Harsha Walia's Wild Idea

In Vancouver last month Harsha Walia presented her wild idea - to Connect the Heart and Mind - at the Transforming Society: 5 Wild Ideas for a Better Future event hosted by Changemakers Vancouver, Upstream, and Next Up. 

Watch the video below to learn where Harsha believes our social change movements are falling flat. She asks us to dream of what it might look like to do better - to build movements that 'actively undo' the racialized and gendered undervaluing of many in our society. 

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There's more to progress than GDP

By Dr. Trevor Hancock

How we measure progress hinges on what we mean by progress, and what business we think we are in, as a society and as governments. Too often, it seems the central purpose is to grow the economy, but I believe there is more to life than that. 

This column was originally posted in Victoria's Times Colonist.

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Three signs someone is misleading you about income inequality in Canada

Contrary to conventional economic wisdom, inequality is no friend of the economy. Recently, the OECD estimated that increases in inequality in Canada during the 1990s are now costing our economy about $62 billion annually. That’s over 3% of GDP!

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The View from Upstream: Unearthed Poverty

By Cameron Dearlove 

On the eastern edge of downtown, near an expressway onramp, under streets and residential properties, lie the remains of some of Kitchener’s poorest citizens.

Years ago this was the property edge of the House of Industry and Refuge, Kitchener’s (then Berlin) “poor house.” The house’s “inmates,” as they were called, were the poor and destitute, aged, disabled, and orphaned. In exchange for work on the property, they received food and basic accommodations.

After death, an inmate’s unclaimed remains were buried in the “potters’ fields” where they remain today – a reminder of how punishing society can be to those on the margins, says Sandy Hoy, Associate Director of Research at the Manulife Centre for Community Health Research.f

This column was originally posted here on The Community Edition.

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Counterpoint: Growing income gap a health risk

On March 3, Upstream made the Financial Post. 

More specifically, a graphic we made about income inequality and health appeared above an article by Peter Shawn Taylor.

However, there were some pretty big holes in Taylor's assertions. Today, Ryan Meili addresses these gaps in his rebuttal in the Financial Post. 

NewCanadaConference_-_Meili.jpg

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It's Time for a Food First Strategy

By Dr. Trevor Hancock

Among the most essential determinants of our health is food. Only air and water are more vital.

At a bare minimum, we need enough food to ensure we don’t starve, and we also need enough of all the right components (protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals) to keep us healthy. Starvation and malnutrition, it goes without saying, are bad for our health.

This column was originally posted in Victoria's Times Colonist.

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Food in the equation: 5 Conversations for 2015

By Nick Saul, President + CEO, Community Food Centres Canada

Every community in Canada should have a welcoming space where people can come together to grow, cook, share and advocate for good food. Community Food Centres provide people with emergency access to high-quality food in a dignified setting. People learn cooking and gardening skills there, and kids get their hands dirty in the garden and kitchen in ways that expand their tastebuds and help them make healthier food choices. Community members gain new skills, self-confidence, friends and support. Over a healthy meal, neighbours can meet, talk, and start sparking action on issues affecting their lives, like income, housing, and other social determinants of health. 

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Thinking differently about building a healthy society

By Danyaal Raza

Earlier this month, I had the pleasure of sharing the stage with my physician colleagues Ryan Meili and Ritika Goel at Upstream’s first major public event in Toronto. Thanks to a unique partnership between the Wellesley Institute and MassLBP, over 200 attendees filed into the Li Ka Shing’s main auditorium. Some even had to find extra chairs in aisles at the lecture hall’s edge.

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The View from Upstream: Why Canadian Babies Don't Sleep in Boxes

This piece by Cameron Dearlove launched a series called “The View From Upstream,” on The Community Edition. This series of columns will seek to answer the following questions: if the social determinants of health hold such promise, what are we doing locally, provincially, and nationally to apply these ideas? How do we rewrite conventional wisdom so that governments, institutions and communities are using the powerful social determinants framework to encourage longer, healthier, happier lives?

This column was originally posted here on The Community Edition.

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First Call & Upstream

For too long, we have been suffering from
“downstream thinking,” that is, responding
to immediate problems rather than seeking long-
term solutions. Upstream and First Call share a
belief in the importance of preventing ill-health
by addressing the root causes that undermine
child and family well-being.

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Connect upstream.