Recent Blog Posts

By Mike Gifford on 17/11/2017
Bright Green Frog

When I started OpenConcept in 1999 it was with a keen awareness that we needed to make rapid changes to how Western Society was consuming the resources of our finite home. I knew that we would need to build collaboration between groups to ensure that we could hope to manage the challenges that we are going to need to face. I knew that technology was going to be the backbone of managing that enormous communications challenge. Because of my background and involvement in the environmental...

By Mike Gifford on 16/11/2017
Hydro Electirc Dam

OpenConcept is happy to have migrated our corporate servers into greener data centers. Currently all of our corporate servers are hosted by companies in Quebec that is almost entirely powered by hydro electric power. We have some dedicated servers with iWeb and are leveraging Amazon's new Montreal data center.

In discussions with Certified B Corporations like Man Overboard and Mighty Bytes, I have learned a lot about the impact of the growth of data centers around the world. Man...

By Mike Gifford on 09/10/2017
Bullfrog Power table set up at in Westboro

With the climate chaos that we are seeing, it is clear that we need to do more to reduce our Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG). Government and business leaders are getting behind the UN Sustainable Development Goals. These are 17 goals which are critical to our survival on this planet. Goal 13 is to "Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts", which is one I've been promoting personally for decades.

In 2008, OpenConcept Consulting entered into an environmental...

By Mike Gifford on 02/10/2017
Photo from B Corp Retreat outlining need for interdependence.

OpenConcept is a pretty small company and most of our services we consume are digital, so in the scheme of things, we have a pretty small footprint on our planet and our local economy. That being said, as Mahatma Gandhi said “Whatever you do will be insignificant, but it is very important that you do it."

I just returned from my second B Corp Champions Retreat and I am even more enthusiastic about being able to leverage our small contributions to make a much bigger impact. I believe...

By Mike Gifford on 14/09/2017
B Corp | Best for the World

We are happy to announce that OpenConcept Consulting Inc. has been recognized for creating the most positive overall community impact by the nonprofit B Lab.

OpenConcept has been named a winner in the Best for Workers list, which means that in our B Impact Assessment we scored in the top 10 percent of more than 2,255 companies around the world. B Corporations are for-profit companies from around the world that have been certified by B Lab against rigorous standards of social and...

By Mike Gifford on 13/06/2017
A friend using his eye-tracking software

Originally posted on LinkedIN in two parts.

Building Digital Inclusion into Organizations

There are an increasing number of organizations that are looking to make their organizations more inclusive to People with Disabilities (PwD). Some organizations do this because they are seeking talent, others because of ethics and still others because it is the law. There are lots of little steps that any organization could do to include more people with disabilities. This is a...

By Mike Gifford on 12/06/2017
Canadian Flag Behind Chicken Wire

Originally posted on LinkedIN in two parts.

The Government of Canada’s Web Renewal Initiative has failed. It may not be public yet, but there really is no way to redeem this half-conceived initiative to centralize all government pages onto a single website - Canada.ca.

This goal was lifted from the UK Government’s Government Digital Services (GDS). The goal of the GDS team was no less than digital transformation. Our government appears to have mistaken the alpha....

By Mike Gifford on 05/12/2016
Image flow chart

This article was initially posted as a guest blog on The Digital Echidna Blog on December 2, 2016.

Lots of organizations are working hard to see that their IT is accessible to their visitors and staff. Reducing barriers for effective two-way communications is really important for businesses that want to engage fully with their community. Unfortunately, many organizations overlook the many challenges with online web forms.

Organizations who adopted Drupal 7 benefit...

By Mike Gifford on 02/12/2016

This article was initially posted as a guest blog on The Digital Echidna Blog on November 29, 2016.

So you’ve gone all out on making your website accessible. You considered accessibility at every stage of your project. You started by choosing Drupal. You then evaluated the wireframes for potential problems, took careful consideration that the colours had sufficient contrast, had your developers do regular accessibility checks with every sprint, brought in an external...

By Mike Gifford on 10/10/2016

This article was initially posted on August 31st, 2016 in ITBusiness.ca

A few years ago I was told by someone at the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) that they were looking for companies to do business with that were as big as they were, or slightly bigger. The CRA has about 40,000 employees.

It is well established that the Canadian government favours working with big businesses. The phrase, “nobody ever got fired for buying IBM” is embedded in the thinking of most...

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