Why is the Rainforest Scorecard Important?
On November 26th, Rainforest Alberta - yeg will host the fourth Edmonton Summit. Hundreds of engaged Edmontonians have participated over the last three years. A vital part of the Summit is the Rainforest Scorecard as it allows us to take a pulse-check on how well the ecosystem supports innovators like you.
Why Should I Care?
We are at a pivotal point in Edmonton's history. We have the chance to transition from a resource-based economy to one that embraces innovation, technology, and a vibrant diversity of businesses.
But in order to build the greater interconnectedness and culture needed to really make Edmonton an innovation hub, we need to come together to honestly assess the state of the current system, and what needs to change so that we can all build thriving businesses and startups here. Edmonton has the talent, resources, and the spaces needed to support entrepreneurs, but without a strong sense of unity, community, collaboration and interconnectedness that make ecosystems like Silicon Valley hotspots for innovation, communities like ours can still fall flat as a place for innovation.
We want to change that and we want you to join others who are passionate about building a stronger, more resilient, and more innovative economy for Edmonton that supports you.
I'm In, Now What?
Complete the Scorecard Assessment (it takes less than 10 minutes). Once you've finished, you'll get a coupon code to save 20% off the ticket price for the Summit on Nov 26th as our way of saying thank you!
I Need to Know More...
The best way to learn more is to join us on November 26th. We'll go into much more detail than is possible here. But if you want to learn more before making that commitment, read more below!
What is the Scorecard Assessment, exactly?
The Scorecard Assessment is not a scientific study, nor is it intended to be.
The point is to get a quick and easy impression of the ecosystem at a specific point in time. The results are based on people's impressions of what is going on, and by definition, this is subject to a lot of interpretation, bias, and perspective. But that's also the power of it. As the number of responses go up, the quality of the data received and the our ability to pull meaningful information out of it, increases.
Edmonton has received pretty poor results to date (scores are out of 1000):
Do the Results Matter?
Scorecard results are highly consistent with the analogies we have all heard about the Edmonton ecosystem. Past results line up with all the other reports, surveys, and committees that have been released. The biggest difference is that our Assessment focuses on specific areas which are based on the Rainforest Pillars.
We measure specific aspects such as:
- Frameworks, Infrastructure and Policies
- Activities and Engagements
- Role Models
What Have the Results Been?
We've seen specific aspects of the score change over time reflecting what is happening in the ecossystem. For example:
- The score for Activities and Engagements increased drastically between March 2018 and November 2018 after entrepreneurial participation increased in response to the proposed Innovation Hub concept by EEDC.
- The Leadership score has been almost exactly the same between September 2017 and November 2018. Given that leaders in the ecosystem remained the same during that time, and that no notable initiatives were started in that time period, this result makes perfect sense.
- The Frameworks score has been almost exactly the same between September 2017 and November 2018. Given that no new methodologies have been introduced to support entrepreneurs and no notable systems for entrepreneurial training have been introduced to Edmonton, this result makes sense.
- There is a Lack of Trust between entrepreneurs and service providers, and between service providers
- There is a Lack of Leadership, from government, government-funded organizations like service providers, and from entrepreneurs
- There is a Lack of Diversity of opinions, leaders, backgrounds and demographics within the ecosystem
And we've listened too - we are focused on being more action-oriented and ensuring that we communicate the great ideas, projects and successes that come out of future events.
What isn't It?
The scorecard assessment is not an attack on any particular service provider, level of government, program/service or individual leader.
It is a vital belief of the Rainforest that we do not shoot down the ideas of others - we examine any idea put forward, look to build upon it or support its implementation or look for other perspectives that will be of benefit. That's why we don't use this tool to single out any specific person or agency.
Furthermore, we endeavour to provide support to those who do great things as well as those who stand up and work towards a better tomorrow. It is important that we appluad the efforts of others who demonstrate leadership, even if as individuals we do not believe in their methods or ideology. Those who sit on the sidelines should not criticizise those who try.
Over the last three years in Edmonton, and four years in Calgary, Rainforest Alberta has focused on bringing the 6 Pillars forward and educating people about their importance. This has been supported by numerous Scorecard Assessments in both Calgary and Edmonton, activities that create connectedness in the community like LWOL and Summits, and through the values of the Social Contract.
However, to continue moving the score forward, we will have to do more. That's why this Summit is diferent, and that's what we've heard from the community.
Next steps for Rainforest include:
- Build and maintain closer connections to other community initiatives such as EACOS, EIEC, and the e-RIN.
- We will support their initiatives and bring the voice of our community to the table.
- We will collect new initiatives as they arise and help find community champions to assist their implementation.
- We will continue to use the Scorecard Assessment tool to measure the progress and identify emerging trends.
What is the Summit?
We are not government-funded, we are not institutional, we are not bureaucratic. We are entrepreneur-led and focused.
The Summit isn't like other 'initiatives'; this is doers looking to help other doers.
We are doing this because we see the potential in Edmonton to support those who think differently. We understand that now is the time for Alberta to embrace the knowledge-based economy and make progress towards diversification, and we aren't willing to sit on the sidelines and wait for this to happen on its own.
We also realize that entrepreneurs and innovators in Edmonton are tired of having organizations ask for their opinions, conduct engagement sessions - we want to to act. There is lots of data out there, now is the time to put that feedback into action.
The Rainforest Summit will build on the information collected by the various reports and committees, including:
- EACOS (Edmonton Advisory Council on Startups) Priority Areas;
- the 14 Recommendations from the Innovation Compass;
- the DBA (Downtown Business Association) Report on Accelerating Tech in Downtown Edmonton; and
- past Rainforest Scorecard Results.
The Scorecard Assessment will help by updating the score to reflect the current state of the ecosystem, give context to these other reports, and provide focus to the action-oriented activities of the Summit on November 26th.
Why Should I Attend?
f you want to be part of a group of people who aren’t sitting on the sidelines while decisions are made on their behalf, who aren’t interested in shooting down the ideas of others but examining them and adapting them; if you want to actively participate in building a better future for Edmonton, then this event is for you.
We'll bring innovators, doers, strategists, and thought leaders like you together to honestly evaluate Edmonton’s ecosystem and collaborate on ways we can do better to create a true hub of innovation in Edmonton. You bring an open mind and a desire to participate in building a better future.
You can get 20% off your registration by filling out the Scorecard Assessment, before registering. This will give us a baseline pulse check of the community to bounce off for the event by measuring the collective responses against the 6 Rainforest Pillars.