A new vision of Prosperity and Business for our future.

In this post, I’ll cover:

  • What makes us prosperous?
  • What makes us happy?
  • How our vision and worldview influences our happiness, our prosperity and our businesses

What makes us prosperous?

On the surface, personal prosperity comes in the form of income, money, investment equity and personal assets. But when you really think about it, prosperity isn’t a physical thing. It’s a feeling of gratitude. When we feel thankful, we also feel richer.

So for example, if I have a Lexus and I’m thankful for it, I might feel prosperous. But if I lack gratitude when I realize that it’s a 20 year old car, that feeling of prosperity rapidly dissipates. Or supposing that my colleague has a more expensive BMW that I’d rather have or that someone has the same car but a bigger fancier house that I am envious of. Without gratitude, at very best, this kind of prosperity is relative to your surroundings.

» Continue reading “A new vision of Prosperity and Business for our future.”


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The Case of the Missing Development: Chapter 3 : “Where has all the money gone? Long time passing”

I had left off in the last chapter (“North to Gulu”) having described some of the challenges leading to the missing development in Uganda. But to be fair, development is not really missing, there’s just not enough going on to offset all of the challenges. Many NGOs are working towards solutions and, as mentioned earlier, most are staffed with local people who know the culture and who have the capability to help solve the problems. In addition, most of the credit has to go to the people themselves, who struggle day to day to fix their problems, to get back to living a normal life, to rebuild their homes, re-establish their farms, re-start their education, find jobs and make their lives a little easier. These are, for the most part, hard working people who are open to being assisted, not people who are addicted to being assisted.  The challenge for them is that without the tools and facilities that we take for granted, life is naturally difficult. But to find solutions, it was necessary to dig deeper into the challenges.

In this chapter, I’ll look at a few of these challenges in depth.

  • Impact of Disease
  • Education Systems
  • Where has all the money gone? 
  • Who are the perpetrators in this case?

The answers may surprise you…

  » Continue reading “The Case of the Missing Development: Chapter 3 : “Where has all the money gone? Long time passing””


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North to Gulu: The Mystery Deepens

This is the second in my series about my trip to Uganda. As in my first post in The Case of the Missing Development, I had many questions to answer about factors that were contributing to a lack of development. Many of my answers would come during my journey to Gulu. (if you haven’t read that post, go there first for context).

First, for any first time travelers to Gulu, if you don’t have your own vehicle or private transportation, your best bet is to take the postal bus north from Kampala. The postal bus is well maintained and safety is considered. If you have trouble mixing with the local people or if you are shy, you may find this your best bet since more ex-patriots travel on the postal bus. As for me, I enjoyed the trip north, but quickly learned to love being with the Ugandan friends and after my first trip on the postal bus, I began venturing out to the other bus lines on which I generally found myself alone as the only foreigner. It was great.

The Ugandan people are extremely friendly. One smile, a friendly hello and I always found myself in deep conversations. It was on the way up to Gulu for the first time that I met Joyce, a woman who worked for the church in Gulu and who later introduced me to Patrick, a young man who had extra room in his (rented) house and with whom I found not only a place to stay, but who became like a younger brother to me. Patrick, I later learned was one of the many children who was abducted by the LRA and ended up spending 8 years serving, first as a soldier at the age of 13 and then after being shot in the leg, he served in the LRA medical camp. I still keep in touch with him on skype and facebook. This was an opportunity to learn first hand about the war and about child soldiers.

Topics for today? First, reconciliation after the war, second, some of my thoughts on the economy and corruption… Read More » Continue reading “North to Gulu: The Mystery Deepens”


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The Mystery of Africa: The Case of the Missing Development

As a follow up to my internship for an MA in Human Security and Peacebuilding, I contemplated writing my final report, not as a thesis, but in the form of a mystery story, looking at how development had been stolen from the people of Uganda (and indeed other parts of the world) and examining the issue of Development and Aid Effectiveness.

