I had the opportunity to attend the Imagine Canada National Summit for Charities this past week, courtesy of a sponsorship by the Maytree Foundation. At the outset, I am incredibly grateful to Maytree for agreeing to assist in my attendance; without which I would not have had the privilege of attending.
A few brief thoughts:
- While it was great to reconnect with the many old faces present in the room, developing new relationships with the young/emerging leaders in the not for profit sector from across the country was incredibly invigorating. I’ve forgotten how passionate that leaders in the not for profit world can be; especially with respect to the general population.
- Whoever chose the speakers at the conference knew what they were doing. I was especially appreciated the talks by Alan Gregg, Naheed Nenshi (Mayor of Calgary, who I am comfortable calling Canada’s urban mayor) and Shawn Atleo (National Chief to the Assembly of First Nations, and by leaps and bounds the most thoughtful speaker). I have made a Bundlr of the content of each speech as observed by the Twitterverse, but will do a followup critique of the speeches later.
- From my conversations, I truly believe there is a major disconnect between what the leaders of the non profit sector want as solutions to the problems that ail the sector and the practical solutions that reality makes available. Finding a way to bridge that gap is a problem that I feel will be the responsibility of the newer generation.
- The working groups that I participated in were very productive; so much so that I look forward to seeing the next steps. I truly hope that next steps are taken; I would not want to see the recommendations proposed fall by the wayside.
This is the first of (hopefully) many posts that document the extraordinary thoughts that I encounter in my reading material. The following illustration is adapted from The Idea of Justice by Amartya Sen.
Anne, Bob and Carla are fighting over a flute and ask you to settle the dispute.
Anne claims that she should get the flute as she is the only one of the three who knows how to play it. Given that the others admit they do not know how to play it, Anne argues that the flute belongs to her.
Bob is the poorest of the children. Not possessing toys of his own, the flute would give him something to play with.
Carla points out the flute was made completely out of her own labour and her own money. The reason why the dispute arose was because the other two children stole the flute just after it was finished.
Who do you give the flute to?
Sen’s book is incredibly intriguing. Just to put this in context the above story is in the Introduction; I have not even started the first chapter. It might be a little nerdy, but I am tremendously excited to engage with Sens’ thoughts.
For now though, how would you resolve the dispute?
So the two week hiatus for the Bar exams has turned into a two month hibernation. Quite frankly, I needed the time to re-evaluated and reconfigure my mind to handle the upcoming months. Looking back, the vagueness of my previous posts may partially have been an unintended consequence of an inner turmoil of trying to figure out my mind.
However today, I am glad to say that I am well on my way to recovering my mind after three years of losing it, in no small part to some amazing events and meeting some very inspiring people. For instance:
- I attended a Continuing Legal Education Course on “Criminal and Civil Liability for War Crimes, Genocide and Torture. Take home lesson after listening to lawyers, legal experts and prosecutors at the top of their game? Everybody knows the system is broken and financially inefficient, but nobody knows how/wants to fix it;
- I learnt how to create a business plan and complete the underlying market research… More importantly, I connected to some incredibly inspiring social entrepreneurs and youth leaders – many of whom I now consider friends;
- I have finally finished preparing for my School Board Election Campaign, obtaining policy advisors for my platform and completing the vast majority of my materials;
- I commenced articling – think of it as an apprenticeship for lawyers. My top priority for the next 12 months, this has already facilitated my transition from Romesh, the perpetual student into Romesh, the guy who actually makes money.
» More on End of the Hiatus
So I just came out of listening to the Associate Defence Minister of Canada speak. Really fascinating guy who shed a lot of new light on the Canada’s role in Afghanistan. It seems that the system created between the Canadian forces, the ICRC and the Afghan forces is primarily to blame for the abuse scandal. Moreover he expressed a number of concerns with respect to the choice that states have in choosing whether the Geneva Conventions apply to detained soldiers. Lastly he attacked the notion that the government of Canada is an occupying force, pointing out that Canada is present with the consent of the democratically elected Afghan government. This may have been one reason why the Federal Court did not believe the Charter applied to Afghan detainees.
However he also talked about the importance of emerging technologies in the international legal system. In particular he discussed a unique approach adopted by Katey O’Malley in comparing redacted documents. Instead of spending countless hours looking over 1000′s of documents alone, she put out a call to the blogosphere to do the same job for free. The results are astounding.
Will likely get in touch with him to talk about some of the stuff Im interested in. Looking forward to hear what he says about my research on IHL.