December 29, 2011
Yep, I must admit that Preston Manning’s never been my cup of tea. But he has an article in today’s Globe and Mail that I totally agree with — and applaud him for writing. An article that’s got me very excited; and hopeful: Commercializing science: Right players, right roles for innovation gold.
There is a definite lack in Canada — not just of innovative thinking — but much worse, I think — we don’t seem to have a gut-wrenching desire to be innovative. And as much of a cliche as this statement is, I don’t feel that we have a fire in our collective belly. We can’t seem to taste it! We don’t seem to want it at all — never mind, want it badly.
So what I love most about his article, is the underlying ‘idea’ — and the very spirit behind Cal Stiller’s (one of Canada’s most accomplished medical scientists and entrepreneurs) challenge to all of us — that Canada can, should and must “own the innovation podium, just as we aimed to own the podium in Vancouver at the Winter Olympics.”
Mind over matter certainly worked for Vancouver. I’ll never forget the momentum that the olympic torch created as it travelled from province to province. Some of us may have been ambivalent as it began its journey but we sure didn’t stay that way for long. The crowds and the enthusiasm swelled and just kept swelling. I’ll never forget the Opening Ceremonies and the Canadian pride that was let loose in that stadium (and in living rooms across the nation) — and at all the events that followed — right up to, and including, the Closing Ceremonies.
And what that led to, on the podium!
I’ve lived in this country all my life and never, ever, have I experienced anything like it. But it didn’t last long. And now we need to muster that up again. There is no doubt in my mind that is is the greatest country on earth to live in. I believe that more and more every day. Our potential is unlimited. But it does depend on us. All of us — the public and private sectors — scientists — researchers — entrepreneurs — corporations large and small — individuals — students — businessmen and women. All of us. Coming together. Collaborating. Brainstorming. Digging deep for real solutions. Breaking out of the past. Being brave enough to embrace new ideas, new ways of doing things. Forging a new path.
Embracing innovation. Going for gold!
That’s my wish for all of us as we count down the few days remaining in 2011. I wish it for myself and for my friends, family and colleagues. And I wish it for Canada.
I hope that, in 2012, we continue where we left off at the end of February, 2010 — in Vancouver, across the country and, in fact, in the message we sent around the world: That when we Canadians set our minds to it, we can, and do, accomplish great things!