Canada must focus on innovation economy to thrive in digital age – by Don Tapscott (Toronto Star – January 24, 2016)

DAVOS, SWITZERLAND—As the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum enters its final quarter, there continues to be a lot of buzz about Canada in General and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in particular.

Trudeau had a hectic day Friday that included meetings with international leaders and a session in the grand Congress Hall on gender equality that included Sheryl Sandberg from Facebook and Melinda Gates from the Gates Foundation.

The annual Canadian cocktail party was jammed and the crowd was nothing less than ebullient. My wife, Ana Lopes, and I must have heard people say half a dozen times something to the effect of “you must be so proud of your prime minister.” Heady times for sure. No doubt the PMO is enjoying it but also fully aware of the concept of a honeymoon.

Trudeau also attended a lunch with about 60 people, including many Canadian leaders of business, government and civil society, that turned into a very spirited discussion about Canada’s future.

The lunch was held under strict “Chatham House Rules” so I can’t identify the 20 or so people who spoke. But I am permitted by the World Economic Forum (WEF) to share the gist of the conversation.

Notwithstanding the troubles in the Canadian economy, the tone, interestingly, was one of enthusiasm about the future. One international delegate congratulated the four Canadian ministers present for the aggressive intervention in Davos saying that “The Canadian brand is back on the international stage.”

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