Archives

The urban legends of learning (and other inconvenient truths)

Learning styles, technology-driven teaching, and self-direction are all concepts that anyone interested in education should be familiar with, yet the foundations for their adoption into the classroom, lab or boardroom are more suspect than you might think. Today we look at the three urban legends of learning and what that might mean for education, innovation […]

Read More

Sane truths in Crazy Town: What Rob Ford’s story offers politics, science and journalism

A new book about Toronto’s (in)famous mayor reveals a great deal more than just a story of man known more for what he smokes and says than his governance, to what kind of world we want to live in. Robyn Doolittle’s ‘Crazy Town’ goes well beyond documenting one man’s troubling behaviour and its place in […]

Read More

Evaluation, Evidence and Moving Beyond the Tyranny of ‘I Think’

Good evidence provides a foundation for decision-making in programs that is dispassionate, comparable and open to debate and view, yet often it is ignored in favour of opinion. Practice-based evidence allows that expert opinion in, however the way to get it into the discussion is through the very means we use to generate traditional evidence.  […]

Read More

Designing for Empathy and Health

When does common sense make little sense? How do we sense-make evidence when it seems to make little sense? The answers could lie in getting inside the heads of those we seek to influence and designing our communications for empathy and health. Evidence in public / health Last week there was a brief uproar in […]

Read More

Attack on Anti-vac – Toronto Public Health vs. Jenny McCarthy

Originally posted on Public Health and Social Media:
I wanted to keep quiet on this issue, being the pioneer and former voice of Toronto Public Health’s Twitter for 3 years…but I think in the spirit of reflection – let’s blog on! Cameron Norman explains the issue really well in his post ‘Public Health and Social…

Read More

The Importance of Journalism to Public Health: 10 Years After SARS How Are We Doing?

If a health scare manifested itself in the world and there were no journalists to cover the story, what would the impact on the public be? That is a question that lingered with me throughout the start of the 2013 Ontario Public Health Convention (TOPHC) which began with a morning dedicated to improving public health communication. Opening up […]

Read More

The Fourth Estate of Health and Medicine

Journalists occupy an important, yet often unacknowledged, role in the health system by providing a dispassionate account of the system’s strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities to the public. It is through journalists that much of the research we scientists and practitioners produce gets communicated to the audiences likely to use them. This fourth estate is also […]

Read More

Evaluating Social Innovation For Social Impact

Earlier this week I has the pleasure of attending talks from Bryan Boyer from the Helsinki Design Lab and learning about the remarkable work they are doing in applying design to government and community life in Finland. While the focus of the audience for the talks was on their application of design thinking, I found myself […]

Read More

Standing Out / Outstanding: The Standards Problem

Human service providers live in paradox by stressing best practices while wishing for some recognition of the unique qualities that they bring. Can being unique be the standard we need?

Read More

Evidence Democratization in Complex Systems

In the social media and marketing world there is a concept called “brand democratization”, which refers to the notion of having your customers contribute to and partly shape a brand’s identity. Marty Neumeier, who has written extensively on branding, asserts that a brand isn’t what the producers of the product say it is, but rather […]

Read More