Change London – A new initiative

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one london evening

Photo by see phar

Several acquaintances/friends of mine and I have had the opportunity to speak to a few City of London councilors and employees at various local events over the last year like AgendaCamp and SMarts London. We’re also encouraging them to attend this year’s PodCamp. I find myself usually running into Nancy Branscombe; while I don’t always agree with her (mostly about the cartoons), I know that I and several others appreciate the effort she makes to get involved in community/grassroots events.

People like Shawn Adamsson, Bill Deys, Titus Ferguson and I have all taken those opportunities to speak to Nancy, voicing our concerns for the city; some of these concerns have to do with the lack of an open data initiative for London, how the city’s engaging citizens (or rather, how it’s not), and more recently Bill Wittur has been talking about making London a “digital destination.” It looks like our concerns have been heard, because Nancy decided it would be a good idea to let engaged folks speak to some City councilors and staff. Last week we had a 90 minute meeting with several higher-ups from the City. Continue reading

Interview: Chris Alward of Local Food Plus

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Local Food Plus LogoLocal Food Plus is a non-profit organization in Toronto that certifies sustainable farmers and producers, while working to help institutions of all kinds commit to purchasing food from certified farmers and partnering food purchasers/distributors with certified farmers. In the end, Local Food Plus (LFP) is creating a win-win situation for everyone; farmers make a decent living off their crops, distributors continue to compete for contracts and making it easier for consumers to bite into local, sustainably grown produce.

I recently sat down to have a conversation with Chris Alward, Director of Market Development at Local Food Plus. We talked about LFP’s funding, how things are going and next steps. Continue reading

Sustainable Food Initiatives to Take Note Of

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It’s been a while since I’ve found some really good initiatives that I thought London, Ontario and Canada at large should be adopting or plain old ripping off. After all, I’ve never seen a government agency claim intellectual property (IP) infringement if someone else began doing the same thing, so why shouldn’t we?! This type of stance has been brought forth by Shawn Adamsson very recently.

Food 2030

The UK government recently unveiled Food 2030 – a food strategy designed to ensure that Britons have access to high quality, sustainably farmed/grown, food that benefits both the farmer/grower and the consumer. At the same time Food 2030 should ensure that people have good jobs, a reduction in greenhouse emissions and food waste. Continue reading

Recent Changes to My Website

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With the number of changes I’ve made to my website over the last 12 months, I thought it would be a good idea to go over some of the major features.

  1. Integration of RPX. This means you can login using your Google, Yahoo!, Twitter, OpenID, Facebook or LiveJournal account and start participating in comments/discussions.
  2. The current theme/layout. This theme has a lot of hidden features. One major one I’d like to highlight is if you hover your mouse over the top-right corner of the webpage, you’ll be given options to increase/decrease the size of the text and also the ability to change from a fixed-width version of my site to a fluid-width version of my site. Continue reading

My Goals & Resolutions for 2010

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As 2010 really begins for me, several days after the fact, I’ve given some thought about the resolutions and goals I would like to set. The resolutions are as follows:

  • Curse less. It’s been brought to my attention that the amount of cursing I do at work bothers some of my colleagues. I’m going to do my best to keep it to a minimum and only when I can’t think of another, less serious expletive. My fiancée and I are also going for a school-friendly zone as far as language goes.
  • Get back into shape. I was in the best shape of my life up until mid-2008. I let things slip in 2009 with th
    Media Maratón de Béjar 2008

    Media Maratón de Béjar 2008

    e arrival of my son and purchase of a house. I will get things back on track in 2010 and run a 5km race (at least, possibly a 10km) sometime this year.

I have two major goals for 2010 with a few other minor ones:

  • Get promoted. That’s a simple one. I’m aiming for one step higher on the career rung and already taking on additional responsibilities. For example: I’m going to be the Project Manager on the next research project I embark on under the tutelage of two Senior Research Analysts.
  • Build a business. I have one major idea here that I would like to take to market. Thankfully it won’t take much work but it does involve bringing someone in with more technical knowledge than I have about JavaScript if I would like to add additional features (or finding time I currently don’t have to learn more JavaScript).
  • Make a name for myself. This, clearly, is already a work in progress. I have my blog, Twitter account, Vimeo and USTREAM accounts (at least one of which I plan to start properly using), and I comment regularly on other blogs and news organization websites when I have something to say. I’m currently debating proposing a presentation at AgendaCamp on January 31, 2010 here in London and hope to participate in other (un)conferences this year.  I may also volunteer for a board of some sort if I have the time.
  • Blog more often. I have the time, I just didn’t have the clear focus I needed to focus on just a few topics and create compelling arguments/content to post. I’m still hashing out the best way to keep track of what’s happening in food, education and local politics. I should be able to blog far more often in 2010 than I did in 2009 (I’m aiming for at least once a week).

That’s it. What are your resolutions or goals for 2010? Please share them here by posting them or simply linking to your blog or other public space you own.

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