book your consultation. Our next article on disaster recovery planning will teach you about what actions your IT provider can provide to mitigate risks to your business.

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WHAT’S POSSIBLE WITH SOPHIA This Month I want to tell you a story about how you can have fun while working. So, I was speaking at an event that actually Community Now magazine was holding. When I got there, I was naturally pretty nervous and a bit shy but as the event started to pick-up and people started coming, I started to become less nervous. Then, after a while, I joined in with everyone and became “The Sticker Master “and was enjoying myself quite a bit. Because I had certain parts that I was supposed to do, like judging, I did that and I had a blast. Then, when it was my turn to talk and do Q&A, I did pretty well I think. The whole time I enjoyed myself. What I learned from this is: You can have fun while working, especially when you are doing something you care about.

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TELLING IT LIKE IT IS #TellingItLikeItIs with Michael Burak – Founder of Languages in Motion We met at Rainforest Alberta gathering and I was fascinated by your story; please share how a university idea turned into a business.

How are you marketing and finding new clients? We’ve implemented a number of strategies. Most of them are an aggregate of common marketing

When I was studying at the University of Calgary,

methods such as: Networking, Google Search,

I started a student club/association to help people

Social Media, Trade Shows, Mail Campaigns,

become translators and develop their language

Videos, Referrals etc.

skills through translation. The student club was a big hit and within a week of operation, we had over 140 members join. We expanded the club and its influence and began creating opportunities for students across the city. We were approached a number of times by companies, individuals and university departments asking if we could provide translation services. This is what sparked the idea for Languages in Motion. Shortly thereafter, we decided to incorporate a company that would

What is next for Languages in Motion? LiM is always trying to stay ahead of the game and help our clients focus on what matters: their business. We are in the process of launching new software that will allow our clients to receive faster turnaround times, higher quality, easier to access, and affordable pricing for Professional and Certified Translations and in-person interpreters.

provide opportunities for the language students

If you had one piece of advice to give to

that wanted to pursue translation as a career and

Entrepreneurs, small businesses, what would

at the same time, serve the public that required

it be?

these services.

I think the most important thing a small-business

I imagine all types of industries needs things

person could implement would be his/her

translated, what are some of the ones you have

willingness to accept change, and willingness

worked with?

to learn. Many people get stuck because they

We’ve worked with over 50 different sectors of business ranging from Immigration; Law firms: Personal Injury, Family, Criminal, Corporate Finance, Tax; Medical; Engineering; IT; Health & Safety; Software; Manufacturing; Dept. of Justice; Government; Investment Banking; Business: Operations Manuals, Safety Manuals, Technical & Engineering Manuals, Financial Statements;

get comfortable, or they aren’t willing to accept new ways of viewing things and this keeps them where they are. If an Entrepreneur wants great things for his/her business, he/she must be willing to change opinions, accept new perspectives, and educate him/herself via seminars, books, mentors/advisors/coaches and classes at every possible opportunity.

and more.

Jade Alberts Jade Alberts Consulting 403-771-1301 www.JadeAlbertsConsulting.com • www.LinkedIn.com/in/JadeAlberts 20 // Community Now!


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The Business of

Education By Diane Swiatek, Founder and Director of Banbury Crossroads School, Est. 1979

Mind your own business!” is a vehement piece of advice with emotional undertones. The word “business” in this expression has several meanings. Primarily, it refers to the purposes and goals of an enterprise that a person defines and takes responsibility for bringing to fruition. Business in this sense refers to the plans and projects that people hold reverentially in their hands, feeling eager and obliged to act in order to bring them to life, and intending to see them flourish. It is an ownership that defies meddlesome interference. The word, “business” here means endeavours, and 22 // Community Now!

