46 posts categorized "General"

December 04, 2008

City of Toronto 2.0 Web Summit

Header Back on November 27th, the City of Toronto held the City of Toronto 2.0 Web Summit.  The summit explored how Web 2.0 technology can change the way governments interact with citizens, create policies and make decisions. Check out our friend Mark Surman's blog post for his presentation to the Mayor and 300 city councilors. http://commonspace.wordpress.com/2008/11/27/city-thinks-like-the-web/

December 01, 2008

Malcolm Gladwell @ UofT Convocation Hall

Gladwellpic_2Malcolm Gladwell, author of best selling business books "Blink" and "The Tipping Point" and regular contributing writer for The New Yorker Magazine, gave a short talk tonight at U of T's Convocation Hall.  The topic?  His latest book "The Outliers".  No, this is not a Clint Eastwood Western or a M. Night Shyamalan screenplay (although it could easily be the premise for the latter).  No, and "Outlier" is a scientific term to describe things or phenomena that lie outside normal experience.

The format was an informal interview by Rotman's Dean, Roger Martin in front of full house at Convocation Hall. Turns out, Martin and Gladwell grew up in the same community near Waterloo in the heart of Mennonite Community.  Gladwell was best friends with Martin's younger brother Terry which produced some quite amusing stories and witty banter from the two scholars, making the 70 minutes fly by.  Gladwell, albeit peculiar in his ways, is a fascinating fellow chalk full of statistics, stories and analogies that make you go "hmmmm". He is a master at breaking down our perceptions and helping us to see things differently (although one of the first principals in his book states that to become a master (read: expert) requires 10,000 hrs of practise).

Outliersimage_2 The talk covered some of the concepts in his new book, The Outliers, with a focus on how some people (or groups of people) are successful in turning a disadvantage in life into an advantage.  How compensating for ones weakness might actually be a more effective learning strategy than focusing on ones strengths.  He talked about Community and how critical it is to overcoming obstacles and achieving success, however it may be painted.  He talked of Human Capitalization (defined as the rate at which people reach their potential) and how the way we interpret success of others (or groups) distorts a simple truth that we choose to ignore.

The flow of conversation zig-zagged from U2's new album to a better golf club; from John Grisham to Google, yet the delivery and message was amazingly brilliant and on course.  What allows people with seemingly large obstacles in front of them to reach successes that no one would have imagined possible let alone likely.  Why do so many successful business leaders and sports legends (from Charles Schwab to Tiger Woods) suffer from Dyslexia disproportionately to the general population?  How is it that 9 of the worlds 75 most wealthy and powerful individuals since the beginning of recorded history were born in the same decade, in the same country, from disadvantaged families?  Gladwell dispels our common beliefs and opens our eyes to another reality through interpretation of statistics, demographics and economic data that otherwise would give me a headache to read!

Keep an eye on the Rotman Home Page for the video of this not only enlightening but largely entertaining talk.  I positioned myself in a seat beside the video guy so I could get the skinny on when this should be posted...psssst: by Friday December 5th. http://media.rotman.utoronto.ca/vod?AdminView=yes&mediaid=1186

November 28, 2008

From Martin Obern - "Not My Dog" event - FREE

Hi everyone,
Need a quick fix to beat the Decembuary blahs?  I invite you to join me at the "Not My Dog," one of those small funky clubs that you've read about located smack in the naughty part of Queen Street West in Toronto - November 30th at 9:00 p.m..
We have a special treat, Canadian Singer/songwriter Stella Rose will be performing a live acoustic set of some of her material from her forthcoming CD.
Haven't heard of Stella Rose? You soon will. Her fan base includes über iconic Canadian songwriter, Ron Sexsmith, who's own fan base includes Chris Martin of Coldplay and two old blokes called Elton John and Sir Paul McCartney. In addition, BBC Radio in the U.K. reviewing Stella, stated: "Wow - Her voice is incredibly strong - unbelievable!!".
If your musical tastes include roots-rock in the style of Neil Young/ Tom Petty, flavoured with a pinch of country, delivered with a powerful, unique vocal style, you're in for a great evening.
In addition to Stella, we've added Don Campbell, another young singer/songwriter to open the evening. Brand-spanking new and fresh out of the box, Don has and easy-going, laid-back style that's punctuated with some pretty nifty jazz guitar licks reminiscent of early John Mayer. The ladies tell me he's also very easy on the eyes although I don't see it myself - but again, I don't argue with ladies.
So gather your significant other, (or find a significant other) and make a date to treat yourself to what's shaping up to be an incredible evening. Sunday, November 30th. "Not My Dog," 1510 Queen Street West Toronto - doors open at 9:00 p.m.
And I've left the best for last: admission is free, but space is limited, so get there early. If for some reason you can't make it, forward this to someone who needs a treat.
See you on Sunday!


