Oikocredit Canada Support Association (OCSA) is led by a volunteer board of directors responsible for carrying out Oikocredit's grassroots education and outreach initiatives. The directors come from diverse fields and bring immense experience to the board.
Though we know them professionally through their work, today, we dig deep and ask them some informal questions to get to know them better and learn more about their likes, passions and other areas of interest. Today we speak with Julie Scott director of OCSA. Learn more about her work and passions.
How did you find out about Oikocredit?
Eugene Ellmen, whom I met when he ran the Social Investment Organization, was working for Oikocredit in Canada about 10 years ago and invited me to a presentation of a woman who ran a cooperative in sub-Saharan Africa. The cooperative she ran helped women entrepreneurs to launch and run businesses. This cooperative took out a loan from an Oikocredit partner to finance business training and daycare. I heard how this loan improved these women's lives and was sold on Oikocredit.
What is the most challenging AND most rewarding about being an Oikocredit Director?
What's most challenging is adapting to changes in the economy and securities regulations making it more costly to raise capital in Canada and elsewhere now than in 1975 when Oikocredit was founded; what's most rewarding is supporting Oikocredit's mission to improve the quality of life of low-income people or communities in a sustainable way, which remains just as relevant in 2023 as it was in 1975.
How do you make your day productive - any habits or apps or tricks?
I usually ask for tips and tricks rather than giving them! I try to make the environment right by working in the early morning, when I'm most productive, at a stand-up desk with a good cup of tea. I try to minimize distractions, like email notifications and social media, and I'm always open to trying new tools. Recently I've started using Microsoft's To-Do List which is a nifty substitute for my usual paper to-do list.
What is your idea of the perfect vacation? Or What book have you read recently?
I'm just so thrilled to be travelling right now that we're no longer facing COVID tests and travel restrictions. My idea of fun is immersing myself in the landscape (go for a hike!), language (learn a few phrases!) and food (eat where the locals eat!) of the country I'm visiting.
Who inspires you?
I've worked with refugees who've fled terror and suffering to start a new life in Canada. They seem to have boundless courage, leaving me feeling hopeful and grateful.