Thursday, August 11, 2016

Enabling innovation and the creative economy

Canada needs the disciplines of design, of humanities and the creative arts.

We need to out think our transition from simply a resource extraction and branch plant economy.

Digital disruption is rewiring our economy.

The Internet of Things represents significant promise to enable social and economic development.

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission has given us an unprecedented opportunity to work with Aboriginal peoples on social and economic inclusion.

The Prime Minister has called for a national grand challenge – a focus on Clean and Green Tech and a transition into a low carbon economy.

And millennials want more than simple economics, a focus on social entrepreneurship and a sustainable future.

This future is now. And we need creative thinking, and design thinking, to help realize this creative economy.

OCAD University - the University of the Imagination - is ideally situated to be a catalyst in ushering in the creative economy.

Our graduates are perfectly poised to contribute to new models of social and economic development.

Our graduates are essential to helping Toronto and Canada out think these challenges, and to imagine an inclusive, sustainable future.

Research, innovation, entrepreneurship, creative activities. These are all key to the future of the creative economy.

We need all graduates, from all disciplines, with innovation literacy - the skills and competencies to build a creative, innovative and sustainable future. We need to support the spectrum of research – from basic to applied, from artistic creation to innovation and experimental development. All are necessary, and complementary, to a well functioning and productive society.

For innovation can be taught, learned and practiced. And expanding our research and innovation activities will ensure that we continue to be a leading voice in the creative economy.

I heard John Godfrey once say that “The goal of education is to make one privately happy and publicly useful.” I believe this to be true. And as an enabler of the innovation economy, I am looking forward to helping usher in this future at OCAD University.