Entrepreneurial and creative society

Innovation with Robotics

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 08/17/2016 1471465700
FIRST Robotics Canada (a non-profit organization) is also currently working diligently and tirelessly to support and prepare the next generation to be .... Read more

FIRST Robotics Canada (a non-profit organization) is also currently working diligently and tirelessly to support and prepare the next generation to be innovators and thought-leaders of the future. Through FIRST programs and initiatives, students are becoming more skilled and prepared to face the challenges of the future. With a stronger connection and increased support, FIRST could play an even greater role in preparing the next generation to make Canada great.

“Canada needs a bold, coordinated strategy on innovation that delivers results for all Canadians. We need to move forward with fresh ideas and a joint action plan that will make innovation a national priority and put Canada on a firm path to long-term economic growth.” –The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

We at FIRST whole-heartedly agree with Minister Bains approach to innovation. We currently see a talent pool of kids and students who, if given the opportunity and know-how, will inherently approach problem solving with an innovative approach. Currently, youth are not widely given that opportunity which results in a lack of a prepared and innovative leaders and workforce.

This is where FIRST Robotics Canada programs make a difference. FIRST programs teach kids and youth the necessary skills and strategy that inspire fresh ideas, innovation, and creative problem solving. If more students are exposed to, and participate in, FIRST programs, they will cultivate the skills and habits for the future that lead to unlimited potential and opportunities. These are the leaders who will help put Canada on the firm path to economic growth and sustainability.

With increased support for FIRST programs, the benefits include:

  • More student participation in FIRST programs, resulting in more students prepared for a future where creative problem solving is critical
  • Cultivating a future workforce of leaders who believe in teamwork, encourage diversity, and inspire creativity 
  • Developing and teaching students the skills and know-how to embrace challenges with an innovative mindset
  • Showcasing and proving that we’re surrounded by talent who will have the competencies to compete in a digital world, lead global partnerships and change, encourage entrepreneurship, and accelerate growth in Canadian business
  • Increased collaboration between organizations and corporations involved in FIRST and kids and youth across Canada

This kind of program truly makes a difference in cultivating the leaders and innovators of the future.

Credit: FIRST Robotics Canada

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Fab Labs Nation

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 07/11/2016 1468243720
Le français suit. The “Fab Labs Nation” project proposes a concerted strategy to equip Canada with a digital manufacturing interstructur .... Read more

Le français suit.

The “Fab Labs Nation” project proposes a concerted strategy to equip Canada with a digital manufacturing interstructure that makes it possible to promote, entrepreneurship and the creation of jobs of the future as well as innovation in communities and businesses.

A Fab Lab is a collaborative innovation laboratory equipped with digital production machine tools (3D printers, laser cutters, digital milling machines, etc.) and an innovation accelerator where students, engineers, inventors, creators and all those who have a project gather to go from the idea to the object. The Fab Lab offers its users the means necessary for professional digital design to conduct collaborative innovation projects, access to quick prototyping.

A true international community gravitates around the Fab Labs, by implementing laboratories in hundreds of cities and villages. The potential which emanates from them for economic and social development steadily increases and is explored in numerous sectors: health, creativity, education, entrepreneurship, etc. The Fab Labs are part of an open innovation movement and are the tangible tools of a Smart City.

 

L'initiative « Fab Labs Nation » propose une stratégie concertée pour doter le Canada d’une interstructure de fabrication numérique permettant de favoriser l'entrepreneuriat et la création d'emplois d'avenir, l'innovation dans les communautés et les entreprises.

Un Fab Lab est un laboratoire d’innovation collaborative équipé de machines-outils de fabrication numérique (imprimante 3D, découpe laser, fraiseuse numérique, etc.) et un accélérateur d'innovation où les étudiants, les ingénieurs, les inventeurs, les créateurs et tous ceux qui ont un projet entrepreneurial se réunissent pour passer de l’idée à l’objet. Le Fab Lab offre à ses usagers les moyens de conception numérique professionnel nécessaires pour mener des projets d’innovation collaboratifs, l'accès au prototypage rapide.

Une véritable communauté internationale gravite autour des Fab Labs, par l'implantation de laboratoires dans des centaines de villes et villages. Le potentiel qui en découle pour le développement économique et social croit sans cesse et est exploré dans de multiples secteurs : santé, créativité, éducation, entrepreneurship, etc.. Les Fab Labs font partie du mouvement d'innovation ouverte (open innovation) et sont les outils concrets d'une Ville intelligente (Smart City).

