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Recovering backpacker, Cornwallite at heart, political enthusiast, catalyst, writer, husband, father, community volunteer, unabashedly proud Canadian. Every hyperlink connects to something related directly or thematically to that which is highlighted.

Monday 21 May 2012

Premier McGuinty: The Best Consultants Are Yet to be Tapped

There was more meaning to the Drummond Report than just doom and gloom.

Many of the brilliant, bold ideas that will take us through our current challenges won't come from top-dollar consultants.  They'll come from an increasingly engaged populace and an amazing group of emerging social entrepreneurs.  A heightened focus on breaking down service silos and reducing duplication, gaps and overlaps is essential.  This means culture change, always a challenge, but facilitated by people not of the system who still believe in its value.

If Premier McGuinty is really looking for new solutions to some of our most challenging problems, I would suggest he send out staff to attend Why Should I Care events (next one's on Monday May 28 at the Duke of York, starting 6:30pm) to hear some interesting conversations around what hasn't worked and what's being considered by officialdom, with lots of fresh ideas from the floor about how to make our system work.  Organizer Terri Chu always has interesting, sometimes provocative line-up of speakers that touch on their subjects in direct, powerful ways.

The Premier himself should bend the ear of Tonya Surman at the Centre for Social Innovation.  The team of social entrepreneurs who have collected there are pursuing a wealth of interesting new initiatives ranging from new training tools for employees, the use of microfluidics to make anything to do with liquid (ie, blood samples) easier, or simple stuff like turning store waste into energy and creating new aggregate models for services.  Then, there's the growing link between health care costs, mental health and productivity, say nothing of quality-of-life.  Looking at mental health proactively, rather than reactively, is going to change much of everything.

Tomorrow's solutions won't be cultivated at the top; they're being formulated right now by the social entrepreneurs working their way up from the bottom.

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