ICT Toronto Launches

20 Apr ’06

Mark Kuznicki posts on the launch at MaRS of ICT Toronto, “An Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Cluster Development Strategy”; the Toronto Star’s piece on ICT is here: “ICT Toronto’s goal is to make the Toronto region one of the five most innovative, creative and productive locations in the world for infotech research, education, business and investment by 2011.” From ICT Toronto:

The ICT Toronto Strategy is a cluster development strategy designed to improve the long-term competitiveness of the Toronto region ICT sector so that it continues to be a leading source of employment and wealth creation, as well as a tool to grow and promote the capabilities and potential of this sector in the global market place. Funded jointly by the three orders of government, and endorsed by City Council, the Strategy is the outcome of a year-long process with extensive consultation with key industry stakeholders.

All well and good, and no one can quarrel with ICT Toronto’s goal – supporting the growth of local community is one of our main ambitions with mesh. And it’s laudable that the effort is being made – it ought to be supported. But nonetheless I remain dubious that central planners can create viable economic development; politburos are so 1960. IMO, what Toronto needs most to develop long-term viability as an IT centre is Stanford (but in a pinch I would take Nortel as it was in 1995 – well, without Roth, perhaps), California’s weather, and the entrepreneurial gumption of our friends to the south.

Last point: the Star article refers to ICT Toronto’s report, but I can’t find it online. Maybe I’ve missed it, and if you know where it is online a link would be appreciated. Indeed, ICT Toronto doesn’t seem to have a web presence, other than an invite to yesterday’s event. And of course, there’s no blog and no wiki. OK. But how very 1994 of us, and what a good reminder of how Toronto is not San Francisco. I recognize that the central planners still haven’t really caught on the this internet thing, but if the goal is to communicate and create community, grabbing ahold of that internet thing and using it to spread the word and get people engaged might be a good idea.

So, next steps?: 1) get the report online; 2) create a wiki to solicit comment and ideas about the strategy – perhaps to create version 2 a la Lessig / Code; 3) create a blog and get anyone who’s interested engaged in writing about what we can do to build Toronto 2.0 – oh, and use the blog to notify people about anything – TorCamp, DemoCamp, mesh, iSummit, whatever – relevant to building it; 4) hire David Crow, or slice off some DNA and clone him, to TorontoCamp this thing and create a monthly gathering of people to meet (leave your networking suit and business cards at home, this is roll-up-your-sleeves time) and talk about what can be done; 5) come to mesh and talk about what we can do (no, really – come to mesh – this is what we’re trying to do).

Update: Thanks be to Joey for the link to the report.

Update: More commentary, from Mark Kuznicki.

Previous post:

Next post: