From Toronto -1, Encounter to a ‘Wikinomics’ figure


As reported in my last posting, I am in Toronto working with University of Toronto for our collaborative program with GRIPS from early this year (Ref.1).

After my session at Munk Center, I was invited to dinner reception for the 50th anniversary of the Gairdner Award hosted by Rob McEwen, a major business leader of Canada (Ref.1), and a significant figure in the Wiki-age business as I will explain to you below.

His huge house is located in the most exclusive area of Toronto, as you may expect, as I know him one of major supporters of medical research and education. He founded McEwen Center of Regenerative Medicine focusing on stem cell research, at Toronto General Hospital, an affiliated hospital of the University of Toronto. I knew his support of medical research, thus he is particularly pleased to meet Professor Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University (Ref.1),  one of this year’s Gairdner Laureates; Dr Yamanaka made a landmark discovery of iPS, reprogramming of skin and other cells to stem cells, bypassing ethical issues of using embryonic stem cells.

Img_1913 Photo; with Rob McEwen

As I discussed with Rob various issues of mutual interests including his business, suddenly it occurred to me that he MUST be a person who appeared as a major innovator entrepreneur on Open Innovation in a book ‘Wikinomics’, in its Chapter one. I asked him ‘Is that YOU?’’ and his reply was’ Yes.’ In my recent speaking engagements I often cite him as a most remarkable ‘out-of-box’ thinker which saved and led to his gold-mine company, Goldcorp. This was a huge success as one can imagine based on the performance of the company. We had quite an enjoyable chatting session over how he thought of it and how he did it.

It is always fun to encounter unexpected encounters enriching your own thinking as I often posted in my blog posting. So I say “Think and Act Global, it a lot of fun.’