Navigation

I've changed the menus on this website to allow you to find the various series of articles that I've written. Click on "Series" at the top of the page and you will find my articles on accounting basics, my critiques of companies like Microsoft and Apple, and my analysis of social impact bonds at St Mungo's in the UK.

Hope this makes the website easier to get around!

In Calgary

I'm at the University of Calgary today talking to colleagues about homelessness, social housing, and social return on investment. Calgary is an interesting setting because a few years ago, the city declared its intention to "end homelessness in 10 years."

These sorts of ambitious goals are great at generating attention to problems of poverty, but I always worry what it means to say you have "ended" a complex social problem. I do hope that Calgary ends homelessness, but one always has to be careful that the underlying causes of poverty are addressed. Otherwise, the socioeconomic system just produces more poor people, but with a different manifestation of poverty.

Calgary is doing great work in this area, and one of the reasons I'm here is to learn from the people leading the effort. Check out the Calgary Homeless Foundation to learn more about what is happening here.

Alternative Accounts

Today I'm at the Alternative Accounts Conference in Ottawa. This boutique conference started out as a workshop run by a handful of critical scholars at the University of Calgary and the University of Alberta, over 10 years ago. David Cooper and Dean Neu were the ringleaders. It was my first exposure to scholarly accounting discussions outside a classroom setting.

Today, the conference is hosted by a fine group of critical accounting scholars at the University of Ottawa, including my co-author Darlene Himick. It's a three-day event now, complete with a doctoral colloquium.

In the academic world, it's important to recognize your tribe, and to feel that sense of belonging that comes from reuniting with those who share your values. This is my tribe. The challenge is for the tribe to stay open to other perspectives and continually strive to break down ideological barriers. Inquiry is a moral activity, not just an epistemological one.