Remote Rural Finance and Selfish Genes 
Tuesday, July 8, 2008, 03:21 PM - MF Publications
Selfish genes is a good metaphor for small, informal financial associations. At their best, they are self-replicating and adaptive. This was a paper that I wrote for the Microcredit Summit in Halifax November 2006 based on our early work with the FORD Foundation study on remote, rural member-owned finance. I argue that there are different routes to overcoming the limitations of being small. Achieving scale is one route but there are others including self-replication of associations or linkages with other institutions (that allow them to stay small and flexible).
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Words of Advice 
Thursday, March 27, 2008, 08:50 AM - Outdoor adventure
One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While itís still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.
-- Edward Abbey



Chebucto Wilderness Coalition 
Wednesday, March 26, 2008, 04:25 PM - Inspiring
photo: WRWEO


This coalition (grown out of WRWEO and 5 Bridges Wilderness Heritage Trust) has been in the works just over a year and has already mobilised the support of over 35 organizations and three levels of government. The purpose of the CWC is to protect approximately 9,800 hectares of public lands just outside of Halifax near Tantallon. Nova Scotia is only at 8% of its committed 12% of protected wilderness. This would boost it close to a percentage. Halifax is one of the few cities where you can be on a wilderness trail, a kayak or a canoe in under 20 minutes. Interestingly, the coalition has kept its structure lean and informal allowing it to move quickly and easily without getting bogged in bureacracy. Is there a lesson here?


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The Arts in Higher Education as a Vehicle for Social Change: Right vs. Wide 
Wednesday, March 12, 2008, 06:49 PM - Adult and Popular Education
Higher education institutions constitute an apparently privileged space within which society can question, experiment with and even confront itself. In theory, they can be an environment for creative endeavour. However, numerous contradictions encountered in practice hinder or even impede this being the case as Ivan Illich has long pointed out. In this article, I try to underline the potential that the combination of arts and higher education can offer using a simple framework and some practical examples. I collaborated with the Universities and Social Commitment Observatory and was part of the Scientific Committee of the next GUNI Conference for the thematic line on Higher education, arts and creativity. Sponsored by Catalunya University, Spain, UNESCO and the United Nations University.

Click on related link for the full article.


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Where is the Poetry and Magic? Arts-Based Learning at the Coady Institute 
Monday, February 11, 2008, 06:52 PM - Adult and Popular Education
This is a short case-study based on a Women's Leadership Certificate that I coordinated at the Coady Institute. I discuss how I used poetry and dance as part of the risk-taking that I felt was a critical part of the success of the program. It is published through the International Development Studies Program at the University of Sussex. Learning and Teaching for Transformation E-Forum.

To get a copy of the case-study click on related link below. There is an English version and a Spanish translation thanks to Orlando Gonzalez.


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