Impossible Dreams

I blogged in November 2012 about seeing Dr. Bernard Meyerson, VP Global Innovation, IBM, at that year’s GTEC. Dr. Meyerson spoke to why innovation matters and how it is linked to growth and growth happens when good people pursue grand challenges to accomplish the seemingly impossible. Last week while watching an episode of Second regard on, a similar comment came up in an interview with young Canadian Rhodes Scholar, Simon-Pierre Chevarie-Cossette. He mentioned the how grand visions can serve as a guide post to orient people and allow alignment with other fellow travellers.

I have been thinking lately about some of the older papers I have read, specifically one that I blogged about last June (Objects in the Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear, Pt. 3), “Blueprint for Renewing Government Services Using Information Technology, 1994.” There are some grand visions in the document, and ones we have clearly not yet achieved. There are also a lot of similarities to recent work, most notably, Blueprint 2020. One could get discouraged that 20 years has passed and we have not yet reached the vision, but I believe these grand visions are simply guideposts, and good sense should form a lasting direction which, while we may need to adjust it from time to time, it is not going to dramatically change. We just have to follow that star.

“To dream the impossible dream, To fight the unbeatable foe, To bear with unbearable sorrow, To run where the brave dare not go, To right the unrightable wrong, To love pure and chaste from afar, To try when your arms are too weary, To reach the unreachable star, This is my quest, To follow that star.”

~lyrics by Joe Darion (Man of La Mancha 1972)

Thank you for reading.

Disclaimer: Note that while I work as a public servant, this is entirely my own initiative and what I post here does not necessarily reflect the view of the government, my office or my position there in.

Craig Sellars
Craig Sellars is a passionate Canadian public servant and biologist. Connect with Craig on Twitter @CraigSellars.


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