Background to the Case

Billions have been poured into development and aid over the past 50 or more years since colonial Africa gained its independence. Despite the vast amounts of effort, the thousands of organizations and the maturing culture of development work as reflected most recently in the OECD’s Paris Declaration of 2005, the Open Forum’s Istanbul Principles on CSO Development Effectiveness, and the more recent joint meeting in Busan 2011 during which the OECD recognized the Open Forum’s efforts, the gap between rich and poor persists and the health, education and well being in many parts of the continent remain in a dismal state. Development, for many, has gone missing! People are suffering and dying as a result.

Who are the victims of the crime, who are the suspects and who are the perpetrators?

First, can we say it is a crime? Here I can only pose another question: If it is true that many people live on precious little, that children sometimes go malnourished, that many die from curable diseases, that government sponsored health care in many villages is almost imperceptible, that most children go without adequate education, that girls are mutilated (FGM) for “cultural” reasons, that HIV is rampant, that women are beaten or abandoned by their husbands without recourse to justice or compensation, that roads are near impassible and rarely fixed, that huge amounts of government and donor money end up in the hands of the certain elected officials who act with impunity, that police fail to act in many cases unless they get paid by the victims (or in some cases perpetrators), that government representatives become the prime examples of corruption, would you say there’s a crime going on? And can I be fair in making all these statements? I’ll examine most of these issues in future chapters. You be the judge.

In more practical terms, it is a question: Why are so many Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), government agencies, intergovernmental agencies and other organizations focused on Development and Aid Effectiveness and yet making relatively little lasting progress. Or is that really true at all? Why do the challenges of development seem so intractable? Are they?

What will it take to create sustainable solutions which reflect the needs of all the people of the world?

Not satisfied with just learning about the case, I wanted to live it, indeed, as a good detective, to solve it! Really?

Can a white guy from North America who had never been to Africa, in the space of a 6 month internship, find the solution(s) to a problem that millions, many of whom are much more clever, have failed to solve in 50 or more years? Doubtful.

So what can be realistically achieved? In my role as a participant, amateur detective, researcher and activist, I could at least learn some of what other people have learned through experience and research and then do my own research, add my own experiences and come up with my own theories. Add to that I could propose a few new concepts, share of a few ideas and, perhaps, take a few substantive actions. What is also clear is that this story is not the basis of my Academic report because it is far to broad in its scope.

My Journey Begins

In my attempts to investigate “The Case of the Missing Development”, I spent 6 months in Uganda from May to November 2012. Recently having returned to Ontario, I’m experiencing a little culture shock and a little temperature shock. But my enthusiasm for untangling the case hasn’t waned.

While I have found many answers, it can also be said that, each answer comes with a new question. While unraveling some aspects of the case, others become more perplexing.

Read on to investigate with me and share your comments ….

» Continue reading “The Mystery of Africa: The Case of the Missing Development”


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Debt relief of Africa and Impoverished Nations

After studying more about the issues of debt in many impoverished nations, the question that kept coming to mind was,

Where is all the wealth?

A healthy world would undoubtedly have sufficient resources to feed every person, to provide health care and to give each individual a decent living. But success continues to elude the global community.

The situation of poverty in many countries is deplorable. Expecting impoverished countries to get themselves out of poverty is unreasonable because the impoverished are trapped in a causal loop. Poverty removes the possiblity of adequate education, health care and proper nutrition for billions. Each of these factors reduces the probability that children of the next generation will have incomes sufficient to allow them to pay taxes. WIthout taxes, the governments are unable to pay back billions in loans that have accumulated over the years. While they strive to provide security and a minimal form of governance, they are saddled with crippling  interest payments on loans of prior generations.

How should wealth be re-distributed?

» Continue reading “Debt relief of Africa and Impoverished Nations”


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Trickle Down Economics doesn’t work. Let’s shake it up with the Salad Dressing Theory of Economics (Take 4)

After even more thinking about how to address issues of social in-equality, I updated the original article.  So here is the updated version (Take 4, 6 Feb 2013).

Trickle Down Economics isn’t working the way it was intended and never did.

What’s really happening is more like the separation of Oil and Vinegar. The more you let an economy stagnate, the more the wealth floats to the top like Oil and ends up in the hand of the rich with less in the hands of the poor. But having all the oil on top makes terrible salad dressing. Separation continues until someone creatively does something about it.

