With Collision fast approaching, the organisation behind the conference recently issued a poll to gauge global perspectives on the state of technology. A selection of speakers, investors, founders, attendees and community members from North America’s fastest-growing technology event were quizzed to spark important discussions come conference time on May 20-23 in Toronto.
Of the hundreds of responses from Canada, these were the main findings:
64% of Canadians believe their country’s education system is not doing enough to prepare their children for future jobs.
Although many commented on the benefits low tuition costs and student loans compared to their US neighbours, a number of those stated the country’s education system needs to focus more on STEM and allowing children to have more time to be creative, “shift towards shorter, more technological educational programs so kids are equipped with skills to deal with the ever-changing landscape.” said one respondent. While another mentioned they “teach more tech and how to be self-sustainable and thrive in the entrepreneurial economy.”
Only 18% think Canada is doing enough to prepare for unemployment due to job automation.
While a number of those from Ontario made comment to the “backwards thinking” of the Universal Basic Income pilot being scrapped by the province of recent, most Canadians have the opinion that we need to be looking at it from an opportunistic standpoint rather than fearing the change. “Automation eliminates jobs but creates opportunity for different jobs.” said one respondent, while another highlighted we “ invest in human capital and capacity that complements benefits of automation instead of competing with it.”
There is a divide as to whether the government, private entities or neither can be trusted with personal data.
When looking at the results, 57% of Canadians feel the government isn’t doing enough to put regulations in place to protect their privacy. “The people suggesting regulations don't seem to even understand the technology and its implications on privacy.” said one respondent. When asked who in Canada do they trust most to deal with their personal data, there was a divide between the government, private entities, as well as ‘neither’, ‘nobody’ or ‘myself’ according to many.
81% of those surveyed in Canada believe their country is not doing enough to tackle misinformation or fake news, and 57% name the government as responsible.
Though high, this is a figure that is lower than the US, where 92% believed the same.
While many agreed this is a difficult issue to solve, many hold the government accountable to have hefty fines in place for those spreading fake news, while 23% put the responsibility on social media companies, saying more needs to be done to “identify and block non reliable or partisan news sources”. A number of others hold others accountable, such as journalists and even individuals “everybody is responsible, including the consumers of information” said another.
When asked which country is the best in the world to found a startup, Canadians chose their homeland as number one, as did many other nations.
“Canada has excellent schools, great technology infrastructure, a secure social system, and a very multicultural society.” said one respondent. The country was also the number one destination for a number of other nations, 38% of all surveyed named Canada as their country of choice. Other countries chosen by Canadians were the United States, Sweden, Israel and Germany.
When asked which country is best for job opportunities within tech, Canada’s country of choice was the United States, when most other nations, including the US, actually chose Canada.
43% of Canadians chose the United States as their country of choice to seek job opportunities, with many simply stating that it’s due to the US just having more on offer, “it is the centre of technological advancement,” said one respondent. When looking at the results of those from the US, 36% of Americans chose Canada as their number one destination for tech job opportunities, “it’s similar to the US but without many of the US's problems.” mentioned one American, “there’s a better government, safer society, is beautiful, less expensive than US, and has a good talent pool.” said another.