Posts Tagged Canadian Digital Media Network
I’m very excited to be participating once again in the Canadian Digital Media Network‘s (CDMN) Canada 3.0 Digital Media Forum on April 24th and 25th in Stratford, Ontario. This year, CDMN is focusing on five key industry streams: Capital, Connectivity, Content, Productivity and Talent – all of which will help to achieve Canada’s Moonshot goal: To ensure that anyone can do anything online by 2017.
Over the past few months, I’ve written a series of blog posts which examine some of the key trends and issues surrounding each of the industry themes. You can read those posts on the CDMN and Canada 3.0 websites.
There are some amazing speakers scheduled to attend this year’s event, representing Canadian industry, government and academia. I hope that you can attend Canada 3.0 2012 and play your part in ensuring Canada’s place at the forefront of the global digital economy.
If you’re a startup, you might also want to take a look at the Road to Banff Pitch-Off Competition that is happening simultaneously with the conference. The winning team gets an all-expense paid trip to the Banff Venture Forum in October. Sweet!
I can’t wait to see you in Stratford!
Image source: iStockPhoto.com
In the new digital economy, the Canadian cultural sector needs workers with a hybrid of technology, management and creative skills. The Cultural Human Resources Council (CHRC) of Canada is conducting a major national study with Nordicity to measure the “Impact of Emerging Digital Technologies on the Cultural Sector.” I spoke with Susan Annis, Executive Director of CHRC this week to learn about the challenges that the Canadian cultural workforce faces in acquiring new digital skills and what programs the CHRC is planning to help address those challenges.
According to Annis, “the Canadian cultural sector is going through a digital sea change. As a result, it is the hybrid cultural worker who will rise to the top.” The Canadian cultural industry is broken-out into eight sub-sectors including Live Performing Arts; Writing and Publishing; Visuals Arts and Crafts; Film, Television and Broadcasting; Digital Media; Music and Sound Recording; and Heritage.
Annis says that every cultural sub-sector is being impacted by the growing need for computer literacy and digital expertise.
Critical digital expertise challenges in the Canadian cultural sector
One of the biggest challenges that the Canadian cultural workforce faces is the issue of managing digital copyrights. The proposed Copyright Modernization Act (Bill C-32) will attempt to address this issue. However, there are steps that the CHRC can take to help educate Canadian cultural workers about digital rights management and provide them with the skills to retain and grow revenue for their work.
Another challenge brought about by the sea change of digital technology is managing and marketing cultural exports. Annis explained that many new artists and cultural producers are now managing their own product distribution. She says that there will always be a need for large organizational infrastructures (i.e. the book publishers and record labels). However, Canadian cultural producers also need digital distribution skills at the individual level – as the cultural sector “shifts from a hierarchy to a broader base of distributed materials.”
Many Canadian artists are already on the cutting edge of digital technologies. However, Annis says that there are cultural producers in certain sub-sectors who will require more digital technology training than others – especially when it comes to managing, retaining and distributing the digital rights to their work.
CHRC training programs
The CHRC is developing pilot training programs to help address some of the digital rights and distribution challenges that the industry currently faces. Once the content is perfected, the CHRC plans to roll-out the courses to major digital media and professional associations across all of the provinces. These training programs will initially be provided online.
Some of the new CHRC training programs include:
- Rights management in the music industry
- Export marketing – developed at the cultural industry sub-sector level
- Project management for the digital media industry
Annis explained that it has been difficult to quantify where the biggest gaps are for training the Canadian cultural workforce to date. She said that the CHRC is working to develop measurable data points to help get stronger support and funding in the future. However, the courses outlined above are where the CHRC currently sees the most demand for education.
Ultimately, Annis says that we need to “create standards of excellence where the arts and technology can grow together.” She believes that training needs to start at the high school level, where the arts can be integrated with technology in the classroom. The CHRC is currently putting together a list of recommendations on how to reach these cultural standards of digital excellence.
If you want to hear from Susan Annis and participate in the conversation about what digital training is required for the Canadian cultural workforce, you can meet her at the Canada 3.0 (www.canada30.ca) Conference in Stratford in May.
How do you think the CHRC can prepare Canadian cultural workers for the digital future?
In 2010, the Canada 3.0 Conference brought together nearly 2,000 delegates including cabinet ministers, business leaders, scholars and students to Stratford, Ontario to discuss Canada’s future as a digital society. After a 2-day discussion, a call-to-action was developed: Canada must set an ambitious goal to become a fully digital nation by 2017 – the year we celebrate our country’s 150th birthday. This “moon shot” goal would enable Canadians to do anything online, from anywhere, at a reasonable cost.
I spoke with Ian Wilson, Executive Director at The Stratford Institute (a not-for-profit technology think-tank in Stratford, Ontario) about what it will take to achieve the 2017 “moon shot.” Wilson said that this ambitious goal requires “unprecedented collaboration” from Canada’s government, universities and private sector. He explained that there has been a lot of commitment from these institutions in the past but there has been very little measurable action to date. Wilson described the situation by saying that “vision without implementation is hallucination.”
