Live-blogging at Canada 3.0 – What does it take to “Be the Future”?
May 4, 2011 1 Comment
As Canada 3.0 starts to wrap up, it’s worth stepping back to reflect on its theme this year: “Be the Future”. These three little words pack a lot of weight. They act as a strong call to action to the Canada 3.0 participants and represent a mindset that inspires us to set our sights higher, our goals further and our activities more inclusive of our fellow innovators (because we’re not just talking about individual futures here, we’re talking about everyone’s future).
One of the morning security panel participants today answered a question with the caveat: “Technology has moved forward but we’re the same humans we were hundreds of years ago.” Hmmm…..really? Studies have shown that human behaviour, communication and interaction have come a long way. In fact, Leonard Brody, best-selling author, technology forecaster and business strategist, says that we are fundamentally different people than we were only a few years ago. Within a 10 year period, he says, from our ever-changing exposure to and engagement with technology and media, we as human beings have changed more than the institutions of govt, business and education that surround us. “The house doesn’t fit the people who live in it anymore,” he says. If what Brody says is true, that is going to add a weighty level of complexity to our new and inspirational mindset to “be the future.”
Luckily, one thing that hasn’t changed about the human race is its tenacity. This drive of ours to invent and advance our tools and processes is what has taken us this far. So it’s not technology alone that is changing the way we do business and perform research, it is the individual and community (both physical and virtual) behaviours that are enabling these changes.
The backchat happening in the #CDA30 Twitter feed is a prime example. Snippets from presenters’ sessions are being shared, deconstructed and commented on. This type of virtual conversation and collaboration is an example of how our expectations and applications of technologies have evolved and will continue to change as new tools are introduced. How many times have you heard someone say: “(X tool) would be so much better if it could just let me do (this)”. And somewhere, someone is likely responding: “Challenge accepted!”
In a sense, rather than saying humans have yet to catch up with today’s technologies, we may want look at it from the perspective of technologies having finally caught up with the needs of today’s humans.
The projects and people we highlight in this blog are excellent examples of the trail blazers and supporters of what it takes to “be the future.” Ultimately, more technology education, community collaboration, and increased support for innovation will be what carries us even further. CANARIE and each of the provincial network organizations strive to build a supportive and foundational community for Canada’s innovators. What are your thoughts? What do you think is needed to “be the future”?