Across the world, social democracies are grappling with the future of work, and how best to support the realities of an increasingly atypical workforce. Gone are the days of typical work: signing on for a job with a company, logging 30+ years, enjoying regular income, standard work hours, health benefits, social security, and retiring with a pension package that stabilizes one’s old age.

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In a post-colonial context, what does freedom of expression really mean, and under what conditions is it possible? Wherever human rights have been trampled, this question is alive, and intellectual freedom is inevitably intertwined with artistic expression.

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Mentorship and apprenticeship have been a longstanding tradition in the arts, where traditional methods of knowledge transfer existed long before schools specializing in training for the visual arts, theatre, music, dance, craft, literary arts, media arts, etc. In the arts, it is still tough to get started, and to keep going. Whether the need for transfer of knowledge and expertise presents itself at the beginning, middle, or end of an artist’s career, resources to support this activity are often scarce, and bandwidth within cultural institutions to make time for such activity is stretched thin.

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Globally, technology is underwriting a sea change in everything from how we communicate to how business is conducted. No matter how much lip service is paid to “thinking outside the box”, it is clear that to find solutions for survival, even the most well-intentioned of us are often trapped in the box and don’t know how to get out. Jeremy Rifkin’s got a pretty interesting theory about how technology is initiating a change to how the global economic ground is shifting, where it’s going, and the role collaboration is taking. Worth a look. Whether he’s right or not about the big picture, it is worth examining the question of how collaboration and creativity might be two of the strongest assets we have.

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(version français disponible ici)

In Part 1 of this blog on Adaptability in Times of Change, I focused on collaboration as a key adaptive capacity. But what role does creativity itself play? How can developing creative capacities (whether we are young or not so young) help us become better problem solvers, observers, and innovators? There is so much talk about innovation in the world – and so much of public investment to promote innovation is aimed at the tech sector without considering how investment in broader creative capacity building might fertilize the soil and broaden the base from which innovative thinking grows.

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(version français disponible ici)