My Intentions for Running as Green Party Candidate

Justin Tilson - GPO Candidate for Algoma-Manitoulin Provincial ElectionI’ve had inklings of interest to involve myself politically but have generally carried a belief that the bureaucratic nature of government simply moves too slowly for me to joyfully contribute and create within. Instead, I’ve felt that I could make a larger positive impact in my community through green and social entrepreneurship. So that’s what I have been doing: figuring out how I can make a successful living while contributing to a healthier, sustainable and resilient community on Manitoulin Island.

At the same time, I try to challenge my biases and beliefs on a regular basis and the opportunity to actively participate in the upcoming election seemed like the opportune way to do just that. So here I am, Green Party of Ontario Candidate for the upcoming provincial election on October 6th. This is new ground for me and I welcome any constructive feedback on how I can best be and act in this capacity.

Before I engage in anything I try to clarify my intentions upfront. To date, they are:

  • Promote the Green Party of Ontario as a viable and capable political party
  • Promote the Green Party values as guiding principles for a healthy and abundant future
  • Promote community owned and managed businesses and cooperatives to be the stewards of local resources and the generators of economic resilience
  • Promote ways to decouple human activities from the fossil-fuel economy
  • Connect with communities and individuals throughout the riding to learn what issues are important and poorly addressed
  • Do my best to expand the quality of the dialogue on difficult, divisive and contentious issues
  • Contribute feasible and sustainable solutions that the other parties may not be considering
  • Challenge the status quo belief that a perpetually growing economy is the only way to a prosperous future

So there we are. Let’s see where it all goes. I feel blessed for this opportunity to grow in new and unexpected ways and I welcome your participation along the way.

Love is Always the Answer

“Let us remind you that love is always the answer in any situation for whenever you are in a dark space love is the light that lights your way, love is the lantern that will guide your way. Whenever there is conflict in your life observe the conflict, don’t enter into the conflict see it for what it is, more emotional upheaval. Don’t engage in the conflict for the conflict is the inner child playing its games, uttering its utterances, doing what it has to do to be seen, that is all. The inner child is doing what is does so that it can be seen; it has to create its reality so that you know it is there, so you can heal it.”

A message from Kryon channeled by David Brown

The Beauty Way

Ojai Foundation, California I spent a deeply stirring week at the Ojai Foundation this past October with Joanna Macy, trainers from the Pachamama Alliance and a gang of beautiful, conscious folks who have dedicated their lives to a creating sustainable and just future for all. I’m still in the midst of integrating what I experienced and deciding how I wish share the blessings I received. One bit I can share right now is the Beauty Way.

The Ojai Foundation adopted the practice and shares it with all those who visit. Having the chance to live it for a week had a tacit yet significant influence on me, helping to shift my priorities to include the “how” as well as the “what”. Another way to say it might be a greater emphasis on being in addition to doing. I have since been endeavoring to bring The Beauty Way more fully into my life. Here it is:

The beauty way is the practice of mindfulness.
The beauty way is an awareness of the effect I leave on community, space, people and land.
The beauty way is the freedom to voice choice.
The beauty way is encouraging these practices.
The beauty way is encouraging these relationships.
The beauty way is a feeling of being resolved upon entering and leaving a space.
The beauty way is present in actions.
The beauty way is the effect of space on people.
The beauty way is an awareness of cause and effect.
The beauty way is a holistic, energetic point of view, beyond neat and meticulous placement of objects.
The beauty way is bringing consciousness to details.
The beauty way is awareness.
The beauty way is engaging with, rather than traveling through, space.
The beauty way is modeling, rather than teaching, the beauty way.
Living the beauty way is in some ways equivalent to living Council.
The beauty way is being energetically clean.
The beauty way is being relationally clean.
The beauty way is actively engaging in psychological, emotional and spiritual process.

From the Ojai Foundation

New Years Insight

The day after new years, in a moment of receptive consciousness I had an interesting affirmation emerge in my mind. To understand it as I do, requires elaborating on the idea of edges from permaculture. The saying that is commonly tossed around in permaculture circles is: “the edge is where the action is”. Edges in permaculture are transitions between systems. They exist in both the natural and built environment. The edge between a pond and land, the edge between a forest and a field, the edge between inside and outside of a building, etc.