 Source : http://www.communautique.quebec/portfolio-items/fablabs-nation/?portfolioID=33

 

 

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Ask Experts and Academics, not Entrepeneurs, for Input

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 07/08/2016 1468007925
Tags:
Entrepreneurs make toys that provide little social benefit and require little creativity in order to generate revenue. Academics, scientist, and other .... Read more

Entrepreneurs make toys that provide little social benefit and require little creativity in order to generate revenue. Academics, scientist, and other specialist create tools upon which those entrepreneurs can build (often, if not always, by using open source mechanisms without providing credit). Indeed, the internet itself was created not by "entrepreneurs," but by academics working in conjunction with public institutions. Do we want a thousand companies trying to be the next Facebook or do we want a thousand research projects building quantum computers?

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More Worker Cooperatives

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 06/23/2016 1466699574
Worker Cooperatives are democratically-run enterprises which have been proven through many studies to be more sustainable than traditional, capitalist .... Read more

Worker Cooperatives are democratically-run enterprises which have been proven through many studies to be more sustainable than traditional, capitalist-owner enterprises.

Because the people who own the business are those that work in the business, they have several advantages to capitalist, top-down enterprises:

  • More likely to keep work in the community where the business is based (and not offshore jobs), as the owners have a direct interest in the community (as they live there)
  • A fair and equitable distribution of profit, therefore enriching local communities instead of shareholders
  • As every worker is also an owner, this brings true democracy and democratic values to the workplace, where adults spend most of their lives.

Cooperatives should be the new standard in business organization. Let's have Canada lead the way!

 

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Summer Science Camps - Age Inappropriate Science for kids

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 07/05/2016 1467744407
Summer time offers children an opportunity to play and participate in learning activities free of deadlines, exams and school routine.  Kids are fas .... Read more

Summer time offers children an opportunity to play and participate in learning activities free of deadlines, exams and school routine.  Kids are fascinated by nature, biology, space and just about any field of science.  They love to ask `why`and `how`and `how come`. Their thirst for knowledge can be exhausting as it rarely has a limit.   Children have curiosity that is not tempered by self-imposed age appropriate limitations and are equally eager to learn about worms, DNA, flight, stars, travel to Mars, etc.   They have ambition that is driven by curiosity and knowledge that stimulates ambition to answer questions that are sometimes relentless and complex.   Parents are sometimes challenged to answer their questions let alone give them an opportunity to have hands on experience learning about science, with a scientist (engineer, informatician, etc.) in a lab equipped for university level science, engineering and technology. 

Canadians have invested in developing world-class universities and colleges that are populated with staff and students eager to share their knowledge.   Universities hope to recruit future students and are increasingly opening their labs and facilities to children who visit to learn about what universities could offer their curious and ambitious minds.  During the summer months universities are often closed, or activities in departments scaled back, as students take a break for the summer months.  There is an opportunity to develop a program to fund universities to develop summer camp programs for children who are curious about science, engineering and technology.   Children can be offered age-inappropriate science, or science that is taught to students at university.   Giving universities funding to hire students to develop activities and projects for children that visit the university summer science camp provides meaningful employment, engagement of future students, and full utilization of university facilities for community enrichment.

Elementary schools and High schools look with envy at the well-equipped molecular biology labs, engineering testing facilities, biology labs, computational labs, etc. knowing they have precocious students who long to do more in school, take their science projects to the next step, but can`t as the school doesn`t have funding to provide for these extracurricular activities and excursions.   We are nurturing frustrated aspiring scientists by limiting their access to advanced knowledge and applications of science and technology by restricting their inquiries to school curriculum, a science fair or special project at school.

Children want to know and learn more at younger ages.  They have access to the internet and can be self-taught to a point where they need instruction or hands on experience.  We have a nation of geniuses who lack access to expertise and lab facilities that would help cement their passion for knowledge and quest for discovery.

Parents crave access to additional resources for children with an insatiable desire to learn and know `why`and `how does it work`.  Fear of over scheduling children and not giving them time to play and relax in the summer could be avoided by adding summer activities as part of the summer camp, visits to parks, camping trips, sports activities (at sports facilities at our universities) to compliment the science camp activities in the labs.

Canadian parents want to respond to children`s natural curiosity and passion for knowledge.  We see the strain of the teachers in schools in our communities where budget cuts further hamper their ability to offer children resources they crave.  A summer science camp for children seeking age-inappropriate Science would fill a void in the programs offered by the federal government to encourage bright university students to find employment in the summer months.  A summer science camp based at our universities would give universities an opportunity to open their facilities to the community and give parents and children a first hand look at their facilities and faculty.