There are two scenarios that we are seeing playing out (and a third scenario that could make a difference):
1) The poor can shake up the economy or,
2) The rich can shake up the economy or,
3) (
The government can shake the economy)


The Solution of the Oppressed

Occupy Wall Street, riots in the Eurozone, and North Africa’s Arab Spring are all examples of how the oppressed tend to shake things up. Since their resources are limited, they use whatever means they have available to them. Rioting and demonstration is one tool. Their other tools, if they are lucky enough to live in a functioning democracy, and wise enough to recognize the myth that jobs are created by lowering taxes for the rich, is to vote for representatives that actually support their interests, who support development of the economy through regulating and ensuring equity. Here is an article (A Rich American Destroys The Fiction That Rich People Create The Jobs) that accurately dispels this particular myth and which also supports the Salad Dressing Theory of economics.

Another approach is to empower the poor by helping them to recognize their own assets and help them to build using collective assets. While in Uganda, I had an opportunity to participate in a community meeting called a Village Savings and Loans Association (VSLA). I also met with the head of a community based Credit Union. Particularly in the global south, these VSLAs encourage women to work together to save small amounts of money each week, the equivalent of 20 cents-$2.00 each. The amounts of each contribution are tracked by the treasurer who receives training. The group purchases its own accounting ledger. After saving enough, they are allowed to borrow 3 times their total contribution from the VSLA and they pay interest to the group for short term loans which they generally use for buying chickens or goats, although they are allowed to use the money for any reason provided they guarantee its return with interest. Gradually they learn and improve their business skills to be able to grow this small amount of collective money and begin their own businesses and their own community lending programs without the benefit of micro-finance organizations. Although such efforts should be unnecessary in the global north, whether such collective efforts might help the poor in our communities to advance and have a greater voice is an interesting question. During their collective community meetings, the women and a few men who participated learned not only to address financial needs of the community but also designate a part of their meetings for addressing social needs. In some of these groups, men have been allowed to participate as long as they don’t attempt to subvert the power of the women.

Solution of the Wealthy

If the wealthy recognize the fundamentals of this principle (i.e. that the wealth always rises through the instrument of profit), they should have no fear in shaking things up.

In order for the economy to be revitalized by the rich, it has to be shaken to mix the wealth into the poverty just as oil into vinegar in salad dressing. Since, wealth naturally floats back to the top, there has to be a way of continuously pumping the wealth to the bottom members of society. Only then will they have enough money to spend to keep the economy moving.  The article above rightly points out that Henry Ford realized this principle and ensured that he always paid his workers enough to become his customers.

Another way, however, is through investments in the poorest sectors of society that benefit the poor in tangible ways. The following article is another example of that kind of mixing. Adidas is planning to sell a kind of Reebok running shoes in India for $1.00 using local labor and materials. At first, they may loose money but it will come back to them in the form of social capital and eventually profitable business.

What, Why: How can Rebook sell trainers for $1

(Note: One of my classmates rightly pointed out an interesting environmental issue with this, namely that if the trainers are built too cheaply or with non-recyclable materials, billions of used trainers will clutter-up land fills. Good point Greg, lets hope that Adidas contemplates plans for recycling, provided incentives for returning them, and thus reduces their material costs.)

Similar to the Ford example, the Tata Nano, a $2000 car, built for the masses in India, helps get families off dangerous motorcycles and into cars and is another great example of making products that the masses can afford. Another recent example is the $35 tablet computer that is being built in India. While not being the most elegant, it is functional and can replace books, provided that solar chargers are part of the equation.

(Note: The concept of having individual transportation driven by gas is ultimately not sustainable, so while I cite this as an example of creative economic stimulation that helps the masses, I actually hope that India and all other countries for that matter very quickly recognize the need for better designed communities that limit transportation requirements, improve public sector transportation systems, engage renewable power and utilize electric vs. gas vehicles. Are there any creative electric bus builder out there that wants to step up to the challenge with a solar powered transportation solution? I also believe that Tata has bought rights to compressed air technology which might eventually power their cars with electricity using a compressor.)

