Five Good Ideas

Five Good Ideas for being an effective disruptor

Published on 18/01/2017

Disruptive questions and ideas are not about “conflict” but more about looking at the world in a different way. If we want meaningful change to happen, we must disrupt the status quo. And by doing that, we should look at the “conventional wisdom” from an alternative (often minority) point of view. In this Five Good Ideas session, Uzma Shakir shared her ideas about how “disruptive” views and ideas shine a light on histories, facts, realities that are not part of the popular “norm.”

Five essential questions necessary to be disruptive

  1. Whose narrative is it anyway?
  2. Who benefits from it?
  3. Who is silenced by this narrative?
  4. What would the narrative look like if the silence was voiced?
  5. Would this lead to any material change in society?

Five resources

  1. The Danger of a Single Story – TED Talk – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. Diamonds from Sierra Leone (Remix: Intro, Hook, Verse 1) – Kanye West
  3. Through the Gender Lens: The 2016-2017 Newfoundland and Labrador Budget’s Impacts on Women; Author: Cyndi Brannen, May 24, 2016; Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives
  4. When the Moors Ruled in Europe
  5. I Will Not Be Quiet – Mary Black

Bonus resource: An Alternative Tale of the City: Toronto and the Alternative Planning Group – Uzma Shakir, Progressive Planning Network, October 3, 2008

Uzma Shakir

Director, Equity, Diversity & Human Rights Division, City Manager’s Office, City of Toronto

A long-time community-based researcher, advocate and activist, Uzma Shakir is the Director of Equity, Diversity & Human Rights Division, City Manager’s Office, City of Toronto. She is the past Executive Director of Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA) and the South Asian Legal Clinic of Ontario (SALCO). From 2008-2010, Uzma was an Atkinson Economic Justice Fellow and an Adjunct Professor, Department of Geography and Program in Planning, University of Toronto. Her work at the city focuses on legislative and policy compliance, administering the Human Rights Office, embedding equity in all corporate programs/policies/services, developing equity resources for the corporation, providing advice on access, equity, diversity and human rights to the Mayor’s Office, City Council, City Manager, City Divisions, Agencies & Corporations and residents of City of Toronto. Uzma holds degrees from universities across the globe, including Karachi University, Pakistan, Sussex University, England, and Tufts University, Boston, USA. She is a recipient of the J. S. Woodsworth Award in 2010, Outstanding Asian Canadian Award in 2008, and the Jane Jacobs Prize in 2003. Uzma is a past president of the Ontario Council of Agencies Serving Immigrants (OCASI), and a founding member of Colour of Poverty – Colour of Change.