Our economy will depend on the current and next generation of children to be fully employed in good jobs. STEM training provides children with skills and aptitude to compete for good jobs and develop capacities to develop our economy as adults.  Children who arrive in Canada and parents who arrive in Canada as adults and children may not have had exposure to university training in Canada. Providing these parents and children with access to university facilities helps prepare and inform them of choices for further education and where they can seek information in their community.

The summer months are an ideal time for a summer science camp.  Parents are often working and need childcare for children that would rather not stay at home during their holidays.   Children enjoy socializing with new friends and in new contexts where they are learning something new or discovering their curiosity for knowledge they didn`t know existed.  This creates a positive experience and memory that is not tied to an exam, a grade, an expectation or evaluation.   Science is simply fun.

 

 

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Challenge Canadians by Issuing Challenges

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 06/22/2016 1466610701
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Many of today's social "challenges" have a department, agency, or other organization devoted solely to tackling the issue. This has had a limited trac .... Read more

Many of today's social "challenges" have a department, agency, or other organization devoted solely to tackling the issue. This has had a limited track record of success due to a number of reasons, including myopic thinking, only having the "usual suspects" of stakeholders at the table, and large and slow moving bureaucracies.

My proposal is to harness the collective brainpower of all Canadians to help solve some of these social challenges through the issuance of Grand Challenges similiar to the challenges issued by the U.S. Government's Challenge.gov website. By having a Government of Canada website that publishes a list of challenges: i.e. how to solve homelessness for veterans, how to increase affordable housing, how to issue microloans to Canadians, how to increase the birth rate in Canada, etc... and asking Canadians to submit solutions to them is a low-cost and innovative way to reach a much broader audience who may not even know about some of the social challenges in Canada. 

Benefits of having a Grand Challenges website:

- Government and/or non-government organizations may submit challenges to the general public

- Can have sponsors (The Alzheimer's society may sponsor a challenge that tries to develop new innovative ways to reverse dementia) for some of the challenges and could potentially offer prizes (monetary, recognition, contract) 

- The first step in solving a problem is identifying the problem. Not all Canadians are aware of the pressing social challenges of the day. Having a central website will allow more innovative ideas to germinate as Canadians with different perspectives have an opportunity to share their knowledge.  

- Once you have a list of plausible solutions to a challenge, then publish these potential solutions and have Canadians comment on them, add to them, in an iterative process etc...Think of it like a "Wikipedia of Ideas" where the best solutions are based on a foundation of previous ideas.   

The new solutions that will be developed will ultimately benefit all Canadians. Challenges stimulate markets and create industries, build communities of citizen scientists and change people’s lives.

 

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Developing an inclusive Canadian innovation accessibility digital communication strategy

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 06/22/2016 1466617675
Tags:
The digital economy is driving economic prosperity through increased productivity and market growth,, but the ability to use new emerging technologies .... Read more

The digital economy is driving economic prosperity through increased productivity and market growth,, but the ability to use new emerging technologies is currently at the heart of social inclusion, with those excluded being left out of many work, entertainment, communication, healthcare and social benefits. About 15% of the world's population live with a disability, and the prevalence of disability is growing due to population ageing and the global increase in chronic health conditions.In 2005, Ontario became the first jurisdiction in Canada, and a world leader in implementing proactive, enforceable, compliance-based accessibility legislation. The standards requireOntario organizations to identify, remove and prevent barriers for people with disabilities in key areas of daily living. Fundamentally, accessibilityis about expanding market opportunities to achieve sustainable growth in revenue, return on investment, and profitability; And not just about legal compliance. Due to the life challenges, people with disabilities tend to be creative thinkers and problem solvers in innovation technologies. Many of the mainstream technologies we enjoy today were initiated by research and development in resolving a disability challenge.Unfortunately, much of the digital communication systems being implement throughout Canadian organizations is inaccessible to blind and deaf Canadians. This is revealed in statistics that show more than 80% of Canadians with vision loss are unemployed, and about 25% live below the poverty line. To reverse this trend we need greater participation of skilled blind professionals in the decision making process of government strategies that will build a more prosperous Canada. Currently Canadian digital communication strategies present barriers in the participation of Canadians with disabilities.We need an integrated accessibility growth strategy that link the Ministries of Innovation, Employment, Infrastructure, and Persons With Disabilities. We need competent and well informed leaders, who understand the impact of digital communications on the quality of life for all Canadians. We need a prosperity strategy that maximizes the skills of disabled Canadians, and promotes greater inclusion. We need to enable Canadian innovators by stimulating creativity, and enable disabled Canadians by getting smart technologies into their hands as soon as possible.

