Educating the heart online with the Dalai Lama Center

Heart-mind Online announcement

Parents, teachers, and anyone tasked with the care of children understand the challenges we face in helping them grow into the kinds of adults we are proud to give the world to. Not only do we seek to nurture their minds and give them all the tools they need to learn and create a better world through technology, science, literature, and the arts, but we also want to make sure they learn how to be human. Standards and resources are common for teaching math and english, but matters of the heart — social and emotional development — are more difficult to standardize, and often more challenging to address effectively.

The Dalai Lama Center for Peace + Education has conceptualized Heart-Mind well-being, and is offering tools and resources for parents and educators looking for help through Heart-Mind Online.

Three Big Reasons We're Excited to be Growing

With autumn in full swing it feels a bit like the first day of school for us today, as we’re eager to share some big news and welcome some new faces to the office here at Affinity Bridge.

Raised Eyebrow Web Studio and Affinity Bridge are joining forces.

We’re excited to tell you about a new partnership with Vancouver’s Raised Eyebrow Studios—a like-minded web strategy and development firm who, like us, specialize in helping NGOs and causes. Emira Mears, Founder of Raised Eyebrow, is focusing her agency on digital strategy for nonprofits. Affinity Bridge will become their partner for web development, and we’re bringing three of RE’s team members into our fold. Emira will also be a resident consultant to Affinity, bringing her expertise and experience to bear on client projects.

The Map: A Powerful Way to Tell Your Stories

Cartography—that is, mapmaking—has been a huge part of human history for many thousands of years. Maps give us directions. They tell stories. They make it easy to share things in a way that crosses language barriers without losing impact or information. And they are one of the strongest tools we have at our disposal to communicate with each other visually. We've come a long way from using brushes and parchment—today's maps can be layered with data over satellite imagery, with accuracy down to your corner store, back up to planet-wide, and everything in between.

We've worked on many projects over the years that have relied on mapping tools as a central part of the final product. There is so much potential for storytelling and data sharing on maps that it makes all the different work we do with them dynamic, interesting, and fun. We love maps. Here are a few things we’ve done:

Digital Storytelling

Non-profit organizations, indigenous communities, and many other groups are learning how to harness the power of digital storytelling with new media. One of the best methods of telling their collection of local stories is to share them on a map.

Shopping Local with Vancity

A few months ago, Vancity Credit Union approached us with an idea that they hoped would help them use their Good Money™ program to support a stronger local economy. After talking with them about the potential for this new project, we were excited to work with them—on what was to be a very short schedule—to produce a pilot loyalty program now being tested in the Victoria market, called Localty.

We were given three months to work with the Vancity team and build a mobile website that could do a big list of things:

Mapping connections for refugees and aid services

In areas inundated with refugees—like Jordan has become since the civil war in neighbouring Syria displaced millions of people—both humanitarian workers and people in need depend on aid services. Knowing where to access aid, what types of services are available, and when the organizations offering assistance are able to provide it—in real-time, with a map, and accessible on mobile phones—could make a huge difference in the lives of refugees and the capacity of humanitarian aid organizations.

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