Our great Region is part of a complex technological World that is having serious problems with its interrelated three sustainability bottom lines: environmental, economic and social.
To survive and advance towards higher levels of human existenance, all organizations will have to collaboratively and rapidly enhance all their past and future projects (into Nature) in an evolving cost-effectively sustainable manner.
We are fortunate in our Region that we have these environmental, economic and social problems to a lesser degree. But still, many of our fellow citizens and businesses are suffering, and our environment is being degraded.
But can we not do more to CHANGE the situation by participating in new ways in government, businesses. and other organizations so that our Future can be shaped towards a more sustainable success?
For example, let's encourage our local organizations to create an Open Collaborative IDEAS Culture (OCIC) in our Region (& beyond?) where citizens, politicians, and those in all organizations are given incentives to suggest NEW IDEAS -- ones that will enhance not only Governments and businesses but the ecosystem of organizations within their geopraphic boundaries.
A flaw in this OCIC idea is that most people at all levels have a background that is weak in broad-sprectrum science & technology. Thus they are lacking in "knowledge-pegs" needed to help optimally seek & create the increasingly multi-disciplinary NEW IDEAS that Waterloo Region generally needs to REDUCE TAXES, IMPROVE SERVICES, and be more SUSTAINABLY COST-EFFECTIVE
As Chair, I would be in better position to advocate for ideas that could correct this sci-tech knowledge situation, e.g a fun sci-tech literacy series of apps for your smart phone, tablet, or computer.
The economic sector seems to be leading the way here as many successful business organizations are increasingly "opening their innovation programs to profit from the collective intelligence of their employees, customers and partners."
This exponentially (initially slow but soon very rapid) developing trend of business to see the success-advantage of open innovation -- where outsider's NEW IDEAS are welcomed -- would be greatly enhancedby a local OCIC.
Once an OCIC is implemented and is successful for Waterloo Region (extended into adjacent municipalities?), perhaps we will feel more "at home" being part of this broad area referred to as Quantum Valley.
And for all our Governments, a local OCIC could be a richer source of low-cost NEW- IDEA-generating talent. The net result could be SMART GOVERNMENT where unique combinations of NEW IDEAS would better REDUCE TAXES AND IMPROVE SERVICES.
I will illustrate the potential of NEW IDEAS to greatly improve Regional cost-effectiveness in transportation services.
The proven transportation and renewable energy NEW IDEAS -- let's call them Innovative Technological Precedents -- that I have collaboratively found and integrated in-concept into the system design of the current LRT plan would dramatically increase (two fold plus) the effectiveness of LRT transit services in various ways.
They include: much shorter transit time, greater safety, larger capacity, less road disruption, better intensification, necesarily longer & faster LRT commuter corridors (Cambridge inclusive), ... .
And these Innovative Technological Precedents would significantly decrease (about two fold) the overall capital cost per kilometer of the LRT plan -- and decrease significantly operating costs.
The net benefit of building on the LRT plan using Innovative Technological Precedents would be as much as a 4-fold cost-effectiveness increase.
Many have informed creative imaginations in a variety of relevent problem areas. Yet their ability to individually and/or collaboratively generate NEW IDEAS is mostly being wasted. Why? Because of the lack of open opportunities offered by our Governments and most other organizations -- even when the cost is low and the benefits high.
Unrecognized serious design problems continue to exist in too many major projects in our complex technological World. Open collaboration in the generation of especially cost-effectively-sustainable NEW IDEAS for major projects could have the discovery of these major problems as a by-product.
Robert Milligan was a candidate for Regional Chair in the 2010 municipal election. He has a BSc in math-physics. a Graduate Diploma in Education and has completed many other courses including ones in industrial engineering, operations research and environmental health. He was a is a member of Transport Action Ontario (formerly Transport 2000).
Previously, he was a high school teacher, business systems analyst and environmental health analyst. Much of his time in retirement is now given freely to action-research for public projects, especially those with significant environmental and health features.
For example, he has now invested over 7000 hours to the Region's Rapid Transit Initiative project (in internet research, fieldwork, and discussions with: citizens, politicians, staff. academics, consultants & manufacturers in both Canada & US , ... and in much critical and creative thinking on this very complex LRT project).
Over his 37 years in Waterloo Region, he has had a wide range of community involvements -- including various environmental (Wilmot Township) and educational (Waterloo Region District School Board and Greater KW Board of Trade) advisory committees in which he enjoyed making innovative contributions.