I am a mostly retired management and systems consultant. Of late, I have focused on values, neighbourhoods, communities, and urban design. Retirement gave me the time to explore ideas, concepts and concerns that had always been important to me, but which I never examined in sufficient depth. Slowly I'm rectifying the gaps in my knowledge.
Values and Meaning
All of us search for meaning in life. The social context in which we were raised and the social context in which we find ourselves or in which we place ourselves has much to do with what can give meaning to our lives. And this social context is constantly evolving and has given us, over time, new ways to understand and shape our world.
Neighbourhood and Community
An effective neighbourhood contains residents with common, shared practices. A community, on the other hand, contains members with common, shared values. There are obvious connections, but the distinction is important. It's especially important in the multi-cultural society that Canada has become. We have an obligation to make clear the common practices we expect of all.
The built forms and the spaces we inhabit shape in fundamental ways how we see the world. We need a new vision of open neighbourhoods that are welcoming home to members of diverse communities. My city, Toronto, is leading the way towards such neighbourhood. I'm doing my part to encourage this emphasis on open, diverse and welcoming neighbourhoods. I will be moderating a Ryerson LIFE course on Urban Planning in the Winter of 2013. This will be a new venture for me.
I maintain an interest in systems and the professionals who work with them. The commitment to trustworthy behaior seems to me a basic and vital part what it should mean to be a professional. This needs to be reinforced, especially for systems professionals. It's part of what should give meaning to the lives of professionals.
Toronto, Canada M4Y 2W1
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