Jennifer Maher Leonard Publishes First Book – The Mosaic Economy

I am writing to share news of my first book — The Mosaic Economy. The Mosaic Economy is a description of the varieties of economic activity that come together to provide a mosaic of jobs and opportunities in today’s economy. The idea of a mosaic suggests that it is possible to look at the economy in different ways, allowing different pictures to emerge. When we look at the mosaic, certain key themes and patterns emerge. Entrepreneurship. Technology. Building community. Creating healthy personal environments. A re-emergence of manufacturing and artisanal production. Values of environmental concern, fair trade and social connectedness interwoven into all areas of economic activity. The idea of a mosaic encourages readers to form their own interpretations of the economy, seeing different patterns and themes each time they take a fresh look.

The focus is on leading a gentle, inviting conversation. Many economic analyses are full of urgent ‘ought-to’ messages, leaving audiences and readers feeling somewhat drained and powerless. This book seeks to make people feel empowered as they read. Readers should be creatively empowered to “add to” the story of the mosaic and personally empowered to take small positive steps to build their own careers, support others in their career development, or know that they can have a positive impact on the economic development of their communities.

The ideas in The Mosaic Economy come from the underlying optimism of people I have worked with — both youth and adults — who invest their time, energy and creativity in their own education, careers and small businesses. I was an economics major at Mount Holyoke and was interested in economic development, both international development and urban economics. While a student at Mount Holyoke, I was active in community development in the city of Holyoke. I moved to the city and worked in Holyoke City Hall after graduation. A few years later, I moved to Boston, began to teach economics part-time teaching evening classes at Bunker Hill Community College while also working full-time in for the state’s employment and training agency. I am still in Boston and since 1996 have had my own consulting business called The Skills Library.

The Mosaic Economy is available in paperback from Harvard Bookstore and as an e-book from amazon.com.

Cindy Carpenter writes for My Voice in the latest Quarterly

My Voice: 50 Years After The Feminine Mystique, Have Women’s Choices Changed?

I first read Betty Friedan’s The Feminine Mystique in college. It was the early ’80s, and when I came home for winter break, I mentioned to my mother that I had found the book interesting. Her response: “That book changed my life.” I found out later that it had probably changed my life as well. Continue reading

Melinda Thomsen – Poet

Melinda’s newly published collection of poems, Field Rations, was inspired by more than 100 letters Thomsen’s grandfather Owen Leach wrote to her grandmother Mattye Seay Leach during World War II. In the words of one reviewer, “Letters that began as gifts to a loving wife have reemerged as art to become gifts for the world.” Poems and book reviews by Melinda Thomsen ’83 have appeared in journals and anthologies in the United States and overseas. Continue reading

Laura Wacha – Artist, Mother, Teacher and more…

Meet Laura Wacha – elementary school art teacher living in New Mexico, married with two kids, four dogs, two cats, and a mess of chickens. Oh – and did we mention she is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer?

But also and very importantly – Laura is an artist (www.laurawacha.com) and an author (www.laurawacha.com/goodriddance.html). With a cleverly designed visage belying the typical mild mannered school marm, Laura Wacha possesses an inner imagination of such magnitude that paintings and sculptures of delightfully cryptic wonder are generated, not in black and white, but in beautiful near-technicolor. Like clockwork, images ooze out of our heroine, and, like tooth paste from a tube, there’s no putting them back. Continue reading