Work is the refuge of people who have nothing better to do. : Oscar Wilde

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Serious Talent Shortage in Canada: Keynote Speakers

A personal confession is in order here. I was not aware just how desperate we are until I read a news item from (i.e., for Hamilton, Ontario) entitled "Sold-out summit tries to prove detractors wrong". I have been assuming all along that there are hundreds of people in Canada, and perhaps even in just the Hamilton-Toronto area, capable of delivering interesting talks about the local economy.

But apparently not.

Because this article mentions that the organisers of the city of Hamilton's second annual Economic Summit found it necessary to hire Rebecca Ryan from a consultancy in Madison, Wisconsin to be the keynote speaker. Clearly we couldn't do this ourselves, eh.

Whilst we grope for ways of plugging this enormous hole in the competency of the local labour force let us hope that word of this does not spread very far! The last time I looked the local university in Hamilton--I think it's McMaster--had an Economics Department and a Business School. Is it possible that such a hiring choice reflects on this pool of talent? Is it possible that hiring personnel from other countries would reflect on this country's ability to perform internationally?

Or is it even just possible that hiring from other countries says something about our belief in ourselves?