To celebrate Canada 150, we asked a question of the technology company leaders that we write about so often on IT World Canada: “What do you see for Canada’s future and how will technology play a role in that?” We received a lot of great responses, but we chose 15 to share with you here. Some answers are edited for length. Happy Canada Day!

Michael Hyatt, executive chair of BlueCat Networks 

Michael Hyatt - speaking

“The golden age for Canada is ahead of us, not behind us.We’re living in a time where we have powerful technology, but we throw it away as a commodity. We accept it as day to day life. We’ll make the transition to a technology-based industry at some point.”

Marina Glogovac, president and CEO, CanadaHelps

“Canada is recognized globally for its generosity and strong social safety net. In our next 150 years, we will see rapid growth in demand for the social services our charitable sector provides. To keep pace, social innovation leading to systemic change is essential. Success will require technology that enables cross-sector sharing of data, which will ultimately lead to better understanding of societal issues and clear understanding of our progress.”

Michael Serbinis, CEO, League

“This is a pivotal moment in time. Canada is transforming into an innovation nation and defining what it means to build an AI-driven economy. Across deep learning and AI, quantum computing, regenerative medicine, fintech and more, Canada is leading the way globally.”

Allen Lau, CEO and co-founder, Wattpad

Allen Lau, Wattpad

“Canada’s AI ecosystem will further develop and mature. We will lead the world when it comes to major disruptive trends like AI.”

Angela Brown, president and CEO, Moneris

“Canada is a country of great diversity. What I see now and in the future is our unabashed Canadian pride in bringing people and ideas from different backgrounds together. One common experience is that we embrace and adapt to new technologies quickly, and often are at the forefront. I look forward to seeing how Canadians and Canadian businesses continue to conceive and use new technology to drive our economy and innovation.”

Rejean Bourgault, managing director, Avaya Canada

Rejean Bourgault - Avaya Canada

“In the short term, Canada is in a position to lead in several advanced areas of the digital world. With strong support from the Government with regards to innovation, entrepreneurship and STEM education, I strongly believe Canada will experience unprecedented growth in the future. We have everything we need to be successful – we just need to be ready to re-invent ourselves and develop a long-term vision.”

Carl Rodrigues, president and CEO, SOTI Inc.

SOTI CEO Carl Rodrigues headshot

“It is the responsibility of successful Canadian technology innovators and companies like SOTI to demonstrate that building a great company is not about selling out to the highest foreign bidder as an exit strategy for your startup. The next great wave of Canadian innovations and technology into the next 150 years will be built by Canadian companies who think bigger than a quick exit strategy.”

Andrea Stairs, managing director, eBay Canada

Andrea-Stairs

“Canada has the opportunity to leverage technology to deliver on the promise of creating an economy that meaningfully includes every citizen. All Canadians – living in big cities or small towns – should be able fully participate in the global economy, including global trade. Enabling technologies, including broadband access and online platforms and marketplaces, will the backbone of this future.”

Elaine Mah, director of Intel Canada

Elaine Mah

“While Canada has a history of punching above its weight when it comes to innovation and bringing new, transformative technologies to market, we need continued investment and focus to support and nurture our homegrown talent. The Institute for Quantum Computing, Simon Fraser University’s “Cedar”, and the Government of Canada’s Innovation Superclusters Initiative are helping to encourage our best and brightest to stay home.”

Paul Struthers, EVP and managing director, Sage Canada

Paul Struthers, Sage Canada

“Canada is at the inflection point of AI and we have a unique opportunity to help drive the next wave of a lot of innovation. Sage is going to be a part of that and we’re going to be part of a global community. It’s exciting times and the next 150 are going to be even better.”

Mark Attila Opauszky, CEO, LookBookHQ

“Canada’s most successful tech companies will be the ones that go after massive waste in every industry, making people’s professional lives better and more efficient. Canadians will become more confident in shamelessly promoting ourselves and our technology sector. As a result, Canada will become known as the most pragmatic environment in which entrepreneurs can succeed in building real businesses that sell real products for real money.”

Mike Silagadze, CEO of TopHat

“Our country is at an inflection point. We have the infrastructure, the growing investment, and the talent pool—and, because of the political climate in the US, we’re a magnet for more talent. If we take advantage of this moment, we’re guaranteed to become the next great hub for tech innovation.”

Fariba Anderson, CEO, AcuteNet

“Technology is the great equalizer and can be used to advance the good of humanity and Canada will show the way to the world in the years to come. I cannot wait to be 100 years old and have future Canadians to look after me. I know they will be way smarter than me in using technology to improve quality of life for everyone. Look forward to celebrating Canada 200 and here is to my next 50 as a proud and humble Canadian.”

Mike Wessinger, CEO, PointClickCare

Mike Wessinger

“Canadian entrepreneurs need to think big, and to do so we need to look beyond our borders. Technology will play a vital role in this, as it allows entrepreneurs to scale their ideas and apply their innovations globally. Within Canada, I see the role of technology needing to change as the demographics of the country shift. We’re soon going to see a necessary focus on technology that can help lessen the burden that senior care is going to place on the healthcare industry in the near future.”

Dan Latendre, founder and CEO, Igloo Software

“Canada’s knowledge sector will play an increasingly important role in driving the economy forward and Canada’s tech industry will continue to excel at creating world-class productivity-boosting advancements that will support growth across all sectors.”

Brad Cressman, managing director, Oath Canada

“As Canada celebrates this great milestone of 150 years, mobile will be capturing every moment, every memory. Looking to the future, our relationship with mobile will only deepen and the way we use these devices will continue to evolve as things like AI, VR, and the IoT create new ways to captivate audiences.”

 


Previous articleApple announces iOS 11, iMac Pro, HomePod, and more
Next article20 more Canadian tech leaders look to the future for #Canada150
Brian Jackson
Former editorial director of IT World Canada. Current research director at Info-Tech