“minding your own business” emphasizes how important it is to heed, and to cultivate, your designed ventures. In this way, “business” is a goal, a product, an altruistic act. Only secondary emphasis is placed upon the benefit to the provider. This is a very different sense of “business” than its meaning as a process, or as a means to an end. Commonly, business involves the act of exchanging money (a means of barter) for a service or goods, in a way that profits the business person or organization. When we speak of “business in Calgary”, for instance, it refers to the work of that kind of


organization—whether small, local start-ups, or huge, multi-national corporations. Degrees in subjects such as Commerce, Accounting, Economics and Business Administration are commonplace offerings at universities and colleges. People may prepare for their careers in business through studying formally in these post-secondary institutions. Conversely, entrepreneurs may step in, all unprepared for the business aspect of it, to begin meaningful ventures with which they already have experience and expertise—like music, cooking, sports, art, animal care, and outdoor recreation. They will learn the business aspects of it as they go along. This way often involves the “school of hard knocks”, due to the lack of advance preparation, but, with

persistence, shared visions and mentorship, this approach can evolve into successful and sustainable ventures. Innovate Calgary is an organization devoted to mentoring such creative initiatives. Calgary is an environment open to businesses of all kinds. Entrepreneurs are valuable contributors to society, because they create business in the finest sense of the word. These rare people both see opportunities and can act upon their hunches. Their focus is primarily upon what they are doing, rather than what they will get from doing it. Most entrepreneurs are driven by their love of the activity, and their belief in the value of it. The creative aspect, the (continued on next page) Education \\ 23


There are so many aspects of our culture that diminish in dignity and quality when they focus too much on being financially viable.

(continued from page 23...) prospect of waking up each day to participate in that endeavour, is what draws them. It is a common ironic truism that if they seek primarily to make money, they often fail, whereas, if they seek with honesty to make their dream a reality, they are more likely to succeed. We generally admire entrepreneurs, and wonder at their abilities. Yet, when it comes to schooling, and education in general, many people feel a gut reaction of unease to imagine its major purpose being simply a business. Although individual schools and school systems need to have business plans and account for their expenditures, they are not in the business of making money for the sake of providing soaring profits to shareholders. That would seem crass. And that is one reason why all public and private schools need to be non-profit organizations. There are so many aspects of our culture that diminish in dignity and quality when they focus too much on being financially viable. When Alberta’s mental hospitals were closed in the 1990s, former patients ended up on the 24 // Community Now!

streets. Social service agencies decried that decision, and we still live with the results of it; people who valued balancing the budget thought it was great. Judging the merits and pitfalls of any decision resides in the point of view, but we need to realize that it is the whole picture that matters, not just one part of it. Services that focus on people—healthcare, the arts, child care, and care of the aged— seem to require state support, as the service itself cannot be sustainable merely on the amount its recipients can pay for it. Health and education could not survive if the people it served had to pay what it actually cost. Not only this, but when any of these institutions of health or learning begin to focus primarily on cost efficiencies, they run the risk of diluting their effectiveness. It is through this attitude that classes become huge, that wait times for health provision get longer, and that the people who are served feel unimportant and disrespected. There is a saying that if an economist ran a farm, there would be no fallow fields, and the farm would ultimately

(continued on next page)


(continued from page 24...) fail. It is not wise to scrimp and save on these services, because our future health and quality of life, our societal accomplishments and our very civilization depend upon the quality of these services. Making up for substandard care in health and education costs much more after the fact. Prevention is always better than any cure. What this means is that an inordinate focus on the economics of business (either saving money or finding more), without consideration for the purpose and needs of the endeavour, is foolish, for it leads to failure. Even though most schools are established directly by the provincial government, entrepreneurism has occurred within the education sphere as well. I am an example, as an entrepreneur with a vision for a different sort of schooling. I knew that when I opened the doors to Banbury Crossroads School in 1979, I did not do so in order to begin a business. I wanted to create a school that would transform children’s lives in beneficial ways, including the vision that they could feel happy and respected while they engaged in self-directed learning. It was not a matter of whether my venture would materialize; it was how. I was focused on what I was doing, and the how of it was a matter for me to discover. What I was not focused on was making money—the business aspect. I sacrificed for what I believed. As time went on, I came to realize that the “business” part of my venture simply referred to the mechanisms whereby that school could operate in a practical sense. And so it remains to this day. The business aspect counts, so that the costs get paid, but that is not what its focus is. Business is not the focus of a school. Children, and their learning, are. It is also applicable to post-secondary institutions like universities and colleges, that 26 // Community Now!

