Taking Care of One Another

Resource Type: Audio Seminar | Speaker: Al Etmanski and Vickie Cammack

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In this podcast, author and advocate, Al Etmanski, and the Founder and CEO of Tyze Personal Networks, Vickie Cammack, engage us in a dialogue that invites us to slow down and explore what we mean when we talk about caring for each other. They challenge us to consider that small acts of care, that are as common as breathing, are essential to the core of what it means to be human.

At Seeking Community we are curious about understanding more about the conditions that allow people to care for one another more often and with greater intentionality. In this conversation, Al and Vickie have suggested the act of caring happens often and that if we wish for a culture of caring to be deepened in our nation, we must acknowledge and strengthen the care that is already taking place informally. Al shared a statistic that 80% of the care currently given in Canada is given informally by family members and friends. Only, 20% of care comes through professional institutions. And yet, the professional system receives nearly 100% of the resources and funding. Al challenges us to protect and support that we cannot continue to suck energy from the free-care system as we do with our oceans, and with our environment as a whole.

In this podcast, Al and Vickie share a reframing of what is encompassed by "taking care of others" and encourage a reclaiming the gifts and rights that caring for one another invites. They invite us to imagine what our communities could look like if the informal systems of care that already exist, were more intentionally integrated with formal caring. They also highlight examples from their work and their lives to illustrate what is possible. Listen in to this thought-provoking and informative podcast. 

Those who participated in the tele-learning call were able to ask questions and share their own experiences. Listen to these questions and ideas below.

Additional Resources

About the Speakers

Al Etmanski

Al Etmanski is an author, advocate, and one of Canada's most important social entrepreneurs embracing the power of belonging and the importance of innovating together. President and co-founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN), he led the successful campaign to establish the world's first Registered Disability Savings Plan. Al has written two best-selling books: A Good Life and Safe and Secure. He is a founding member of the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation's Social Innovation Generation (SIG) collaboration. Al also holds a faculty position at John McKnight's Asset Based Community Development Institute and he has received many awards and recognitions including being elected as a global Ashoka Fellow in 2003.

Vickie Cammack

Vickie Cammack writes, consults and lectures internationally on social networks, organizational transformation and scaling social innovation. She is the Founder and CEO of Tyze Personal Networks and is a recognized Canadian source of inspiration and demonstrable solutions related to social networks, social innovation, citizenship and disability.

Vickie is the Founding Director of PLAN Institute, and co-founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network (PLAN). She created PLAN's Personal Network program, a unique response to the isolation and loneliness experienced by people with disabilities and mentored the spread of grass roots PLAN groups in 40 locations globally.

She is co-author, with Al, of Safe and Secure – Six Steps to Creating a Personal Future Plan for People with Disabilities and conducts annual leadership training and retreats