In my naïve days of youth I wished for the white knight that would swoop in and through sheer force of will transform this region into an economic dynamo. Well, to be honest I was never quite that naïve but I was of the school that would take very strong political leadership to address what was essentially a century old problem.
Nowadays my favourite phrase is “chipping away”. We need Bushes thousand points of light each chipping away at their corner of the problem and eventually we’ll shape a masterpiece – even without a master carpenter at the head. This model may be even more crazy but what’s my alternative?
So we have Peter Moreira chipping away by storytelling about the tech start up culture emerging in the Maritimes. Story-by-story, chip-by-chip he is in charge of the myth making that will be central to building a much larger entrepreneurial culture in the region. Historically it has been hard for a single journalist to make a living focusing in that way but so far so good.
We have a raft of intermediary institutions arising – some say there is too much clutter – but as long as they are doing good work in their little corner, I say bring it on. Again, if we don’t have a strong mother ship leading the way, we have to string a bunch of smaller groups together. Maybe that’s a better model in the long run anyway.
You will be hearing more in the coming months about the ‘backbone’ organization attempting to link together groups under a broad vision and shared metrics. We are seeing this in the social realm and I think we will see it rise in the economic development realm.