business, being the bald pursuit of money, ought not to be their focus. The build-up of enormous student debt is the result of putting the economic needs of the institutions above the economic and learning needs of the students who attend them. Institutions of learning ought to be for the convenience of students, not of administrators. Ultimately, we, as citizens, do need to pay for it somehow. When we pay for it up front, we reduce the need to pay later in terms of even larger societal costs from unrealized potential. Young people’s need for education, and their need to develop their future life paths, ought to be the focus—and not just for their sakes alone, but also for the sake of our country. We need an educated citizenry. When it comes to education, we need to mind our own business. In the big picture, the business of schooling is only part of the overall umbrella of “education”, which is the life-long process of people learning to gain insight about, and to master, their environment. This process is evident within all human cultures worldwide. Schooling takes place only for certain hours in the day and certain days in the year. Educational collaboration between parents and teachers and other community mentors doesn’t just happen in schools. Together, both inside school and out, we adults need to help young people to learn how to think, to decipher and construct meaning from reality. The business of education is about helping people learn to discern truth from falsehood. They need to learn the purpose of, and distinctions between, theories, facts, inferences, and assumptions, because they have to filter copious amounts of information throughout their lives. They need to value the pursuit of truth, and to realize that it is the pursuit that matters. Their thinking has to include questions and definitions and


answers—and the most valuable answers are those that lead to both a quantity and quality of new questions. One of the most valuable goals of education, and one that we may undervalue, is a broad study of civilizations through the ages—which means the study of people. Archaeology, anthropology, history, geography and sociology are thus useful for giving us some sense of the continuity of humanity’s sojourn on Earth. Disciplines focussing on science and technology, the arts, mathematics and psychology, language and culture all observe reality differently, and should be included in the business of education. Neil Postman, in his book, The End of Education, has discussed these ideas to define the goals of education, so that it will not devolve into triviality and the end of education as we know it. The truth is that schools are changing decade by decade; it is up to us to decide how that change will occur. If it is to survive as an institution, it needs to be relevant to life in the 21st Century. We need to think deeply about the crucial elements of education that can define its business as worthwhile. One of those elements that schools can promote is logical and moral reasoning, and, in the service of that, objectivity. Objectivity is one of the most valuable assets for filtering the vast amount of information and diverse points of view available to us. All students inevitably become adult citizens who will create their own interdisciplinary worldview regarding the way the world was, the way it is now, and the possibilities for the way it will become. Schools can focus on helping students construct this worldview objectively and in a masterly fashion,

through enabling them to gain knowledge and skill, and to use resiliency, social responsiveness and self-determination to make their own lives. The creation of their lives is a major purpose of their adulthood, and it requires the application of all of their knowledge and skill. Their emerging reality affects not just them, but everyone whose lives they touch. We are so interrelated. As educators, therefore, we need to remember what is truly our business: it is not enough for us to help students simply overcome ignorance by learning about the way the world is, and to prove to the world that they know it. Although all of us do need to know those facts, so that we can evaluate effects in terms of causes, we also need to use our insights to apply our knowledge to make decisions, so that we can solve our daily conundrums and face problems in the world around us. When we are able to make responsive and creative changes, our insights have thus given us greater control of our situation. It is empowering. Teachers need to keep in mind that learning ought to be connected to problem-solving, and to action. Young people need to encounter real-world problems, and to engage with the world outside their classrooms. (continued on next page)

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Education \\ 27


(continued from page 27...) Moreover, children are not merely brains in a chair. They are whole persons, with emotions, intellectual curiosities, physical perceptions, social needs and desires to express themselves creatively. So, if students are engaged in the topics under scrutiny, if they are involved in experiential learning where their exploration involves their hands and bodies, if their social setting provides personal adult mentorship and positive peer interaction, then they are more likely to participate fully, remember more, and make insightful connections between disparate ideas. Students are complex beings, and the social sphere within schools and universities is intertwined with their learning. Having positive relationships with mentors and peers is the single most important facet that influences what is actually learned—not only the content of the curriculum, but also the social aspects surrounding the experience. Young people need to learn how to get along with others. They need to learn how to collaborate, to deal with conflict, and to manage their own emotions. This is where the provision of smaller class sizes can make a difference, because when problems arise,

28 // Community Now!

