Friday, December 16, 2011

Kay Dyson Tam reflects on why she’s not a barista in her inaugural post.  She’s looking forward to your questions and comments.

Join two new conversations.  The latest topics on the table are unemployment and regret – different but often related experiences.  Not the merriest topics for this festive season but they are the ones that walked through the door in the past few weeks.  As the poet Rumi reminds us, ”This being human is a guest house.  Every morning a new arrival.  A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.  Welcome and entertain them all!” 

First up, Shubha Bala is a Canadian living in New York City who recently graduated from Columbia with an MA in International Affairs.  She’s been pondering that question that makes everyone who’s unemployed wince, “what do you do?”  Her reflections lead us to ask: what makes the work of unemployment a lot harder or a little easier?  Next, international journalist Kathryn Schulz’s recent TED Talk about regret has been named by the Huffington Post as one of the top 2011 TED talks.  Kathryn encourages us to consider the possibility that our cultural aversion to regret does more harm than good.  Her reflections prompt us to ask: what regrets have proved most useful in your work?

Another update on Kai Nagata. Yesterday, Kai posted Part 2 in his documentary-in-progress, Renaissance Man, about Matthew Wadsworth, a remarkable musician from Montréal whose sights are set on a world record in motorcycle jumping.  A link to Part 1 is provide below in our news post on Friday, November 25th, 2011.  To refresh your memory about this story, check out Kai Nagata’s Odyssey.

New resources linking vocational and organizational renewal have been posted.  You’ll see that we’ve added some new ones and updated a few existing posts.

Two books have been added to our bookshelf.  Healing the Heart of Democracy by Parker J. Palmer from Madison, Wisconsin and Clarity and Courage by R. Timothy Elliott from Toronto, Ontario.  We can only post ten at a time (and we have way more books on our actual bookshelves we’d like to share) so keep your eye on this space for regular updates.

“What do I want to be when I grow up?” notebook sightings.  Our letterpress notebook has been spotted around town in places like Hart House at the University of Toronto and at the Dark Horse Espresso Bar’s three Dark Horse locations in Queen West, Riverdale and Chinatown.  It’s been starting lots of good conversations, we hear, among colleagues in lunch rooms, old friends over a beer and even between children and their parents at bedtime.  You can pick up a notebook at the Dark Horse or drop us a line at info[at]  After our current supply runs out and if there is enough interest, we’ll figure out how to make them available online as well as at the Dark Horse’s counter.

We’re up to two questions on our new FAQ page.  See what they are and send any others you might have to info[at]

We’ve taken our conversation on work and vocation to Facebook.  We hope you might check out our page and *like* us if you do like what you find there.  We’re also tweeting from time to time on Twitter @pat_thom and @kaydysontam.

Friday, November 25, 2011

An update on Kai Nagata. Remember our post about Kai Nagata’s odyssey?  We caught up with Kai yesterday when we received this dispatch from the road:

“I’ve been working on an experiment lately, so I’ve been a bit quiet.  I’ve filed a few vague updates to my blog and to The Tyee as I’ve been working.  I have a model I’m trying to develop for user-funded multimedia coverage.  The first piece of the experiment I’ll be launching tomorrow.  It’s a documentary I’m distributing for free online, to test crowd funding and distribution theories.”

Kai and his colleagues, Evan Crowe and Candice Vallantin, have been shooting a documentary about Matthew Wadsworth, an accomplished lutenist from Montréal whose sights are set on a world record in motorcycle jumping.  It’s called Renaissance Man.  Here’s Part 1:

The Tyee will run an article next week explaining the logic behind this new funding and distribution model, and the possibilities it opens up for future projects.  On Thursday, December 1, 2011, he’ll be discussing the experiment via webcam at a Tyee viral video workshop at Woodwards in downtown Vancouver.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Welcome! is live today.  Come in and make yourself at home.  We’re still in beta and look forward to your feedback.  Let us know what you’d like to find and do here, and we’ll do our best to make it happen.  Keep in mind that we’re a website, not a real house, so don’t try to find us on your GPS or reach us by telephone.  We only exist in cyberspace!  Write to us at info[at]

New paper on vocational, organizational and civic renewal released today.  The Dark Horse Conversation: Nonprofit Leaders Talk about Vocational, Organization and Civic Renewal, the second of two papers by Metcalf Foundation Innovation Fellow Pat Thompson, is now available.  Click here to download a copy.  For a copy of Pat’s first paper, Being the Change We Want: A Conversation on Vocational Renewal for Nonprofit Leaders (2009), click here.  You can find both papers on the Metcalf Foundation website.

“What do I want to be when I grow up?” notebook now available at the Dark Horse Espresso Bar.  Pick up this artfully designed, limited edition 30-page notebook at one of Toronto’s three Dark Horse locations in Queen West, Riverdale and Chinatown.  It includes provocative questions, memorable quotes and lots of room for your reflections, grocery list or whatever.  Printed on a local letterpress.  Meet Ed Lynds and Deanna Zunde, co-owners of the Dark Horse, and find out where a passion for great coffee and community can lead.

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