tl;dr - here's the audio download
The Public Record is airing ("In Beta") a weekly radio show on Hamilton's community radio station 93.3FM CFMU each Wednesday morning at 8:30 a.m.
For the rest of the year, the show will be a short 30 minutes. In 2017, the goal is to expand the show to a full hour, and eventually to Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
This week, I was joined by Chris Moore, Rob McCann, and Keanin Loomis to discuss the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce's new Digital Hamilton task force and what's needed to move Hamilton's digital economy.
I was surprised by some of the answers from each of the participants - McCann on the City's sale of fibre optic 10 years ago, and Keanin Loomis on Downtown WiFi.
Chris Moore shared some interesting information on digital demands in other cities, and insight from his experience in government.
I'll admit, I thought I knew what each participant would say, I was pleasantly surprised and came away from this discussion better informed.
Here's the opening of the conversation:
Hamilton's small digital business community can compete with the best of them - one of the most popular and revolutionary Wordpress plugins, WP Touch, is written and headquartered in Downtown Hamilton. Hamilton has have a Tier 3 data centre right at King and James, digital design and marketing companies which are winning major international contracts, and many of our streaming television apps are powered by a local company based in Flamborough, among many examples.
In fact, this conversation is happening using a local company's conference calling platform.
Yet, for all this excellence, Hamilton is losing talent to Kitchener, Waterloo, Toronto, and even Guelph.
While it may feel like it's too late to reserve the tide of talent leaving Hamilton for digital friendly cities, it is not.
The digital economy is mobile, it is looking for not only great infrastructure, it demands a great quality of life, and prefers well connected cities to locate.
The Hamilton Chamber of Commerce's new Digital Task Force plans to create recommendations for business and government to propel Hamilton into the third angle of Canada's digital triangle.
Full disclosure: I'm an official observer to the Task Force as I'm actively involved with open data in Toronto and Guelph.
Joining us to discuss the Digital Task Force and why they are involved in it are:
Chris Moore, is the former Chief Information Officer at the City of Edmonton, who now lives in Waterdown and is an independent consultant sought after becuase of his work in Edmonton as the driving force behind the City of Edmonton's Open Data and Open Government Strategy. He is chair of the Hamilton Chamber's digital task force.
Rob McCann, is the founder and President of Clearcable Networks, headquartered in Flamborough's Innovation Park. Rob has been working with advanced broadband service deployments in mid-market and rural cable and telephone systems since 1998. Clearcable is one of Canada's leading content distribution networks for cable television web streaming, and a leader in the Canadian telecommunications industry.
Keanin Loomis needs no introduction, but I'll give him one anyway. He is president and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, well known in the community for his strong advocacy on issues of importance in building Hamilton's economy, and being a former Washington D.C. lawyer, he's fully embraced the Hamilton mandra of getting things done instead of ending talking about maybe doing something.
Listen to the full conversation (23:55)