If we want to look at solutions to many of the economic problems, the wealthier countries, companies and individuals need to create vital and thriving partnerships with the poorer nations and people to provide opportunities  goods and services which genuinely benefit the poor. As the poor benefit from wealth, the rich will also benefit.

The Government Solution

Government can play a role by building sustainable infrastructures, developing renewable energy powered transportation systems, investing in education and research and through taxation of wealth, wherever it is hiding, to redistribute some of it to the majority of the people in the world who are becoming poorer.

But there are other ideas that merit examination and study. While I don’t know for certain that these answers will all bear the expected result, it would certainly be interesting to explore them and to track the results over a twenty or thirty year period. For example:

  • Higher taxation of wealth is  necessary especially if the wealthy are unwilling or lack the creativity to shake things up. Higher estate taxes, especially of the extremely rich, are one means of redistributing extremes of accumulated wealth. As we are all born equal in the site of God, is it not reasonable that we should all be granted a more equal start in life?
  • Sadly, in some governments, it is the government elite that are the problem. Kenya, for example, pays some of the highest MP salaries in the world. There has long been a myth that paying public leaders more will attract the best and brightest and that higher salaries are necessary to compete with corporate salaries. But public leaders should necessarily be individuals who see the need for greater equity and who do not wish to support the extremes of wealth which are often generated through unbalanced wealth distribution currently found in the corporate world. While excellent fiscal managers are required, there is no guarantee that a highly qualified business person will make the correct decisions for a society. These are two different situations and creating larger public salaries to attract the “best and brightest” from the corporate environment may be the wrong incentive entirely. Instead, try lowering the salaries, of course to reasonable living wages with reasonable pension plans (after all even public officials deserve a reasonable living), and give additional financial incentives when these leaders succeed in balancing public budgets while ensuring a higher quality of life for all constituents through wise investments in infrastructure and public services. This way you attract those who truly believe in equity and who understand that we are all shareholders of our collective wealth. If leaders have enough wealth to send their own children to private schools, what incentive do they have to fix broken public school systems?
  • Global regulations would also be helpful regarding cross border taxation and global multinationals who hide their money by creating tax shelters in zero tax countries. The recent examination by the British Government of multinational companies such as Google, Amazon and Starbucks and many others that pay no little or no tax in a country while raking in high revenues, is an example of the desperate need for global taxation policy and regulation.  Poor countries are impacted even more buy such abuses when multinationals gain tax breaks, allegedly to spur FDI, and then use tax avoidance methods while draining developing countries of valuable resources. Come on G20 –  step up to the task. Wishful thinking…

Sharing Ideas

If you agree with the some of the ideas presented in Salad Dressing theory of Economics, please feel free to Share this article in whatever way you would like. Post the link, share through facebook, linked in, or Twitter or add to your bookmarking site.

Wishing you all good health and happiness,



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Articulating the issues of Occupy Wall Street and possible solutions

The Problems with Occupy Wall Street

Whenever I see the news about the demonstrations on Wall Street, commentators ask questions about demands and conclude with statements like ”the demonstrators have no clear demands” but frequently point out that they share common frustrations.

The challenge lies in the complexity of the situation which has several underlying and intertwined causes. Although they perceive an injustice somewhere in the economic structure, they don’t know exactly where to place the blame, and they don’t appear to know what to do about it other than voicing their anger. I have yet to hear any suggestion on what they want done or who they expect should do it.

In this article, my attempt is to articulate what I believe are some of the underlying issues and a few potential solutions along with who should take action.