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Bubble-up Fermentation, Not Cream-Skimming

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 06/23/2016 1466706094
Too often supporting entrepreneurs is done through an incubation process that involves a committee that selects 'promising' projects from a field of c .... Read more

Too often supporting entrepreneurs is done through an incubation process that involves a committee that selects 'promising' projects from a field of contenders. The statistics on such incubation approaches is clear - the results are poor, with very few succeeding beyond the support period, and fewer still still functioning after two years. 

This 'cream-skimming' approach is inferior to a bubble-up approach. This would entail a low-bar of acceptance into a 'co-working + resources' environment, where all have access to support, coaching and basic infrastructure. From this environment, the 'experts' can be as out of the way or as helping as needed. Strong entities will survive on their own merits, rather than weak entities with good schmooze-skills being propped up in a traditional incubator.

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International Innovation Incubators

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 06/26/2016 1466925068
We could be encouraging innovative start-ups to use Canada as a base and reciprocally set up agreements with incubators for Canadian innovators with i .... Read more

We could be encouraging innovative start-ups to use Canada as a base and reciprocally set up agreements with incubators for Canadian innovators with incubators/accelerators in other countries.

This is particularly important for start-up companies where the target market is outside Canada. The centers could even be public-private partnerships.

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More free support and communities like rockmybizplan.ca

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 07/04/2016 1467662341
By giving young people easy access to expertise, guidance, coaching and peer communities with other entrepreneurs, we set people up for taking more ac .... Read more

By giving young people easy access to expertise, guidance, coaching and peer communities with other entrepreneurs, we set people up for taking more action on their ideas. 

British Columbia is leading the charge in this regard with Futurpreneur Canada's free Rock My Business Plan series throughout the province (in partnership with the Provincial Government and RBC). http://rockmybizplan.ca

 

 

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Create a supportive environment for Social Enterprise

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 07/16/2016 1468695066
Social Enterprises, community based non-profit businesses that prioritize social impact, require a supportive environment in order to develop, grow, a .... Read more

Social Enterprises, community based non-profit businesses that prioritize social impact, require a supportive environment in order to develop, grow, and scale.

  • Gov of Canada should insure that all SME business services are available to non-profit operated businesses - where already allowed then the appropriate services made available; where denied services then regulatory fix is required
  • Social value considerations and impact should be required element of all government purchasing and infrastructure investments
  • Appropriate financing opportunities and impact investment options need to be supported
  • Establish a supportive regulatory environment for non-profit enterprise activities - including clarifying charity based enterprise activity and non-profit revenue generation

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Include Social Purchasing Values in all government procurement and infrastructure

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 07/24/2016 1469372797
Every purchase has an economic, social and environmental ripple effect! Insuring best value in purchasing means considering  the full cost and true i .... Read more

Every purchase has an economic, social and environmental ripple effect! Insuring best value in purchasing means considering  the full cost and true impact created when government spends tax payer money on goods and services and infrastructure. Adding a social value into the mix of price, quality and environment will enhance the demand for social enterprise goods and services. A requirement for social value consideration in purchasing will lead private sector government contractors to implement stronger social values into their bids, often opening up sub-contract opportunities for social enterprises. See www.buysocialcanada.ca

 

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Innovation is for all, not just some. Support grassroots innovation.

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 07/25/2016 1469478149
Tags: innovation 
Canada needs to support grassroots innovation. Innovation that occurs spontaneously outside the domain of academic institutions but instead occurs in .... Read more

Canada needs to support grassroots innovation. Innovation that occurs spontaneously outside the domain of academic institutions but instead occurs in the basements, bedrooms and garages all across this country. 

There exists funding place for Campus Linked Accelerators (CLAs) such as UWaterloo Velocity Garage, Ryerson DMZ as examples. This is all well and good but what about the 30 or 40 something year old folks that have ideas and want to innovate? Where do they go? Why can't they get the same support via an environment where they can develop ideas and be innovate. 

Makerspaces and collaborative spaces are part of the answer to this problem enabling anyone with an idea to develop that idea in a low cost manner using the latest in digital fabrication equipment and tools to do so...and to have a community to access as well. These spaces are starting to take root in communities across Canada, but what they need more of is funding and support from the government. We all can be innovative and creative beings, we just need the environment to do so.

The next big idea is in the head of a 15 year old...or a 55 year old. What they need is a place to develop it. Government of Canada, step up and support makerspaces, collaborative space, innovation hubs or whatever they may be called. Canada doesn't lack for innovation, what we lack are accessible places for ANYONE to be innovative. 

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Make work-integrated learning opportunities the cornerstone of the Innovation Agenda

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 08/09/2016 1470776531
People innovate. Whether it takes the form of a new product, new process, or new markets, the introduction of innovation is done by visionary individu .... Read more

People innovate. Whether it takes the form of a new product, new process, or new markets, the introduction of innovation is done by visionary individuals who see how to do things differently. A successful innovation strategy must therefore start by fostering the talent, skills and opportunities required for potential innovators to thrive.

