Recent Blog Posts

By Mike Gifford on 19/01/2018
Raptor visits the Office

OpenConcept is a Certified B Corporation. We understand that the economy exists within a fragile ecosystem. Capitalism is a powerful force but when it focused exclusively on profits it is also a serious threat to the future of humanity. We think that environmental reporting is something that all organizations should do to help us measure what matters. We put forward our first Environmental Report for 2016 just a few months ago, so this is mostly a matter of releasing our 2017 numbers:

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By Mike Gifford on 18/12/2017
Civic Tech Night at Rebel.com - YOWCT

I have been very encouraged by the growth of Open Government initiatives around the world. It’s done so much to help make governments more agile, responsive, accessible and affordable. Success of this model depends on a community of contributors, most of who who lie outside of government. This means that they also fall outside of the hierarchical chain of command.

How the public sector engages with that community may well determine how effective these initiatives are.

Supporting...
By Mike Gifford on 17/12/2017
A Snowy White House

OpenConcept’s sites have mostly been served from Canada. Like many others, we were concerned when the 2002 Homeland Security Act was put into place. Lots of organizations adopted our concern about what access the CIA, FBI, NSA would have on sites on American soil. This was an issue for us, but we certainly didn’t feel like these agencies would respect Canada’s border and indeed there might have additional restrictions within their territory.

Despite our concerns, we decided to move...

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....

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