The Canada 3.0 digital forum wrapped up in Stratford, Ont., yesterday with the co-chairs of each of the five streams recommending three ways to improve Canada’s digital economy based on the issues raised during the two-day discussions.
The purpose of Canada 3.0 was to bring government, academia and industry together to facilitate the discussions needed to put action plans into place, said Kevin Tuer, managing director of Canada 3.0 co-sponsor the Canadian Digital Media Network (CDMN). “You can’t create a plan in isolation, so the idea was to bring them together to participate in these streams,” he said.
The points raised by the co-chairs will be the basis for conversation moving forward, said Tuer. “These are big issues we have to deal with, but at least we know what we are dealing with and we have a sampling of a national voice based on what we heard here,” he said.
CDMN intends to “flush out the context behind those ideas” so it can provide the information to government that is in the position of creating policy and action plans in order to accelerate the strategy around a digital economy, he said.
“I’m cautiously optimistic,” said Tuer. “The last two days have been phenomenal – the people who came out, the conversations that were had, the thoughts that were put forth – but that will only be as good as the conversation that continues,” he said.
One point expressed “fairly loud and clear” from participants is frustration at the entire digital economy for Canada, said Tuer. “They feel there has been enough talk. It’s time to put an action plan into place,” he said.
Recapping the co-chair recommendations:
The creating stream, presented by Tim Jackson, founder and partner of Tech Capital Partners Inc., and Kevin Newman, anchor and executive editor at Global National:
1) An online "concierge" that would bring provincial and federal government together with one portal to make it easier for people to access and discover what government programs are available.
2) A provision of copyright laws that would allow people to choose what they want to charge and what they want to charge for to help them monetize content.
3) A “risk fund” for projects that recognizes the emerging market and allows for artistic experimentation. The fund would specifically acknowledge that the only way Canada will innovate and change is by acknowledging and accepting the risk of failure.
The learning stream, presented by Ontario College of Art and Design (OCAD) president Sara Diamond and Ken Coates, dean of the Faculty of Arts at OCAD:
4) A national provincial plan across curriculum – from K-12 to post-secondary education – that would bring literacy, numeracy, writing and digital skills to the Canadian population. This strategy coordinates literacy on both the federal and provincial scale. One component includes an open source repository for resources.