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Viewing entries tagged with 'innovation'

Latest musing on disability in the media

Posted by Philip on 25 October 2016, 5:08 pm in , , , , , , , , ,

Recently a third year student at the University of Winchester studying Theatre Production (Arts & Stage Management) contacted me. Her focal topic is looking at "able bodied performers portraying disabled [people] and how we, as participants in the arts industry, feel about it."

She sent me some questions and here's how I responded:

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My lyrics get used for Homosexual Law Reform anniversary and the tragedy of Orlando

Posted by Philip on 13 June 2016, 3:26 pm in , , , , , , ,

Today I learnt that composer Gareth Farr has used one of my poems, 'During these Days', in his commission for Wellington's Glamaphones choir. He also used a poem from Brent Coutts, "Naming Ourselves".

Gareth has even chosen to name his piece "During these Days" — how chuffed am I? I'm told the choir has been rehearsing it and it is sounding wonderful.

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Cancer — what's the problem?

Posted by Philip on 17 August 2015, 5:17 pm in , , , , , , , , , ,

lung cancerLast week, three people I know within one or two degrees of separation, were affected by cancer — one was diagnosed, one came out of remission and one died. Call me sensitive, but I was a bit shell-shocked.

We've almost come to take cancer for granted — even accept it as fate. We see it as this mysterious medical problem that's suddenly become pandemic, at least in the western world. Meanwhile, friends tell me other life-threatening conditions like heart failure are decreasing.

So what's going on here? I'm not buying it.

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The employment paradox

Posted by Philip on 7 August 2015, 4:37 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

I attended a workshop on accessible employment recently and was reminded, as I've written about before, what a fraught topic employment is these days — for anyone, let alone those with access needs.

As welfare states come crashing down around the (western) world, the demand for employment and requirement to be employed increase. New Zealand's welfare lexicon has changed from "beneficiary" to the default "jobseeker".

Meanwhile industry and technology improves, meaning more machines, computers and robots do more and more jobs for us. I mean, that has been the whole idea of industrial and technological revolutions, hasn't it? To decrease the need for humans to do stuff.

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That's what it's all about, but can we build the app? #lifehackhq

Posted by Philip on 8 March 2013, 6:12 pm in , , , , , , ,

This time last week I wrote a fairly candid post about the Government's Youth Mental Health Social Media Innovations Fund, in particularly Lifehack, the "sustainable technology solution to combat New Zealand’s youth mental illness problems". Today I met with them.

I won't go into the content of the meeting. That would be, at best, tedious for you and, at worst, onerous for me. But I will share my reflection on the "launch >blog > tweet, tweet, tweet > email > meet" process of the last week.

Firstly, we disagreed and allowed the disagreement. I've blogged before that I believe that where communities struggle with diversity is in their need to hear or to speak with one voice and that they need to decay agreement.

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Lifehack: the youth mental wellness answer or a well-meaning quick fix? #lifehackhq

Posted by Philip on 1 March 2013, 9:09 am in , , ,

Last night the Government launched its Youth Mental Health Social Media Innovations Fund. In the swanky highrise Auckland Wespac building, they uncovered a technology incubater run by (my words) well-meaning happiness evangelists and tech geeks, hell-bent on the idea that the answer to better youth mental health is to play more, say, "Yahoo!" and download an app. 

It's called Lifehack and here's what they say about themselves and an inspirational video to cheer you up:

Our mission is to create sustainable technology solutions to combat New Zealand’s youth mental illness problems. New Zealand’s fight for youth mental health and wellbeing needs a fresh approach, and we believe digital technology – created by students for students - will play a key part in the solution.

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Charlotte's Web: a tale of superb leadership

Posted by Philip on 24 September 2012, 12:57 pm in , , , , , ,

"Wilbur the pig is scared of the end of the season, because he knows that come that time, he will end up on the dinner table. He hatches a plan with Charlotte, a spider that lives in his pen, to ensure that this will never happen." (IMDb)

I read Charlotte's Web when I was just a kid, but it has always stuck in my mind as a great story. Watching the 2006 version of the movie, I realised why: it's a great story of leadership.

Charlotte, the retiring spider who seeks no recognition for her part in saving Wilbur from his fate, epiomises the architypical servant leader. "This term, coined by Robert Greenleaf in the 1970s, describes a leader who is often not formally recognized as such. [She] leads simply by virtue of meeting the needs of her team..." (VectorStudy.com)

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Creativity vs technology updates

Posted by Philip on 6 March 2012, 7:06 am in , ,

Yesterday was a bit of a  "mobility update" day for me. It also turned out to be a "creativity update" day.

First a new cushion and backrest on the old wheelchair (which, upon waking this morning virtually pain-free, may have sorted my lower back pain - fingers crossed).

After that, a trip to the engineers who designed the ramp and winch in my car. I'd been thinking that, if I got them to incline the platform my chair sits on, gravity would help it roll out. I was right.

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Kicking off a new innovation in disability support

Posted by Philip on 13 January 2012, 1:10 pm in , ,

{ Safe and sound } is an idea for a new, multi-faceted service designed for people managing their own disability support through the Ministry of Health Individualised Funding scheme or ACC direct payments.

People opting into this method of support do so because they are looking for customised support to fit their lifestyle, which current home-based support services struggle to provide. However, it does involve the responsibility of employing one or more people.

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Help! My kindle is making my bookshelf obsolete!

Posted by Philip on 13 December 2011, 8:46 am in , , ,

So a couple of weeks ago I bought a Kindle. I love it, not just because of the tech factor but also because holding books and turning pages are a hassle for me. I just put reading off. So I've read more books in two weeks than I have in a year almost.

But people come and sit in my lounge/office and look at my bookshelf. We talk about common books and it lets people know what I'm reading. Sometimes they even take a book to read. Not to mention it looks good aesthetically.

It occurs to me that, in five years time though, people will be looking at books I read five years ago. My current reading collection will be hidden in my Kindle.

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