This week I attended a salon (themed conversation plus dinner) on Canada’s creative future. It was sparked in part by a Globe op-ed from last year: Canada must refuel for cultural creativity. It was a great conversation with a room of brilliant and inspiring people, but I was a little surprised to find myself arguing that things aren’t so bad. (I’m used to being the negative one.)
Of course, there are a range of perspectives on the importance of culture and creativity. I won’t suggest that it’s always the case, and I won’t pretend that this isn’t overly simplistic, but it appears that there’s a significant generational gap on the issue. There are comparatively few young people at the opera, but isn’t not because we’re philistines. Mostly, we can’t afford to go to the opera. There are far more satisfying ways for us to engage culturally. Continue reading
There are a lot of Jane’s Walks in Toronto this weekend. Here are the ones I’m going on:
I was asked by the ICE team at MaRS to produce a map to illustrate a connection that’s often not understood by entrepreneurs: that Canadian companies that are acquired from abroad typically also have foreign investors. It’s a simple map — showing the 23 Canadian companies that were acquired by foreign companies in 2012 — and it’s included within a detailed and thoughtful report by Neha Khera, on the MaRS Commons site.
The MaRS Data Catalyst team has been diving into data on private equity deals, to better understand the patterns of investments in Canadian companies. Last week Joseph Lalonde published the first in a series of blog posts on the subject: Co-investment in the Canadian venture capital landscape. The post features a network graph which they asked me to create, to visualize the data (direct link).
I made the graph using d3.js. I’ve been working with d3 for a while now, but each new project has been unique… it’s an amazingly flexible library.
Collaborating with Joseph and the Data Catalyst team was a blast; a great group of people doing super-interesting work!
My 3.5-month contract with the Imagination Catalyst is over, and it’s been an amazing experience. I’m planning to discuss what role I could have with the IC on an ongoing basis, but my focus in the past few weeks has been to wrap up the deliverables attached to my original contract, and the other things that popped up along the way.
In these last two weeks: Continue reading
As my time at the IC winds down (just a couple more weeks!), I’ve been focusing my time on organizing and promoting our two upcoming events (The Value of Designers in Tech Startups, and the Imagination Catalyst Open House, Feb 28th, 6-8pm, 49 McCaul), and writing up lots of documentation and reports. I also met this week with Mark, Asma and Sunil.
Aside from OCAD, I helped organize Open Data Day Toronto, with my colleagues at Urban+Digital. It was a lot of work, but we all had a blast. (More on that in another post. Maybe.)