Startups and Edmonton Public Schools

(image thanks to Ken Bautista)

http://www.thec100.org/accelerateab/

I’m spending portions of today and tomorrow at the #accelerateab event presented by C100, BDC, and sponsored by a broad slice of the tech edmonton community. This event is much more than just starting your own business, it’s about exploring opportunities in the tech, bio, entrepreneur, and digital media sectors. The participants I spoke to today were from a wide range of backgrounds but almost all were under 35. Ten or 20 years ago, I wonder how many of these entrepreneurs were sitting at school, sketching out ideas on a notebook of their next invention or project?

As an Edmonton Public School Trustee I think these sort of events are an excellent way for leaders to reflect on our public education system. As the digital/new/tech economy develops, opportunities are becoming available for our graduates, not just in San Francisco, but right here in Edmonton. The more we can lasso our talent and support their dreams right here, the better for our whole community.

Today’s event was about ideas, people, and helping hungry entrepreneurs collaborate. Here are some questions I have been reflecting on:

  • What sort of skills are we providing our graduates that would enable them to be the next Zuckerberg, Jobs, or <insert tech leader> of the future?
  • What sort of extracurricular opportunities can students engage in to start a business and pursue their passions?
  • When we talk about creativity and igniting a passion for learning, how do we ensure that students are exposed to a wide breadth of subjects that can inspire them?
  • What tech-literacies do our future graduates require?
  • Should our second language requirement be extended to a programming code?

I look forward to the discussions!