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The Rise of the Renaissance Man

Categories: Food for thought

Posted on 10-29-10 at 3:55 p.m.

A broad overview of the past 10 years in Canada reveals a jagged panorama of noteworthy events that have left a deep impression in the minds and imaginations of Canadians, weaving themselves into the fabric of our lives. The September 11th attacks, two recessions, climate change and job outsourcing via globalization lead a long and varied list of dramatic upheavals. Disillusion, division and cynicism are flooding the political scene at an unprecedented pace. Bad news seems to dominate our everyday reality, certainly in the public and media scenes.

The world seems increasingly chaotic. One might assume that such a turbulent era would spawn discouragement and despondency. Surprisingly, we’ve observed the exact opposite: our analyses all point to a resilient, opportunity-seeking, population – at least a burgeoning majority of it – filled with vitality, eager to adapt to the ever-changing world and driven to develop their potential to the fullest.

Our work reveals that over the years, the Canadian population has developed a unique capacity for resilience, transforming the potential threats encountered in their daily lives into opportunities for advancement.

In many ways, the current context leads us to believe that we are witnessing a revolution in the way Canadians view their lives, a movement we have labelled the Rise of a New Renaissance Man. This trend or phenomenon may not be universal, but there is no denying that it is currently driving and dividing people into separate camps. Reduced to its simplest expression, the catchphrase for these modern times has become: to adapt or not to adapt.

In analyzing the characteristics defining this leading trend in Canadian society today, as well as its various implications for marketing, branding, public policies, human resources, management and all other areas, we observe that the context that spawned the original Renaissance Man circa 1510 is being uncannily mirrored in Canadian society 500 years later – in 2010.

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