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Choice and Change: How do You Respond to Global Issues?

by Hélène Montpetit

This series on choice and change was born out of a personal need for clarity and direction at a time when there seemed to me to be little room in the world for my values and approach to life. It was only when I began to research people and organizations working for positive change that I realized I actually was in good company. For decades now, all around the world, thousands of people have been actively adopting different lifestyles and creating more collaborative and humane systems in the process. Many are featured here in the Sweet Songs collection. I am happy to also have found several groups of like minded people in my own home town, some of which have been the subject of posts in the local initiatives section of the site.

I recently had the pleasure of moderating a Transition NDG film and discussion event. The evening’s featured film was Cultural Creatives—The (R)Evolution, by Frigyes Fogel. Produced in 2011, it presents information about emerging groups who contribute creative solutions to the crises of our times. Julia Itel, a young woman currently working on her Master’s thesis on Cultural Creatives and spirituality, was there to share her knowledge with the group. She gave the phenomenon context by drawing a timeline and telling us about changes that have been taking place in our metanarratives in the context of postmodernism. I hope to include some of her work here at a later date when its publication is allowed, but for now, here is a quick summary of what I took away from the evening. I would be curious to know whether you recognize your style of response to global issues in the descriptions that follow.

Continue reading “Choice and Change: How do You Respond to Global Issues?”

Sweet Songs Collection no. 27: Resilience

A program of the Post Carbon Institute, Resilience.org provides news and information on  energy, the depletion of critical resources, complex environmental crises and related social and economic issues. It also shares the creative solutions various groups and individuals have thought up or implemented to overcome these challenges.

A great one-stop way to stay informed on current initiatives, the site features articles by various experts, journalists, publications, associations and NGOs such as Yes! Magazine, the Sustainable Food Trust, Circle of Blue and others. It also publishes book reviews and links to films on relevant topics.

To access resilience.org, click here.

Thank you for reading!

 

 

 

Transition NDG Launches New Pop-Up Cafe

By Hélène Montpetit

Every Monday from January 23rd to March 13th, NDG residents can warm up, cheer up and pick up new skills by popping into Coopérative de solidarité Transition NDG’s (“TNDG”) new Pop-Up Coop. The transitory café will be held at Café Zephyr, 5791 Sherbrooke West, owned and operated by NDG residents. The venue serves mostly organic, local food and although Chef Anne is off on Mondays, she has agreed to make her hearty soup available to patrons.

Building Community and Resilience

Active in the neighbourhood since 2012, TNDG is well-known for growing free food through its Incredible Edibles initiative that builds and maintains raised-bed gardens on a few of the area’s main thoroughfares during Montreal’s growing season. Also popular are the group’s film and discussion evenings, held once a month from October through June at Coop la maison verte. Continue reading “Transition NDG Launches New Pop-Up Cafe”

Sweet Songs Collection no. 24: The World Social Forum

All citizen-run groups and individuals belonging to social movements are invited to attend World Social Forums to raise important issues, discuss ideas, formulate proposals, build their networks and learn from each other’s experiences.

The first World Social Forum was held in 2001 in Brazil. Since then, gatherings have taken place almost every year. Documentation stemming from these meetings as well as from other workshops and conferences organized under the auspices of the organization is being shared online. Several topics of interest to anyone wishing to foster social, economic and political change are covered. To see what is available, please click here.

Participants come from all over the world to focus on practical alternatives that foster a world built on social and environmental justice, social and supportive economic principles, participative democracy and the preservation of equality and dignity for all.

From August 9th to 14th 2016, Montreal, Quebec, Canada is hosting the first edition of the Forum to be held in the northern hemisphere. For more on this event, click here.

For more information about the World Social Forum in general, click here.

Thank you for reading. Please feel free to share your comments in the space below.

 

Sweet Songs Collection No. 20: OuiShare

OuiShare is a global community and think and do-tank started in Paris, France in 2012. It was founded to connect people, organizations and ideas around fairness, openness and trust. Its end goals are to provide solutions to complex issues and to share resources and opportunities.

To find OuiShare in your area, click here.

To find out about OuiShare events, click here.

To access OuiShare projects, including a job board, resource sharing and other materials, click here.

For OuiShare knowledge sharing and publications, click here.

OuiShare Magazine.

Sweet Songs Collection No. 19: SOCENT (Belgium)

Dedicated to advancing scientific knowledge on social entrepreneurship and social enterprise, SOCENT is a Belgian initiative currently involving 257 Belgian research teams and 112 international partners. The current research phase covers the period from 2012 to 2017 and several papers have now been published. Research is carried out under 6 main themes:

International partners include Georgia State University, the Carlson School of Management of the University of Minnesota, the Center for Corporate Social Responsibilitiy of the Copenhagen Business School and the European Research Institute on Cooperatives and Social Enterprises.

For more information on SOCENT, click here.

To access published papers, click here.

To access information on current research by theme or institution, click here.

Sweet Songs Collection No. 18: The Global Social Entrepreneurship Network

The Global Social Entrepreneurship Network (GSEN) is an initiative launched and incubated by UnLtd, the foundation for social entrepreneurs in the UK.

Its member organizations supported 2600 projects worldwide in 2015. Continue reading “Sweet Songs Collection No. 18: The Global Social Entrepreneurship Network”

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