Congress panel discusses a positive future for Canada

The “Big Thinking” panel discussion on Tuesday, entitled “Imagining Canada’s Future”, was presented by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) and featured prominent scholars Dan Gardner, Don Tapscott and Diana Carney.

In their discussion each panelist highlighted different aspects of Canada, and emphasized which ones need to be focused on in order for the country to move forward in a positive manner.

Gardner focused on issues regarding politicians, and explained they have an “aversion to experimentation.” Politicians, he stated, won’t admit they need to find answers to find solutions.

He also emphasized that human nature also poses issues.

“We’re compulsive explainers,” he stated. “We convince ourselves we know what’s coming; that’s dangerous, that’s a mistake.”

Tapscott emphasized that Canadians need to stop predicting the future, and work to achieve it.

“I’m convinced that we’re at a turning point in history,” he asserted.

He stated that Canada needs to move away from the industrial ways of solving problems, and work collaboratively to find a modern way of achieving goals.

“This is not an age of information, it’s an age of collaboration.”

Tapscott stated we posses enough information, but we do not know how to utilize it properly in order to achieve the positive future we want. Social networking, he explained, can be utilized to produce a positive future. Technology needs to be embraced in order to move forward.

He also agreed with Gardner in stating that “risky experimentation is needed to rebuild the future of Canada.”

Carney focused on economic factors regarding Canada’s future, including job prospects and ties with foreign countries, with specific regards to China. The strategic importance of the federal government was also mentioned.

“We need to be proactive, not reactive,” she told the crowd.

All three panelists agreed that as a country Canada cannot simply envision a positive future, but rather work collaboratively in order to achieve one.

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