Continue reading “New Years Insight”

What I Want For Christmas

I decided to move to OUR Ecovillage for the winter to rejuvenate after a long year of finishing my MBA and being present with the passing of my father Chris in the summer. I’ve come here because something very special about this place has lived in my heart/mind since I was first here in 2008 for a permaculture design course. In a nutshell, what I think it comes down to is that people here are striving to create alternative ways of being and living that establish mutually beneficial relationships between each other AND the natural world. The end result is a loving, supportive culture that thrives on diversity and is deeply integrated with the land, soil and water. People feel seen, included and are supported to show up fully, share their gifts and develop new ones. The land is developed with an aim to protect and enhance diversity, fertility and resilience while directly providing for peoples’ nutritional and housing needs. It is such a wonderfully positive story compared to the perpetual din of negativity evident almost everywhere from living without such a principled stance.
Continue reading “What I Want For Christmas”

How Does WordPress Create Permalinks?

I wanted to call the same function as WordPress uses for turning a post title into a page slug for some customizations to the Shopp Plugin I’ve been making for my client SoupCycle. It took a little digging but I found it in:


It’s function

function sanitize_title_with_dashes($title) { ... }

I couldn’t find this posted on the net anywhere so I posted it here in case others were looking for it.

Thickbox Activation on Button Click

I’ve been doing quite a bit of WordPress hacking for a couple somewhat involved projects as of late. It took a little fumbling around to figure out how to get Thickbox to activate on a button click vs. the usual link click. The js code is below. Simply wrap it in a function and call it using the onclick event of the button:

tb_show('Thickbox title here', '#TB_inline?height=300&width=305&inlineId=CHANGE-ME-INPUT-ID-OF-BUTTON&modal=false', null);

Thanks to for the tip off.

TWOTSM: The Way of the Superior Man

It’s been a while since I’ve had the wherewithal to put my thoughts in written form. With the completion of my MBA, moving and the passing of my dad, life has been full enough that I felt the need to retreat from online life. Having moved to OUR Ecovillage for the winter, I am starting to feel my batteries receiving the deep recharge they have been longing for, for some time. Life is simple here: regular council, pitch in with chores, keep the fire stoked, share meals and balance working on personal and community projects.

I’m starting to feel the energy to turn my attention inward, seeking to integrate remaining, troublesome aspects of my shadow that have remained elusive. This itch led me to Banyen Books last time I was in Vancouver. Of the myriad of books on the subject of relationships, male/female dynamics and personal growth, The Way of the Superior Man by David Dieda stepped forward for some reason. I’ve learned to trust my intuition in these situations as it has usually let me to interesting places. I’d never heard of David Dieda but liked the boldness of the title and upon flipping through it, was attracted to the direct, clear transmission on living as a conscious, loving, intentional and powerful male. I’ve had some exposure to similar teachings in Yoga and through other teachers and this book seemed like a worthwhile next step. As a way of getting my writing brain back in gear, I plan to write on the chapters that speak to or challenge me in some way. Stay tuned.

If any of you out there have read it and want to comment along the way, please do.


The Art of the Start – Ch 1 to 3

Guy Kawasaki: The Art of the Start So I’m back in BGI mode for round 8 of 9. Year 3 is definitely the most interesting as it is now time to start synthesizing all of our other learning and begin the process of assembling it while we are still covering new material. I’m really glad I opted for the 3-year track. The 2-year curriculum is far too akin to trying to drink from a firehose. I feel like I’ve actually got the time to enjoy the readings and reflect on them a little before I have to charge on to the next task at hand.

I have a whole pile of books to get through this semester, most of which seem like they will be rather interesting and informative. At the top of my pile right now is Guy Kawasaki’s: The Art of the Start. It’s language is very male (not sexist), more specifically: direct. It is a no nonsense, handbook for anyone with some entrepreneurial blood in their veins.

Guy spent considerable time with Apple and also as a venture capitalist so his opinion is well qualified from what I can gather. Some gems from the first few chapters:

Ch. 1: Forget a mission statement, figure out what your mantra is (in a few words).
Ch. 2: Start with a niche focus. Clearly differentiate from your competition. Pick a “verbable” name like Google.
Ch. 3: When pitching observe the 10/20/30 rule (10 slides, 20 minutes, 30pt font).

So far I’m impressed. It is definitely a book I’ll hold on to and refer back to after I graduate and I find myself back in an entrepreneurial mode.