children need the intervention of adults to explain what is happening, point out the social cues they are missing, guide them in demonstrating empathy and assist in their search for options and solutions. Those adults need time to do that. Oprah Winfrey has said that, although conflict can be complex, a basic and simple human need is to feel heard, visible and cared for. This is where communication instruction is useful, both for adults and for children, and it ought to happen in schools. Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.), a course in communication developed by Dr. Thomas Gordon, illustrates clearly how active listening can help people to feel heard and visible, by demonstrating concretely that the listener has heard both the substance of the speaker’s words, as well as the emotions conveyed behind them. Active listening must be done in a spirit of compassion and interest to be effective. Caring for others has to be real, and it has to be mutual. Of course, how people communicate is only one part of the interaction. What they have to communicate is equally important. During problem solving sessions, the needs (not necessarily wants) of each party are explained, (continued on next page)

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(continued from page 28...) and in the cooperative desire to satisfy all of the needs highlighted, practical alternatives, compromises and unusual solutions are sought. Mutual respect and empathy are at the crux of the process. This is not simple or easy, though. Sometimes, problematic realities emerge, such as when the content of people’s angst reveals that they are only concerned about their own needs, and that they are focused only on their own frustrated entitlements. When it becomes unfortunately clear that they want what they want, and will be mad if they don’t get it, then, what we are dealing with are inflexible, self-centered and unempathetic individuals. Their simply being heard, seen and cared for is insufficient for resolving the conflict, because they want power and special treatment to the point that nothing will be enough for them, and the other person’s needs are at risk of being ignored. Oprah’s generalization does not apply in such circumstances, because mutuality is absent. However, such situations are rare; usually, 30 // Community Now!

both sides to a conflict are able to hear and see and care for, the other. That’s what it takes… reciprocity. In essence, relationships require both people to give that understanding and validation; the process only works if it is a two-way, mutually-respectful effort. All young people need to take responsibility for themselves. They need to realize that, forevermore, life is both give and take. If our youth are going to be able to participate smoothly in a social sense in the world, their social learnings are just as important as their intellectual insights. So, educators are indeed involved in whole-person building and in the cherishing of childhood. They need to pay attention to the atmosphere within their schools, homes and other public institutions that foster the development of all children, from toddlers to young adults. The atmosphere of these places, through the work of the personnel in them, needs to prevent toxic stress from damaging the architecture of the brain as it is building. In this way, the development of emotional and social intelligence, as well as guidance in using soft


skills to express them, are absolutely the business of education, because schools participate in the creation of citizens. What does it cost to make a good person? That is very difficult to calculate, and to figure it out would be a logistical nightmare, but we do know that making socially adept, intellectually competent, and contributive persons is the actual purpose of the education business. We also know that, without a doubt, poor education is more than a waste of money: it creates many of the wicked problems facing the world today. Yet, the business of education—the production of wise, educated, competent and discerning citizens—is not primarily a matter of financial value. Its value is found in the comfort, peace and harmony we seek within our culture, and we depend upon such citizens for producing it. Over the past 50 years, Canadians have self-consciously forged our identity and common vision, based on the approach of multiculturalism—the belief that diversity works to provide an enriched sense of excellence. Civic participation is one of our unifying principles, and we need to promote the attitude that it is best to focus on what we can do for our country, rather than merely feeling entitled to receive benefits from our country. The words famously spoken by John F. Kennedy to this effect will forever be an inspiration for this expression of altruism in a national sense. Perhaps empowering our youth to be good persons, insightful and empathetic, energetic and caring about the wellbeing of others, as well as of themselves, could be our highest measure of success. So, we educators and mentors need to mind our own business and make sure that it all happens. As a culture, the business of education is everybody’s business.


EVERY CHILD DESERVES TO FEEL

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CELEBRATED ON THEIR BIRTHDAY!

At The Happy Birthday Project our mission is to bring joy to the lives of children and families facing crisis or adverse circumstances through the celebration of birthdays. Help fill a Birthday Bag today with some of these top needed donations: • • • •

cake mix icing sprinkles candles

• gift for the birthday child • new unwrapped kids toys

• books • clothes

Visit our Facebook page for more donation ideas: TheHappyBirthdayProject For more information on how you can donate, volunteer or support The Happy Birthday Project, please visit our website. thehappybirthdayproject.org • info@thehappybirthdayproject.org


Maker Mind STEAM Day Thank you :

Jill Quirk & The Heloise Lorimer STEAM Team & all our amazing sponsors!!! C UPE L O C AL 709 Calgary C ivic F oreman Union

CARDEL ACCOUNTING

34 // Community Now!


