Karen Smith joining MDB Insight!

23 09 2017

karensmith     MDB-Insight-Website-Logo

A private-sector consulting firm with a mission to “improve the world”? Whose values and vision align with your own? Whose team members are passionate, creative innovators? Sounds like the perfect place to work if you’re a community builder – and that’s precisely why Karen will be joining the team at MDB Insight as a Senior Consultant effective October 2nd.

Celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, MDB Insight is Canada’s leading economic development consultancy specializing in connecting communities with opportunities. Their core practice areas also include workforce development, community development, cultural development, business development, strategic planning, and research and analytics. The firm has worked with hundreds of cities and towns, rural and urban, large and small, across North America with the aim of helping those communities and the people within them to thrive in the 21st century economy. As a member of the senior team, Karen will add her enthusiasm and experience to the firm’s established roster of accomplished professionals from across the country and will be working from MDB Insight’s Hamilton office.

To connect with Karen in her new role, pop her an email – ksmith@mdbinsight.com. And be sure to check out MDB Insight’s web site, featuring the firm’s blog and This is Not a Newsletter (TINAN) as well as resources and links of interest. You can follow us on Twitter (@MDBInsight) and on our Facebook page (MDB Insight) too!





Nature-inspired climate change innovations

2 08 2017

melting ice CANVA

Five innovative and inspiring new ideas for saving the world from climate catastrophe have been announced by the uber cool Biomimicry Institute. Nearly 100 entries came from 28 countries, all vying for the chance to bring their ideas to market. There’s even a Canadian entry included in the announcement – among additional winners from the student competition was an honourable mention for the entry from a team at the University of Calgary.

We know that our planet is hurtling towards some scary consequences of a century-plus of resource-pillaging, but the question remains – what do we do about it? That’s why we are proud to announce the 2017 Biomimicry Global Design Challenge winning teams and their proposed solutions to mitigate, adapt to, and reverse climate change.

One winning entry mimics the temperature regulating properties of leaf-cutter ants’ mounds. Another “emulates the mechanisms of blue crab and bay grass and their mutualistic relationship within the ecosystem of Chesapeake Bay” to connect low-income communities to designated cool spaces via an affordable transportation system. Yet another of the ideas takes inspiration from  winged seeds, bromeliads, and forest leaf litter.

Check out the winning ideas and be inspired,  here.





A Place to Belong

10 07 2017

The annual report from the Hamilton Community Foundation is always a welcome read, and this year was no exception. Once again, the report’s pages highlight important investments and remarkable impact happening across the Hamilton area. If you haven’t yet had a chance to check it out, find a few moments to read A Place to Belong.

Place-To-Belong-Logo





Connecting Communities with Opportunities

1 06 2017

Changing the world, one community at a time. That’s what drives the team at MDB Insight, and one of the main reasons Karen was attracted to working with them. Best known for their portfolio of successes in economic development, MDB Insight’s core areas of practice also include cultural development, workforce development, community development, business development, research and analytics, trade and international development, training and facilitation. Passionate and curious innovators, the people behind MDB Insight share a vision for community-building that includes responsible economic growth, social innovation, and environmMDB-Insight-Website-Logoental sustainability.

Over the coming months, Karen will be doing research and writing in support of business development strategies as MDB Insight expands its portfolio and explores new and meaningful ways to connect communities with opportunities in a rapidly changing social and economic landscape.

With offices in Calgary, Hamilton, Toronto, Kingston, and Glasgow (UK), MDB Insight is Canada’s largest specialist economic development consultancy and is recognized for the depth and breadth of its expertise and experienced team. To find out more about their work, visit: MDB Insight.

 





International Day of Happiness!

