Ontario College of Art and Design President Sara Diamond weighed in on the state of innovation in Canada yesterday. In the Globe and Mail she asks Will Canada miss the next wireless revolution? Asserting that Canadian carriers are lagging their counterparts around the world in the area of affordable wireless data access, Ms. Diamond says that innovation dependent on that affordable wireless access will languish as a result. She prescribes a solution based on venture funding, and education, noting that innovation cycles are dramatically accelerated today and new business models are changing the market.
At first I was puzzled. After all, why should the President of OCAD care about venture funding and innovation cycles in the technology market? After reading some of Ms. Diamond’s speeches on the OCAD website, however, it’s obvious where she’s coming from. For her, design is one of the pillars of innovation. As Canadian technology businesses like Nortel collapse, I’ll wager that she’s thinking about her future graduates. After all OCAD will have a problem if they flood the market with bright young design graduates with no job opportunities.
Good on you Sara Diamond. I’m looking forward to reading more of what you have to say.