November 04, 2008

Hold it... I did vote!

Hey now... I did vote -- who says I didn't vote? Someone's spreading dirty rumours about little old me??!??

Send this video to all your American friends today!

November 03, 2008

How the US Election is Decided - Good for Canadians

Do you understand how he US election actually is decided? This video works to explain the process in plain English.

Electing a US President in Plain English from leelefever on Vimeo.

It is interesting to note that the US election is an 'all or nothing proposition' for each state's electors (see video to see what I mean), while in Canada the party with the majority of political ridings (similar to the US districts) wins the Federal election and therefore the Prime Minister. In America you vote for the person (and therefore the party), in Canada you vote for the political party (and therefore the person at the head of that party).

September 15, 2008

The 7th Bunko Lesson - Win a trip to TED!

Unfortunately this contest is open only to Americans so let your American friends know they can win!

The Great Johnny Bunko Challenge from DHP on Vimeo.

April 15, 2008

Dan Pink's new book on careers, written manga-style

The new book from Dan Pink hits the stores recently. It takes just 1 hour to read according to Dan. Check out the anime-style trailer... Awesome. And a 23-page preview is available as well to peruse.

Email from Dan announcing the book (with liberal hyperlinks from me)

All --
Forgive the intrusion.  But since you've contacted me in the past about A WHOLE NEW MIND, I thought you might be interested in hearing that my newest book began hitting stores last week.
This book is a bit, er, unusual. It's called THE ADVENTURES OF JOHNNY BUNKO.  And It's the first American business book in the Japanese comic format known as manga ("mahn-guh") -- a 160-page graphic novel career guide.
The idea behind it is that people in general, and young people in particular, now get their tactical career information online (Ex:  What keywords to include in a resume, what questions to look for on an interview, etc.)  What they want from a book is what they can't get from Google -- strategic, big picture advice.  So the book, a story of a bumbling Everyman named Johnny Bunko, is geared around the six broad lessons about satisfying and productive work that I wish I'd known 25 years ago.
One more thing:  This book is short, simple, and fast.   If it takes any longer than an hour to read it, I've failed.   People are pressed for time.  And for the privilege they're giving me, I didn't want to waste a second.
If you're interested in learning more, check out the "move trailer" we produced ( www.vimeo.com/841040 ) or visit our new web site (www.johnnybunko.com).
Meantime, zap me an email or give a call to the number below if you have questions.   Thanks for your time.
Dan Pink
v: 202.521.9431

December 10, 2007

Happy Holidays - A Cappella Style

This is great. Especially the dreidel part.

October 26, 2007

Social Entrepreneurship Summit - Dec 4 at MaRS Discovery District

I met Cathy Bogaart recently, the MaRS webmaster and she told me about a really interesting, probably first of its kind event the Social Entrepreneurship Summit.

The event is being held Dec 4 and attendance is free.

Continue reading "Social Entrepreneurship Summit - Dec 4 at MaRS Discovery District" »

October 15, 2007

Are you headed for an energy crisis?

I read this Harvard Business Review article over the weekend on the ride home from Detroit -- it is an excellent article on the topic of energy levels -- helps to identify how you can get more energy in the workplace and home.

When you get a chance take the quiz and let me know how you come out.

I answered 7-10 of these questions true -- I have some work to do here in terms of my own energy levels. If you are honest with yourself, you will see that you may also have an "energy crisis" looming.

Let me know what you think of this topic...
clipped from www.hbsp.com

Are You Headed for an Energy Crisis?


Adapted from the HBR article, Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time, by Tony Schwartz and Catherine McCarthy

U.K. readers, be sure to check out HBR's new "Fuel for Top Performance" website with exclusive articles, online tools, and information on upcoming events in London. http://hbrlondon.org/
  blog it