» Continue reading “Articulating the issues of Occupy Wall Street and possible solutions”


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Economic Policy, Gold Standard, Global Currency and Sustainability

The massive move to unbridled consumption began in the developed countries before 1971 and resulted in the decoupling of the US dollar from the gold standard. According to Mike Sheldock (MISH) in his article Hugo Salinas Price and Michael Pettis on the Trade Imbalance Dilemma; Gold’s Honest Discipline Revisited and Hugo Salinas Price’s article The gold standard: generator and protector of jobs, the Bretton Woods Agreements of 1944 held that the US currency was the standard currency based on the concept that, at any time, if any country had an excess of US currency, they could demand an exchange of Gold from the US Reserves. Accordingly, every country would at least make the attempt to maintain a trade balance. In 1971, Nixon declared that the US would abandon this agreement and no longer pay back demands for gold at any price because they had already accumulated substantial debt through the printing of US currency to pay for their growing needs, essentially giving themselves credit that was backed up, until then, by their gold reserves.

Prior to 1971, as a result of US money being backed by gold, all other countries followed the US dollar. The US had an obligation to try not to allow themselves to get too far out of alignment. However, as the US continued to allow their trade deficit to grow, being the only country with the right to print US currency, they eventually found themselves with a substantial trade deficit. So much US currency was in the hands of other countries that they could not be able to pay it back in Gold without bankrupting or substantially depleting their gold reserves. As a result the US dollar was sharply devalued against gold and the price of gold has continued to rise ever since.

By abandoning the gold standard, the US opened the doors to printing as much money as they wanted giving themselves unlimited credit and an unlimited trade deficit. Now that severe trade imbalances are showing up everywhere, it is becoming more and more difficult to reconcile accounts without extreme devaluation of certain currencies and getting hold of trade imbalances.

What Mike Sheldock and others are advocating is a return to the gold standard. The problem with the gold standard is that it would still be essentially controlled by one country and the temptation for that country to print money would still be more than it could bare. Would he advocate that standard if Chinese currency was the central currency? Probably not.

Gold in fact, is nothing more than a mineral, no more meaningful than any other mineral except in the meaning that has been ascribed to it by mere mortals. The solution, in my perspective is not returning to the gold standard, but rather, a solution that was proposed by Russia and China during the financial crisis of 2008, (i.e. to move to a Global Currency), as I also suggested in an earlier article Global Economics, the G20 and a call from the past.

Some might argue that the problems in Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy are as a result of their inability to fluctuate their currency against the Euro. I would suggest that their former ability to fluctuate currency caused a negative trajectory that finally became apparent after taking on the Euro as their standard.  Now, as a result of not being able to fluctuate their currency, they are having to address internal issues that exist long before the current crisis. However, that will eventually be straightened out. True it will require painful austerity measures to make the necessary social adjustments but after having done so, they will resume their course of living more sustainably.

Similarly, others would argue that the trade imbalance in China is because they won’t allow their currency to fluctuate against the US dollar. To some degree this is true. However, the introduction of an international currency would cause this problem to disappear altogether because a day’s work is a day’s work, irrespective of where it is done. The simple fact is that growing unemployment is as a result of unrealistic expectations on the part of some citizens in some parts of the world expecting that they can be better off than the rest of the world forever without equivalent productivity. It’s simply not a reasonable assumption. China’s growth in wealth is actually a good thing for the US because it implies that the process of equalization is beginning. It’s not that I would want anyone to suffer. Rather, in order for all of us to prosper, we need to prosper together and to do that, we have to be on more equal footing. The suffering in some parts of the world is simply unjust. The wealth that is being gained by a few very rich in the world is also unjust.

Imposition of a Global Currency would be a painful proposition and not something that should be done over night. I would propose that a timeline be set whereby the gold standard would be re-introduced for an agreed period, that all currencies be allowed to fluctuate within that period to allow for reasonable adjustments to the current trade imbalances, and with the understanding that after that agreed period, a global currency would be introduced.

Once there is a global monetary policy that recognizes currency based on human productive value, all of the nonsense trading, the artificial value of Gold, the unbridled credit given by the US to itself, and the unreasonable expectations of countries, disappear entirely. This would also bring about a more sustainable level of growth based on true exchange of value for value. Everyone would need to learn to live on a more level playing field. Also much of the world’s no-value trading (i.e. the forex) would become a thing of the past, taking away a tool that has allowed the rich to get richer and forcing traders who are providing no real value to anyone to something more valuable.

