At the beginning of last August I pressed send on a newsletter, intending to take a month off and then get back to writing in September…and here I finally am, one year later. What happened? The easy answer is that I came back from vacation – my first in a few years- with a pile of work and I just didn’t have time to write.

But one of the coolest things about time is that we always have the same amount of it. The thing that changes is what we prioritize.

After doing a lot of writing during the height of the ‘stay home’ months of the pandemic, once the world opened up a little more, I shifted my energy into teaching and some big strategic projects through my consultancy Tawâw Strategies.

Over the past year I taught six courses at UBC and SFU, joined the faculty of the United Way’s Public Policy Institute and the LEVEL Youth Policy Program at Vancouver Foundation, and guest taught an intensive at ETH’s Newrope Design in Dialogue Lab in Zurich.

At Tawaw Strategies I’ve supported clients ranging from First Nations, local governments, unions, advocacy organizations, and progressive businesses to take bold action on some of the most challenging issues of our times. We’ve provided strategic advice, updated strategic plans, created consensus positions between groups that thought they were much further apart than they were and generally have built a whole lot of power literacy.

I also joined the board of TransLink in September which added to an already pretty substantial number of boards, steering committees and advisory committees I sit on.

I didn’t totally give up on having a public voice: since last August I’ve been fortunate to speak with audiences not just on Zoom but to join people in person to talk about topics ranging from right relations with Indigenous people (UBCM) to democratic renewal (Amsterdam) to climate adaptation (Athens). I even got to join Mark Carney here in Vancouver to talk about what’s next for climate action in Canada.

It's been an intense year! I don’t regret diving in to all these new challenges (and also deciding not to dive into one). But all of the reasons I originally wanted to start writing a newsletter have never been more true, so I decided to take the fall off of teaching and - among other things - starting next week I will get going on this newsletter again.

If you’ve moved on and want to unsubscribe, I totally understand. Time is a finite resource, and we all have to prioritize where we will spend it.

But if you stick with me, I can guarantee it will be worth your time. There are so many amazing things happening in our city, region, province, country and world and I am excited to be able to share them with you!

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