Live-blogging at Canada 3.0 – What does it take to “Be the Future”?

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”?

About cyberainc
Cybera is a not-for-profit organization that works to spur and support innovation, for the economic benefit of Alberta, through the use of cyberinfrastructure. Cybera has offices in Calgary and Edmonton and collaborates with public and private sector partners to accelerate research and product development that meets the needs of today’s society. Through its access to computing infrastructure and cyberinfrastructure expertise, Cybera enables academic, industry, and government groups to innovate in priority areas, including health, energy, the environment, and emerging technologies. Cybera also operates CyberaNet, a high-speed, high-bandwidth advanced network in Alberta, and provides project management to WestGrid, a consortium that provides advanced computing resources in support of research across Canada. For more information, visit http://www.cybera.ca

One Response to Live-blogging at Canada 3.0 – What does it take to “Be the Future”?

  1. simonfj says:

    Mr Brady sounds like a man with his head in the clouds and his feet firmly on the ground. The “houses” of gov and edu ARE far too small for any one citizen in a globalized world, especially when the .biz institutions can make the rules to suit themselves.

    I’m sure, if we cast our browser around, and could speak a thousand languages, we would find a Canada 3.0 in every country. That’s the biggest problem. We all know that any useful technology must have an international perspective. After all, most citizens have cosmopolitan interests that are driven by the WORLD WIDE web.

    It’s just unfortunate that governments and their institutions, being Nationally minded, think bandwidth alone might give their citizens some form of competitive advantage, which is true, to a degree – one that was reached in the developed world (say) over the last 5 years. Now we have such stupidities as every NREN having their own “collaboration suite” which they compare with glee, and constant speed tests that haven’t the slightest concern in the publics’ “good”.

    I prefer the European approach to looking at the future. One that looks at societies before technology. http://paradiso-fp7 It gets a bit boring talking about tools and bandwidth, when what we are trying to do is invent new institutions which a global citizen can fit into, rather than renovate National ones, whose roofs and walls are too constricting for any perceptive learner.

    What is needed to be the future?
    I guess some interest in content rather than tools and bandwidth; what flows through the pipes and how it is aggregated and distributed so humans can read it as well as machines. It seems that this is happening. e.g. https://blogs.internet2.edu/archives/123

    But i don’t think we can say that we moving forward until initiatives like this take an global interest in Classification – Human Learning. http://www.synchromedia.ca/research/classification_machine_learning

    So where are the National Librarians in this discussion?

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