Inspiring Action

In the early days of Philia, we used the phrase "taking root" to describe the ultimate success of our initiative. Over time we have come to understand more clearly the criteria for success in that regard. We've come to understand that large-scale change will only occur when the concepts and values associated with Philia are fully embedded in the structures and systems of our society. This requires not only developing and sharing ideas, but inspiring new practice based on the application of these ideas. That is, on Inspiring Action.

In "Nourishing Ideas" we said you could read the word 'nourishing' as both an adjective and a verb. The same is true for "Inspiring Action". In this section we focus on actions that we find inspiring, and hope that they will inspire further action toward fostering a more caring and inclusive society. We want to promote a definition of citizenship based on participation and contribution, and to embed this citizen perspective in Canadian statutes, policies, funding priorities and institutions. At the same time we want to change the cultural consciousness about disability from a focus on people's needs and "inability" to an appreciation of their assets and gifts. These are long-term objectives that will require action at many levels, operating on many time frames, to address structural barriers and shift cultural perceptions about people with disabilities and other marginalized groups.

In this section we profile actions that reflect the Philia way of thinking and work to achieve these ends. As you browse through these pages you will read about policy and citizen initiatives aimed at nurturing caring and inclusive communities, recognizing diversity, and welcoming the participation and contributions of all. Initiatives such as:

  • A program developed by Seattle's Department of Neighborhoods to welcome and involve people with disabilities and others who might otherwise not participate in neighbourhood life.
  • An ambitious initiative that is using the spotlight of the 2010 Olympics to make B.C. a world leader in welcoming the participation and contribution of people with disabilities.
  • The efforts of youth-led organizations to develop the leadership capacities of young people with disabilities.
  • The transformation of a disability service organization based on Philia principles and values.

As always, we are eager to learn about other activities and initiatives that are consistent with Philia's values and welcome your suggestions, references and referrals. Please write us at to tell us about activities you are involved with, or the actions of others that have impressed you.

Philosopher Jacques Dufresne has advanced what he calls a "natural model of social action" inspired by Hippocratic principles, beginning with 'Primum non nocere: First, do no harm!' Social change in this perspective consists chiefly in removing obstacles to communities' self-healing powers, and five types of social actions flow from this model. Click here to read about these five types of action.

Date Author Subject Add Your Comment
Oct 07, 2021 by Pat Bernes Empowering Growth
Sep 19, 2021 by Robert M Access to information   (1 reply)
Jun 14, 2021 by Kimberly John Smith Creating Inclusive Culture