Hi, I am an author, editor, facilitator and consultant. I currently work with Trailblazers podcast, MASS LBP, This Magazine, Reader’s Digest and the University of Victoria.
I am based in Victoria, British Columbia, on the southern tip of Vancouver Island, where I live with my wife (a talented podcast producer and show-runner) and two young sons in a co-op near the harbour.
The University of Victoria Student Dialogue on Democratic Engagement
In the fall of 2020, the University of Victoria convened a randomly selected body of 24 students and tasked them with deliberating how to improve civil discourse and democratic engagement among Canadian students and youth.
I had the pleasure of consulting on the design of the Dialogue with the project lead, Professor Simon Pek of the UVic Gustavson School of Business. I trained five student facilitators and co-moderated the Dialogue across four virtual sessions. I designed and executed the exit survey and interviews, and drafted the final report from the students’ input in collaboration with the project team.
Our successful pilot project has positioned the University of Victoria as an emerging leader in facilitating deliberative mini-publics for improved university governance and enhanced student participation.
The Great Cannabis Conspiracy
I am the co-author (ghostwriter), with Sam Mellace, of the memoir The Great Cannabis Conspiracy (Prism Publishers, 2018).
The late Sam Mellace was one of Canada’s earliest and most intrepid cannabis activists. From a wayward youth that included crime and punishment (and a five-year stint in prison), Sam emerged onto a path of redemption only to find himself fighting for his life after a terrible car accident. His ensuing struggle to regain his physical and mental health included bouts of depression, an addiction to opioid painkillers, liver failure, and a brush with cancer. In a pivotal moment, Sam turned to cannabis and found hope in the community of others like him who fought for the right to access a safe, reliable medicine. But then he discovered something… READ MORE
I am a writer for the award-winning podcast Trailblazers, with Walter Isaacson, all about technology and disruption in business, media, science and more. I’ve interviewed Nobel Prize-winning biologists, Silicon Valley entrepreneurs, best-selling authors, leading geneticists and physicians, and humble inventors and innovators who’ve transformed their field, improved lives, and inspired others.
My Podcast Episodes
“Parenting” (coming Summer 2021)
“Vision & Blindness” (coming May 11, 2021)
“Sports Medicine” (coming Mar 30, 2021)
“Beauty: More than Skin Deep” (Dec 1, 2020)
“Water: A Thirst for Innovation” (Aug 11, 2020)
“Beer: A Revolution is Brewing” (Jul 14, 2020)
“Aging: Improving the Golden Years” (Mar 24, 2020)
Canoeing with Thoreau
My essay “Canoeing with Thoreau” was published in the Spring 2019 issue of The New Quarterly. It follows four friends as they canoe the Allagash River through northern Maine, tracing the paddle strokes of Henry David Thoreau who, in 1857, made a similar journey in what would be the final adventure of his life. Read the essay*
*It’s behind a paywall, but support a great literary magazine and subscribe to TNQ
In a quiet forest in India, a jeep comes to an ominous roadblock…
My story, “Unfelled: A Naxal Encounter” was named winner of the 2012 Great Canadian Literary Hunt, sponsored by This Magazine.
The story traces the life of a man named Sudhir–a social worker and member of the Indigenous Kond nation in the state of Odisha in India–as he and the narrator come to a potentially dangerous roadblock in a forest where a guerrilla movement of his own people is fighting for autonomy and cultural emancipation.