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Canada has created a lot of support for new start up businesses and helping them to flourish and grow rapidly. University of Waterloo has established a program that explores the concept of how ideas are created and formulated before they become start up projects.

The Research Entrepreneurs Accelerating Prosperity (REAP) program is an Arts led, private/public funded program that has been created to provide undergraduate students paid work experiences to research how to take existing Interactive Digital Display technologies and blend them with content to create new market opportunities.

This concept of Seeding an Idea is an intriguing approach to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and cultivate business skills while students are still in their undergraduate years.

This is also an opportunity to explore the concept of creative innovation that is required within organizations to identify new market opportunities for existing technologies. The speed to market is significantly increased if you can identify new opportunities for existing products that leads to new ways to use the technology and new problems that can be solved for customers.

Many companies are currently exploring ways to incorporate innovation into their existing operational processes. The REAP program uses techniques such as Thinkering (similar to design thinking) to push the envelop of technology through “What If” exploration and sharing ideas as a group. Studying this model helps to understand how to bring this type of innovation into business cultures.

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Cheers to a Creative Year

Gaia’s Strength

For me, the passion to paint and play with bright primary colours comes from deep within my solar plexus and bubbles out into vague visual impressions. As I push the brush around the canvas, the outside worldly distractions fade and all I feel is the movement of the lines. There is a point where there is not choice but to paint. The colours tend to come from the energy of the subject or idea that I’m focused on. Often the image captures a moment in time with all the emotion and feeling contained within it.

I love painting with oils because of the vibrancy of the colour and the smooth flow of the brush across the canvas. They give me the freedom that I need to be spontaneous in capturing the fleeting wisps of an elusive impression that I’m trying to pin down on the canvas. The best paintings have all come from a glimpse of an abstract image that flutters through my mind leaving me with only the gesture of the line behind the idea. The colours and movement of the brush strokes all come from the meditative space of chopping wood and carrying water, detaching from the judgement of the image and not really looking at the whole until it is done. I have no choice but to trust the subconscious to lead the brush to where it needs to be.

Life’s path has led me through a career in technology that pushed painting to the back of the closet in favour of “earning a living”. While I have done many creative technology projects, colour was still missing from the formula. Originally, I had a goal of a career in digital art, but it is only now that the technology and tools have matured to the point where art has significant commercial value in a world hungry for content. My newest goal is to raise the profile and value of the unique creative skills of artists while merging the two aspects of my persona into one consistent path.

And now, as we move from 2012 into 2013, I am overjoyed to find I am finally where I need to be, integrating arts and technology to create new business models and career opportunities. My small contribution to making a difference in our world.  Visit http://www.REAPWaterloo.ca to see what I’m working on lately.

Power to the People

An image has power. From the roots of the 60’s struggles to make a difference in the world, we now have the technology that enables the general masses to have a voice. The Gutenberg Press put the power of knowledge in the hands of the people because it made it affordable for them to read news from beyond their physical boundaries and making it accessible and affordable. Social Media takes that a step forwards and enables people to SPEAK UP and be heard beyond their physical boundaries affordably.

When a moving photo of an Amazon Chief and tribe was posted showing the elderly chief in tears over the Belo Monte Damn construction in Brazil, a WAVE of response rose up from around the globe to cry out against the tragedy of corporate greed destroying a part of the earth.

And then came the joyous announcement that the Brazilian court has ruled that the project risks damaging fish stocks in the Xingu River and therefore has halted the project. Perhaps this still feeds into the greed of the fishing corporations, but at least it saves a part of our precious planet: http://amazonwatch.org/news/2011/0929-brazilian-judge-halts-belo-monte-dam-construction

The fact that ONE IMAGE can spread so rapidly and widely around the globe and mobilize people to raise their voices is truly incredible. The fact that we have technology that is available to support this is a wonderful advancement for the globe. The fact that people actually SPOKE UP to save this dam is inspirational.

I’m blown away by the power of one PHOTO to raise awareness beyond geographical and language boundaries and cut through the noise to reach people who care. One image of a native elder crying spoke volumes. We knew what was at stake. Sure, maybe he just got some dust in his eyes and was wiping it out, but that doesn’t matter. The caption and the medium used to transmit it mobilized the masses to speak and act. One river has been saved.

I am extremely excited to think about what can be achieved with the technology that we have now and will have in the future. I’ve watched the progress now for over 25 years and it has been slow… but as people learn how to use digital media for communications beyond words, I’m hoping that we’ll have a wave of good positive vibes spreading out across the globe to make things happen 🙂

Power to the People… through digital communications 🙂

For me, the passion to paint and play with bright primary colours comes from deep within my solar plexus and bubbles out into vague visual impressions. As I push the brush around the canvas, the outside worldly distractions fade and all I feel is the movement of the lines. There is a point where there is not choice but to paint. The colours tend to come from the energy of the subject or idea that I’m focused on. Often the image captures a moment in time with all the emotion and feeling contained within it.

I love painting with oils because of the vibrancy of the colour and the smooth flow of the brush across the canvas. They give me the freedom that I need to be spontaneous in capturing the fleeting wisps of an elusive impression that I’m trying to pin down on the canvas. The best paintings have all come from a glimpse of an abstract image that flutters through my mind leaving me with only the gesture of the line behind the idea. The colours and movement of the brush strokes all come from the meditative space of chopping wood and carrying water, detaching from the judgement of the image and not really looking at the whole until it is done. I have no choice but to trust the subconscious to lead the brush to where it needs to be.

Life’s path has led me through a career in technology that pushed painting to the back of the closet in favour of “earning a living”. While I have done many creative technology projects, colour was still missing from the formula. Originally, I had a goal of a career in digital art, but it is only now that the technology and tools have matured to the point where art has significant commercial value in a world hungry for content. My newest goal is to raise the profile and value of the unique creative skills of artists while merging the two aspects of my persona into one consistent path.