Recent Newsletters

Summerside Launches Innovation Strategy






Summerside recently launched its Innovation Strategy, an action plan to establish the city as a renewable centre of excellence. Summerside is widely recognized as a leader and pioneer in adopting green and innovative technologies. Our unique municipally-owned infrastructure, combined with a business environment that encourages innovation, distinguishes us from other communities in Atlantic Canada. The goals is to develop a strategic approach to assist internal and external stakeholders. The City will develop an action-orientated strategy and an execution plan for maximizing the City’s potential given its available yet unlinked assets in the “Green/Eco Sector” and Summerside’s intrinsic sectors of excellence.
 
Critical to our Innovation Strategy, aside from inventorying and understanding our assets and their cross capabilities, is the development of this action plan. The plan will assist the City in seizing economic development opportunities and to facilitate growth that will differentiate Summerside sustain its economy and position as the Renewable Centre of Excellence.
 
A commitment to sustainable development and technologies is integral to meet the expectations of Summersides’ businesses and residents.  This commitment makes both fiscal and environmental sense as it will ensure that sustainable development and technologies will exemplify the city’s approach to economic development and service delivery in the community.
 
Well aware of the advantages of the “green movement” and the importance it plays in the future of environment and business competitiveness, Summerside is taking steps on building the enabling infrastructure and program delivery across departments that will support business development with a priority focus on the green economy and renewable innovation.
 
Investing in green technologies, infrastructure and programs as part of a municipality’s arsenal of attributes is becoming more and more prevalent with both existing and potential companies looking to invest in a community with these aspects and impacts at its core. Summerside has positioned itself to be a leader in this regard.
 
Aside from the above-mentioned advantages to business in a municipality which owns and operates its own critical infrastructure, Summerside is proving to be a leader of municipalities on Prince Edward Island. This leadership is owed to a strategic priority to invest in where green municipal services, including electrical, water and sewer, and innovative technologies for home and business, including smart meters and fibre energy storage is offered.
 
While the view scope of the “Green/Eco Sector” is as diverse as one’s imagination, it is evident that Summerside has earned a competitive edge in maximizing the “Eco Movement”. This sector encompasses a wide variety of technologies, products and services and touches many industries including building and construction industries, advanced manufacturing, agriculture, fisheries, utilities, retail and service to name a few.
 
Summerside will be looking to leverage and develop its efforts of work-to-date by laying out a plan for specific tactics to seize opportunities by sector, especially with regards to aerospace, business services, advanced manufacturing, marine, renewable energy and municipal infrastructure.
 
The end result of this strategy will be a comprehensive tactical plan that will guide investment and infrastructure activities over the course of the next several years. This work will clearly articulate the City’s long term vision, goals and objectives in relation to being a sustainable green development leader and to help the City assess the current opportunity within a nearer term context.
 
To learn more about this strategy or to be part of the consultative process, please contact the Office of Economic Development at mike@summerside.ca






The Inspire Learning Centre: Changing Times

Let’s play a game. Take the word “library” and think of the first thing that comes to mind. Chances are that you will think of “books”, or “book-like”, “of books”, “book store”, and so forth. Even the dictionary will define “library” as “a building with a collection of book.…” We all have a picture of a library in our minds.
 
Examining the history of library, much has changed in the last 20 years. Internet connections have quickened, content on the web has exploded, computers are more affordable, and day-to-day devices are capable of internet access, including phones and game consoles. This leads to an inundation of information at every turn.
 
The traditional form of a library with musty stacks and dead silence is no longer viable. It can no longer compete with the sheer volume of information to be found on the web. Therefore creating new experiences became inevitable. Modern day libraries still have the books of course, but there are many new attractive features, including appealing architecture, natural lighting, inviting common areas, courses and clubs, board games, and hands-on activities. Not just that, but they sometimes use names other than “library”, such as “space” or “lab”. Speaking of which…
 
Summerside’s Inspire Learning Centre which opened just before Christmas embodies the environment of modern times. There is no shushing from a librarian and no perpetual fluorescent moonlight. On the contrary, the Learning Centre is a bright, colourful, interactive institution spanning 3 floors, the 2ndfloor offering video game consoles, an activity once considered to be a waste of time and now lauded as an aid to memory, motor skills, pattern recognition, problem-solving and much more.
 
This modern change is well-received. Although there may be a scholarly stronghold, there’s no reason why libraries can’t also be fun. Could there still be a place for libraries? Yes, but not the kind your grandparents knew.
 
The challenge to readers is to become involved. Visit Summerside’s Inspire Learning Centre at 57 Central Street or online at http://www.inspirelearning.today/





The Importance of having a Value Proposition
A synopsis of a Speech by MECLABS Institute CEO Flint McGlaughlin
 

The Office of Economic Development recently sat in on a presentation with CEO and Managing Director Flint McGlaughlin of MECLABS Institute (https://www.meclabs.com/) where he spoke on his position on value propositions and how to properly formulate and articulate them to our target audiences. 
 
MECLABS is dedicated to using the Web as a laboratory to gain an understanding of the factors that influence human choice. MECLABS develops robust partnerships with leading businesses and universities to conduct real-world research that continuously validates and updates our library of insights.[1] The organization has partnered with key market leaders such as the New York Times and Microsoft Corporation. McGlaughlin's primary research is focused on enterprise as a transformative agent. His work has won multiple awards and has been quoted in more than 13,000 online and offline sources.

Flint was speaking on the importance of having a value proposition and laying out the framework for developing one. While the science behind understanding of the factors that influence human choice may be daunting, Flint was able to articulate some simple lessons that many business today can use to effectively reach and communicate with their target audience. 
 
The first simple rule when building and communicating a value proposition is to always put yourself in the position of the person you are trying to communicate with, sell to, or influence. If you start from this position it will ensure that you stay focussed and answer the tough questions from the client’s perspective. Why would someone choose (insert your organization here) products, services or location. Developing this answer may be more difficult than it appears as one must ensure they articulate the answer in the form of a reason of force with very specific and unique rationale. Literature teaches us that marketing is not about making a claim but its purpose is to foster a conclusion and that building a brand is about the expectations of what people are looking for and expect the product or service to meet as part of those expectations.
 
Which brings us to the four Force Elements of building a powerful value proposition. 
 

The Offer Dyads 
1.  Appeal “I want this”
2.  Exclusivity – “I can’t get this anywhere else”
 

The Communication Dyads 
1.  Clarity – “I understand it”
2.  Credibility – “I believe this”
 
These are the four forces we must balance to get to the macro yes. One must answer these truthfully from the eyes of the client in order to reach the conclusion being sought in your business operations.
 
Flint’s final words to the audience were simple and to the point: “Learn to say it right” and “belief is the cornerstone of any value proposition.”