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In 2008, the Business Council of British Columbia launched an ambitious project under the banner of Outlook 2020. The objective was to help shape a realistic vision and agenda for BC’s economic future, with a particular focus on the post-Olympic decade. Not long after the project began, the world economy was rocked by an unprecedented financial crisis that evolved into the first full-scale global recession in six decades. This ‘Great Recession’ has left a painful legacy of high unemployment, excess industrial capacity, diminished trade flows, and weakened government finances. While Canada emerged from the turmoil in better shape than many others, no part of the country managed to escape the carnage.
Outlook 2020 was been guided by three fundamental questions:
- What are the most important external and internal trends that will define the economic environment for British Columbia in the next decade?
- How can the province continue to prosper in an increasingly competitive and knowledge-based global economy?
- What steps can be taken to improve upon current policies, institutions, attitudes, and practices to strengthen the foundations for economic success?
At the heart of Outlook 2020 is a series of papers that explore topics relevant to the province’s economic future. Most of these were developed by outside researchers, in some cases in partnership with other organizations. A few were written by Business Council staff. In all, 28 papers were commissioned for the project. Those papers are available below, including this final report which synthesized the learnings from Outlook 2020 and is the authors’ attempt to distil what they judge to be the principal insights from the project, and to outline a number of strategic directions that British Columbia can take to bolster its economic prosperity in the post-Olympic decade that is now just beginning.
Outlook 2020: Shaping BC's Economic Future
Authored by Jock Finlayson, and Ken Peacock, Business Council of British Columbia
Profile and Outlook for the BC Agri-Food Industry
Authored by Gregg Burkinshaw, Business Council of British Columbia
Vancouver as a City-Region in the Global Economy
Authored by the Vancouver Economic Development Commission
Realizing British Columbia's Second Renewable Electricity Revolution
Authored by OnPoint Consulting Inc.
Shifting Perceptions: Health Industries as a Source of Wealth Creation in British Columbia
Authored by Jock Finlayson and Ken Peacock, Business Council of British Columbia
Opportunity BC 2020: BC's Forest Industry, Moving from a Volume Focus to a Value Perspective
Authored by Woodbridge Associations
Climate Change: BC's Progress Toward a Low-Carbon Economy
Authored by Nancy Olewiler, Simon Fraser University
Northern British Columbia: A Vision for Prosperity
Authored by Initiatives Prince George Development Corporation and Northern Development Initiative Trust
Prospects for Mining in British Columbia
Authored by Michael R. J. McPhie, M.Sc., QEP, Managing Director, Natural Resource and Infrastructure Projects, Heenan Blakie
Co-operative Opportunities in British Columbia
Authored by Monica Marshal, Director, Strategy, Andrea Harris, Director, Community Leadership, Bill Corbett, Director, Elvy Del Bianco, Consultant
First Nations and Economic Prosperity in the Coming Decade
Authored by Perrin, Thoreau and Associates
Where will the Workers Come From? British Columbia Labour Force Projections to 2030
Authored by Ken Peacock and Jock Finlayson, Business Council of British Columbia
Population Aging: Economic and Social Dimensions
Authored by Roslyn Kunin & Associates, Inc. (RKA, Inc.)
Achieving a Highly Skilled, High-Performace Workforce in British Columbia
Authored by Kerry Jothen, Chief Executive Officer, Human Capital Strategies
15 by 15: A Comprehensive Policy Framework for Early Human Capital Investment in BC
Authored by Paul Kershaw, Ph.D., Lynell Anderson, CGA, Bill Warburton, Ph.D., Clyde Hertzman, M.D., M.Sc., FRCPC, FRSC
Human Early Learning Partnership
University of British Columbia
Universities and the Knowledge Economy
Authored by David H. Turpin, President and Vice Chancellor, Eric Sager, Professor of History, Lyn Tait and Ludgard De Decker
University of Victoria