Conversations with people… and encounters with ideas… that are re-inventing the world.

Community Development

The Second Coming of Joella Foulds

Posted on Oct 8, 2017 | 0 comments

Last night I heard Joella Foulds sing at the Celtic Colours concert in Port Hawkesbury. She’s a splendid pianist, and she has a rich, powerful voice. In addition, she’s a fine songwriter, which I hadn’t known. She’s spent the last 22 years off the stage, working in arts administration, notably in shaping the Celtic Colours Festival itself,...

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Thomas Linzey and Mari Margil: The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund

Posted on Mar 7, 2015 | 0 comments

What do you do if an oil company wants to frack in your village, or an agri-corporation wants to set up a pig feedlot (or a salmon feedlot) next to your property? What legal right do you have to object? Almost none. And your community probably has no right to object either. If the state or the province approves, the corporation is entitled to proceed. Enter the...

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What the Ivany Report didn’t say…

Posted on Aug 9, 2014 | 0 comments

Join the conversation! Last Thursday I posted this note on Facebook: "Nova Scotia is losing people, and many small places are becoming ghost towns. But some are vibrant: Annapolis Royal, Tatamagouche — and, I would say, Parrsboro, having just spent two days there. A really important question: what are those towns doing right?"  The conversation...

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Salmon Wars in the Green Unplugged online festival!

Posted on Sep 24, 2013 | 0 comments

Our film Salmon Wars is in the global film festival Green Unplugged, opening today! To see it, click here: http://www.cultureunplugged.com/documentary/watch-online/play/11758 Green Unplugged is one of a series of Culture Unplugged festivals that since 2008 have been visited by more than 60 million people from 39,000-odd cities across...

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Sir Tim Smit and the Eden Project!

Posted on Apr 10, 2013 | 0 comments

  If you fix it, they will come. So says Sir Tim Smit, in our latest Green Interview, released in March. Sir Tim is the creator of Britain’s Eden Project, which transformed a monstrous, devastated clay quarry in rural Cornwall into an enormous educational theme park dedicated to exploring people’s complete dependence on plants. Eden is home to the...

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Rob Hopkins!

Posted on Feb 20, 2013 | 0 comments

Rob Hopkins, founder of the global Transition Movement, says that peak oil isn’t a disaster, but a golden opportunity to build communities that can survive shocks and crises. Dr. Hopkins is the latest Green Interview video, released this week. The Transition movement, which began in Devon, England, is a community-led plan to move away from fossil fuels and...

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Salmon Pens and Rural Prosperity

Posted on Sep 12, 2012 | 0 comments

What works in rural Nova Scotia — or anywhere else in North America? And who works? And at what?    It seems clear from various conversations people have had with the Nova Scotia Department of Fisheries and Aquaculture that the provincial government is traumatized by the issue of rural decline, and is looking for big  employers to take up the...

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John Harry Boudreau, 1947-2012

Posted on May 18, 2012 | 0 comments

John Boudreau died on Wednesday — one of the most remarkable leaders I've ever known. In his professional life he was a teacher and guidance counsellor; in his private life he was an astonishingly gifted community animator and organizer as well as being a devoted family man. At the time of his death he was Warden of Richmond County. I had the privilege of...

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Salmon Wars Documentary – View The Trailer!

Posted on Apr 6, 2012 | 0 comments

The trailer for our upcoming documentary, Salmon Wars, has just been released! See it here: http://youtu.be/EimPqpMlInY Background: in recent months, the international salmon-farming industry has been applying for new sites and new leases — on a truly massive scale. A pair of farms in St. Mary's Bay is licensed to produce 1.4 million salmon, and wll...

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Jane Goodall!

Posted on Sep 3, 2011 | 1 comment

The Green Interview recently posted a long conversation with renowned primatologist Dame Jane Goodall. Goodall is world-famous not only for her trailblazing research with wild chimpanzees, but also for her international environmental advocacy and for her youth organization, Roots and Shoots. “She was particularly brilliant on the relationship between a healthy...

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The Return of The Gorge in Victoria

Posted on Aug 24, 2011 | 0 comments

My friend Rafe Mair, former Vancouver radio host and former BC Environment Minister, sent this to me (and many others) last week. It’s a wonderful story, reminding us yet again of the millions and millions of people around the world who are tackling their own little pieces of the global problem. Paul Hawken describes this as the greatest social movement...

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Kartikeya Sarabhai!

Posted on Aug 6, 2011 | 0 comments

Kartikeya Sarabhai is one of the world’s leading environmental educators, the founder and director of India’s Centre for Environment Education. Starting as a tiny NGO in Ahmedabad, Sarabhai’s home town, the Centre has grown to encompass 400 professional staff in 40 offices across the country. It reaches into every school system in India, working in...

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Salmon Aquaculture Heats Up

Posted on Jun 22, 2011 | 1 comment

Last January, I wrote a column about net-cage salmon aquaculture that roiled the normally-calm editorial pages of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald. Elsewhere — in Norway, Scotland, British Columbia — that form of aquaculture is extremely controversial. But not in the Maritimes. I thought we should be looking at it much more carefully. And now, it seems,...

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Study Sustainable Agriculture in Cuba!

Posted on Mar 8, 2011 | 0 comments

Here’s a note from my friend Wendy Holm, the noted agrologist, who teaches at UBC and is now leading a for-credit course in Cuba. A great opportunity for anyone involved with food and agriculture!   Just a quick note to say registration is NOW OPEN for my MAY 2011 University of British Columbia 3 credit course  International Field Studies in...

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Bunker Roy!!

Posted on Mar 7, 2011 | 0 comments

We recently posted our interview with Bunker Roy, the founder of India’s Barefoot College, and an educational thinker of ruthless robustness. He won’t educate people who have been spoiled by formal education, and he doesn’t think highly of men as students, either. Among his greatest successes have been grandmothers from Africa, Afghanistan and the...

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A New Regime in Culture – Sunday column, February 20, 2011

Posted on Feb 21, 2011 | 0 comments

Nova Scotia is a very small province. Several Canadian cities have populations larger than ours. How can a population so small include so many huge talents? Celtic musicians by the score, including some of the world’s greatest. A fine symphony orchestra. Canada’s first repertory theatre, and innumerable little theatres and dance troupes. A...

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Bhutan in Toronto

Posted on Feb 21, 2011 | 0 comments

I just delivered a profusely-illustrated keynote speech called “Bhutan: The Pursuit of Gross National Happiness” at a 300-person conference of the Canadian Organic Growers, Toronto chapter. The reaction was really gratifying. People found the talk both fresh and inspiring – someone, somewhere is doing things right! — and although many in the...

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A Gift of Forest – Sunday column, December 19, 2010

Posted on Dec 20, 2010 | 0 comments

What I want for Christmas is a forest. I don’t want just any forest. I want a 313-acre tract of woodland near Scotsburn, Pictou County. Until this month it belonged to Wagner Forest Nova Scotia Ltd, an American forest products corporation. It now belongs to the Friends of Redtail Society, a locally-based conservation group formed specifically to acquire it. I...

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