Hon doc John Manley says opportunity knocks for the digital generation

John Manley, PC, OC
John Manley, PC, OC

Former Deputy Prime Minister, John Manley, painted a picture on how the world is evolving to the Schulich graduating class during Convocation.

Manley was this year’s recipient of the Honorary Doctor of Laws degree. “It is an honour to be among your number,” said Manley while addressing over 600 graduates. “You are graduating from a truly great school.”

Manley is a former Minister of Finance and Minister of Foreign Affairs and a member of the Order of Canada. Throughout his decorated career he recalls one lesson he learned. “You have to stand up to be seen; speak up to be heard; and sit down to be appreciated.”

Now as President of the Business Council of Canada, Manley still follows that lesson in the rapidly changing world. In his new position he sees firsthand the effect of disruptive technologies. When he began; Iphones were three years away, tweeting was what birds did and Über was a German word meaning over. “We live in a shrinking world,” Manley said. “Technological change on a massive scale creates risk and opportunity.”

Schulich Dean Dezsö J. Horváth echoed Manley’s thoughts. “The Class of 2016 is graduating during a time of economic challenge but also a time of great promise filled with opportunities in new and emerging industries,” said Horváth. “You (graduates) are the world’s first truly digital generation, so you will be better prepared than most to navigate the digital revolution.”

Manley closed by saying Schulich graduates are in a great position to succeed with sharp minds and strong educational credentials, as well as ‘soft-skills’ that employer’s value. But the journey does not stop here, as each outcome today is uncertain, so students must continue to “take responsibility.”