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It seems like a no brainer. Supporting charitable organizations and doing acts of kindness is the right thing to do. Most people get that. My family and many Canadians are very privileged. I feel we have an obligation to give back, to "pay it forward."
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Is there something that Ukraine can teach the West? The question is not as outlandish as it may seem at first sight. Ukraine's unique experience in fighting for human dignity may be of relevance in reviving democratic institutions elsewhere. Yet it is definitely not up to the Ukrainian government to be a role model.
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I always liked David Cameron. Maybe it was because we're both fans of the rock band, The Smiths, but also (and more importantly) because he tried to use the privileged position of prime minister to appeal to the better angels in our nature with the "Big Society" initiative of his early government. The Big Society ideal was first referenced by Cameron in 2009. In a nutshell, the Big Society philosophy recognizes that a country and its communities are built as much by passionate volunteers, community groups and service organizations as it is by departments of the government.
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I'm sure each of us can remember a time when we've volunteered at a local event, donated to a cause that is close to our hearts, or simply did something selfless because it felt good. It may not seem like it, but every time we do, we are developing the leadership skills required to run a successful business and ultimately become a stronger leader.
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When I see a small business plugging away all the while continuing their charitable and community-spirited endeavours (often in the face of near-insurmountable odds), it behooves all of us to reconsider what it means to be "productive."
As my professional life blossomed so did the work expectations and long hours that I needed to put into my demanding career. It was an inverse relationship in the making: the more I worked, the less time I had for personal things in my life like athletics, friends and relationships. Something had to give. And sadly it was volunteering.
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Many believe entrepreneurial spirit and skills can't be taught. Certainly that was the opinion of one of Craig's MBA professors. "Either you've got it or you don't," he once opined to Craig. We disagree. You can teach entrepreneurship, and you might be surprised how -- through volunteering and being active in social causes.
As a 26-year-old business professional I face very typical problems on a day to day basis, ones that many of you may face. I have to deal with traffic, I have to find parking in downtown Toronto, I have to deal with deadlines. But it wasn't that long ago that any of these trivial issues were not a concern to me as my only burden was finding my next meal. For two years I battled homelessness and my hope was dependant on youth homes and the kindness of strangers.
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Well not exactly. But Larry Page, co-founder of Google, does tell us that working a 40-hour week is an out-moded employment model. He believes that through smart design and technology we could work a four-day week or less. Now, with over $32 billion in the bank it is easy for Page to make such lofty assertions, but he might have a point.
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Last year was the first-ever Happiness Day, and we heard plentiful advice on how to make ourselves happy. But if we want to maximize our planet's sum total of happiness, it would seem most efficient to share the fortune we have -- material, emotional and spiritual -- with those who have little.
As the dawn of a New Year begins, many of us are making New Year's resolutions both of a professional and personal nature. From eating healthier to taking steps to get that promotion, individuals around the globe are cleaning up the detritus from 2013 and making new resolutions for 2014. In the drive to create new personal and professional resolutions, we should not forget about resolutions to help those less fortune around us.
Long before Katherine Hobbes became a noted Ottawa City councillor - she took a break from exhausting careers with Bell Canada and Bank of Nova Scotia to be part of the international development wave....
Non-profit organizations (NPOs) are governed by a board of highly skilled directors. While significant advances in technology and education have taken place over the past few years, director training has essentially remained the same for the past 20 years.
There are so many issues that it's easy to volunteer for a cause that means something to you. Through texting, facebook, Twitter and talking, our (young) volunteers are likely one of our greatest marketing tools. It's National Volunteer Week, let's show them that we care about their commitment to our cause.