West Wing Wednesday Night #18

Here is the invite for next week’s salon – Sept 9th, 2009 (yes, 09/09/09 for those of you paying attention to such things) – same place, same time, different crowd, same amount of fun!   After the whirlwind session on Aug 12th, that covered poets, chickens, wastelands (a.k.a. lawns), leadership, a debate on whether cars have liberated or corrupted our civilization and the role of railway projects in toppling governments, we emerge with more topics than there was time! Some of the ones we put on the list to be discussed next time into three big categories:

1.       Economically leaning

  • What is the real issue in this recession? – current best proposal: no capital for growth companies (see Mark Mullins, policy director Fraser Institute on hard times, hard choices )  a.k.a. a threat to our innovation ecology
  • This segues to the discussion of creative ecology and lands us straight into the long overdue debate on copyright’s role and future – see John Howkins presentation last Dec
  • Have business parks and research parks made a difference and if yes, is it positive or negative?
  • The “play” by several major universities (apparently unsuccessful, in fact back-fired) to be labeled as “research” universities – and the whole balance between teaching and research

2.       Old media – new Media – plus a Middle East lens

  • What is the future of libraries? How will the nature of books and magazines change?
  • The historic release of the Arabic version of the comic book of Martin Luther King’s story complete with             instructions on how to stage pacifist resistance
  • Twitter and the Iranian revolt – the good, the bad and the really ugly

3.       On our growing cynicism with public political processes

  • The Vancouver’s park board has presented the closure of Mount Pleasant as a fait accompli in their        newsletter while having committed to public consultations starting in September on whether or not to close the pool.
  • This ranks up there with last year’s situation in Ontario, where after being convicted of charging people illegal late-payment fees, Enbridge Inc.  sought and obtained permission from the Ontario Energy Board to pay the 22M$ settlement and legal fees by creating a new surcharge on existing customers!
  • And then – I don’t think I need to say any more that the “Canadian Senate”!!!
  • Fragmentation of the Canadian social cohesion – what does/can hold us together, what will? And why   aren’t polls asking Canadians what they really think about the key “Canadian” values, instead of newspaper spreads on the stats on the trivial and the inconsequential??

And a HUGE thanks again to all of you who are e-mailing with ideas and links to feed the topic hopper with most interesting items that I personally am so looking forward to discussing as a group.
You can have a look at what the Montreal Wednesday Nights Salon had on their minds this week at   for their 1435th session!
We look forward to welcoming you back and seeing the new comers. Come to think, discuss, be inspired, and exchange ideas and insights, all you of interested, interesting, informed and informative folks in town.  I wish you all a fabulous labor-free Labor day long weekend!

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