Education \\ 35


To learn more or get involved, visit www.empoweringminds.org or email mckenna@empoweringminds.org


COMMUNITY

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Business \\ 37


How to Journal Adette Lacerte, Traditional Life Coach

I used to never think of myself as a writer. It wasn’t until I started journaling daily and writing articles and content for my business that I realized anyone can become a writer and it only requires a few things. First, you need a beautiful journal. This may

for me to get some of those thoughts that keep me

sound crazy, but when you have a journal

up at night out of my head and on to paper. Where

that is pleasing to the eye you are more likely

you choose to journal is less important than what

to want to pick it up and use it. Everyone’s

time of day. If you can only journal once per day

tastes are different. Go to the bookstore or the

then do it at the end of the day before you go to

local stationary store and browse around until

bed. I keep my journal on my night table.

you find something that resonates for you. I personally like the spiral bound books because then I can fold them around to a single page to write on. I am not constantly trying to hold it open nor do I have to break the binding. I like

I have five guidelines that I give every one of my clients when it comes to what to journal. 1.

start of with “My successes today were….”

that I can use the cover as a writing pad and I

List each item that you personally think was a

can write wherever I am.

success. It doesn’t always have to be big things like an award. It can be little things like I got

Next find a nice pen. What you write with is

out of bed today. Sometimes when our energy

as important as what you write on. If colour is

is low or we are sick getting out of bed is a

important maybe you want to choose multiple

huge deal and you need to celebrate it.

pens with different colours. Evaluate if you like a narrow or a thick line in your writing. This is very much a personal preference and often is a

2.

acknowledge that the work you did towards

letters are very closely placed you might opt

your big dreams and goals was self care

for a finer tip so that the letters don’t smudge

because that is as important as studying for an

together. You want to look for pens that have a of the gel pens are lovely for their easy glide

exam or working on a specific project. 3.

requires a little self-reflection.

last thing you want is a pen that explodes or

Once you have the tools to journal you need to set aside some time. My personal preferred time of day to journal is at the end of the day. It allows me to reflect on how my day went and what may have come up for me. It also allows

38 // Community Now!

On a scale of one to ten what is my current level of happiness. This is an easy one and just

feeling. You also want a decent quality pen. The leaves excess ink on your page or on you.

What action did I take towards my big dreams or goals? Days off are ok and you can

reflection on the style of writing you do. If your

smooth feeling as it rolls across the page. Some

What were your successes? In your journal

4.

What actions did I take to create my own happiness? This makes you accountable for creating your own happiness everyday. Happiness isn’t something that someone else does to you or for you, but something that you create for you. List as many things as you can possibly think of.


5.

What actions am I going to take tomorrow?

time. You can choose to put a check mark beside an

This is not a to do list of regularly scheduled

item or an note, but don’t cross it out.

items such as going to school or work. Think of things that are going to move you forward to making your dreams come true or things that are going to bring you happiness. List three to five items.

Getting into a regular schedule of journaling can be a bit difficult. I encourage you to write every night, but if you miss a night, don’t fret. Maybe you catch up first thing in the morning, maybe you just go back to it the next day. Just constantly be working

Now that you have your items to journal on you

at doing better each day and include it in your

can certainly add stuff to the list, but I would

successes.

shy away from removing any one of those items. Additionally, if you are like me and like to review what I did the day before when I begin to journal in the evening, don’t cross off any of the items on the list. When you cross off an item it negates the importance that it held for you at that moment in

You will find after a bit of time that the power of journaling will help you with keeping focused, celebrating who you are and what you are accomplishing, and it will make you accountable for your life.

Happy Journaling!


CONNECTING INDUSTRIES TO WORK TOGETHER TO BE STRONGER

FUNDING

MENTORS

MENTORS VOLUNTEER HOURS

BUSINESS

FUNDIN

INNOVATION

CREATIVITY RESOURCES PEOPLE

DING

MENTORS

COMMUNITY CREATIVITY

PEOPLE VOLUNTEER HOURS

CREATIVI VOLUNTEER HOURS

40 // Community Now!

