May 14th, 2019

I grew up in Sudbury Ontario, the mining and smelting capital of  the world. After numerous jobs in the mining industry, I recognized that my greatest satisfaction came from working and learning with others on social issues.

After attending a few Universities, I realized that my calling was in the world of social and community work. I put aside my wandering spirit and graduated with a Social Service Worker and Child and Youth Worker diplomas. The social service program focused on counseling and community development while the child and youth work program gave me additional skills in working with hard to serve (troubled) youth.

As the Internet transformed how people worked and conducted business I recognized that social technologies can be a powerful force for helping communities and consumers of services. I began using social media tools in my work with organizations. This involved using podcasting and multi-media tools to help young people share their stories. of hardship and hope. Since then, I’ve continued to use social tech tools in my work with organizations and projects.

In about 2006, I launched my blog Social Media Tools for Work and Learning. For me, the name captured the essence of what I saw as my core purpose as a change agent – helping others to work and learn with the support of social media tools.

In and around 2009 I felt that my time as an employee with a JOB mindset was over. I started consulting with non profit organizations that were seeking help with their web communications and figuring out how to develop new policies and guidelines for using social technologies in the workplace.

Several years ago, I began following the work of Harold Jarche, Jane Hart and Jay Cross. These three people are principles in the Internet Time Alliance. This group of individuals are prolific writers on workplace learning in the network age and work with organizations on issues related to network and informal learning in the workplace.

Harold, Jane and Jay’s work provokes and stimulates my professional growth. To that end, I’m integrating much of their work in a series of workshops that I will be offering to nonprofit sector organizations. I deeply believe that the complex social problems these nonprofit organizations are attempting to address can be radically improved by the utilization of the frameworks created by Harold, Jane and Jay (Jay has passed away in November 2015).

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