Performing The Heart of Care (Compassionate Care conference presentation)

Here’s a link to a PDF of the presentation I gave at the Compassionate Care conference at Teeside University in April. The presentation develops on some of the points I made in earlier talks I gave in Toronto and Tasmania with regards to our attempts to practice kindness, compassion, and healing care in culturally unsustainable and toxic environments. The programme of the Compassionate Care conference is below. McCann The Heart of Care Teesside 2015    

Culture(s) in Sustainable Futures (Helsinki) conference proceedings

All the material related to the Culture(s) in Sustainable Futures conference (Helsinki, 6-8 May 2015) is now available at the conference website: Streamed plenary sessions with the keynote speeches: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/helsinki2015/programme/conference-programme#videos  Students’ reflections from the conference: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/final-conference/Reflections_2.pdf List of abstracts:  http://congress.cc.jyu.fi/helsinki2015/schedule/proceed.html List of participants: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/final-conference/COSTconferenceparticipants_all.pdf The final publication of the COST Action IS 1007 “Culture in, as and for Sustainable Development” and the Executive Summary: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/outputs Hard copies can also be delivered if requested. Feel free to share the information about the publication and the conference in your networks. You may use the media release which is attached and also available at: http://www.culturalsustainability.eu/final-conference/Mediarelease.pdf On behalf of all the conference organisers, Katriina and Sari Culture(s) in Sustainable Futures | 6-8 May 2015 | Helsinki  

Frog Soup

The most significant unhelpful changes in any environment aren’t usually heralded by drumrolls or the sound of trumpet fanfares. Although it would be terribly helpful if they were. Frog soup. It is widely reported that if you take a frog and drop it into a pot of boiling water it will immediately jump out of it before it has achance to say “rebbit!” However, if you were to put a frog in a pot of cold water and slowly raise the temperature of the water in increments, the wee frog will swim about quite comfortably in the water, not noticing the subtle changes as the temperature rises, until such time as he’s not noticing anything at all, having been boiled alive. I’m guessing this story may not have been tested under laboratory conditions, or even have been certified by the Humane Society, but the meaning of it is hard to ignore – if changes and escalations are small, slow, and subtle, it is very easy to miss the woo d for the trees and not be aware of the bigger picture, that conditions can become harmful to us without us even noticing. If we’re going to be frogs we need

The Challenge of Culture Change

For an organisation to achieve what it sets out to achieve it is crucial to foster a strong, healthy, and culturally sustainable organisational environment. When resilience, engagement, productivity, and improvement are the outcomes promised by culture change, it is easy to say that culture change is needed. Working out what this means in practice is much harder, and one of the recurring challenges of business. Culture change is about people – what they think, how they feel, what they do. You can restructure, rebrand, and reorganise, you can change the language of the workplace and re-arrange the furniture; but if the cultural climate of the organisation doesn’t substantially shift, then all you are left with are a series of very expensive cosmetic changes, even higher levels of employee cynicism, and a greater culture-change challenge. How does an organisational culture defeat the best intentions of its leadership? How does an organisation slide from a career of excellence towards a cultural climate of employee dissatisfaction, low productivity, and stagnation? How can we understand the dynamics of culture change enough to enable us to not only understand what’s going wrong, but to provide us with clear guidance for pragmatically and effectively ameliorating organisational problems?

A Gentle Ferocity: An Interview with Derrick Jensen

As published in Dark Mountain, Vol. 1 Once, while living in Washington DC a few years ago, I went along to a talk by an ecological activist that I had heard a little bit about, Derrick Jensen. I arrived at the talk and found a few people starting to gather for the event.  Being a little shy, I moved on through and headed for the carrot sticks and cucumber at the back. I dawdled there for a while, rocking on my heels, waiting for the talk. I noticed that there was another guy standing quietly in the corner, keeping to himself, dressed in dark colours, not taking up very much space in the room. I generally feel more comfortable meeting people one-on-one, and I sidled over to say hello. It was Derrick Jensen. Derrick Jensen is an amazingly prolific writer. From early works like A Language Older Than Words (2004) to more recent publications like Endgame (2006), Derrick’s writing offers us a sustained series of meditations on the possibilities of the personal as the political. I would find it hard to think of a writer who inscribes his thoughts with such a delicate combination of vulnerability and purpose. Whether you agree with him or not,