All about me

by Jini Stolk

I’ve been finding out some interesting things about myself recently. (No: not that I sometimes need a few weeks’ break from writing blog posts; even more interesting than that.)

First of all, my “innovation style” is that of a meerkat – collaborative, interested and solution- focused. I and other meerkats “know that having ideas and making them happen is a team sport”, involving provocation, cooperation, excitement, irritation, perspiration and inspiration. The only way ideas successfully make it into the world, according to all us meerkats, is through working with other people.

Of course that’s very flattering, and absolutely correct, but I wonder how the other “animal-styles” deal with the challenges of creating something new; please do let me know. More practically, this might be a good time to re-read Choreographing our Future , an exploration by The Metcalf Foundation’s Innovation Fellow Shannon Litzenberger of fueling innovation in the arts (especially among the new generation of artists) by rethinking some fundamental assumptions on how the arts are supported and sustained in Canada.

Is the Canada Council’s new funding model designed to spark a new era of innovation? (Or is it, as some predicted, more confusing than helpful?) I don’t know; I don’t think the jury is in on that, although the breaking through and down of discipline silos – among other important goals outlined in the Council’s new strategic plan – had to happen.

I do know that the Ontario Trillium Foundation’s arcane new metrics-based approach to aligning its funding with specific impacts on Ontarians is garnering almost universal criticism, amounting almost to despair.

Secondly, as someone who frequently signs email messages with “Yours, Jini”, I was astonished to learn that I’ve essentially just been playing with people’s minds. According to Emma Rathbone in The New Yorker, no one knows what the hell this means and reading it in an email is akin to entering a virtual-reality maze. A good read for those wanting help in interpreting common email sign-offs. (Hint: “Love” means this person loves you…)

Love, Jini

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