June 1, 2014


The Global Change Initiative
The first-ever Global Change Initiative (@CSLCsummit) took place from Friday evening until Sunday evening at Toronto City Hall (May 30-Jun 1, 2014). The location makes a big difference. We were in the Council Chambers. The acoustics are terrific — even for music. The tireless organizer is Dev Ramsumair  I spoke about Right is Might: Social Justice and Corporate Profits. I’ll let you know when the recording gets released.

I’ve never been to an event like this. I’m picky about exchanging business cards and this was the first time I ran out.

Extreme Variety

You can see speakers on different topics at TEDx events and elsewhere. The Global Change Initiative did too, plus extras like Livegreen Toronto 2014 awards

A Standout Presentation

One presentation which wasn’t recorded won’t leave my head. Kelly Drennan of Fashion Takes Action talked about sustainability. Did you know that
  • unsold clothing often ends up in landfill rather than getting donated
  • you’ll spot the new ‘in’ colours by looking at the dyed waterways near the factories
  • 2/3 of the environmental harm from fashion occurs once we have bought the clothing
Carol Roberts (speaker) and Dev Ramsumair (organizer)Sometimes you don’t recognize the calibre of the people you already know. I was delighted by the interactive presentation by Carol Roberts of Stellar By Choice (@CarolLeads) who helped close the conference. She’s been a peer mentor for years but I never saw her speak before.

Extended Length

Many events last one day and leave you numb. There’s something magical about meeting new acquaintances for 2-3 days in a row. You get time to build a relationship and follow up on conversations. Podcamp Toronto runs two days but all eight TEDx events I’ve attended end in a day (unless you go to the after-party).

The Global Change Initiative took place over a weekend. That reduced time away from work and made the conference feel more relaxing.

Live streaming

Supporters and endorsersI’m not a big fan of live video streaming. Unless you’re attending in person, you won’t get the same experience but you’re still committing time. I’d rather watch the videos afterwards when I can pause, fast forward and skip selections.

The Global Change Initiative was recorded using the many cameras built into the Council Chambers. The recordings are to be released during the year with promotion by reddit. That’s different, easier to consume and builds interest in next year’s event.

You Are Not Alone

In the 4-Hour Workweek, Timothy Ferriss reminds us that there are many causes and there’s no value in a my-cause-is-better-than-your-cause argument. Luckily, different causes attract different people. I talked to supporters of initiatives like patient advocacy (@Piroska_Bata), educating children in Vietnam (HelpKidsToSchool.org) and seals of approval for health care products (@CleanCareSeal). As you likely know, my cause is financial education through Money 50/50, this blog and Taxevity.

I was surprised at the similarity in the challenges and techniques advocates can use. In hindsight, this is now “obvious”. Whatever you do, you’re bound to find help in unexpected places.

Overall, The Global Change Initiative created a wonderful feeling that continues to linger.


PS A highlight for some was sitting in Rob Ford’s chair.

PPS Here's my slide deck

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