A radical thought perhaps but one that I believe will take the world much closer to solving some of it’s financial woes.


Until Next time,

Garth Schmalenberg

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Human Security and Peacebuilding (Part 2)

I’ve just completed my first residency in the Human Security and Peacebuilding MA program.

To date, the program has been fascinating and it had a great cohort comprised of Diplomatic, Disaster Management and Business Consultants, Military Officers, NGO leaders and a few recent graduates all of whom were delightful people. What they share most in common is that they all deeply care what happens to other people in the world and they all share very unique perspectives on the world, born of their unique experiences. I’m looking forward to working with each of them in the field of action and learning.

What did we cover? Dr. Hrach Gregorian took us through topics such as Globalization in it’s many dimensions, Economic, Logistics, Global Security and the Right to Protect (R2P), Food Distribution, Global Financial Institutions, Civil Society Institutions, NGO’s, the UN, World Bank, G8, G20, IMF, Businesses and others, outlining the theme of how interconnected the world is. We looked at how even the best laid plans to make things better have unintended consequences on Human Security due to the complexity of linkages.

We looked at how Aid sometimes did more harm than good, and at the various examples of Truth and Reconciliation commissions, the history leading up to them, how they did their work, and the outcomes.

An invited guest speaker Ambassador Jeremy Kinsman, shared with us a glimpse of his deep understanding and knowledge of civil society, the impact of democracy, how democracies are formed, and a few of the  requisites of democracy such as minimum standards of per capita average income and a basis of experience in civil society.

We looked at the definition of Human Security and how some countries regarded it in its’ very simplest form (i.e. ensuring adequate food, physical security and shelter) while the UNDP in its’ 1994 statement outlined Human Security in terms which made it much broader and more difficult to contain, and which forms a basis of society that looks beyond nationalistic borders.

And we looked at differing views on military spending and the strength of the military industrial complex. Some papers argued that it was a necessary deterrent and that it was supported by democratic votes, and, others argued, that military spending, especially on nuclear deterrents, but also on the build up of conventional weaponry, is both a flagrant and immoral use of huge sums of money which usurp the development of civil society; efforts to educate, feed and assist the masses of suffering souls. It undermines the support that would binds nations together in mutual security efforts.

If you’re interested in where I stand on the issue, I found the latter argument to be much stronger and better researched. Rather, than creating a more secure world, military spending assures the continuation of power struggles that keep nations apart. To be sure, some reasonable semblance of physical security and military strength must be maintained at the international level and R2P is a reasonable concept given that there are some ruthless rulers willing to destroy their own people in order to maintain power, but it is hard to argue that any one nation should maintain a constant threat over others, and, at very least, an effort should be made to begin reducing the military industrial complex in favor of increased research and development on other issues. Even a reduction of 10% of the world’s military budget if redirected to development efforts would solve most of the funding issues facing humanities efforts to develop civil society and ensure an adequate measure of other dimensions of Human Security for all nations. And the concept of MAD (Mutually Assured Destruction) enforced through possession of nuclear weapons makes no sense. No world leader, however outraged they may be, by an attack on their country, could ever morally drop a nuclear weapon on hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of innocent people, most of whom don’t even support the aggressive governments who profess to represent them. Such an action could only be regarded as a war-crime. The military complex that continuously builds weapons and sells them to under developed nations only serves to assure the continued suffering of innocent people and guarantees the continuation of militaristic domination by the few. Those who would argue that militarization is brought about by democratic votes haven’t bothered to consult the countless billions who suffer as a result. (so much for my rant)

We also talked about the types of democracies such as representative democracies, each method of which has its’ strong points and flaws, as well as direct democracy, such as the California approach, where the state has been decimated by referendums, where the people can vote for increased spending with a 50% +1 vote, whereas additional taxation must pass by a 2/3rds (66.6%) vote. Imagine a system that allows the citizens to vote for spending increases far in excess of tax increases and allows the state to go broke and destroyed its’ own educational system, subjecting it to even greater challenges in the future.

