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UpTheMountainAndDownAgain

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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?”

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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!

 

 

 

Charles Eisenstein: Stepping Into A New Story

Charles Eisenstein is a man with a message. It is a message of hope that starts with a serious look at real truths. The short video below is a thought-provoking summary of what he has to say. If you are so inclined, let it be your first stop on a journey of discovery. I hope it will lead you to new friends, inspiring ideas, and practical steps to improve quality of life (yours and that of others).

 

Thank you for reading UpTheMountainAndDownAgain.

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”

New Conference and Nature Walk Series Focuses On Montreal Flora & Fauna

By Hélène Montpetit

From the strip of walking trails and cycling paths on the shores of the Saint Lawrence River to the well-travelled escarpments of Mount Royal, Montreal is home to several species of birds, animals and plants.

Landmarks such as Mount Royal Park and Bois-de-Liesse are well protected, but infrastructure construction and pushes for new housing developments currently threaten some of the lesser-known areas on the Island.

To keep Montrealers informed about the endangered bounty at their doorstep, Transition NDG has teamed up with several local environmental organizations. Together, they will host a series of conferences throughout February and March on the premises of Coopérative La Maison Verte. Each of the talks will be followed by a nature walk in the featured area.

For more information, see the graphic below. You can also stay informed through Transition NDG’s Facebook page.

To find out more about the areas that will be featured, visit the Amis du Technoparc Facebook page here, the Les Amis du Parc Meadowbrook website, the Sauvons La Falaise website and the Sauvons l’Anse-à-l’Orme Facebook page.

natureseries_letter_final

Sweet Songs Collection no. 26 : The UNHCR

houx-de-noel-1The holiday season is upon us and those of us lucky enough to live in safe, stable countries look forward to celebrating with friends and loved ones. For the person on your list who has everything, why not consider the Give a Gift, Save a Life program developed by the UNHCR? You can find out more about by clicking here.

The UNHCR is the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, aka the UN Refugee Agency. It is the world’s leading organization aiding and protecting people forced to flee their homes due to violence, conflict and persecution. It provides shelter, food, water, medical care and other life-saving assistance to refugees around the world.

In Canada, volunteers continue to show an outpouring of support for Syrian refugees by housing them and including them as members of the community. Continue reading “Sweet Songs Collection no. 26 : The UNHCR”

Choice and Change: How to deal with bullying in an open and positive way

by Hélène Montpetit

Ormstown Elementary School has taken singer-songwriter-guitarist David Whyte‘s song The Way I Like To Be Treated and made it into an inspiring anti-bullying video.

Whyte’s approach eschews dark representations, preferring to address the issues from a childlike perspective. Set to a simple melody with interesting phrasing, the song’s lyrics are in the plain language one is most likely to hear on the playground: “I don’t like to be called names, I’m not gonna call anybody names.” The children on the video are shown playing in the schoolyard and modeling inclusive behaviour. They sing earnestly, with humour and purpose.

What a fresh way to broach this topic and to teach children better ways of behaving!

Kudos to Whyte for setting this lesson to music kids can enjoy and to the Ormstown Elementary School staff who directed and filmed the children and who produced this wonderfully positive clip.

 

 

Whyte, who also teaches guitar at Sullivan & Whyte Music School and tours with the Durham County Poets, has arranged to donate revenues from his music to Bullying Canada Inc.  For more information, click here.

 

Sweet Songs Collection no. 25 : The Rules

The Rules is a worldwide network of people dedicated to changing the rules that create inequality and poverty.

Activists, artists, writers, researchers, farmers, peasants, students, workers, designers, hackers, spiritualists and dreamers, they work with social movements, community leaders, cultural players, and everyday people.


Continue reading “Sweet Songs Collection no. 25 : The Rules”

Sweet Songs Collection no. 22: The Stockholm Resilience Centre

The Stockholm Resilience Centre (SRC) is a joint initiative of Stockholm University and the Bejer International Institute of Ecological Economics at The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Internationally recognised, it conducts and publicizes transdisciplinary research.

The SRC has divided its activities under themes:

  1. Global dynamics. How local and regional drivers can generate global-scale challenges like crises in energy, food, and water.
  2. Landscapes. Freshwater, food and ecosystem services in dynamic social-ecological landscapes.
  3. Marine.  Broaden and deepen our understanding of the resilience and dynamics of marine social-ecological systems.
  4. Regime shifts. Operationalizing the regime shifts theory to explain important mechanisms in social-ecological systems.
  5. Stewardship.  Analyses the social, institutional, economic and ecological foundations of multilevel governance that are successful in building social-ecological resilience.
  6. Urban. Looks at linkages between ecosystem services, biodiversity, societies and humankind in an urban context.

Continue reading “Sweet Songs Collection no. 22: The Stockholm Resilience Centre”

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Hélène Montpetit

Listen. Clarify. Articulate.

Thinks Social Orgs

a leadership blog

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Nicole Basaraba - The Chron-nicoles

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