There are two interesting new ideas that I find very promising, and if the City of Ottawa is able to capitalize on them, it may create a major new source of growth for our local economy.
Richard Florida is a professor at the Rotman School of Management in Toronto. His primary area of research is that of the “Creative Class”. Dr Florida argues that the economy is shifting away from routine-oriented jobs to creativity-based occupations. He also argues that the ability of an economy to adapt and weather disruptions are greater for a creativity-based economy compared to routine-jobs based economy. Dr Florida recently delivered a report to the Ontario government on this topic – it is interesting reading.
In Ottawa, we have Tony Bailetti, a professor at Carleton University. His primary area of research is that of “Ecosystems”. He argues that the business models of the world are changing. During the Industrial Age – companies were vertically integrated. During the Technology Age – companies were horizontally integrated with outsourced partners. In the emerging Ecosystem Age – Dr Bailetti argues that it is all about creative knowledge workers and collaboration. An ecosystem is not a single company, but rather is a collaborative community formed around a central keystone organization that facilitates collaborative relationships and access to wide established markets. And this is more then just a theory – Ecosystems exist today and their numbers are growing. A leader in this emerging Ecosystem business model is headquartered in our city! The Eclipse Foundation is a very successful keystone organization — they are at the heart of the worlds most successful Integrated Development Environment platform.
Ecosystems are a means of organizing and enabling knowledge workers, leveling the playing field against established Technology Age and Industrial Age competition, and flattening the world relative to allowing world-wide virtual teams to come together to create innovation, wealth and economic growth. Ecosystems effectively give a practical framework around how we can capitalize on the power of the “Creative Class”.
Dr Florida and Dr Bailetti’s work have evolved independently but are very complimentary and timely.
I would love to see Tony and Richard get together as their ground-breaking ideas represent a strong opportunity for Ottawa, Ontario and Canada to re-invent itself.
If you are one of those people who is planning to create their own microbusiness and you are looking for ideas to pursue – you would be wise to learn more about what Ecosystems are and how you can capitalize on them. The good news is that Tony is planning to make an important announcement on Thursday about a new initiative related to Ecosystems that you will want to know about – because it can help you – I’ll post an update to this post on Friday.