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The Potential Benefits of Implementing ICTs in Thunder Bay

The internet, smartphones, and other converging technologies are at the heart of a new era of technological innovation. ICTs are now the key drivers of economic growth and development, and examples of their use in cities around the globe are growing in both number and scale.

Many of the world's largest and most influential cities are now using ICTs to drive innovation and growth, improve the effectiveness and efficiency of their operations, and increase the quality of life for their citizens. Cities like New York, London, Berlin, Toronto and San Francisco are taking advantage of ICTs to build new and improved platforms for city-building and policy innovation.

Cities like Thunder Bay, however, have yet to fully embrace the opportunities that ICTs present. They are still at an early adopter stage and many of our community leaders and organizations aren't yet fully comprehending the breadth of ICTs' benefits.

This is a missed opportunity for the community because, to have a competitive advantage in the global economy, Thunder Bay (including the surrounding region) must invest in ICTs. This can be done by leveraging ICTs to improve the quality of life for the community's residents, support commercial growth and attract investment, and support programming in our education system.

As a result of the community's failure to fully embrace ICTs, there is no comprehensive strategy for leveraging ICTs and advancing Thunder Bay's position in the global economy.

A new generation of entrepreneurs and business leaders must replace the old guard. This is essential to ensuring the community's growth and prosperity in the future. The next generation of business leaders are often far more tech-savvy and connected than the current generation of leaders.

Old city systems are built on traditional methods of doing things, but ICTs allow for a new approach, leading to a more efficient, intelligent and responsive system. To harness the opportunities that ICTs present, a new generation of leaders must take part in Thunder Bay's economic development and lead the way in commercial growth and innovation.

Overall Conclusion

To build on Thunder Bay's strengths, improve our quality of life, attract investment and create jobs we must embrace ICTs. This can be done through a new, comprehensive and collaborative overall community external ICT strategy. The City of Thunder Bay has developed an ICT strategy but only for internal city government service delivery. Investing in ICTs will build on Thunder Bay's strengths and lead to increased prosperity and job creation. This strategy must include a collaboration between the community, business owners, public service providers and educational institutions. This strategy will be a competitive advantage for Thunder Bay and will lead to significant benefits.

The next generation of business leaders will draw on the community's external ICT strategy, as well as the vast information found on the internet, to build innovative and effective strategies for leveraging ICTs. The community should look to the next generation of leaders—the students graduating from our universities, colleges and secondary schools—to lead the way in leveraging ICTs. Thunder Bay and its surrounding region are currently at an early adopter stage. To leverage the opportunities that ICTs present, the community must be innovative and collaborative in its approach.

While Thunder Bay is unique in many ways, ICTs have the potential to help us become more competitive economically and place Thunder Bay on the global economic map. This strategy will create economic growth and prosperity for our citizens, have a positive impact on education and promote innovation.


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