Current Trent University Chancellor alumnus Don Tapscott and founding President THB Symons are both featured in a book launched by The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, commemorating Canada's 150th year.
"150 Stories is a collection of new stories and images that speak eloquently about what it means to be Canadian in Ontario. Listening to each other is a first step in creating the communities and country of which we can be proud. Let thoughtful and peaceful engagement be our gift to the future and our legacy to the world at large."
The pair are in excellent company, joining such notable Ontarians as Gordon Lightfoot, Bobby Orr, Donovan Bailey, Adrienne Clarkson, and the family of Terry Fox.
The stories speak to the varied identities that make up the province -- of geography and community. They speak of a unique blend of diversity and cohesion. They tell of our social, political, and environmental obligations.
Each of the 150 Stories are told in 150 words or less. Each is a treasure.
Among other things my home, Ontario has been a place for innovation. As a liberal arts student at Trent University in the late 1960s, I concluded that the world was in need of profound change and that innovation in everything was critical.
I began my professional career working for Canada’s innovation juggernaut Bell Northern Research. We conducted the first controlled experiments on how computers connected to networks could change how we work and the nature of our organizations. This effort was years ahead of its time, but it led me to write my first book (1982) and launch my first company. Fifteen books and half a dozen startups later, I continue to be inspired by how Ontario has embraced the digital economy.
Innovative companies, colleges and universities, and governments the world envies. I believe this province can be the centre of an innovation economy in Canada and maybe internationally. If we will it.
Many years ago, as a young student, I boarded a train at Union Station eastbound for Kingston where I was to attend some classes at Queen’s University. As I waited for the train to depart, I noticed out my window a distinguished older gentleman making his way along the platform. He walked with some difficulty but with great dignity and a twinkle in his eye. As he approached, I heard him call out to the conductor, “Hello sir, how are you this fine day?”
“I am well, sir,” replied the conductor, “and how are you?”
“I’m getting older,” said the gentleman.
“Age is honour, sir,” responded the conductor in an equally dignified manner.
As I approach my ninth decade, the remarks and actions of many people whom I have come to know across this great province give me confidence that age is still honour in Ontario.