The need for innovators intensifies as the economy continues to move towards an innovation-focused, high-value service base. Already, Canada’s service economy employs about three quarters of Canadians and accounts for 70.8% of GDP — a 5% increase since 2000. Financial services, environmental services, water-management services, and IT services are all areas where Canada is a world-leader, thanks in part to the innovators who have built world-class firms in these growing sectors.

The trend towards an economy built on innovative services is intensifying as the knowledge economy evolves. We are entering what has been called the “Fourth Industrial Revolution,” where disruptive technology such as artificial intelligence, robotics and nanotechnology are quickly transforming the ways we live and work. As a result, the skills Canadians need for career success are also changing, and employers increasingly demand workers with a wide range of skills and functional knowledge.

An effective innovation strategy will respond to these trends by supporting the effective education and training of future innovators. To do so, Canada needs to increase the number of work-integrated learning opportunities for students in order to grow talent and skills, and to prepare the next generation for a rapidly changing economy. In order to “futureproof” a workforce, the World Economic Forum reports that “government and businesses will need to profoundly change their approach to education, skills and employment,” and they recommend enhanced collaboration between businesses, governments and education providers in developing 21st century curriculums.

There are some caveats: students should be paid; the learning opportunities should be relevant; and the experiences should be meaningful. The idea is that the opportunities are collaborative, and mutually beneficial. By connecting young minds with dynamic Canadian businesses, we can grow Canadian talent for innovation, strengthen the employability of post-secondary graduates, and provide businesses with the specialized knowledge, skilled talent and fresh perspectives they will need to adapt and innovate.

If Canada is serious about becoming an innovation leader, we need to make work-integrated learning opportunities the cornerstone of the Innovation Agenda.

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The Maker's Economy

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 08/21/2016 1471816959
Tags: Business  innovation  arts 
The Maker's economy is to my mind a sort of micro business economy. Rather than being defined by a job, a maker is someone who perhaps works a job, bu .... Read more

The Maker's economy is to my mind a sort of micro business economy. Rather than being defined by a job, a maker is someone who perhaps works a job, but also pursues a creative passion that they're bringing to market.

But a maker of what? Technology is moving so fast that you can invent a craft for yourself.

An illustrator making show posters for local bands, and also making their own greeting cards for sale in cafes and bookshops in their community would know this. It's a short staircase from that to self publishing graphic novels, children's books, and board-games; each a passion project, but also a product. With a bit of guidance, these products can form the basis for a business.

This economy is already happening in bedrooms and home offices, but could entice more to join it if there was a place that facilitated some of this learning. As it is now, those that are part of this economy are self taught, self-motivated creators with a working understanding of social media and where things are going next. That's a smaller segment of society, but they're also a built in trainer base - going around tutorializing their work for the internet at large. So much of their audience are encouraged to try now after seeing it demonstrated online, but don't necessarily have the equipment to try.

What's needed to facilitate this is a dynamic laboratory space that's open for use to the public of all ages. A place where someone can walk in and say "I've heard about this thing where you get to do X, but I have no idea where to begin." A workshop space, where a video journalist can give a few pointers to aspiring vloggers, or a social media expert can discuss the new species of marketing that continue to evolve month by month. A place where hardware resides that you can use to bridge the gaps between your ideas and the market.

Credit: PCNA, Pacific Community Networks Association

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Use Social Procurement and Community Benefit Agreements for Inclusive Growth

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 08/24/2016 1472057550
Support enhanced market access for social enterprises and co-operatives by stimulating demand through social procurement policies and community benefi .... Read more

Support enhanced market access for social enterprises and co-operatives by stimulating demand through social procurement policies and community benefit agreements. Initiatives such as Buy Social Canada, L'économie sociale, j'achète, ECPAR and the Toronto Community Benefits Network are leading Canadian examples of this rapidly emerging practice.

Credit: Canadian CED Network, Buy Social Canada, Chantier de l'économie sociale, Toronto Community Benefits

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Innovation and talent acquisition can solve our growth dilemma

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 08/26/2016 1472222781
“Canada needs a robust national access-to-talent strategy. We should increase immigration. By 2025, 30 per cent of our population will be 60 and .... Read more

“Canada needs a robust national access-to-talent strategy. We should increase immigration. By 2025, 30 per cent of our population will be 60 and older - to mitigate this imbalance, Canada would need to increase immigration for each of the next five years to one million people. If we focus this intake on skilled newcomers between the ages of 20 and 39, it would shift our overall proportion of that band from 25 per cent to 32 per cent of the population.

