It’s time for us to get active, think big

The Halifax Chronical Herald

Sun. Jan 6 – 4:47 AM
NOVAKNOWLEDGE has been sounding alarm bells for years over the importance of embracing a new, knowledge-driven economy for Nova Scotia as well as environmental sustainability.

Action is required to overcome the challenges that threaten our economy — failure to achieve immigration objectives, too many young people leaving the province, regionalism, poor productivity, a shortage of skilled workers, too many marginalized workers, comparatively low wages and an aging and declining population.

To overcome these obstacles we must create a society in which the young stay in Nova Scotia for progressive jobs, change our attitudes, fight regionalism, pay higher wages by becoming more productive and encourage young people to take post-secondary education in trades, math, sciences and information technology.

NovaKnowledge held an assembly of leaders in October at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax to discuss how leaders from all regions and sectors can address these challenges, as well as celebrate some of our successes and progress. The focus of the assembly was on productivity, innovation, education and the need to support and create sustainable and better-paying jobs.

The one element that most reports and events lack are the solutions or steps that individual leaders, and all Nova Scotians, can implement to help overcome the challenges. Therefore, NovaKnowledge has created its Top 8 for ’08 new year’s resolutions for Nova Scotia. We are calling on all leaders, and all Nova Scotians, to commit to the following action in 2008:

Get Active  Change our image, attitudes and policies. Take action to ensure that environmental sustainability, health and wellness promotion, and injury prevention become paramount in your organization.

Think Big  Reduce the impact of regionalism on Nova Scotia’s economic and social development. Recognize that we are a small province and that we will become strong and prosperous through collaboration with all communities and regions for the betterment of the entire province.

Do Away With CFA  Become more welcoming to new Canadians and new Nova Scotians. Encourage your organization, friends and colleagues to employ new Nova Scotians. Support our campaign to eliminate use of the terms “come from away” and “CFA.”

Learn Something New  Participate in lifelong learning and challenge your organization to increase investment in workforce training to a minimum of two per cent of revenue.

Spend Wisely  Call on government and business leaders to find ways through productivity improvement and innovation to increase wages and help reduce student debt. This will reduce the out-migration of young workers. Also, please encourage your employer to hire recent graduates and international students.

Help Others  Improve literacy and numeracy in the province by calling on all levels of government and business leaders to increase funding and to implement additional incentives.

Come To Life  Strive to highlight successes and recognize progress in Nova Scotia. There is much to celebrate!

Leaders — Lead by Example  Support the creation of a Nova Scotia Leaders’ Council by novaknowledge to help lead the charge on productivity, innovation, adopting new technology, fostering forward-thinking attitudes and recommending leading-edge public policy.

Tim Outhit is president and CEO of novaknowledge, a Halifax technology think-tank


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