Digital media is critical to Canada's economic, social and cultural future. (Surprise!)
Industry Minister Tony Clement wants to hear from all of you.
"All Canadians have a role to play in shaping Canada's digital future," he told the audience at the Canada 3.0 Digital Forum in Stratford, Ont. "It's crucial everyone become engaged."
We're gonna go out on a limb here and predict the solutions to our wired (and wireless) woes don't lie with government facilitated forums. In fact, they don't lie with the government at all.
We're not suggesting they don't have a role to play (opening the funding flood gates for capital and incentives, and supporting platforms for innovation etc.)
But their primary role should be one opposite to that of a helicopter parent. (Support everything bottom up and get out of the way.)
Our fave learnings from Canada3.0?
1. Via the Can3Empower Stream: We were leaders in broadband access, now we're falling behind. If public buses and tiny pizza joints in Turkey have wi-fi, we'd better take a good long look at our infrastructure and access to it. (Yes, we can do it outside of Starbucks!)
2. Via the Can3Learning stream: We have to examine new models in education. We can't teach the digital generation with their grandparents' technology and we sure as hell can't prohibit social tools in the classroom. We need to get back to learning (over curriculum) and true, meaningful engagement of students (yes, they can help define what's good for them...and maybe, for us.)
3. Via Sprouter's Sarah Prevette (@sarahprevette): We have the will and the talent, now we have to provide ways for our entrepreneurs to help themselves (capital) and help each other (incentives). Canadian digital entrepreneurs exiting a company and investing in the next "them"? Now that's a vision.
We were grateful to have had the opportunity to be part of the dialogue and are looking forward to the actions resulting -- and hoping they get started asap.
Truth is, Canada's digital future is in our hands. The hands of the entrepreneurs, the researchers, the students and everyone who dares to create and connect.
The digital moon shot is ours - and it's never been more achievable.