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Animals are present in almost every aspect of human life: our meals, our clothing, our entertainment industries, and yet they live their lives in the dark. Sometimes their suffering is hidden behind the walls of factory farms, where billions of animals live short, painful lives every year.
I lost my older brother, Adam Wood, in the shooting in La Loche. Recently my family and I travelled to the remote community to remember him, the other victims whose lives were so tragically taken, and so many who still bear the wounds from that day.
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For the last 40 years, we've been sold a lie about how to solve hunger. It's the kind of deception that sounds so right, so convincing, that we don't even ask questions. We've been told that handing out food to poor, struggling people will fill their need and end their hunger. And yet nothing could be further from the truth.
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But because entrepreneurship is now under the intense spotlight of society's gaze, this puts a certain duty on entrepreneurs and business leaders in general. More than ever, today's entrepreneurs have a duty to exercise social consciousness. As arbiters of innovation, entrepreneurs -- true entrepreneurs, and not the star-struck wannabes who lack the true entrepreneurial spirit -- are in a prime position to shape the course of culture and society.
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With our health care system facing ever-increasing demands and mounting budget constraints, we need to think differently about how we deliver health care. As we've seen in our series on change agents, this is precisely what change agents do -- they make a difference by doing things differently.
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Transformational approach, holistic approach, social enterprise -- today it's become trendy to throw around buzzwords about social change. Fortunately, the buzzwords have a concrete meaning thanks to innovators in the not-for-profit world who implemented the approaches in the first place -- long before the jargon existed. These are the original change agents.
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Most workers can't risk their steady income to start a social enterprise or renounce materialism and move to Calcutta to volunteer. Social intrapreneurs protest from within, while on the payroll. This is the best of both worlds at work -- with personal, social and economic benefits.
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Ageism is by far the most tolerated form of social prejudice in Canada, way ahead of racism and sexism. One in four of us actually admits to treating someone differently because of their age. And those are just the ones who are aware of their actions.
When you think of a not-for-profit organization, "change agent" probably isn't the first thing that comes to mind. But maybe it should be. Today, more and more not-for-profit organizations are not only making a difference, they are making it by doing things differently.
With the entire continent engaged in some of the most polarizing politics seen in decades, everyone seems to have one thing in common: Everyone thinks people these days are too easily offended. But they aren't. They're no different than they've ever been. And, as for political correctness, it doesn't exist.
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You know what? I'm freaked out about it, too. This is such a big issue in the world and it's easy to freak out about it. Deeply caring about this and wanting to do something to help is the first step in making a difference. So, let me start off by saying you're already making a difference because you care.
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We can't be the taxi companies, Blackberry or other organizations that refused to adapt and change. We need to keep improving, listening and being better. It's not enough just to be the best of bad. We need to be actually good. Making hard choices that result in better and more effective services.
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As the end of the year comes to a close, industry leaders are already preparing for what's next and refining their 2016 strategies to stay on top of the market. With baby boomers retiring and millennials being the most studied generation to date, market leaders can gain insight from the next generation, Generation Z.
Here's the thing: social change is not an easy process. It takes effort, stubbornness and the ability to persevere in spite of all obstacles and opposition. Once achieved, social change and any newfound rights and freedoms should never be taken for granted, yet they often are.