This week, the Canadian Digital Media Network posted their report from the 2011 Canada 3.0 conference discussions. While creating a digital economy and society has become a very popular strategy for cities and countries around the world, the numbers regarding Canada’s current global status are disappointing. Canada is ahead in terms of Internet usage worldwide, yet our current ICT infrastructure and global ranking on digital media innovation are way behind other similar countries.
Below is an excerpt from the Canada 3.0 report, based on the “Stratford Index” that was presented at the 2011 Canada 3.0 conference:
• 96% of Canadian households are able to connect to the Internet over a broadband connection. We lead the world in terms of time spent online and engagement.
• We also lead in terms of open government rankings – placing 4th out of 35 similar countries
• However, only 13% of our publications are online, just 37% of our physician offices use digital record-keeping, and only 26% of our classrooms use interactive whiteboards
• 95% of Canadians believe that preserving our cultural heritage is important – yet less than 1% of our existing film, broadcast and AV material is currently online
• Canada ranked a meager 14th out of 17 similar countries in terms of innovation
• Finally, Canada’s global rank in ICT connectivity and economic performance contribution continues to decline year over year (in 2008 we ranked 4th – we ranked 9th in 2010)
According to Ian Wilson, the former Chief Librarian and Archivist of Canada and Executive Director of the Stratford Institute“the old caution remains: vision without action is hallucination. While we consult and discuss, other countries move ahead. Canada needs action.”
The Canadian Digital Media Network and the University of Waterloo’s Stratford Institute are working to help to measure and develop a vision and plan of action for Canada. However, we all can play a role in helping to shape Canada’s future as a global leader in the digital economy. How will you play your part?