When Matt George approached me about the potential of doing a weekly podcast I wasn’t particularly convinced. There are now thousands of podcasts out there – many of them pretty good – why would anyone want to spend 45 minutes or so each week listening to Matt and I jawing about economic development in Atlantic Canada?
The more I thought about it the more I realized this was the point. Thousands of podcasts. Not a whole lot – if any – about economic development in Atlantic Canada. Thousands of people across the region – economic developers, local government, politicians, community leaders – involved every day trying to attract population and grow the local economy and not a lot of content to help them do it.
Growing Pains is a podcast for them – for you.
Why Growing Pains? Because I fundamentally believe this region is on the cusp of a 10-20 year growth spurt but we have to get some fundamentals right (COVID-19 is a pretty big wrinkle, see below). There may be growing pains associated with attracting tens of thousands of immigrants. There may be growing pains as older industries fade and new emerge. There may be growing pains as we try to figure how to ensure older residents have the health care and other services they need without short changing investment in young people and the economy to ensure we have the tax base to pay for that health care in the first place. Of course we have global challenges that will impact our economic development such as climate change.
Who is Matt George? Think of him as a slightly younger Greg Hemmings. Passionate about this new form of media. Passionate about his community and this region. Smart enough to be a little dangerous. Young enough to care but old enough not to be cavalier. Expect a little hijinx to ensue each week.
It won’t just be us pontificating on the state of things each week. We will be bringing in a variety of experts to help us think through how we can truly get this region moving in the right direction.
I will try to get Dr. Donald Savoie on soon to introduce him to a new generation of Atlantic Canadians. He has been one of Canada’s most important thinkers on regional economic development for the past 40+ years and there are a plethora of books to prove it.
The not-afraid-to-speak-his-mind Don Mills will be on. I hope we can get Dr. Herb Emery and Richard Saillant to come on. And many others.
One of the main objectives is to tailor the podcast to the needs of the listeners. We are soliciting feedback on what you would like us to explore. If we get this right, Growing Pains will be on your short list of weekly podcasts.
What about the global pandemic? We will try to address aspects of this each week but as this is a one in a hundred year challenge we – like everyone else- are flying in the dark on this one. When we emerge from this pandemic we want to come out fightin’. Fightin’ for our share of global population flows. Fightin’ for our share of trade and investment. Fightin’ for our share of research and development. Fightin’ for our share of the visitor market. Fightin’ for our share of ambitious entrepreneurs.
Listen and tune in using the links below. Invite your friends and colleagues. Submit feedback and content you would like us to explore. Let’s do something here that will benefit all of us as we grapple with the Growing Pains of building a stronger economy across Atlantic Canada.