The feds’ astonishing capacity for being tone-deaf

Turning the natural-gas-fired Eternal Flame on Parliament Hill into an LED version belittles our past and misunderstands our future

The feds’ astonishing capacity for being tone-deafAs there’s a spectrum in politics, so too is there one in moronics. Moronics is, of course, the parallel dimension of politics – except that on the moronics spectrum, position is not measured by degrees of left or right perspectives but rather from thinking that ranges from benignly foolish to flabbergastingly stupid. Politicians and bureaucracy…

Talking the talk, walking the walk of disruptive innovation

Canada's oil and gas sector needs to move forward in brave new ways, and that requires a new level of sharing and communication

Talking the talk, walking the walk of disruptive innovation(This is the fifth in an occasional series profiling organizations committed to more productive energy talk.)  Innovation talk may well be the one force capable of putting Canada's energy sector – particularly upstream oil and gas – back on its feet. But we have to get it right. That means creating – through talk –…

Constructive dialogue central to navigating future energy challenges

Energy Futures Network seeks to help navigate Canada’s challenges through open sharing of perspectives and processes

Constructive dialogue central to navigating future energy challenges(This is the fourth in an occasional series profiling organizations committed to more productive energy talk.)  Monologue versus dialogue. Anyone trapped by the former truly appreciates the latter. In Canada's energy sector, we have a general penchant for monologue; that is, for more telling than listening. True dialogue is more the exception than the rule. That…

Turning Alberta’s inactive wells back into assets

Part 3 of a six-part series: ReGenerate Alberta wants to seize a business opportunity and answer a social challenge all at once

Turning Alberta’s inactive wells back into assetsAlberta has a skeleton in its closet no one really wants to talk about. Even when we do, the bone rattling isn’t necessarily good talk. The problem is Alberta’s steadily-growing ranks of aging oil and gas assets that haven't been properly readied for (permanent) retirement. The liability those aging assets represent has burgeoned steadily over recent…

Building bridges of trust to energy decision-making

Part 2 of a six-part series: Positive Energy is one of the key entities capable of constructively shaping the way Canadians understand and discuss energy issues

Building bridges of trust to energy decision-makingCanada's energy scene desperately needs a pracademy: a place where theory meets practice; where dialogue is robust and respectful; where ideas become reality and find purpose in everyday life. It’s a place where practitioners and academics put their heads together in a powerful ‘four-D’ combination of idea development, discussion, decisions and deployment. So what would an…

Wells-to-wheels meets farm-to-fork

A supercluster project is pairing the once-disparate oilsands and oilseeds industries. The benefits could impact all Canadians

Wells-to-wheels meets farm-to-forkCan two acronyms help position Canada as a global economic and environmental leader? Or, what do oilsands companies and oilseeds producers have in common? (Here's a hint: air, water and land.) Just ask SASC and CRIN. The first is the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster, the latter is the Clean Resource Innovation Network. One is obviously a product of…

Protein providing muscle to the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster initiative

Four beef-sector case studies illustrate how SASC can magnify and amplify their impact

Protein providing muscle to the Smart Agri-Food Supercluster initiativeThe Smart Agri-Food Supercluster is one of nine groups awaiting word from the federal government on whether it will share in the $950-million innovation supercluster fund established earlier this year. It’s conducting innovation community meetings across Canada to help the sector understand its economic, environmental,  job creation and innovation impact.) How big is your innovation…

Agri-food supercluster could super-charge Canada’s economy

Nine groups await word from Ottawa on which gets to tap the $950-million supercluster innovation fund

Agri-food supercluster could super-charge Canada’s economyThe supercluster effect is one of the intriguing outcomes of dangling dollars in front of sectors hungry for innovation investment. Nine groups await word from the federal government on which gets to tap the $950-million supercluster innovation coffer. Ottawa established the fund last year to help reshape the Canadian economy and set it up for future…

Shaping a positive, profound vision of energy in Canada

Energy Futures Lab works to resolve the issues that handicap the industry and may become one of the most important voices in Canada’s energy future

Shaping a positive, profound vision of energy in CanadaIn terms of Canadian energy narratives, 2017 was a mess. Instead of moving forward one step, Canada took five backward steps. Most narratives were destructive when they could have – and should have – been constructive. It didn’t matter if the subject was pipelines and regulation or carbon emissions and technology, most dialogues failed to move forward.…

Wanted: A global energy sector leader

Assume that Canada was sent a job posting by a headhunter. It sought applicants for the world’s top oil and gas jurisdiction

Wanted: A global energy sector leaderHere’s a project for my energy and social media colleagues. Let’s build a tool for Canadians to understand how important the oil and gas sector is to this country – and will be for decades. We can pass it on to Canadian politicians who need to upgrade their energy-related knowledge. Assume that Canada was sent…

We need politicians who can pass a basic energy facts test

Most politicians came to office well-intentioned but ill-equipped to deal with the complexities of energy matters

We need politicians who can pass a basic energy facts testShould there be an energy version of the SAT for aspiring Canadian politicians? We’ve all heard about aspiring American high school students sweating their SATs (formerly the Scholastic Assessment Test). For students, it’s a measure of – and introduction to – the rigours of academic life post-high school. It can be a shock to the system since…

Time to turn the tide against anti-petroleum politicians

Ordinary Canadians need to protect their investment in the resource sector - and the quality of life we enjoy because of it - from the duplicity of politicians

Time to turn the tide against anti-petroleum politiciansCanada has millions of passive oil and gas investors who just don't know how their dollars are working for them. They have no clear idea how their investments are performing – keeping things like health-care and tuition payments, and roads and culture costs in check. And, in Alberta, keeping sales taxes at bay. These investors are actually…

Bhag(ing) economic/environmental consensus a big hairy deal

Nothing concrete is happening that is remotely likely to produce a solution Canadians could get behind

Bhag(ing) economic/environmental consensus a big hairy dealMaybe Canada needs Jim Collins to help us get a grip on energy policy. Most folks who have been to a corporate retreat know these four letters: BHAG. They stand for Big Hairy Audacious Goal. Collins, a business consultant, author and lecturer, says BHAGs are intended to help companies and organizations set stretch goals that may…

Energy debate stuck in a rut – and what we can do about it

It’s increasingly clear we need to step outside the echo chambers that shape Canada’s polarizing energy narratives

Energy debate stuck in a rut – and what we can do about itCan families help get Canada out of its energy policy rut? If oil and gas companies and governments funded family reunions, it might help. Sound crazy? Family gatherings could accomplish something that’s eluded Canadians by using an established social space to have the frank and balanced discussions about energy that lead to policies more broadly…

Energy’s uphill battle even tougher in era of willful ignorance

Being energy-ignorant is almost fashionable in certain circles

Energy’s uphill battle even tougher in era of willful ignoranceMost of us have heard of Sisyphus and his struggles. He’s the mythical Greek king doomed for eternity to push a boulder uphill – only to see it roll back down again. To the top. And down again. Kind of like oil-and-gas communications and outreach efforts. There’s never an end in sight; just relentless toil…