Weak growth necessitates that we use all of Canada's assets to reignite our economy. Yet, data are assets that have yet to be effectively leveraged. While we fixate on the numbers of startups or high growth firms, do we really have adequate data with which to build a resilient labour force or an innovative economy?
Our sense of what is realistic or not might actually limit our own possibility. Consider running a four-minute mile. It was thought to be impossible until Roger Bannister broke the four-minute barrier in 1954. The record now stands at 3:43 and the mile has been run in under four minutes at least 4,500 times.
Skills and innovation -- core elements of the college/institute mandate -- have emerged as absolutely fundamental to the government's agenda. They have been the focus of several consultations and more than a few reports, including a recent series of recommendations by the finance minister's Advisory Council on Economic Growth.
Food banks see clients facing these challenges every day, and have responded with innovative programming that not only increases access to healthy food, but turns it into an opportunity to build community. Within the OAFB network, there are food banks in all corners of the province that offer innovative, healthy food options to clients. Here are just a few.
In reality, the left of the 21st century has failed to offer alternatives to a number of critical issues and doesn't seem to be adapting to a rapidly changing society and economy. Climate change, new technologies, and the development of the knowledge-based economy are challenges that don't fit the traditional, Marxist-based narrative of the left.
The Liberals floated the idea of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) during the election campaign, but scant notice was taken by the media or the business community. But SBIR can be a very powerful catalyst for innovation and we must not allow this idea to be relegated to the policy back burner.
Everything we interact with has been in the hands, the thoughts, the dreams of someone. Some person, some team, some group has thought sometimes for minutes, hours, days and maybe years. Their challenge. How to make this "thing" functional, durable, environmentally conscious, pleasing, interesting, and relevant? And hopefully thought inspiring?