Apps for Climate Action contest and data catalogue launched

via apps4climateaction.gov.bc.ca Here’s an interesting new take on an Apps contest for developers. This one is sponsored by the Province of British Columbia and is being launched in tandem with a climate change data catalogue. The contest is open …

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Here’s an interesting new take on an Apps contest for developers. This one is sponsored by the Province of British Columbia and is being launched in tandem with a climate change data catalogue. The contest is open to residents of Canada, so if you care about climate change and want to show off your skills, check it out.

“We’re screwed.” Social Innovation by @Igniter

Check out this great deck on social innovation by my friend Mike Lewkowitz (@Igniter). It’s a great intro to the concepts of social innovation and social entrepreneurship. Mike and I share a very similar understanding of the state of the world, and the reasons we do the work we do.

Posted via web from It’s a Remarkk-able life

My comment to John Tory’s post at The Star #YourCityMyCity

Mr. Tory, thank you for taking on this important question about the state of our public discourse. I share your concerns. I believe that if we wait for our politicians to change, then we will be waiting a long time. I second your call for citizens…

Mr. Tory, thank you for taking on this important question about the state of our public discourse. I share your concerns. I believe that if we wait for our politicians to change, then we will be waiting a long time. I second your call for citizens to ENGAGE EACH OTHER, and by doing so, to shift the context within which our politicians do their work.

In our communities and neighbourhoods, we are too often separated. Politeness in Toronto has all too often meant disengagement with each other, respect made easy by social distance. Our problems and their possible solutions have become increasingly complex, intertwined and dependent upon each other, but our governments, our politics and our social norms have worked to keep us apart and unaware of each other. So how will we change the conversation we have about this city we share?

I believe that we have methods and technologies to help change this. We can democratize the process of public dialogue. We can enable citizens to host each other in meaningful conversations. We can connect those conversations and those people to one another across time and space in a vast and diverse city.

In a city as large and diverse as Toronto, we need to become leaders in the world in terms our ability as a society to engage one another meaningfully. This requires a new kind of civic leadership, where citizens take ownership and initiative to convene their neighbours in important conversations about our shared future.

Thank you for raising this issue and opportunity. The ChangeCamp community is working to take up your challenge. We are working to develop a toolkit and program for citizen-led civic engagement in the weeks leading up to the October elections and beyond, and we would welcome your active participation in the project.

I think the ChangeCamp community and project could have a strong potential ally in Mr. Tory and the Toronto City Summit Alliance. What do you think?

The Light of Life – beautiful CGI

via vimeo.com Life is transparent, warm and swirls randomly like a soft light. And it constantly changes… Life illuminates itself and then it begins to illuminates a new life. A sprouted mass of innumerable lights become a flow before long, and …


via vimeo.com

Life is transparent, warm and swirls randomly like a soft light. And it constantly changes…

Life illuminates itself and then it begins to illuminates a new life.

A sprouted mass of innumerable lights become a flow before long, and then become the part of the life-throb of ages.

That ties life, this moment now.

My hometown MPP is a moron

A Conservative MPP wants Toronto to become Canada’s 11th province. Bill Murdoch, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound says rural Ontario is fighting a losing battle against what he calls “a Toronto mentality.” He wants residents who live in the Greater T…

A Conservative MPP wants Toronto to become Canada’s 11th province.

Bill Murdoch, MPP for Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound says rural Ontario is fighting a losing battle against what he calls “a Toronto mentality.”

He wants residents who live in the Greater Toronto Area to remain part of Ontario, while Toronto becomes its own province.

via cbc.ca

Murdoch should pay attention to his own backyard and ask himself why creative young people leave his riding for the south. I’m one of them. I grew up knowing that I’d have to leave, because I just didn’t “fit”. Smart queer boys with big dreams and gentle creative spirits don’t fit the vision of Murdoch’s Ontario of rural monoculture.

My hometown of Owen Sound sits in a pretty little corner of Grey County, cradling a beautiful part of Georgian Bay. From Toronto or south-western Ontario, Owen Sound acts as a gateway to the Bruce Peninsula and the beautiful sunsets of the Lake Huron shoreline.

The area is typified by socially conservative attitudes stuck in another century and a lack of opportunity for young people. Murdoch’s romantic idealism for rural past glories is not helping Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound thrive in the new century.

Murdoch’s perfect Ontario without Toronto would keep the 905 region surrounding Toronto. He needs to get a bit of Economic Geography 101. Toronto and the urban agglomeration around it operate as a single integrated economic unit. If we’re going to separate Toronto, we should also separate the entire Greater Toronto Area.

If Toronto were to become a province, it is rural Ontario that would suffer the most. It would lose the economic welfare benefits of taxation over the richest and most economically vibrant part of the province. The rest-of-Ontario would become a poverty-stricken rural rump saddled with an aging population, high healthcare and social welfare costs and insufficient economic activity to pay for it all.

Luckily for him, Murdoch’s dream is unlikely to come true.

Cutting access to broadband? Are you crazy?

via theglobeandmail.com While the FCC just announced a major new commitment to enable new investment in broadband infrastructure in the United States, the Canadian government is cutting an important and hugely successful program to wire libraries …

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While the FCC just announced a major new commitment to enable new investment in broadband infrastructure in the United States, the Canadian government is cutting an important and hugely successful program to wire libraries and other community centres for public access to the Internet.

I cannot even begin to understand this decision. Canada is falling behind in the digital economy and the government is failing to articulate a vision or strategy to catch up. Call your MP and the Industry Minister.

Edmonton Open City Workshop

Thanks to Chris Moore, CIO of the City of Edmonton, for inviting myself, David Eaves and Nick Charney to participate in Edmonton’s Open City Workshop held on Saturday, March 6th at the Art Gallery of Alberta. The discussions were rich, moving beyond open data and mobile apps to deeper questions of the relevance to democracy and community at the local level. This video captures the major content of the day, including our panel discussion on “Government as Platform”.

The open data and open government movements are now truly across Canada. With the major announcements Moore gave at the closing remarks, it is clear that the City of Edmonton is staking a claim for leadership in the emerging municipal open government ecosystem. This includes the ideas of a MuniForge for open source municipal software and a call for a Code for Canada project to mirror Code for America being supported by our friends at Sunlight Foundation in the United States. I’m really amazed at the growing momentum over the past year, and excited to be a part of it.

Posted via web from It’s a Remarkk-able life

Ignite Toronto 3: Digerati Throwdown

via vimeo.com

My ChangeCamp talk at Ignite Toronto 3 is online. My apologies if it’s a bit rough around the edges.
If you’re not familiar with the Ignite format, it is 20 slides, 15 seconds per slide, with the slides changing on a timer outside the speaker’s control. It’s hard to keep up to, but a fun and challenging format to distill ideas into intense 5 minute nuggets.

It’s a fun evening of community sharing ideas. I’ve also incorporated the format into full day unconferences as a way to prime the pump of ideas and get the day off to a high energy start.