EDUCATION


NG

E

ITY

Community Now! Congratulates

All SHEInnovator Nominees

O

n March 18 2019, SHEInnovates launched the Alberta chapter by having a private celebration at the Glenbow museum to recongize the Alberta SHEInnovator Nominees. It was a night filled with networking, celebration, information, inspiration, discussions and opportunity. Alberta has been tasked to pilot the first global SHEInnovates chapter. With the belief that this is the right time to ensure we empower and support women in their endeavors to succeed. SHEInnovates will celebrate women entrepreneurs and innovators, starting with five Alberta women who have been chosen by the UN, followed by a diverse range of Alberta women who are working to solve complex challenges in our province. This is apart of the UN Womens strategy to develop the innovation market to work better for women and to accelerate gender equality.

SHEInnovates Alberta Chapter Goals: • Profile a diverse range of women innovating to create value in Alberta • Brand Alberta as a hotbed for women-led innovation • Be the gateway to a diverse range of global and local resources SHEInnovates Alberta is partnered with UN Women, TransALta, Global Innovation Coalition For Change and SHEInnovates To learn more about SheInnovates Alberta, the nominees, and what’s next go to www. sheinnovatesalberta.com and watch future issues on CN! As we follow SheInnovates and all the nominees. This is just the beginning of a great movement towards success, growth and celebration! (continued on next page) Community \\ 41


(continued from page 41...)

SheInnovates = SheAlberta = SheSuccess! Laura J. Kilcrease CEO Alberta Innovates

“Women have the power to make a real difference in their communities through science, innovation and action. SHEInnovates Alberta is an opportunity to advance diversity and inclusivity, enabling more creative problem-solving and solutions. Together, we can change the world one idea at a time.” Lesley Rigg, Ph.D. Dean, Faculty of Science, Professor of Biological Sciences University of Calgary

42 // Community Now!

"It's honour to be included in such an extraordinary group of women innovators. The A100 has made a concerted effort to accelerate, support, and learn from outstanding Alberta female entrepreneurs. SHEInnovates and its programs plays a vital role in growing and connecting those female innovators both locally and on a global scale. To see so many forward-thinking female innovators recognized right here at home is an inspiration.” Cynthia van Sundert, Executive Director, The A100


For SHEInnovates to select Calgary as its first Canadian chapter speaks to the city’s deep entrepreneurial talent pool and its track record of getting things done. We are very fortunate to have an ecosystem supportive of innovation and collaboration to affect positive change through our respective work. There is a palpable sentiment shared by the entrepreneurs in the city that a rising tide lifts all boats. People are motivated to help you propel forward in your plans for growing your company and this, in and of itself serves as motivation to succeed and bring additional vibrancy to our city. Rena C. Tabata/Chief Executive Officer & Co-founder, Think Tank Innovations Ltd. (ShareSmart)

In discussions of Alberta's economy a lot of emphasis is placed on big businesses in the energy sector. Naturally, there are many women from the energy sector included in SHEInnovates Alberta. Still, over 90 per cent of the money in our economy is generated from small businesses like mine, so I was thrilled to be included. Where women in big corporate structures face glass ceilings, women entrepreneurs like me are in a position where there's only sky, no ceiling, no limits on what we can achieve. My small business supports over 85 food business partners and over a 100 farms and ranches directly and indirectly through the experiences we design and deliver. While service industry products are becoming a commodity, we are retaining value by being leaders in the experience economy. Karen Anderson, President and CEO, Alberta Food Tours, Inc.

Community \\ 43


innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business THANK YOU TO THE COMMUNITY innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business Jill Les Kenzie Tracy Zanika Jenn innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • business Jade Adette • education Stacy Sophia • community Diane Peter innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community •Albusiness Vanisha Al Brian Steven Carol & James innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business Wishing everyone a safe & innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business innovation • education • community • business from the •CN! team innovation • education • community business innovation • education • community • business

H A P P Y EASTER!


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www.communitynowmagazine.com Facebook: @communitynowmagazine Twitter: @communitynowma1 Publisher@CommunityNowMagazine.com

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April 2019 Volume 1 Issue 8