China is part of the future
It was ironic to me reading Ralph Forsyth’s cautionary tale on developing a proactive tourism strategy with China (Illusive Tiger, Mythical Dragon, Pique Jan. 25), on the same day that the Asian Winter Games opened in Changchun, China http://en.changchun2007.org/zh_cn/ . With more than 1,100 athletes competing in these growing winter games and preparing to come to Whistler in 2010, our terms of engagement with the People’s Republic of China can be more creative and effective.
True the Approved Destination Status matter seems to be embroiled in politics as usual on both sides. But as Whistler’s pioneer spirit, that drives our resort community, has accomplished a world-class reputation, the world of the future involves a China that demands an even more innovative, pioneering spirit.
This is why the Whistler Forum has hosted Confucian scholar Tu Weiming, UBC Business School Deans Muzyka and Wong, National People’s Congress Xin Chunying, and top China expert Pitman Potter. Our current Leadership Sea to Sky cohort is working on a project “Gateway to Asia from the Sea to Sky”. Ali Milner, Ann Chiasson and an increasing number of us have travelled recently to China from Whistler building the relationships that, yes, takes time, and time is of the essence.
As we are pleased to announce the return of our Dialogue Cafes (notwithstanding the Charities Division at Revenue Canada), look for more conversations on China and with Chinese in Whistler, Squamish and Pemberton. Such dialogue does question our assumptions and is consistent with our values. And having just returned from the IOC Museum in Lausanne, I know it is consistent with Olympic values as well.
Thanks to Ralph for raising these matters. We need proactive, constructive, pioneering leadership on China and our changing and often unsteady world.
President, The Whistler Forum
Think carefully about health care
In Toronto, in 2003, a fundraising campaign was organized for the benefit of a large Toronto hospital. Grand idea. But wait. This campaign was directed to members of an exclusive men's club. In return for a sizeable donation, members of this old boys club were promised that, unlike the general public, they wouldn't have to wait their turn for medical attention. In fact, a letter to members explains that donors will be guaranteed access to an orthopaedic surgeon within 24 hours of a diagnosis at the clinic.