Wilson told me that “a lot of people in Canada are worried that we are falling behind” in regards to digital leadership on the global stage. He and the other board members at the Stratford Institute aim to act as provocateurs to encourage action at the political level and to stimulate and help the unprecedented collaboration required across government, universities, NGOs and the private sector.
The Call to Action
Canada is lacking a vehicle to mobilize and sustain the efforts of all organizations and individuals concerned about our digital future. We cannot rely on just the technological experts and specialists to resolve the current challenges that we face. Ian Wilson says that in addition to involving the technology sector, we need to “engage businesses, entrepreneurs, and people in the creative arts to take action.” The digital jobs of the future require Canadians with skills that cross all of these sectors.
To inspire action, a participative and inclusive strategy has been developed to engage Canadians in a discussion and get our government mobilized. Ian Wilson outlined some of the key tactics that will help to inspire Canadians to get involved.
Some of these tactics include:
- A National Digital Video Contest
The Stratford Institute, along with Canadian Digital Media Network is inviting all Canadians to submit a video that profiles their vision of what Canada will look like in 2017. The video can be a webcam monologue, a presentation, a story or a short film of 5 minutes or less. Select entries will be featured on the Canada 3.0 website (www.canada30.ca) and profiled at the Canada 3.0 venue on May 2 to 4, 2011. Three winning entries will each be awarded a $500 prize to be announced at the Canada 3.0 conference closing celebrations and showcased on the Canada 3.0 website.
- An Annual “National Digital Report”
It will be necessary to establish key metrics to assess how Canada, its governments and institutions are doing in advancing toward the “moon shot” goal compared to the rest of the world. The Stratford Institute is currently working on their first annual report that will be released at the Canada 3.0 Conference in May. They will be asking the Canadian academic, government and private sector community to help provide ideas on what those key metrics and benchmarks should look like (i.e. the percent of public content available online; trends in consumption of paper’; availability of public access to tech in libraries and community centres; technological literacy; access to high speed connections). They will also poll Canadians via a new website to get a reading of attitudes and perspectives on how we’re doing so far. The key metrics and the polling information will be developed through consultation with experts from organizations like the OECD and CRTC.
So, will Canada meet the “moon shot” goal by 2017? Ian Wilson says we can check back in with him at that time to see where we stand. Let us know what you think it will take to get there?
Image source: iStockPhoto.com
Ontario’s small town of Stratford was recently chosen as one of the top 7 intelligent communities of 2011 from around the world. It might surprise many Canadians to learn that the town that is well-known for attracting a large amount of tourists to the Stratford Shakespeare Festival every year is now becoming a technologically advanced community.
Although Stratford’s population is just roughly 32,000 people strong, the town is a glowing example of what’s possible for Canada’s digital future.
Stratford has recently undergone significant changes in order to boost the local economy and create new jobs and opportunities in the information technology space. Not only has the University of Waterloo recently opened up a campus in Stratford to offer a Masters of Business Entrepreneurship and Technology program but the city has also laid 60 km of optical fibre to provide a public Wi-Fi network. In addition, a digital media “think tank” centre, the Stratford Institute, was recently developed to host seminars, workshops and presentations led by some of the brightest minds in the digital media industry today.
What is most impressive is the fact that Stratford’s family physicians have been experimenting with an e-health portal to manage their patients’ health records and after-hours care. This has enabled the town to make-up for the shortage of local family doctors and has made Stratford a leading city in the e-healthcare industry.
Stratford has also played host to the Canada 3.0 conference in the past two years. I am excited to be a part of this conference in 2011. The agenda for this three-day event starting on May 2nd will explore many of the current trends and challenges that Canada faces in order to become a leader in technology innovation on the world stage.
The conference will bring together leading industry experts, policy makers, Academia, decision makers and Government representatives to discuss and collaborate on the current issues that will help Canada reach a “moonshot goal” – that anyone can do anything online in Canada by 2017. I will explore some of these issues over the coming weeks to find out what other Canadians think it will take for Canada to reach this goal.
There are many challenges to overcome in order to achieve the “moonshot” goal in such a short time. Therefore, Canada requires anyone with a strong voice and the willingness to collaborate to participate in the conference and in the efforts required to elevate Canada’s global status as an innovator in technology.
This year’s conference will cover keynotes, breakout sessions, expert panels, and open dialogue regarding current digital media-driven productivity gains in the Education, eHealth, Media & Entertainment, Natural Resources, Public Sector, Research and Telecommunications & Distribution industries. If you have suggestions for current Canadian technology trends and issues in those sectors that are worth exploring, definitely let me know and I will consider writing about them. Let’s get the conversation started now. I hope to see you in Stratford in May to help build the roadmap for Canada’s digital future.
For more information about the Canada 3.0 conference in Stratford, visit www.canada30.ca.