Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

We Heart You

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

From Dossier, with love

Up, Down, and Sideways

From all of us at Dossier, we wish you a Happy Valentine’s Day!

We hope that instead of this day being the only day to show love, that we all challenge ourselves to let it be the beginning of a culture of giving generously, selflessly, and courageously.

Valentine Eyes

Monday, February 14th, 2011

world_heart4

British philosopher, Alan Watts said,

“the loss of paradoxical thinking is the great blindness of our civilization”

A paradox is something that initially appears to be inconsistent or contradictory, but might not be a contradiction at all inside of a different frame or seen with a different eye (from the Naked Now by Richard Rohr)

So we must learn to accept paradoxes, or we will never love anything or see it correctly.
A Loveless World is a Sightless World…..

Openness

Thursday, February 3rd, 2011

Any parent of a teenager today can likely relate to receiving their fair share of absurd text messages making pleas for rides, food and money. Some of them are so ridiculous and humorous that I’ve started to collect them for future laughs…maybe a wedding roast in the distant future. But last night, I received one of those texts from my 20 year old son on his way home from university which jolted me from my usual end of the day fatigue. Here it is:

I think u should buy me a

new scarf. Because I just

gave mine to a homeless

man

Shamefully, he does not come by this nature from his parents. I went to university in the self-absorbed 80’s: my degree was about making money, and my public speaking event was entitled “Yuppies”. In contrast to my son, my modus operandi as a boomer university student was to see how many homeless people I could avoid eye contact with.

Today the university landscape and the student mindset is much different. Social innovation, sustainability and design thinking are beginning to weave into many faculties. My son attends one of few undergraduate programs in North America where he’s taught design and design thinking curricula mixed with math, english,  computer programming and the typical Bacheolor of Arts and Science subjects. As a parent, the massive difference I’ve observed in his program at SFU (SIAT) in  one word is – openness. Not just openness in the typical liberal minded, cerebral meaning; but openness to feeling, seeing, collaboration and most importantly, openness to respond. As a design firm owner, it’s super encouraging to see the combination of social innovation and design thinking being embraced at our universities. But as exciting as it is to witness this shifting emphasis  and what it means for this new generation, it’s even more incredible  to see it at the level of individual response – especially when it hits home.

To check out some of this new thinking at universities, here’s a couple of upcoming webinars:

Roger Martin, Dean of Rotman School of Management at UofT: Free Webinar Feb 10, 2011 on Design Thinking: The Next Competitive Advantage

http://bit.ly/e2fV9l

Stanford Social Innovation Review & IDEO: Webinar Feb 10, 2011 on Design Thinking for Social Innovation

http://bit.ly/fH4DEx

Acupuncture for the world

Monday, January 24th, 2011

ceri_post

I don’t know much about acupuncture, but when I heard David Green use this analogy recently, my interest was piqued. Speaking on the topic of Social Innovation and Finance, he was basically suggesting that the world’s capital markets are out of alignment, with too much energy being channelled in some places, and too little elsewhere. The challenge, he suggests, is to ‘humanise capitalism’ – to use the power of the market for social good, and not simply to bolster shareholder profits. David outlined his own experiences of doing just that as he has sought ways to produce, distribute and service high-quality, affordable health-care products for people in the developing world.

I say ‘experiences’ because he has done this on numerous occasions, with more plans underway. Perhaps his most striking success to date has been working in partnership with Aravind Eye Hospital, India, where he and his company, Aurolab, have succeeded in making cataract surgery and eye care products available to all. By taking an innovative look at the production and distribution of intra-ocular lenses, he has reduced the cost from $160 per pair, to less than $2, while maintaining the highest international standards on quality. His success has led to increased competition, driving the costs down still further. For the world’s poorest, however, even this would be beyond reach. Which is why approximately 1/3 of Aravind’s patients receive treatment free of charge; a further third pay a proportion of the true cost; while the final third pay more than the actual cost. In this way, Aurolab have succeeded in completing more than 3 million surgeries to date, with annual profits exceeding $8 million.

There’s much that’s impressive about this story, not least of which is the capacity for smart business thinking to really serve the world’s poor in a way that is profitable and hence sustainable. What impacted me most, however, was the realization that ordinary people really can make a difference. The challenges can be so overwhelming at times that we falter before we begin. But David was just an ordinary guy making a difference, one innovation at a time.

