West Wing of Wednesday Night #12

Judging by the flowers in our garden, spring has sprung (hopefully!) and once again it will soon be time for another gathering! Come join us on Wednesday, March 11th. 7PM as we go full circle for our 12th monthly edition. Note that the Montreal Wednesday Night made it to their 1,408th edition last week – and see a copy of Diana Nicholson’s delightfully thought-provoking invite.

Now back to Vancouver – a few things worth delving into:

Last week some of us attended the fabulous Imagine BCSummit  wonderfully facilitated by Tony Penikett and focusing on potential and potent paths for BC future. Worth noting was Thomas Homer-Dixon’s work on the “Upside of Down  – and Candis Callison’s remarks in response (also see Engagement and the new media:Social affiliations provide more than a passing interest in how we act on issues and …it will be nice to get her back to our circle once her thesis is finished!). For all the other great BIG IDEA submissions published in the Vancouver Sun, see the left-hand panel  One of the best points made at the Summit, we thought, was that BC was effectively as old as some of our most senior citizens! What changes has this province seen and the perspective helps to see that for a relatively speaking young entity, we are not doing too bad.

That said, there are real issues and in fact, many more than what the front pages ring alarms about – in addition to the economy, gang violence, east side homelessness and Olympic village, there is for example decreasing access to the interior where many communities feel left out, and now even more so in the economic turbulence – e.g. Greyhound cutting back service . Also – what if Vancouver’s future as a port was to be greatly diminished by the imminent completion of the expansion of the Panama canal  – so where is the main anchor for our province’s future industry?

And thankfully, economics does not seem to impede those who are determined to innovate. Look at Wireless Electricity – a future green solution allowing us to meet local power demands without building a lot of extra infrastructure and the resources that it entails?  That and cloud computing are stretching all business as usual notions.

Another cause for celebration last February 23rd was the 100th anniversary of powered flight in Canada (or the Silver Dartiversary as James calls it in honor of the name of the aircraft). An invention that opened up Northern Canada and led to the growth of companies like Bombardier (who recently used their engineering skill and wind tunnel testing to produce the first of 12,000 torches for the 2010 Olympics).

And of course, we’ll have to spend some time on politics in BC, Canada, and the world. Election preparations are underway in BC and pre-election activity is becoming noticeable everywhere. In the US, the party is over and the hard work has begun – although ambitious plans abound, especially on education and health care, Obamamania came closer to Canada with the Presidential visit to Ottawa at the end of the month. Did the meeting really change the way Harper sees our relationship with the US? According to Rick Mercer Harper was starting to be more like David Suzuki on climate change!  And what is the bottom line impact of all of these niceties – i.e. will this be of any economic benefit as the member nations of NAFTA struggle with their economies?

So, don’t stay home – come to think, discuss, be inspired, and exchange ideas and insights, all you of interested, interesting, informed and informative folks in town.

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