Posted by: Richard | February 20, 2010

Diversifying Alberta’s Economy – Update

I had a couple of comments that I missed one giant idea in my previous post on what to do to make Alberta better: Education

I agree, I have been negligent in that omission.  While the University of Alberta is a good school, it is not even a national leader, let alone a global leader.  Alberta’s other main school, The University of Calgary should be an international leader in some disciplines of engineering, geology and business.  It is not, and it is worrying that it isn’t.

I look at The Haskayne School of Business at the U of C and I see a start to make it a leading business school.    Dean Leonard Waverman (from LBS – where I am currently studying) had am ambitious start in 2008, with ‘Commodities, the economy and money‘ conference, which was an inspiring event with true global thinkers.  Bringing leading energy economist Phil Verleger was another stroke of genius (though I’m not sure how much he is actually teaching).  While these are hopeful green shoots, I don’t know if more is coming.  Looking at the faculty, I don’t see a lot of thought leadership that can change the U of C quickly.

I don’t expect the government to solve this, but there need to be some big thinkers at Alberta’s Universities who are committed to building great organizations that bring the world’s best and brightest to Alberta and fill our future labour needs.  It won’t happen overnight, but we need to start.

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