Are university professors obsolete?

Students of the future won’t be limited to a local institution or faculty member. And much more learning will be less formal and structured

Are university professors obsolete?What future awaits university professors? Do you remember telephone operators, mostly women who worked at switchboards connecting and disconnecting phone calls? Operators have long been replaced by automation and the various voicemail mazes we all struggle through. Did you see that wonderful film Hidden Figures, where “coloured computers” – very smart black women – did,…

New Year’s resolutions that will boost your business

In the gig economy, more and more of us will be out on our own. That means we need to hone new skills to help our enterprises succeed

New Year’s resolutions that will boost your businessAs 2017 morphs into 2018, more than numbers on the calendar are changing. Technology, communications, media, weather – even the way we work and earn our livings – aren’t what they used to be. It used to be jobs, jobs, jobs. That’s what we wanted for ourselves, our partners, our kids; it's what politicians promised…

Mastering the fine art of marketing for the betterment of your business

The best marketing plans make offers that benefit customers and give the businesses involved tangible boosts

Mastering the fine art of marketing for the betterment of your businessBusinesses go all out during the holiday season to get us to spend our carefully-collected coins in exchange for glittering goods and services. Every form of media jingles and jangles with inducements for us to get to an establishment or website and partake of the delights offered. No wonder we become jaded. And no wonder…

Imagining the worst, getting the best out of your business

The exchange rate could shift, interest rates could rise, NAFTA could be rewritten or buried. Do you have strategies to deal with such changes?

Imagining the worst, getting the best out of your businessOptimism in business is good, but business operators would do much better in the long run if they looked more closely at the down side and imagined the worst. Why would you go into business unless you were an optimist, really believing you’ll beat the odds and gain the freedom, flexibility and potential for great…

Serving up an unpalatable business model

Restaurants are struggling to find staff and keep profit margins healthy. But automation and careful management can help

Serving up an unpalatable business modelIf you’re going to a restaurant, don’t go hungry. Just about every coffee shop and eating establishment in and around Vancouver has a Help Wanted sign. They could be short of servers, which means it will be a while before anyone even takes your order. The kitchen could also be understaffed, so your meal isn’t…

Aging population upending current interest rate policy

With the number of seniors living off retirement income rising, increasing interest rates no longer a precursor to a cooling economy

Aging population upending current interest rate policyCanadians are constantly reminded that we’ve let ourselves get too deeply into debt and if the cost of that debt – interest rates – increases, we’ll be in deep yogurt. To the extent that such debt is mortgage-based and the average price of homes has been rising, this debt should be manageable. I don’t expect…

B.C.’s new government heads for a familiar debt trap

The New Democrats offer up a significant and impressive list of expenditures, with no clear plan how it will pay for them

B.C.’s new government heads for a familiar debt trapBritish Columbia’s NDP government has just treated residents to its first throne speech, followed by an interim budget to carry it through until February, which is the usual month for annual budgets. Looking at all the good things being promised, the budget makes one think of Christmas in September. The new government is being bountiful,…

Proficiency in English essential to success

Without the necessary language skills, students will be left behind. But are they willing to put in the needed work?

Proficiency in English essential to successAs a new school year starts, many immigrants and young Canadians from homes where English isn’t spoken face the daunting task of learning an official language. They’ll have varying degrees of success. When an appliance failure forced me to buy a fridge, the salesman was perfectly fluent in spoken English. He described the products, answered…

Putting a price on the movement of people and goods

Introducing tolls on roads and bridges to help pay for transportation upgrades is an equitable solution to a vexing urban problem

Putting a price on the movement of people and goodsRoad rage has almost become a defining characteristic of life in and around our cities. In the best of circumstances, it’s frustrating and time consuming to drive anywhere. Throw in bad weather, construction or an accident, and it becomes nearly impossible. Why can’t something be done so we can drive unimpeded on our roads? The…

Forest fires torching a province’s economy

The long-term economic impact of the fires ravaging the British Columbia interior - including on the logging and tourism industries - will be devastating

Forest fires torching a province’s economyThe long-term economic impact of fires burning in British Columbia’s interior will be devastating. The blessing of a warm, sunny summer has turned into a curse as forest fires rage throughout much of the interior British Columbia. Weather forecasters predict ongoing warm, windy weather, so no immediate respite is expected for those trying to contain…