April 29, 2009

Good idea of the day, second in a series: safely getting rid of dangerous stuff

By Alison Loat
I was away in early April so somehow missed the annoucement of  this very cool website that makes it a little bit easier to get rid of old dangerous garbage. You know, the stuff that can't go away through the normal garbage or recycling process so instead takes up room in basements across the province. If, like me, you've actually MOVED this stuff from one residence to another, this site is ... [More]

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April 29, 2009

Advice please: how to manage a love affair

By Alison Loat
I really loved this piece by Jonathan Kay on his love affair with newspapers (the paper kind): how he came to love them and why he loves them still.  His point on the responsibility they provoke on their readers is bang on and he put into words a sentiment I, as an active subscriber to dead trees, have never been able to do. Newspapers (and other forms of the printed word), by sitting there... [More]

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April 22, 2009

"The business model for newspapers isn't toast, but it's in the toaster"

By Alison Loat
Because I promised,and you already know I'm slow, here's a dispatch from the investigative journalism conference I attended in Berekely, CA in early April. Overall, it was a good couple of days that largely showcased various investigative stories on corruption and the journalists who uncovered them (this Frontline doc was the feature). It was a clubby affair of many long-serving journalists from ... [More]

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April 17, 2009

Good idea of the day, hopefully the first of a series

By Alison Loat
In yesterday's post I complained that I wasn't reading enough about what we little people could do (or are doing) to carve out some meaningful space for debate, discussion or action on our public challenges. Well, leave it to my inspired colleague Reva Seth to coincidentally pass on this cool little storyabout two Brits who, after ranting in person and on Facebook about those free commuter news... [More]

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April 17, 2009

Dispatch from McGill's Public Policy in Crisis #2

By Alison Loat
It has been nearly two weeks since I was in Montreal for the Public Policy in Crisis conference, which I appreciate is a lifetime or two in blog-land. However, many of you* wrote to say that you enjoyed the dispatch so I thought I'd make it the first of at least two. While the evidence panel was my favourite panel, my favourite individual speaker was Peter Russell, the long-time constitutional s... [More]

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April 17, 2009

Dispatch from McGill's Public Policy in Crisis #1

By Alison Loat
On Friday I attended the Public Policy in Crisis conference at McGill, hosted by the always inspiring Antonia Maioni. It asked two things: a) is public policy in crisis? and b) how is public policy affected by crisis (and more specifically, the GEC*)? Lots of smart people there had lots of different opinions, but here's my take on the answers. For (a), the collective wisdom generally thought ye... [More]

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April 17, 2009

Shameless friend plug: The importance of making it happen in public life

By Alison Loat
Congrats to my friend Naheed Nenshi on this wonderful profile in the Calgary Herald. It is terrific to see a media story on someone like him, who mixes smarts, passion and community activity to make a difference to the quality of life in our cities. I have known Naheed since my first days at McKinsey & Co in Toronto. For awhile, he was obstensibly my manager, but largely due to the bonding ... [More]

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