20 03 2017

The United Nations established March 20th as International Day of Happiness to “recognize the importance of happiness in the lives of people around the world.” The day has been celebrated since 2013. For this year, the UN chose those lovable blue Smurfs of cartoon fame to promote its 17 sustainable development goals on the International Day of Happiness. The “Small Smurfs Big Goals” campaign is designed to encourage young people everywhere to learn about and support the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

Happiness + sustainable development? Seems a winning combination sure to make even the grumpiest Smurf smile. Oh, and it’s also the first official day of Spring. Now there’s something to be happy about!

smurfs





Racial Equity: what will it take?

10 03 2017

My friend and colleague, Hildy Gottlieb, from Creating the Future, convened a really powerful conversation this week featuring diversity and inclusion advocates Desiree Adaway and Ericka Hines. Such a worthwhile discussion, full of honest and open ideas and observations. You won’t regret the hour you invest in listening to this conversation. If you do nothing else, tune it at about the 35:30 mark for the second half. You’ll be glad you did (and likely want to rewind for the full hour!). Thanks Hildy, Ericka, and Desiree, for sharing this and for the work you’re doing.

Here’s the link.

inclusive





The year ahead…

11 01 2017

shake the tree The Philanthropist has once again published predictions for the new year in the not-for-profit world, and a glance back at what 2016 brought to the sector.

What do you think were the most significant milestones for the sector in 2016? What do you anticipate for 2017? 

For the full article click here.





Change is in the air.

18 11 2016

cropped-fallingwater-2010-018.jpgAs colourful autumn leaves and temperatures drop, there is change on the horizon. After more than 5 years in the post, Karen Smith will be retiring from her role as Executive Director at Thrive Child and Youth Trauma Services at the end of this month.

“I am tremendously proud of the work our team has done over these past 5 years. Focusing on a clear vision, we expanded programs to serve more young people and their families. Highlights of our accomplishments included agency re-branding,  a physical relocation to better and more accessible space, and the growth of our supports for refugee and immigrant youngsters who have been affected by trauma.

So many people helped to make this a very rewarding period in my career, and I hope to stay in touch with many of them. Hamilton has been very supportive of this organization, and I know that will continue. It’s such important work.”

Karen will now turn her attention to other projects and interests, and will return to active consulting work.





Wrapping Up 2015

29 12 2015

Despite little activity on this page in 2015, it’s been a busy year. Too busy, it turned out, to devote much time to blogging. But if there had been enough hours in each day, there would have been posts sharing the ups and downs, excitements, challenges, and experiences that made up the last 12 months…

  • the renaissance of Hamilton, my hometown and a city finally sloughing off its industrial overalls in favour of hipper, more confident stylings
  • the launch of a new, aspirational name and branding for the former Community Child Abuse Council – now THRIVE Child and Youth Trauma Services
  • political change, and the promise of federal policy that seeks to return Canada to its peaceful role on the world stage, value women and children, honour Native peoples, and combat social problems with evidence-based initiatives
  • the journeys of refugee families, including those from Syria, who now call Hamilton home
  • a host of small triumphs, minor missteps, celebrations, losses, and all the poignant moments that fill a year and leave lasting impressions

As the year closes, here’s wishing everyone the very best for 2016 – may it be a year of more peace, greater fulfilment, and bigger steps towards the world we want to see for everyone sharing this planet. Remember that unless something is physically impossible, it is indeed possible. That means many if not all of our dreams and hopes are totally within the realm of possibility. So, follow those dreams and take those steps. Each one gets us each a little closer to our vision of the future.

Happy New Year.





Planning that creates the future – free vid-cast

3 02 2015

future-vision-On February 10th I will be a guest for Creating the Future’s vid-cast “Planning That Creates The Future”, an online discussion about how our annual planning and strategy work within organizations can help to create the future of our communities. I’ll be joining Gayle Valeriote and Kate Bishop from Guelph, Ontario to talk about doing something different, something more aspiring, than the planning most organizations do. Looking forward to the conversation with these fellow community builders!

To follow or join the conversation (it’s free) register here:

http://blogs.creatingthefuture.org/communityfocus/planning-that-creates-the-future-making-change-vid-cast/