Technology Ecosystem in Edmonton – What Does That Even Mean?
Eric Brown - Jul 11, 2019
I think that we all forget that we’re working towards the same goal of developing technology in Edmonton to benefit us all.
Ec-o-sys-tem: A complex network or interconnected system.
How does this relate to Edmonton’s burgeoning technology sector? Let’s break down the definition to see how it fits.
Complex (consisting of many different and connected parts):
This is true. How many stakeholders are involved in the tech sector? Let’s list them: tech companies, researchers, mentors, government organizations, investors, service providers, advocacy groups and users of technology. I’m sure I missed some, but you get the point.
With all these different groups with different priorities, how can they all come together to create an ecosystem that benefits everyone?
I think the starting point is to agree on what the overall goal should be so that we can all get on the same page. Is it to have a certain number of billion-dollar tech companies headquartered in Edmonton? Is it to provide a city where our children and grandchildren can have world-class opportunities in the technology space without having to leave? Is it to have our city known as the place to be if you want to start and grow an innovative technology company?
I don’t have the answers, but I would love to discuss this with anyone who’s interested.
Network (a group or system of interconnected people or things):
Interconnected. That’s the most important part of this definition. Each stakeholder should have some interaction with each other because a single group can’t do it all. Different groups bring different skills, different resources and different networks. Having multiple groups work on the same problem and not collaborating is a problem too.
Why does this happen? I think that we all forget that we’re working towards the same goal of developing technology in Edmonton to benefit us all. Our own biases, motives and agendas can get in the way of collaboration and can cause us to think that our way is the only way forward and that others working on the same thing can’t add value.
An example of this centres around bringing a technology incubator to Edmonton. I’ve already talked to at least 5 separate people who want to make this happen and are doing different things to move this forward. Have these people talked to each other about what they’re doing and how they can work together? I don’t know, but it’s up to every one of us to connect those groups doing the same things so that we all benefit from the sharing of knowledge and resources.
Let’s all work together. Let’s build this technology ecosystem and use the complexity and interconnectivity to our advantage.
I’m open to any all conversations about this topic, and I look forward to hearing from you.