Wendell Berry has what you might call a “hyphenated vocation.” He’s a farmer-activist-essayist-poet. No one role adequately describes his work in the world. Not surprisingly, Mr. Berry of Kentucky is not content with how the world describes work or workplaces … Read More
Is a sabbatical a luxury too few can afford? Or is it an essential organizational capacity building tool? A recent report from the Durfee Foundation and its partners takes a close look at the value of “creative disruptions” in the lives of nonprofit leaders and their organizations.
Releasing the Dark Horse
Tired of the same old conversations about work? The Dark Horse Conversation: Nonprofit Leaders Talk about Vocational, Organizational and Civic Renewal is a new paper by Metcalf Foundation Innovation Fellow Pat Thompson. Eavesdrop on her conversations with more than 150 thoughtful leaders.
Metcalf Foundation Renewal Program
Ready for renewal? The Metcalf Foundation supports people working in the nonprofit sector over the arc of their careers as an investment in the health of their organizations and communities.
Our Best Laid Plans
Were you born to run? How do you know if you’re called to public life? At Massey College earlier this year, 2011 Canada Reads winner Terry Fallis and Pat Thompson hosted a conversation about political careers and callings.
Wondering what you want to be when you grow up or just what you want to do next? Parker J. Palmer offers a modern take on this 300-year old Quaker practice as one trustworthy way that communities can help individuals discern their vocation.
Making Small Change
Can small change make a big difference? Co-Founder of The Small Change Fund Ruth Richardson and Pat Thompson talk about Susan’s Change Purse: a small memorial project focused on feeding the student body and forming young environmental activists at Eastwood Collegiate Institute in Kitchener, Ontario.
The Globe and Mail published an essay called “Missing the Mark” by Chris Smith on its Facts and Arguments page today. Chris describes the experience of finding a box of unimpressive report cards in his parents’ basement. They lead him to … Read More
An excellent book by philosopher-mechanic Matthew B. Crawford for those of us who sit in an office feeling “a lack of connection to the material world,” and anyone who “felt hustled off to college, then to the cubicle, against their own inclinations and natural bents.” An ode to working with one’s hands — making and fixing things.
A deep dive into the state of the American democratic experiment and a clear-eyed way forward. Parker J. Palmer’s most recent work in collaboration with the Center for Courage and Renewal. “For those of us who want democracy to survive and thrive, the heart is where the work begins—that grounded place in each of us where we can overcome fear, rediscover that we are members of one another, and embrace the conflicts that threaten our unity as openings to new life for us and for our nation.”
Wise reflections on finding clarity and courage in work and life from Toronto jazz musician and vocational coach Tim Elliott.
In this series of essays on work, cultural commentator Alain de Botton takes an unsentimental yet philosophical look at contemporary occupations and workplaces — what makes them “fulfilling or soul-destroying.”
In 1988 James Orbinski, then a medical student in his twenties, embarked on a year-long research trip to Rwanda. It was a trip that would change who he would be as a doctor and as a man. This is the story behind the man who became the President of Médecins Sans Frontières, the Nobel Prize-winning humanitarian organization. The title comes from Leonard Cohen’s Anthem: “forget your perfect offering/there is a crack in everything/that’s how the light gets in.”
Poet David Whyte‘s most recent book examines the “triumphs and tragedies of human belonging in crucial areas that most individuals simply can’t avoid: in relationships, in work, and in all those strange and inexplicable inner ways we belong to ourselves.”
Literature professor Daniel Taylor’s eye-opening book about how we see ourselves, the world, and our place in it through stories. Includes a series of questions to help us surface the important stories that have shaped who we are.
A series of short essays by leadership theorist and management professor Margaret Wheatley about what supports or impedes our efforts to persevere. Margaret makes the reader the focus of this book, not other people’s stories. Turning to One Another: Simple Conversations to Restore Hope to the World is more oriented to groups and also an interesting read.
Based on a 1996 inquiry by a team of four American researchers into the lives of long-time community activists. Everything you need to know about what forms and sustains a commitment to the common good.
This collection of short essays by Parker J. Palmer is the best book available today for anyone who is beginning to ask questions about the connection between work and vocation.
Sharilyn Hale, M.A., CFRE is a Principal of Watermark Philanthropic Advising in Toronto, ON. She is also the Immediate Past Chair of the Board of CFRE International, the global credential for fundraising professionals setting standards for effective and ethical practice. Together with Pat Thompson, … Read More
Sharilyn Hale and I invite you — our colleagues who are professional fundraisers — to have dinner with us at a favourite Chinese restaurant of mine on Spadina Avenue in downtown Toronto. For more than a year now, we’ve been talking about … Read More