Without such a strategy, Canada may face stark choices: tax increases, greater national debt or scaled-back social programs.”

 

“We must move from a passive intake system to one where we actively recruit more people who can succeed and help increase our capacity for innovation and productivity. This includes new science grads, skilled tradespeople and investors with capital.

 

“We could look at opportunities to fast-track visas for foreign workers, particularly for highly skilled jobs in the innovation sector.”

 

“We could fast-track foreign students educated in Canada for permanent residency, and target students at leading foreign educational institutions. For some industries, it may also be appropriate to look at reinstituting the temporary foreign worker visa.”

 

“We can also look at doing more within the North American freetrade agreement framework.”

 

John Ruffolo, Innovation and talent acquisition can solve our growth dilemma. Globe and Mail. August 18 2016

Credit: John Ruffolo, CEO, OMERS Ventures and vice-chair of the Council of Canadian Innovators

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Greater Inclusion

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 08/31/2016 1472655294
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Ensure that all voices are at the table including cultural workers. Need to actively recruit all players and bring into business networks Look at remo .... Read more

Ensure that all voices are at the table including cultural workers.

Need to actively recruit all players and bring into business networks

Look at removing barriers for immigrant women to participate in innovation

Credit: Taina Maki Chahal; Rosalind Lockyer; Dr. Batia Stolar

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Grand Challenge

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 09/02/2016 1472778187
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Canada is not often the most attractive place for the brightest given its relative low availability of private equity such as venture capital and .... Read more

Canada is not often the most attractive place for the brightest given its relative low availability of private equity such as venture capital and public funding to high-risk projects. Canada also lacks grand projects which would draw international attention, capture the imagination, and force talent to work together to develop new solutions.

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Develop an innovator-centric learning and practice model for individuals and organizations.

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 09/13/2016 1473735321
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Canada uniquely offers a unique environment rich for innovation-related learning, thinking and action. By leveraging our multicultural diverse society .... Read more

Canada uniquely offers a unique environment rich for innovation-related learning, thinking and action. By leveraging our multicultural diverse society, who communicate in over 200 languages, and our quality public post-secondary education systems, we can lead in innovator-centric learning and practices globally. Innovators are culturally intelligent. They observe, empathize and respond to solvable problems. Young Canadians can learn to become innovators if we teach them how to think and act innovatively. Canada needs its own Innovation Pedagogy that reflects our diverse and rich human resources. Teacher-researchers like me are designing this pedagogy now.

Credit: Angèle Beausoleil and Moura Quayle

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Canada Visa Policy Barrier in Talent Hunting

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 09/25/2016 1474771585
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Third World countries like Pakistan India China has highest number of highly skilled youth population but struggling to get opportunities.They are rig .... Read more

Third World countries like Pakistan India China has highest number of highly skilled youth population but struggling to get opportunities.They are right material for development of any nation but unfortunately corruption and irresponsible behaviour of Local leadership is big obstruction in utilizing this talent. As being Recruitment consultant I know very well of different countries visa policy and Canada Visa policy specially for students is big hindrance in pulling talent from Third World countries. If Canada relax visa policy it would benefit both Third world to minimise unemployment and Talent fuel for Canada Economy.

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Make it easier for talented international students and researchers to come to and stay in Canada

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 09/28/2016 1475078229
With an aging population, Canada’s innovation performance will depend heavily on the country’s ability to attract and retain talented peop .... Read more

With an aging population, Canada’s innovation performance will depend heavily on the country’s ability to attract and retain talented people from around the world. Universities across Canada, and particularly Memorial University, are a gateway to Canada for many bright, talented young people, and it will be imperative that many of these international students are encouraged to stay in Canada to live and work following graduation.

Canada should adopt immigration policies that make Canada a destination of choice for top talent from around the world, and include pathways to permanent residency and citizenship for top students and researchers.

Credit: Memorial University of Newfoundland

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Decrease Immigration, Foreign Workers and Foreign Students

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 09/30/2016 1475257434
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The best thing we can do to ensure opportunities for Canadians and developing talent is prioritizing Canadians over foreigners when it comes to work o .... Read more

The best thing we can do to ensure opportunities for Canadians and developing talent is prioritizing Canadians over foreigners when it comes to work opportunities, internships, education, government programs and resources. We need to substantially decrease immigration, temporary foreign workers, internal mobility program workers, and decrease foreign students.

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National Virtual Idea Bank

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 10/29/2016 1477701494
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My idea is relatively simple. The creation of a Virtual Idea Bank.     Any individual with an idea about anything that has a potential commercia .... Read more

My idea is relatively simple.

