Saturday, 23rd August 2014.

The Director's Viewpoint

Updates, insights, and observations from our Executive Director, Chris Wignall


Posted on Wednesday, 2nd July 2014 by chris wignall

In 2005 prominent economist Jeffrey Sachs released his book The End of Poverty. It articulated his conviction that a massive short term increase in foreign aid and philanthropic giving could eliminate the deepest poverty in the African continent forever. A network of Millennium Villages were launched to pioneer his model with fanfare and great confidence. […]

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Posted on Thursday, 20th February 2014 by chris wignall

What’s the optimum emotional mindset for a leader today? Something like this: That’s me (left) and my brother in law Marc last spring at the start of my first ever bike race. I could post a finish line picture, but it was a little uglier. When I look back at the picture today I notice […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 8th January 2014 by chris wignall

Every organization is trying to stretch dollars, and with the pressure to keep “overhead” rates as low as possible (don’t get me started), finding ways to get more value from every investment in your people is both strategically and politically important. As a funder who supports leadership development, I’ve noticed a few simple ways that […]

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Posted on Monday, 16th December 2013 by chris wignall

One of my favourite fiction writers is Douglas Adams, best known for his five part Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy trilogy. (Yes it is a five part trilogy, that’s the most logical thing about it actually). Among the most memorable ideas in that series is something called the “Somebody Else’s Problem Field”. It’s described this […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 22nd May 2013 by chris wignall

Although I’ve never attended the Catalyst Conference events I’ve certainly been aware of their growing impact on a generation of leaders in various fields. Catalyst Foundation has no association with that movement, though we have many similar values and dreams. When I saw that Brad Lomenick, co-founder of the conferences was releasing a book entitled […]

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Posted on Tuesday, 23rd April 2013 by chris wignall

Watch this video. I’ll wait… Love it. It seems more and more charities and individuals are engaging in awareness campaigns with a focus on social media. Every once in a while one of them strikes a chord and goes viral (like the ambitious but ultimately undermined Kony 2012 project from Invisible Children). The majority of […]

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Posted on Wednesday, 17th April 2013 by chris wignall

I hate to complain but… Complainers and critics sap the energy of even the best of us. Even valid frustrations are things we’d mostly rather avoid. For those who are generally adverse to conflict it’s even harder. In one of my volunteer roles this past year I had to handle a number of complaints from […]

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Posted on Tuesday, 12th March 2013 by chris wignall

(How’s that for an attention grabbing title?) I’m focusing a lot of my reading so far this year on aspects of brain science and how they apply to everyday leadership. I find it fascinating. There is so much we truly don’t understand about our minds both physiologically and behaviourally. Daniel Kahneman‘s book Thinking, Fast and […]

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Posted on Monday, 27th August 2012 by chris wignall

The academic world never really suited me. I made pretty good grades (except for those five consecutive math exams I failed in high school) and completed undergraduate and Maser’s degrees; but I always found the kind of learning required to be outside my natural process. I do love learning. Working my mind around and through […]

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Posted on Friday, 16th March 2012 by chris wignall

Last December I retweeted CBC host Jian Ghomeshi: Lots of other people retweeted it, which makes sense because it represents what has become common understanding in the development field. There are lots of reports supporting the idea that aid given to women results in benefits to their family and community, while aid given to men […]

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