Harnessing Power & Vision

When advising would-be entrepreneurs we always stress the need for being passionate about their venture and using that passion to formulate a vision as to where they want the business to be in say, two or three years time.

What they are about to face as they build their business means hours and days of dedicated work. To keep going they must have a vision of a positive future. Without that they have little hope of success. Just ask any athlete. They know that they must picture themselves winning the race, going over the bar or standing on the podium.

Here in Victoria, we have a highly educated population with most people able to envision their personal future, but we suffer from a glaring lack of visioning as a community and little hope of harnessing the passion of our citizens toward exciting change, rather than simply working to stop what we don’t like or what we figure is prejudicial to the culture of the region.

It wasn’t always this way. Well over a hundred years ago we had a famous resident by the name of Armor De Cosmos, a moniker he adopted given what he considered to be a boring birth name which was Bill Smith (apologies to all the Bill Smith’s out there). De Cosmos wore many hats over the years including political activist, editor of the Colonist newspaper and visionary.

Among his many claims to fame he envisioned the establishment of a steamship ferry connection between Victoria and the Mainland, laying out the concept for what eventually would emerge in another century as BC Ferries. In Colonist editorials he also spoke of Victoria becoming a gathering place for great minds to discuss the enormous events under way on the pacific coast of North America. He could see the future and equally see the need to bring others along with him.

What would be your vision for a positive future? How about a place where homelessness was a thing of the past, or where affordable housing for all becomes a reality?

I support those goals but would love to see us lift our eyes even higher, so that we might fulfill De Cosmos dream of a gathering place for great discussions around Pacific Development. How about a dramatic plan to address the challenges of climate change incubating hundreds of scientists and companies in that critical field while at the same time-creating thousands of highly paid jobs as they develop new generations of alternative energy sources? If tiny Davos Switzerland can do it, surely we can. How about a dream of new streetscapes filled with exciting and visionary new buildings (all to LEED environmental standard of course)? Vancouver has led the way with such buildings as the Pan Pacific and the Coliseum-like library. Where is our comparable model that is not just a rehash of Victorian – don’t rock the boat – architecture?

So what’s your personal vision for us? And remember, always dream big dreams – for nothing much was ever achieved by little ones.

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