We also looked at examples of the world in conflict and ways that we can contribute to reparation through the development of the economy through major industrial investments, micro-finance, and through commercial partnerships which provide agricultural and tourism based incentives to less favorable industries such as growing opium poppies, through anti-corruption programs for polices forces, through human rights training for army leaders,  and by the use of sports and other educational programs for developing skills and cooperation.

Dr. Robin Cox lead us through the process of gaining understanding of the world of being, Ontology, and of our own way of knowing and various ways of making meaning of the world, our Epistemology. And we looked methodology and the various methods used for doing both Quantitative and Qualitative research.  We also learned how to review scholarly works, to do a proper research proposal, to do literature reviews, to write research questions.

Colleen Hoppins gave a wonderful and very entertaining presentation on research Ethics that still has me chuckling when I think back on it.

And Retired Rear Admiral Roger Girouard shared his unique perspectives and challenged our thinking on other elements of Human Security as a precursor to the course he will be teaching later in the program.

Dr. Kenneth Christie, Head of the program, provided both the program overview and some insights into our second overseas residency in a post conflict country and our major project work which will require us to do six months of work overseas.

My personal project goal is to work with diplomatic or civil leaders on developing methods of principle based consultation, responding to civil input,  and developing  policies for engendering economic development as well as the development of civil society, food security, peace and sustainability. (Wow can you do all that in six months?) If any of my readers know of a contact in a country looking for this kind of assistance, please have them call me.

All in all, a very powerful immersion into the world that is Human Security and Peacebuilding. I’m looking forward to the rest of the program.

All the best,

Garth Schmalenberg


As always, if you liked the article, please share with your friends and contacts, whether representing businesses, political organizations, religious groups or NGOs, by e-mail, the share button, or any other way that works for you. I’m happy to respond to all requests for collaboration or if you are looking for a speaker for an event.



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Human Security and Peacebuilding

Among the many aspirations of my own life are personal goals for learning. My current learning initiative involves studies at Royal Roads University, a Masters degree in Human Security and Peacebuilding.

While I begin to dive into this effort, I hope to share with my readers some of the learning and insights I gain. This learning will focus primarily in one or more threads of articles, but I’ll be certain to ensure that all entries will be listed in the category of Human Security, Peacebuilding or both, along with the category on Personal Learning.

Learning at the best of times has been provided to us in the form of classes that are taught to us by our Teachers and mentors. In post school years, much of our learning is in books and for those who don’t read, it has been filtered down to a form of entertainment through news media and other forms of educational programs and documentaries. But excellence is ultimately developed through an on-going effort of learning through personal investigation, the application of learning in action, and the refinement of learning through reflection.

As I go through this program, I will periodically share thoughts on the learning process as well as the specifics of what I’m learning about.

My initial learning to date is opening my mind to the many contexts of globalization.

These include: economic, military, peace efforts, humanitarian efforts, water security, food security, industrialization, logistics, ecology, climate science, climate change mitigation, war, terrorism and other interdependencies which impact our current world situation.

Further to this is the consideration of formulating research questions in areas related to human security. What constitutes a good research program, how is it structured, how is it focused and what are the applications of it’s outcomes?

For now, I’m just started in the program (this is really my first day of immersion) so I’ll stop here.  There will be many more related entries to come over the next few years.

As I proceed, I will make an offer to any organization, be they business oriented, religious, social (NGO) or governmental, who are interested in learning more about human security or peacebuilding to share questions they might like to be researched in related areas, especially if they are willing to sponsor that research.

In addition, I would be very happy to speak to any organization on learning related to either my own research, my others areas of expertise in coaching, relationship development or leadership, or any other related topics. Not only will speaking act as a compliment to my studies but as an implicit contribution to my work as Executive Director at Partners for Prosperity whose goal is to create the capacity for global prosperity individually and within communities. Hopefully, it will also serve the dual purpose of supplementing my personal finances (which are limited while I study) while contributing to your organization’s collective wisdom and capabilities.

While I’m not yet in the position to adopt a specific research question, having access to a specific application of research outcomes certainly makes the effort more interesting.

Keep reading and keep learning,

Garth Schmalenberg


As always, if you wish to share this article, please feel free to do so.


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