November 2015

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A discussion about the need for the federal government to reform its acquisition rules might not sound like it affects many people, but in this region, it definitely does.

For years, the federal government has been able to satisfy its technology needs by dealing with established businesses, or by enticing certified smaller businesses with set-asides and other incentives. But now, innovations are surfacing in a more distributed way; they are as likely to come from a small team as a large research lab or company. And many of those innovators are not currently doing business with the federal government.

Why should we care? Well, we have found out the hard way that the government has a blind spot when it comes to getting new innovators involved in solving current problems in both government service and national security.

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Jonathan Aberman and Mark Walsh interview retired Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield on taunch of his new album Space Sessions : Songs from a Tin Can.

During his time on the International Space Station, Chris Hadfield went around the world 16 times a day. He saw the entire world go from winter to summer to winter. He got to know the planet like very few ever have. He saw a sunrise or sunset every 45 minutes.

Hadfield gained international popularity since living on the International Space Station and tweeting incredible pictures of the earth from space, bringing the wonder of space travel to everyone’s attention. Hadfield received praise for his cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity” recording the vocals and guitar in his sleeping pod aboard the ISS.

He described seeing Earth from space as a ‘religious experience’, and said it taught him that the ‘us versus them’ attitude is pointless.



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Understanding the difference between power and influence — and how they overlap — helps provide clarity to today’s political and business climate.

Power is the ability to get people to listen to you and act, regardless of whether it is in their interest to do so. Authority can come with a specified societal title such as president, chief executive, general, human resources manager or medical doctor. In these instances, power is often measured by how absolute it is, i.e., the extent to which the power is exercisable without limitation.

Power is perceived by many as the attribute that allows someone to “get things done.” However, let’s not forget that the appearance of authority can sometimes be an illusion. Our society is littered with situations where individuals with impressive titles are actually impotent (a CEO with a recalcitrant board of directors, for instance), or find their authority limited by others (a Democratic president and Republican Congress).

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