In the five years since the first Vital Signs report, many of the issues facing our province have remained the same – aging population, economic uncertainty and an increasing shift from rural to urban. But when you listen closely around kitchen and boardroom tables, many of the conversations are changing.
There seems to be a growing focus on innovation and invention – new ways of looking at old problems, and new ways of capitalizing on core strengths. There is also a renewed effort to collaborate, recognizing that we can accomplish more when we combine our assets and our efforts and incorporate our unique perspectives.
As we reflect back and identify the changes in our province over the last five years, this tangible shift toward collaborative solutions can been seen through growth in our technology sector, cross-sectoral partnerships for food production, and government and community partnerships to tackle big issues such as mental health and addictions. With this renewed effort to work together there is also a growing recognition and celebration of the differences which once divided us, and new programs and initiatives that aim to bring groups together, learn from each other and build a vibrant, inclusive province. While a lot of great work is happening, there is still so much more to be done, and many entrenched issues continue to challenge us.
Facing challenging issues however, is nothing new to Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, but how we deal with those issues is changing, and at the heart of it is innovation, adaptation and a willingness to work together.
– Rob Greenwood, Executive Director, Memorial University’s Harris Centre
– Paul McDonald, Chair, Community Foundation of Newfoundland & Labrador