The creation of a Virtual Idea Bank.

 

 

Any individual with an idea about anything that has a potential commercial or social value, but does not have the means to develop the idea further, submits the idea to the Idea Bank.

Individuals and/or business/social entity reviews the ideas submitted and determines whether or not it can be a viable development, will work with the individual who submitted the idea to bring it to market in a commercial manner that will benefit both parties.

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Expand access to high-quality work placement opportunities

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 06/22/2016 1466623252
Anyone who's tried to break into the job market can tell you that most employers ask for 2-3 years of experience, even for entry-level jobs. Work plac .... Read more

Anyone who's tried to break into the job market can tell you that most employers ask for 2-3 years of experience, even for entry-level jobs. Work placement programs, like co-ops, internships and apprenticeships, are an invaluable way for students to get real experience in the workplace to complement their technical skills, while helping defray their tuition costs and reducing the level of debt they graduate with. Making high-quality work placements available to more students will equip Canada's youth for today's (and tomorrow's) competitive labor markets. But this isn't just a matter of giving more funding to existing programs. There are serious gaps and shortfalls in the way that work placement is carried out today, which is one reason why there's such a wide disparity in outcomes from post-secondary education. The federal government has a great opportunity to fill in those gaps. By doing so, it will lay the groundwork, not just for a more productive labour force, but for a more inclusive economy.

The quality and availability of work placement programs varies greatly between fields. Students in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects can find rewarding co-op jobs at high-profile and exciting firms. Arts students, who make up the largest part of the undergraduate class at most universities, have far fewer opportunities to gain relevant and high-quality experience in the workplace than their peers in STEM fields. 

Just as important, there is a huge variation in the quality of work placement positions even within the same field. Many employers use students as a source of cheap, temporary labour with no regard for their career development. Computer science students who fail to get their dream jobs at Google might find themselves working in a call center instead. Internships can be rewarding, enriching experiences- or the exact opposite, sometimes even within the same organization. Worse, it can be impossible for applicants to know what kind of experience they'll get from a given posting.

This means that students with limited financial resources can't rely on co-op programs or internships for income through their studies. They might well find that a minimum-wage job flipping burgers or stocking shelves, which offers reliable income without needing to sit through extensive interviews or buy expensive work attire, makes more financial sense than trying to find a co-op or an internship. These students are being left behind, working dead-end jobs while their better-off peers compete for plum assignments. 

The intense competition for the best work placements means that they're likely to go to financially secure students who are highly motivated, have good interpersonal skills, and who are studying high-demand subjects- in other words, the same people who would probably be able to find a good job after graduation no matter what. 

To expand students' access to high-quality work placement programs, the Government of Canada should:

  • Encourage employers to use work placement programs for fields and occupations that so far have been under-represented;
  • Facilitate new or reformed work placement programs to better meet the needs of employers in fields that traditionally haven't employed students;
  • Ensure that work placement offerings are aligned with the future job prospects of graduates, so that every student has the ability to launch their career with a work placement opportunity;
  • Create programs aimed at students who are a poor fit for traditional work placement opportunities, such as those with language deficits, disabilities, or those who lack developed interpersonal skills for the workplace;
  • Ensure that employers are open and transparent in their job postings about the type of position they are offering, the scope of work, the degree of responsibility, and the skills the experience will foster; and,
  • If necessary, amend existing programs to prevent employers from posting jobs that do not provide a valuable experience to students.

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incentives for innovation

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 06/23/2016 1466660148
Tags:
I am a Canadian living in Seattle. I moved recently since I got an offer from Microsoft with a pay package I have never seen before in Toronto. I also .... Read more

I am a Canadian living in Seattle. I moved recently since I got an offer from Microsoft with a pay package I have never seen before in Toronto. I also have another person on my immediate team in the exact same situation as well as many others in sister teams. I am sure the Canadian government is aware of this and aware of how much tax money has been lost due to us leaving.

 

I would like to propose that the Government add higher incentives for companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Apple to set up shop in Canada with development centers. I am aware that these companies already have offices in major cities. However, these offices are mainly for selling to Canadians. They are not there to innovate or produce anything new. 

 

One way to do this is to offer a one time or recurring tax incentive for innovative tech companies. These + the deep talent pool in Canada and business friendly rules should attract many companies to the region. 

 

Another option is to open up Canada to more liberal and flexible regulation when it comes to innovation. For example, why not make self driving cars legal TODAY? Why not have Canada become the first country with this technology fully integrated into society. Canada has an opportunity to become a world leader in this field. As a side benefit, there are many companies that would bring their development teams to the region.

