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Posts by Jeff Barnum

Teaching Creativity to Social Innovation Pioneers

Getting to Maybe is a “social innovation residency” named after the book of the same title by Frances Westley, Brenda Zimmerman, and Michael Patton.  The programs occur in summer at the beautiful Banff Centre, in and among pristine lakes and snowy mountains. Westley invited us to teach participants about creativity, and given the setting, we…

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Breaking the Cycles of Violence in Oakland, USA

The problem of police violence against young African-Americans is one of the most visible, best known social issues today, thanks in part to Black Lives Matter.  We helped the Numi Foundation establish a unique approach to addressing violence in Oakland, California (USA), in the ACTION project. ACTION stands for A Creative Transformation In Our Neighborhoods.…

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Bridges to Sarajevo

When snipers and militia surrounded Sarajevo in the early 1990s, we felt a peculiar calling to aid and support — and in 1996, we had a chance to go there ourselves.  We jumped at the opportunity, though there were still mines in the fields and forests.  Long grass grew from burned out cars; tall buildings were…

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Protecting Children in Austraila

Protecting at-risk children is a complex social challenge: a child suffers an act of violence in a single moment, but that act occurs in a complex context defined by multiple causes, some of which are far apart in space and time.   From 2009-11, we helped leaders from government organizations, social services, lawyers, judges, communities,…

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Increasing Innovation in Disability Services, Canada

The Burnaby Association for Community Inclusion (BACI) is one of the Vancouver partners we support in their efforts to mainstream social acceptance for people with intellectual disabilities.  Before we began that larger work, we helped BACI get the most of their team. There is always a drive at BACI to drive innovation in their service…

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Hosting Thousands of Change Leaders

One of our very first adventures in this work was at Castle Borl in Slovenia. An ancient castle overlooking the Drava River, Borl is a “grail castle;” a thousand years ago, the Holy Grail was revered within its walls.  Older still are towers within the towers — some of them originate as far back as 2,000…

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Envisioning the Future of Health Care in New Zealand

We’ve supported many positive change projects over the years, but sometimes something happens that packs in a great learning experience.  This is one. We were asked to facilitate a few workshops in the healthcare sector around Auckland, New Zealand.  One of those workshops was specifically designed to harness the insight and creativity of Maori communities.…

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Supporting a Food Startup

You never know what difference a small intervention can make. A year after spending an afternoon with sibling startup entrepreneurs Arielle and Paul Moinester, Arielle let us know that our conversation had been pivotal. We helped the founders identify blind spots they hadn’t realized were holding back their partnership and their business. They were able…

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The Future of Energy in North America: the WECC Scenarios

We assisted the Western Electricity Coordinating Council’s (WECC’s) scenario development project for the United States Department of Energy, for which representatives from industry, state, provincial and national government, tribes, environmental groups, and technology and consumer groups comprised a multi-stakeholder group responsible for developing the scenarios. The focus question of the scenario exercise was: How will demand for…

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Restoring the World’s High Risk Fisheries

We were asked to help 50in10, an ambitious, international initiative to restore fifty percent of the world’s fisheries in ten years, course correct after relationships among key stakeholders grew fragile. Between 2013 to 2016, we supported the participants and funders to progress the effort, which ultimately developed a number of tools and resources to aid…

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