About a year ago it was brought to my attention that due to low literacy rates in North America, the generation that is currently in elementary school will not be literate enough to carry our economy forward. Low literacy, is what Horst Rittel would call a, Wicked Problem. As I have explored this issue as part of the Give to Grow Fund I have come to realize that literacy isn't just about the ability to read. Literacy directly correlates to:
access to local language (English as a Second Language training)
health and nutrition (kids can't learn on empty bellies)
access to banking services (parents can't learn financial literacy without the tools)
seeing employees as part of the revenue side of the equation by investing in their professional development (employees can't advance in their field if employers aren't investing in them leading to economic growth)
acculturation and integration (language nuance and social norms)
supplies in schools and quality education
access to literature outside of the school and work environment (book deserts)
During the course of my career I have had the privilege of meeting and conversing with some of North America’s leading business people, politicians, actors and philanthropists. I know that I am lucky. So when I received an email last month from W. Brett Wilson’s publicist to write a review on his book, Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes I was intrigued and said yes. I take these opportunities as ways to learn more about what others are doing in the world, but it is also an opportunity to gain professional insights that you don’t often get W. Brett Wilson exposed to.
This past weekend I was part of a facilitation team taking a group of individuals and organizations through a course on starting a social enterprise. The workshop was hosted by Canada Bridges and there were about 25 individuals ranging in age, ethnicity, and most especially in the ideas that they felt they could get to market that would make meaningful social change.
Several weeks ago I presented to Calgary's JCI chapter. My presentation was about failure. I started with a TEDx Video where Tom Wujec presents on how building a marshmellow tower leads to team building and creative problem solving.
I sat down with Mr. Hotchkiss 3 years ago and interviewed him about his philanthropy. I am re-posting the blog post here today in memory of an extraordinary man who was a committed member of Calgary's community as well as an integral part of Canada's fabric.
Attached you will find a copy of the G8 Young Business Joint Declaration encouraing our countries' leaders to support, invest and encourage economic growth through the entrepreneurship of young business owners.
“What are the innovations we need to re-launch the economy?”
This is the topic of the G8 Young Business Summit that I will be attending this week. Pretty hefty question, and one that is timely in light of the recent vote that happened in the US Congress on the Climate Change Bill. Young entrepreneurs from around the world will be gathering in Stresa, Italy for two-days of workshops, debates, presentations and networking on issues surrounding social innovation and green technology.