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Viewing entries tagged with 'work'

Back to work, back to reality – or five ways to pretend you're still on holiday

Posted by Philip on 22 January 2016, 4:24 pm in , ,

This is such a bittersweet time of year. Summer has just, it seems, begun to bed in and my 4-5 week staycation finishes on Sunday.

Next week it's meetings, a trip to Wellington, planning with clients and following up on paused projects. And it's time for me to start my yearly challenge: to see how long I can feel like I'm not back at work.

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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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Should entrepreneurs close things down?

Posted by Philip on 9 May 2015, 11:37 am in , , , , ,

closed signThe easiest way to define an entrepreneur is "someone who starts things". I've been given the mantels of both creative and social entrepreneur (it's one of those things you are recognised for – you don't decide for yourself). Entrepreneurship might be explained as "start-up leadership".

So as a creative and social start-up leader, I've started lots of things – organisations, projects, websites – in the realm of creativity and social issues or change. Many have concluded of their own accord (projects, for instance, because they have a beginning, middle and end); and others I've walked intentfully away from (organisations where people have taken them in directions I've disagreed with, or I've realised I with my penchant and skills for starting things, need to be replaced by someone who can maintain and grow the entity).

In 2005 I started Diversityworks Trust Inc., the only start-up I have stayed with (as trustee and Executive Director) since its inception. I originally started the Trust to fundraise for Momentum'09, an international symposium on creative diversity. Due to the financial crash in 2008, we lost critical funding and had to downscale from the planned four-day event at SkyCity to one day in Royal Oak.

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Should kids have to keep themselves safe?

Posted by Philip on 26 June 2014, 2:12 pm in , , , , , , , , , , , ,

On Wednesday Violence Free Waitakere (VFW) launched "'Jade Speaks Up', a new multimedia resource to help keep children safe from violence." The media release said, "The resource aims to help children put safety strategies in place to support themselves, should they feel afraid in their lives whether from bullying, natural disasters, adult threats or witnessing grown-ups fighting."

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Sign the KIDshine petition urging Rt Hon John Key to end our 'national shame’ of domestic violence and child abuse.

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Social Development Ministry policy contradictions threaten employment for people with disabilities

Posted by Philip on 2 May 2014, 12:49 pm in , , , , , ,

@If you are concerned about this issue please copy, revise as necessary and email this letter to

Hon Paula Bennett
Parliament Buildings

Dear Minister

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The lengths we have gone to get away from ourselves

Posted by Philip on 8 April 2014, 8:02 am in , , , , ,

I went to a play the other day. A lot of people had recommended it. It was good, a little long perhaps, but well-written, well-acted and well staged. Not life-changing though. I missed a sunny afternoon reading on the deck.

I went to a seminar the other day. The first two speakers were rather dull. The keynote speaker was egotistical and irritating. Definitely not life-changing. I missed another a sunny afternoon reading on the deck.

Masanobu Fukuoka (1913-2008) was a farmer and philosopher who was born and raised on the Japanese island of Shikoku. He studied plant pathology and spent several years working as a customs inspector in Yokohama. While working there, at the age of 25, he had an inspiration that changed his life. He decided to quit his job, return to his home village and put his ideas into practice by applying them to agriculture. In 1975 he wrote The One-Straw Revolution, a best-selling book that described his life’s journey, his philosophy, and farming techniques.

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Six online tools I love that I’m surprised more people don’t use

Posted by Philip on 4 November 2013, 3:08 pm in , , , , , , , , , , ,

It’ll be no surprise to anyone I know when I say that I love technology. I’m a bit of a geek, an early adopter and, sometimes annoyingly, quick to switch to the next new thing.

What surprises me though is how many cheap or free online tools and apps are available, yet few people I know or work with use them. So I thought I’d list a few I use and encourage you to try at least one.

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What I didn't do at school

Posted by Philip on 21 March 2011, 12:53 pm in , , , ,

This morning I watched, uncustomarily, TVNZ's Breakfast programme and caught an item on "unschooling", described as "home-schooling without the books". Broadcaster and education commentator, Gordon Dryden, spoke about the unconventional and controversial experiential learning technique.

Serendipitously, while clearing emails after a week away, I opened an email from my brother with this video, made by my nephew Matt, arguing against homework. I think it's great.

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Request for Services — Virtual Community Development

Posted by Philip Patston on 30 June 2009, 12:16 pm in , , , ,

Diversityworks Trust is looking for a dynamic individual or company to  provide Virtual Community Development services, including administering, managing and developing our websites, social networks and online communication tools.

The successful applicant will have the following:

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