Wednesday, April 02, 2008

"There is no need for small dreams"

This week's Financial Post column was on economic development. The specific subject was the evolution of Sault Ste. Marie from industrial powerhouse to entrepreneurial centre (currently a work in progress).

(Writing Tip: How do you get people to read a column about economic development in the Soo? Work the Nazis into it!)

But the main theme of the story was much bigger: the need for all of Canada's commodity resource-based towns and cities to adapt to the Internet Age. A few years ago, any bright kid wanting a future outside the mill had to leave town: my thesis is that with the rise of e-mail, e-commerce and online collaboration, bright, ambitious people can live and work almost anywhere.

But they - and more importantly, the teachers, business leaders and economic development officials responsible for the future of these towns and cities - have to understand the information economy and the promise it holds for enterprising people in formerly remote resource towns. And they have to know there'll be lots of competition, from all over the world.

It's not just a new type of job, it's a whole new attitude. And the future of Canada (and many other places) depends on this attitude/awareness shift. So you can expect me to write about this more from time to time.

Click here to read my Post column.

"Thanks to the Internet, there will still be small towns. But there is no need for small dreams."

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