Collaborate! Avoid irrelevance

Girls soccer team in a winning collaboration
No doubt it gets more complicated than this, but this is collaboration.

True collaboration requires the open sharing of information. Participants in collaborative processes consider themselves to be peers who can freely communicate their thoughts. The collective thought process generates better thinking and results than isolated thinking. Continue reading


Safe schools

This past week I had the privilege of attending the 10th Annual Canadian Safe Schools Conference in Toronto. About 1000 education officials from across Canada attended this event to hear presentations and discuss important issues about school safety.

The event was packed. Many of the breakout sessions had standing room only. I spoke with several of the delegates and was impressed by the intensity of these conversations. This was no normal conference. The officials at this event were looking for ways to deal with the safety issues that they confront in their schools on a daily basis.

Richard Fillion, Director General of Dawson College, was one of the keynote speakers. He received a standing ovation for his presentation that was insightful and moving. The full presentation is archived and can be viewed here.

The conference was hosted by the Canadian Safe School Network.

Risk of Death in Canada

Risk of Death in Canada:  What We Know and How We Know It
Risk of Death in Canada : What We Know and How We Know It
by Simon P. Thomas (Author), Steve Hrudey (Author)
Paperback: 280 pages Publisher: The University of Alberta Press (Dec. 1, 1997)

Reviewed by Ron Truman, Regulatory Solutions Group

Actuaries can tell you how many Canadians are going to die next year; hit men can name a few names. But until recently, there’s been no middle ground — information that has a personal meaning for a wide variety of Canadians — about the risk of dying in the next 12 months.

University of Alberta environmental health sciences professor, Dr. Steve Hrudey, who led a study of 60 years of Canadian death data, can fill part of that gap.

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Safe Drinking Water

Safe Drinking Water, Lessons from Recent Outbreaks in Affluent Nations by Steve E. Hrudey and Elizabeth J. Hrudey Iwa Publishing, 486 pp.

Safe Drinking WaterContaminated drinking water killed and sickened people in affluent communities long before anyone heard of Walkerton’s Koebel brothers. University of Alberta water scientist Steve Hrudey says waterborne outbreaks will persist in wealthy societies long after the brothers are forgotten – unless the underlying problems of complacency, neglect, accumulating errors, bad judgment and poor practice in water treatment plants are properly dealt with.

Hrudey, who worked on the research advisory panel to the Walkerton Inquiry and collaborated with the Canadian Water Network on the issue, said, “Far too many people seemed prepared to write off Walkerton as being only the misdeeds of the Koebel brothers. If you draw all the attention to a few blunders, ignoring the bigger picture about why waterborne outbreaks have persisted, you aren’t going to get the right people to take ownership of the problem.” Continue reading