Home Libraries Influence a Kid’s Success in School

“children who grow up surrounded by books are 20 percent more likely to finish college than those who do not. More specifically, according to the study, living in a home with a library of 500 books garners a student 3.2 more years of education than his or her peer raised in a book-less home.”

Poverty Reduction Through Economic Development

I’ve summarized, in point form, a document that was produced by the World Bank. The document is entitled, Attacking Poverty: Opportunity, Empowerment, and Security, which is reproduced below in the box. I’ve specifically focused on the section about moving from strategy to action by maximizing opportunities.

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UNESCO Global Forum in Bangkok, Thailand

The second Global Forum on the Power of Peace, 28-30 October 2009 was a timely occasion to build on past discussions, collaborations and activities. Within the context of difficult economic times and rapidly changing social realities, the place and efficacy of a Power of Peace Network can be reassessed.

To understand more about the Power of Peace Network initiative, please visit the PPN Project page.

PPN was discussed in the context of forum themes touching on the role of media and ICTs relating to mutual understanding, conflict management, new opportunities for collaboration, faith and religion, and the leadership of youth and universities.

Please consult the Bangkok Forum website created by UNESCO for background documents, concept papers, the Forum mission, goals and objectives, the forum evolving program and speaker roster, registration information and more.


Video introduction of Ken Coates at the beginning of the forum

UNESCO Global Forum

The second Global Forum on the Power of Peace, 28-30 October 2009 was a timely occasion to build on past discussions, collaborations and activities. Within the context of difficult economic times and rapidly changing social realities, the place and efficacy of a Power of Peace Network can be reassessed.

Continue reading “UNESCO Global Forum”

Objectified – The feature-length documentary

Objectified is a feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them. It’s a look at the creativity at work behind everything from toothbrushes to tech gadgets. It’s about the designers who re-examine, re-evaluate and re-invent our manufactured environment on a daily basis. It’s about personal expression, identity, consumerism, and sustainability. 

Through vérité footage and in-depth conversations, the film documents the creative processes of some of the world’s most influential product designers, and looks at how the things they make impact our lives. What can we learn about who we are, and who we want to be, from the objects with which we surround ourselves?

Read director Gary Hustwit’s post about the filmObjectified is the second part of a three-film “design trilogy” by Gary Hustwit, details on the third film will be released soon.

Objectified had its world premiere at the SxSW Film Festival in March 2009, and is currently screening at film festivals, cinemas, and special events worldwide. The film will be available as a DVD and download soon. Join our mailing list or subscribe to our RSS feed to stay informed of new announcements.


MA in Community Development – International

—from the University of Victoria Website—-

The Challenge  
 Our globally interconnected world today faces enormous challenges in addressing issues of poverty, violence, climate change and exclusion. Such issues demand practical solutions based on perspectives of participatory development and accountable governance.
Addressing these challenges requires committed professionals and leaders around the world, who are able to combine strong analysis with personal capacities to initiate and sustain change efforts in communities and organizations of civil society, local government, and development agencies.
The Master of Arts in Community Development – International (MACD-I) is based on a unique partnership between the University of Victoria and the Society for Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA), a civil society organization with three decades of experience ingrassroots development.

The Program  
 Designed with working professionals and new graduates in mind, the MACD-I will build and develop your capacity to become a successful leader in forging social and economic change, working within, or in partnership with, development organizations. Through course work, assignments, field exposure, and interactions with students and instructors, you will explore the theory and practical learning on facilitating sustainable community development, as well as leadership and management in organizations and networks.
The MACD-I program incorporates the global strategic context, personal leadership and the organizational perspectives relevant to community development and sustainable change.
The two year program is delivered through a combination of online courses and residential sessions based at PRIA Head Office, New Delhi. Each of the two residential sessions is held over a two-week period in the summer terms.
Students work on a major project (ADMN 598) throughout the program and submit the final report at the conclusion of the program.
Knowledge and Skills  
 Throughout the program, you will apply new skills and knowledge to an ongoing research project for addressing a real world problem faced by a development organization.
The program’s unique fusion of practical insights and theoretical concepts means that graduates:
      • Plan and manage effective projects, programs, organizations and networks based on participatory methods.
      • Are conversant about global trends that frame the challenges, threats and opportunities that communities, regions and sectors face.
      • Demonstrate initiative, innovation and leadership in identifying challenges and opportunities for their organisations.
    APPLY NOW for entry into the Spring 2010 cohort!


SiG in the Waterloo Region


Design and build a website to showcase the work of a university department, Social Innovation Generation (SiG) at the University of Waterloo, in the local community.


From the website: “In spirit of of ‘why not’, Waterloo Region cultivates a community where innovation and boldness are celebrated. This website highlights the work that SiG@Waterloo does locally to contribute to the knowledge and passion that is generated here. We seek to create spaces where citizens can engage in provocative conversations and meaningful action.”

My Personal Statement for the Masters of Social Work Application

I find myself constantly reminded of the social inequalities that occur in our local and global community and, as such, I have committed myself to working towards equity in access and opportunity.

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