My name is Desmond Berghofer.

I am a grandfather with 11 grandchildren and counting.  I am concerned and deeply interested in the kind of future they will know as they navigate through life.

By way of personal and professional background, I have a PhD in Educational Administration from the University of Alberta.  I began my professional career as a teacher in my home country of Australia and came to Canada in 1966, where I have held several administrative positions, including Assistant Deputy Minister of Advanced Education in Alberta, 1977-88.

I now live in Vancouver, Canada where with my wife, Geraldine (Gerri) Schwartz PhD, I  co-founded Creative Learning International (www.creative-learning.ca)  and the Institute for Ethical Leadership (www.ethicalleadership.com).  We have delivered programs in leadership development for more than 20 years.  I am the author of three novels, a memoir and numerous publications in education and futures studies.

From my background in futures thinking, education and administration, I look at the social and economic future as an array of alternatives.  Through our learning and choices we collectively decide which future we get. Many indicators now point to structural faults in our social and economic systems, which, if not corrected, will severely reduce the potential for a quality future for our grandchildren.

So I have created this blog to invite grandparents and others to join me in considering what we might best do to help.  As a writer I have a natural predisposition to present ideas in writing, so I have started the process, but I want you to join me.

May we together be more a part of the solution than we are part of the problem.

8 Responses to About

  1. Bonnie Hamilton Bogart says:

    I too have grandchildren – 10 and counting – and grave concerns about their future. Your post has touched me deeply, expressing many of the issues that have been sitting like stones inside my heart for years. I have other grandmother friends who share these concerns, and will share your words with them.

  2. Congratulations Des on your vision, passion and love for this most important subject(s)! May we all do our best to help guide all the World’s children who are now dealing with these incredible challenges.

    On a personal note……

    What greater gift could eleven grandchildren have! You, as their grandfather!

    It’s time to get busy!


  3. Ray Travers says:

    Dear Desmond:

    From your blog, I sense we have been kindred spirits for some time. I am pleased we briefly met late February 2012 in Vancouver. Linda and and I have five grandchildren so we share your interest in leaving a viable legacy for all their generation, and those unborn.

    As a Professional Forester, I have arrived at similar five “E” conclusions as yourself. However my focus is strongly ecological, and operational. I like the phrase “Living Well at Nature’s Pace.” They way to get there is through better (i.e. holistic) decisions that sees first to get agreement on “ends” quality of life, etc, supported by an earth that is perpetuated, by our practices, in a healthy condition. This requires actions ( “means”) that produce on the ground results that are simultaneously ecologically, economically and socially sound. Monitoring what is done is essential, so we can learn as go, and incrementally improve our performance.

    This is being done now by “paradigm pioneers” , thoughtful people that love the land. My mentors are some amazing people like Alan Savory, now retired and lives in Zimbabwe with Jody Butterfield, his wife. Their passion is reversing desertification on arid lands. Ranching practitioners, including some in BC like Edgar Smith at Comox, and Judy and Alison Guichon in the Nicola Valley are local examples. There may be another 100 like them across Canada to Ontario.

    At a mutually convenient time, lets discuss their holistic decision making model, which I believe has wide application, well beyond forestry and ranching.

    This conversation will take us towards a “whole systems” governance model, with demonstrated potential for people to change direction from the industrial model that in some ways has served us well, to a post industrial model grounded in what we humans value most: our quality of life, and a healthy planet, that is sustained by an economy that meets our needs, forever!

    Cheers, Ray Travers 250-477-8479

    • Desr Ray:

      Many thnks for these excellent ideas. Your focus on “ends” before “means” is exactly right. One of the ways in which current economic decision making has gone astray is by substituing “means” for “ends” in never ending pursuit of economic growth. I welcome the opportunity to learn more about the “paradigm pioneers.” This will fit well when I come to the Ecology section of the blog, and I certainly will be in touch to pursue this further. In the meantime if you wish to send me any further information to my email address at desgerri@direct.ca, please feel free to do so.

  4. aalasti says:

    I very much look forward to following your commentary. Thanks so much for being a positive catalyst in helping to redirect the course of history toward a better future.

    • Thank you for your comment and interest in my blog. I have not added any posts in recent months because of health problems and other issues. However, there is quite a lot on the blog, and I would suggest you try to follow it chronologically to the last post.

      I am redirecting my writing towards the same goal of creating a better future by focussing on story telling about how things can be better rather than focussing on describing the problems. I hope this will eventually come out in several publications.


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