 

A similar idea can be applied with drones. For example, why not let Amazon test out their drone delivery in Canada first. Canadians are envious of Americans due to their access to easy online deliveries from Amazon. Canadian Amazon pales in comparison. Bring drone development to Canada could be a huge boost to innovation as well as have many positive unintended consequences when Amazon expands many of their services to Canada.

 

Once these companies open offices in Canada, it will also send a ripple effect within the country. All of a sudden we will have many experienced developers moving between these global tech companies. These are the people that are also most likely to start their own companies in the future.

 

Seattle has a deep talent pool because of exactly the same reasons. Outside of Microsoft, Google and Facebook have large offices in the area. There are also numerous startups and smaller companies attracting talent from all over the world. Canada can and should emulate that model.

 

Thanks

Leon

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Create small business grants to foster Canadian innovation

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 06/23/2016 1466682464
Tags: Business  science  grants 
The NIH in the US has a SBIR (small business innovation research) grant program that aids enormously in getting new startup companies going.  It is a .... Read more

The NIH in the US has a SBIR (small business innovation research) grant program that aids enormously in getting new startup companies going.  It is a highly used and integral part of the business environment in the US that is completely lacking in Canada.  We should consider adopting this strategy to allow Canadian small business ideas to be developed at home.

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Inclusive Innovation

Question:What more can be done to cement Canada's place as a leader in social entrepreneurship?
on 06/23/2016 1466702591
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To become a leader in social entrepreneurship, Canada needs to bridge the gap between social and economic impact. We need to ensure the innovative bre .... Read more

To become a leader in social entrepreneurship, Canada needs to bridge the gap between social and economic impact. We need to ensure the innovative breakthroughs in science and technology also benefit the marginalized and the poor. 

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National youth STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship celebration event

Question:How do we work together to equip youth with the right skills for the future economy?
on 06/30/2016 1467314950
Canadian high school students regularly achieve world-class results in international STEM competitions. In 2015 – and again in 2016 – youn .... Read more

Canadian high school students regularly achieve world-class results in international STEM competitions. In 2015 – and again in 2016 – young Canadians won the top award (and the US$75,000 cash prize) at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), topping 1,700 students from 75 countries. Canadians have won the Sanofi International Biogenius Challenge, FIRST Robotics Competition World Championships, and numerous STEM Olympiad competitions from astronomy to mathematics. Canadians have been top 15 finalists (from over 10,000 global entries) in the Google Science Fair almost every year since it began in 2011 – and won top awards in 2013 and 2014.

Most Canadians – and particularly our youth – are completely unaware. It’s as if our world junior hockey team won and no-one noticed. That doesn’t happen because Canada has a vibrant hockey culture. Thanks to Vancouver 2010 and Own the Podium, we’re developing an Olympic culture. But we need a STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship culture.

As in sports, a STEM culture needs heroes – rising stars that young Canadians recognize and emulate. When 16-year-old Victoria BC inventor Ann Makosinski appeared on the Jimmy Fallon Show with her hand-heat-powered flashlight – and again a year later with a cell phone charging travel mug – kids noticed. Peltier tile-powered devices – many built by girls – appeared at science fairs across Canada. Building a science and innovation culture is no different to building a hockey or Olympic culture; celebrating excellence and achievement on the national stage and in the media is an essential component.

In 2010, U.S. President Obama initiated what became an annual tradition – the White House Science Fair. Over the past six years, this event has celebrated the winners of a broad range of youth STEM and entrepreneurship competitions at what the President has called, “the most fun day of the year.”

I propose creating an annual event, hosted on Parliament Hill, to recognize Canadian winners of national and international youth STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship competitions and other young Canadian achievers. They would be invited to share their work with the Prime Minister / Minister of Youth, Minister of Science, Key Opinion Leaders, STEM-related government officials, and most importantly, the media.

Most kids aren’t going to become professional or Olympic athletes, but wanting to inspires and motivates. Let’s celebrate Canada’s youth STEM, innovation, and entrepreneurship heroes and role models.

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Prediction innovation:Accuracy and possibilities

Question:How can Canada become the best country in attracting and developing talent?
on 07/01/2016 1467332184
A designed study need to be done to better predict what the future will bring us of new innovations and technologies.let us consider the current time .... Read more

A designed study need to be done to better predict what the future will bring us of new innovations and technologies.let us consider the current time a Zero start point.letu go back 5p years back and see the stand of technologies science and innovations.let us predict from the Zero start point moving forward 50 years and see what likely to be.let us analyze both datas by finding a group of creterias that are predictable.We will be more equipped to predict with more certainty and less errors.

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