Speaking Topics

Greening our Minds

"A soft and wistful message"

“It isn't pollution that's harming the environment,” said Dan Quayle. “It's the impurities in our air and water that are doing it.”

Sorry, Dan. The main environmental problems are between our ears. And so are the solutions.

We've all experienced the obvious problems first-hand – the smoggy air, the littered landscape, the fetid water, the overflowing garbage dumps. We all know that the processes of industrial society now endanger the survival of hundreds of species, including our own. Yet practical solutions are available, and many of them are neither difficult nor expensive. So why does the environmental crisis become steadily more threatening?

Silver Donald Cameron shows that we are looking through the wrong end of the telescope, measuring the wrong things, making our problems worse by attacking them with the same mind-set that created them. The good news is that better tools and ideas already exist, and that millions of people are already using them. [more]


You, Inc.

Ten Top Tips for Successful Self-Employment ( And Why ALL Employment is Self-Employment)

"Silver Donald Cameron, 1967, starting his career"

Stephen Leacock put it perfectly.

You know, said Leacock, many a man realizes late in life that if when he was a boy he had known what he knows now, instead of being what he is he would be what he won't; but how few boys stop to think that if they knew what they don't know instead of being what they will be, they wouldn't be?

Okay. As we take our places in the work force, what should we know that we don't know?

We should know that we're working for ourselves, no matter who writes our pay cheque.

People today change jobs and careers the way they change their motor oil. So, despite the illusion of permanent employment, nobody actually has an employer. We just have serial clients. The main difference between employment and self-employment is that the self-employed professional usually knows when the job will end. And s/he knows how to get another, and another, and another.

Shouldn't everyone know that? [more]


Minding Our Own Businesses: Commerce, Community and Renewal

"AFL Tank Manufacturing in Arichat, Nova Scotia"

On January 5, 1914, Henry Ford shocked the business world by more than doubling his employees' wages, from $2.34 a day to $5.00. On that day, he said later, “we really started our business, for on that day we first created a lot of customers.”

In 1971, Allan Blakeney's government in Saskatchewan introduced Canada's highest minimum wage – and business profits went up. “Employees who get good wages spend their money,” says Blakeney, “ and – big surprise – employers do well.”

Business is an integral part of the larger community. It's the people of the community at work. It includes public-sector and non-profit businesses, like schools and hospitals and the Red Cross. Every business is a network of customers, employees, suppliers and professional practitioners. It relies on its community at every turn. And every community is equally reliant on its businesses.

In adversity, that deep integration is the greatest resource of both the community and its businesses. Ask the people of Isle Madame, Nova Scotia. What did they do when the codfish went away? [more]


Dream. Plan. Go!

Sailing Your Dreams to Success and Adventure

"Marjorie and Leo on a Bahamian beach"

In July, 2004, Silver Donald Cameron and his wife Marjorie Simmins set sail from Cape Breton Island, bound for the white sand beaches and palm trees of the nearest tropical islands. They were accompanied by their Brave and Faithful Dog, Leo. The skipper was an old age pensioner. His youthful mate was new to the cruising life. At 13, the BFD was antique and arthritic.

Six months later, after 3000 nautical miles, this improbable crew rowed ashore in Little Harbour, in the Bahamas. The BFD frisked like a puppy. The skipper and mate looked ten years younger. At Pete's Pub, a palm-thatched tiki bar on the beach, they would celebrate their seventh wedding anniversary by eating conch salad and lemon hogfish, and playing Cape Breton jigs with a muster of sun-browned vagabonds. The skipper -- in swim trunks -- raised a glass of cheap rum.

“To Marjorie's voyage with two old dogs,” he said. “And to absent friends, God help 'em, frozen stiff and buried in snow.”

Well, Silver Donald and Marjorie were lucky, right? That's the romantic life of an author.

Wrong, says Silver Donald. Hundreds of couples cruise south every autumn, and what they share is not luck or wealth, but discipline, imagination and and a lusty appetite for life – the very qualities that produce successful businesses, happy marriages and rewarding careers. [more]


The Ship on the Dime

The Life and Times of a Canadian Legend

"Silver Donald Cameron at the helm of Bluenose II"

Bluenose Grill. Bluenose Vending Machines. Bluenose Laundry. Bluenose Well Drilling. Bluenose Gifts. Bluenose Video. Bluenose everything, everywhere in Nova Scotia.

And out in the harbour, an elegant wooden ship, 143 feet long, looking like a vision from the past – Bluenose II, looking just like the ship on the Canadian dime. She's an exact replica of one of Canada's most cherished national symbols, the Grand Banks fishing schooner Bluenose – the ship that beat every Canadian and American challenger in a racing career that spanned nearly three decades.

As the author of a book, a radio play and several articles on the subject, Silver Donald Cameron knows the Bluenose story intimately. In this presentation, illustrated with dozens of period photographs by such notables as Wallace MacAskill and Frederick William Wallace, he traces the history of schooners and the schooner fishery as well as the races themselves, illuminating the shared sea-going culture of New England and New Scotland.

That culture, he says, should be an inspiration to Nova Scotians and New Englanders today. [more]


See what others have said about Silver Donald Cameron on the testimonials page.


To book Silver Donald Cameron as a speaker, contact The Atlantic Speakers Bureau or LimeLight Communications Group.
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