Herstories - a collective poem 
Saturday, June 23, 2018, 11:53 AM - The Solidarity Economy & Microfinance
Found poem written with contributions from Feminist Approaches to Women’s Economic Empowerment Meetings (Oxfam, IDRC, Global Affairs Canada)

Ela Bhatt, of SEWA one of my moral compasses once said….
“a project never changed the world.”

Let’s face it we’ve all been here before
WID, WAD, GAD, t-wee and so many more

The question is really what’s new?
Are we moving beyond the chicken coop?
And the projects, the short term, our very silos..

Tell me what part of herstory are we going to own.

What is feminist praxis anyway?
One thing we know. Its nuanced, contextual. It’s a long term game.
And speaking of vulnerable so are our gains.
Or they can be. We know that.
We’ve already seen two steps forward and four
steps back.

I mean look at the world. The business of trafficking? Growing.
with shrinking civic space.

The populists, demagogues, the ones spreading hate
Fundamentalisms of all kinds, they’ve got our cell phones.

Tell me what part of herstory are they going to own.

How to change norms, sustain and reach scale.
We’ve got one working model that’s historically served well.
It’s movements.
How do we work with movements and networks. The ones
who don’t stop.
Who ensure heat from the bottom and heat from the top.

How do we widen the tent if we’re serious about power.
More bodies, identities. Women, all genders negotiating
their sticky floors.
Learn how to bargain beyond local and small.
How to bridge rights and economies in a globalized world.
They’re all tied -work, body and voice. But more than
any ideas we have its about widening choice.

Tell me what part of herstory what part of the agenda will the self-organized own?

We need to be pragmatic yes move the needle sure
But let’s really see if we’re serious about power.
The world is watching. This is our hour.
Let’s not waste it.

Maybe just maybe….

the roman empire is crumbling. And there’s
space for new ways. That aren’t binary, oppressive
don’t put prescriptions first. That aren’t so pale, male or stale.
That find globalized gains.

And power’s just not out there is it?
It’s our own power structures, our funding, the way we research
and work. Our organizational egos. Even how we think.

It’s messy. We’re going to have some difficult conversations
and choices.

So tell me
If this is feminist praxis
what will you risk

to change the gender narratives?

Let’s show the world there are other ways to share, work
and care.

Let’s decolonize.
Let’s dare.

We can do this together. In both the what and the how.
On the shoulders of our ancestors. With our children in mind.

We can be a beacon, a birch basket, a wide bed of coals.

Tell me what part of herstory, in this very precious window…
what part of herstory will we own.

Self Employed Women's Association ahead of the curve as always 
Saturday, May 19, 2018, 08:25 AM - The Solidarity Economy & Microfinance
Met with Reemaben (Executive Director) and Smitaben (head of the Management school) last week. Their union of self-employed women has grown to nearly 2 million. They are moving into online learning and even exploring blockchain to support their producers and vendors to have access to pricing information in their value chains. I worked with the rural team, self-help groups and federations back in 2002 for several years. They remain my moral compass on real member ownership and values that allows them to both organize and innovate. It is all about self-reliance for SEWA.

Check out this inspiring video to see what they're up to.

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The Great Transition to a Post-Capitalist World- Conference Critical Theory Dept McGill U 
Friday, April 27, 2018, 09:01 AM - The Solidarity Economy & Microfinance
What could a post-capitalist world look like? A reclaiming of the commons? Can we reclaim the economy or should we just stop using that word? We're trying. Excited to attend this conference and to visit some neat community land trusts in Montreal.

CLTs grew historically out of the civil rights movement compensating black sharecroppers who had been stripped of their land for their activism. Links to the violent dispossession here in M'ikmaki, Africville.
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If we all lived like Vietnam 
Wednesday, April 25, 2018, 12:35 PM - The Solidarity Economy & Microfinance
Just had a great conversation with a friend Jayme about economics. She made me think of the Doughnut Economics approach by economist Kate Raworth.

It takes into account environmental elements (thresholds), social elements (found in the HDI) but including social capital and supports not often included or easily measured and more traditional economic measures. The weight is put on social and environmental, living well within our means.

No country, as you can imagine, is completely in the "zone" but Vietnam is an extreme outlier in being close. The question is: could you live like that? With that close a relationship to food and resources.

I have some critiques about the indicators they use (and in many iterations such as the online platform) leave out around equity and gender, but broadly it is more on the right track than anything we currently have. And truer to the Latin root of the word economic which actually means household management of resources. Pulls in Schumaker, Polayni and others around the importance of attention to scale and where we find that sweet spot in embedding our resource management and use in solid, trusted relationships.

See more on the link below...

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Side Hustler 
Tuesday, April 25, 2017, 11:05 AM - The Solidarity Economy & Microfinance
I spoke on a panel at the Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Network last week with a few other "side hustlers." I haven't heard the term before but I like it. It fits along with the mosaic economy. Was once given the title "wild card." I've always called it piecing together a livelihood. Parts I do for money, parts volunteer. Parts with others in Sisters Inc and part on my own. Really, I explained in my talk, for me, it's a lifestyle that fits my rhythm and energy levels better. I'm not made to be at a desk all day. Working half time lets me work in fits and starts as seems to be more my nature. I've never fit the "driven entrepreneur" though. I don't live and breathe my business. I have structured my life this way to have down-time, play outside if it's lovely. Yesterday I went for a long motorbike ride and a run in the park. I can spend some time writing and thinking, doing things for my own curiosity. Volunteer where I learn potentially more than my work. Day dream. We underestimate the importance of idleness.

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