The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “innovation

Letting Our Cities Take Flight

Posted on March 13, 2018

“It is always easy to create an ordinary city; what is difficult is to create an extraordinary one, peaceful and restful one, smart and tidy, artful and cultivated one.  In short, a livable one,” wrote Mehmet Murat ildan. It makes sense, seems perfectly plausible, and for committed citizens and good politicians should be doable.  Yet many Canadian cities are having trouble achieving it.  Those that struggle inevitably compare themselves to other municipalities elsewhere that seem to have their act together and lament that we lack the resources, leadership or innovation to replicate such success.  There’s a lot of that going around these days in this country, especially among mid-sized cities. Since my time as a member of parliament in Ottawa a number of years…

Innovation Agents

Posted on January 29, 2015

  ONE OF THE GREAT CRITICISMS THAT HAS that always confronted the World Economic Summit in Davos each and every year is that its pronouncements sounds so grandiose and global when in fact little, if anything, concrete seems to come from all that talk and collaboration. We need evidence, the kind that is supposed to emerge when connected minds and collaborative intelligence get together and map out a way forward. Proof of what is possible is far more important to the billions in this world than mere projections of what could be. In numerous and provocative dimensions this is what billionaire and elite rebel Nick Hanauer has been prodding his peers to do: get real. Yet he understands that financial reform will prove impossible…

Cheers For Fears

Posted on April 15, 2014

PARDON THE CHANGE OF WORDING REGARDING the famous new wave band Tears for Fears, but somehow it seemed suitable over these past few days. Last week was like few others for those of us associated with the London Food Bank.  Following 28 years of service to our community, we decided the time was right to consider a new way of doing things, of helping those we traditionally assist to find a more dignified way of getting food than lining up at a food bank. We had known this key moment would be coming for the past couple of years, but now that it had arrived we wondered how our community would react.  Some of it we already knew, through detailed discussions over the last…

Conversations in City Building

Posted on November 18, 2013

My friend, Bharat Punjabi, a Visiting Doctrinal Fellow specializing in the field of political economy, sent me some information about a group called “Rethinking Economics.”  Based in Britain, they are a student-based movement determined to start a new conversation.  We’ll be talking about them more in a future post.  I love their set of three conclusions: We are thirsty for new ways of thinking.  The economics we have been studying does not fit the economy we are living in. We need to ask new questions to get new answers, and we need a greater diversity of ideas in economics. We deserve new explanations and new responses to the economic, environmental, and social crises evolving on our planet. You’ve got to love this stuff – the language,…

History’s Trick

Posted on October 18, 2013

There were many good responses to these last few blog posts on the future of work – some very worth exploring. But largely our leaders of politics and economics just return our questions with a deafening silence.  At the moment, there is no inclination to deal with the problem of the slow disappearance of work. Political theorist, Judith Shklar, used to maintain that work is more crucial to the core values of democracy than anything else, including family or even government.  Shklar died some 20 years ago, just at the onset of burgeoning unemployment. What would she think of her theory today, now that work has been demeaned, or worse, done away with altogether?  Even if she were partially correct, then the loss of…

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