Canada 3.0 Day 1

We started off the day today with a pretty early drive out to Canada 3.0 (that’s what I get for car-pooling with an exhibitor) in Stratford, ON. The day’s sessions were inteded to set the groundwork for some robust discussions on the future of Canada’s Digital Media industry. A couple of observations though:

Venue was Great: I’ve never been out to the Rotary Centre in Stratford, and I was pleasantly surprised. The venue was more than large enough, and they did a great job setting up the place to look the role.

Twitter Rocked: some of my favourite points during the day were the comments made by attendees on Twitter (search #can30). It is, however, a shame that the conference organizers didn’t do as much to role the side-conversation into the workshops and presentations. E.g. the only live twitter feed I could find was in the front foyer (as opposed to in the halls) and the WiFi support was inadequate for the number of people trying to use it.

Austin Hill has Good Ideas: This was my first time hearing Austin Hill speak, and he has some significant ideas, that I’d love to see evaluated more (although maybe this isn’t the right venue for that exercise). His ideas incuded forgiving student loans for graduating entrepreneurs (use a revenue-based threshold for success) and tax breaks on investments in start-ups. Both are ideas I’d support.

Some Gems: During the course of some conversations, some presentations, and some browsing though, I did come across a couple of gems:

  1. – interesting incubator
  2. – my new replacement for Digg
  3. – does failure really help entrepreneurs?
  4. and
    Finnish startup and economic cluster
  5. – new visualization bought by OpenText

Although I had some great conversations (both with previous acquaintances and some new faces) I think I left today feeling a little dissapointed. When I attend a conference that is designed to “map the strategy for our future” I expect to be exposed to some ideas that challenge me. I understand that they intend to have more conversational workshops tomorrow, but I was still a little let down. I figure, in this context, if a speaker isn’t making a significant portion of the audience uncomfortable with their ideas, then we’re not trying hard enough to change.



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