You don’t feel the earth move very often in public policy. Our democratic processes are by nature protracted as we create the space and rime to ensure that all voices are heard, all viewpoints taken into consideration. And when those viewpoints take entrenched positions, the slow pace of change can grind to a complete halt.
Archive for June, 2009
By the end of the second day of the Canada 3.0 conference in Stratford, we were all channeling Buffalo Springfield —”there’s something happening here.” Ian Wilson, the freshly minted executive director of the Stratford Institute for Digital Media and Global Business observed, “This is so much more than just another conference.”
Conference moderator Ken Coates, Dean of Arts for Waterloo University tapped the emotional chord best by pointing out how at it’s conception, the conference expected to host 300 delegates and then ended up with over 1100 delegates from industry, academe and government — together, calling for a digital strategy for Canada and laying the foundation to get there.
“The important thing about this was who showed up,” Ken said. “We all came together to start something important … now lets get on with it!” (more…)
Challenging times impose their particular burdens on our political leaders. When hard work, ingenuity and perseverance aren’t enough to bring us prosperity, we turn our gaze to them in the expectation that their choices will improve our well-being. And every once in a while we are rewarded by public policy decisions made with firm resolve, not a moment too soon. When we think of courageous public policy, we probably think of historical measures like the Emancipation Proclamation or the Canada Health Act. We don’t generally view tax reform measures in that same heroic context. But I believe that Premier Dalton McGuinty’s recent decision to harmonize Ontario’s Retail Sales Tax with the GST, while it may not be historic, was indeed courageous. It is a wise public policy whose positive impacts will be felt for some time to come.
Ok, I understand it’s no secret that we at ITAC and particularly in the Digital Business Forum group are both excited and addicted to social media tools. ITAC has a Twitter feed and we’ve just started this blog running on the incredibly powerful WordPress engine. But at the core of any digital presence is the website.
Let’s start there.
Technology clusters rarely form by accident. Successful cluster-building is usually the result of the civic will of a few visionary individuals.
The Waterloo cluster is an excellent example. A few decades age community leaders pretty much decided that if their community was going to offer meaningful employment to future generations who didn’t want to stay down on the farm or in the factory, it needed a world class technology oriented university – and they created the University of Waterloo.In little more than a generation, W Waterloo was well established as a Canadian hotbed for innovation producing thousands of smart people as well as one or two game changing companies such as RIM, Open Text and DALSA.