David is an Ashoka fellow, and you can read more about him herehttp://www.ashoka.org/node/3146; he spoke in conjunction with other excellent speakers Vickie Cammack (CEO of Tyze), Stuart Yasgur (Ashoka Managing Director) and Tim Draimin (SiG Executive Director) – for more info see http://bit.ly/eeKTlQ

Glad, generous giver seeks grateful receiver

Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010

The joy of gift giving can be overshadowed at this time of year by the thought of busy shops, frustrated shoppers, and a world that’s falling apart due to the unremitting demands of human consumption. I find myself caught between the desire to be generous, and the impulse to opt out of consumer culture and its false promises. Thinking about this, I came across a quote recently from Julian of Norwich, a 14th Century English mystic. She (don’t be fooled by her name) reminded me that the joy of gift giving is not found primarily in the gift itself, but in the relationship that exists between giver and receiver. She has in mind a more profound gift than any will we give this Christmas – the gift of life itself – but it seemed appropriate nonetheless:

A glad giver pays little attention to the thing he is giving, but his whole desire and intention is to please and comfort the one to whom he gives it; and if the receiver values the gift highly and takes it gratefully, then the generous giver thinks nothing of all the hardship and the price he had to pay, because of the joy and delight that he feels at having pleased and comforted the one he loves.

Love Begins at Home. Part II

Thursday, August 26th, 2010

Further to the notion of Love Begins at Home… there is a troubling stat – 29% of our nation’s home experience domestic violence.

Just this month a female chief of police in Ontario shockingly went public that she herself is a currently a victim of domestic violence.

There are groups and scholars working on this issue and on exposure and education. Blatantly, more must be done. My design team is currently working with one such group, and so I will continue to post on this subject.

Love Begins at Home

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Mother Teresa

Not too long ago a mentor who I’ve admired my entire career (and an exceptionally successful businessman) challenged me that there was an important category missing in our discussions on love… the family.

Mother Teresa, whom my admiration for is without words, has also been quoted as saying.

Love begins at home, and it is not how much we do… but how much love we put in that action.

Mother Teresa

Of course, both are profoundly right and we do not want to promote such an oversight. Family is at the heart of culture making. A loveless family will be a sightless family that perpetuates sightless individuals. So we want to encourage and welcome dialogue of this nature – about love in family.

Always Love

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

My true purpose, I’ve found, is the love and be loved. That’s part of everything I do as a person and a designer. I’d like to share one of my favourite songs to your group: “Always Love” by Nada Surf. In a world where everyone over uses the word “Love” it still seems to be the greatest human attribute that keeps us from destroying ourselves.

Submitted by John K. Stephenson

Love, Hate and Propaganda

Monday, March 8th, 2010

It never ceases to amaze me how inspiration can be found in the unlikeliest of places. This begs the question, what does a CBC documentary on WWII and an art exhibition project have in common? Courage in the face of adversity. As a project manager with a passion for world events and a knack for connecting the dots, this featured human story caught my eye:

Love Hate and Propaganda

I can only speak for myself, but feel fortunate to work in an industry where I am exposed to a myriad of projects. And while some may consider the transfer of knowledge to be simply value we provide our clients, truth be told, that the real value lies in how projects themselves can open our eyes – in this case what it means to be human.

Love for a Nation

Wednesday, March 3rd, 2010

flag

Being Canadian and a Vancouverite, I can’t help but reflect now on the spectacular display of love we’ve witnessed the past few weeks. Love for a Nation. We felt and witnessed more displays of human emotions than many of us have ever imagined. It was contagious and it felt so amazing to just feel and show our love.

On Sunday after the hockey game I went for a run in my neighbourhood and started counting Canadian flags in houses and on cars that I ran by. After reaching 100 I stopped counting. For our country, this love and affection is unprecedented. My 16 year old son told me that he and his friends started singing our national anthem on the seabus at midnight coming home from downtown one night. The entire seabus joined in – with the teenage boys.

I’ve always thought that the world of business can learn a lot from sport, and now I’m even more convinced. As we’ve just discovered, sport and love is nothing less than infectious…I wonder what it might be look if business and love came together more. Would we feel more? Would we feel good? Would we strive to be our best, to win for our companies, to allow others to share in our glory? What displays of affection, community, and bonding might result? What would the next generation of business leaders be like?

Thank you fellow Canadians for showing the world what love for our country both looks and feels like! Love and business…this too is possible. One must only believe.

Being Canadian and a Vancouverite, I can’t help but reflect now on the spectacular display of love we’ve witnessed the past few weeks. Love for a Nation. We felt and witnessed more displays of human emotions than many of us have ever imagined. It was contagious and it felt so amazing to just feel and show our love.
On Sunday after the hockey game I went for a run in my neighbourhood and started counting Canadian flags in houses and on cars that I ran by. After reaching 100 I stopped counting. For our country, this love and affection is unprecedented. My 16 year old son told me that he and his friends started singing our national anthem on the seabus at midnight coming home from downtown one night. The entire seabus joined in – with the teenage boys.
I’ve always thought that the world of business can learn a lot from sport, and now I’m even more convinced. As we’ve just discovered, sport and love is nothing less than infectious…I wonder what it might be look if business and love came together more. Would we feel more? Would we feel good? Would we strive to be our best, to win for our companies, to allow others to share in our glory? What displays of affection, community, and bonding might result? What would the next generation of business leaders be like?
Thank you fellow Canadians for showing the world what love for our country both looks and feels like! Love and business…this too is possible. One must only believe.