THUNDER BAY – Editorial – An old saying is “Too many cooks spoil the broth”. However in building the “Emerging Thunder Bay Region”, it is taking many people all with diverse and different backgrounds. As Thunder Bay continues to evolve into a new and more vibrant community, in many cases it is the people who have left the city and then returned who are helping to make a huge difference. It is also the energy and the big ideas of the young professionals in our region which is moving things forward.
To make a new and better Thunder Bay region, it is going to take many cooks, lots of new ideas serving as the ingredients for a region and city we can be more engaged and enthusiastic about. One of the contrasts in the ‘new’ Thunder Bay is that there is a far greater acceptance of new ideas. There is also a far greater acceptance that all of the different people who are making up our region’s demographics are all welcome.
Those new “cooks” are not likely to spoil the broth, they are in constant engagement and communications with each other.
In fact, in the ‘new’ Thunder Bay region, there is a major willingness to listen to new ideas.
Perhaps no where recently was that more evident than at the recent TEDx hosted event in the city. Participants engaged in learning about new ideas and hearing how to implement them in our city. The organizers of this landmark start in Thunder Bay are also reaching past the original event to engage with a wider audience in the community.
“The purpose of this event is to inspire reinvention in Thunder Bay so we may cultivate and develop a more vibrant community – together. To inspire reinvention, TEDxThunderBay will engage the people of Thunder Bay around the spreading of ideas – so that we will cultivate positive change in ourselves and in our community”.
There were two things evident at the TEDx event, first there were no political leaders speaking at the event, and second there were no politicians sitting in the audience listening. In our region, often what has happened in the past are that change has been directed from the political side, rather than from the grassroots. Right now, across the entire region, new voices are coming forward, and starting to replace old voices. There are several reasons for that continual shift.
First is communications. Across the region there is a massive change happening in communications. Young professionals are connected with each other on a level never before available, and not apparently understood by the older generations. All you have to do to realize the depth of importance of communications is listen to the concern raised over Tbaytel service over its wireless network. Problems with the wireless network takes communications out of the hands of young professionals.
Between the Internet with Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Itunes, and even email, people are using the Internet at levels in the Thunder Bay region at what Statistics Canada says is an engagement of about 79%. Via their smartdevices, they are texting and talking on a continual basis.
Second, there are many people starting to return to Thunder Bay after spending time away from our community. Those who have spent time in Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto, Dallas, Ottawa, Europe and Asia have seen how vibrant and exciting communities embrace change. They return to Thunder Bay enfused with a realization that things don’t have to stay the same.
Those two factors are driving positive change in our region. It is a critical component to building a successful future.
It is also key to note that many of the young professionals in our region who are doing so much to make a real difference are not doing it for political gain, but with an eye to living in the kind of community that they wish to bring their families up in. A community with tolerance toward others, with things to do, a safer community, and a more diverse and healthy community.
It is an exciting time to be embracing the changes coming in our city and region.
Chief Content Officer