Proposal to Prime Minister’s Office
Canadian Creators+Innovators Emergency Fund (CCIEF)
April 5, 2020
Dear Prime Minister Trudeau,
All creative and entrepreneurial work is precarious at the best of times. And we as entrepreneurs, innovators, artists and designers, writers and makers, explorers and spiritual leaders take on most or all of this risk personally.
This type of work does not fit in the box, and so does not qualify under EI or the Canadian Emergency Response Fund (CERF). But this work contributes to every aspect of flourishing and is responsible for the economic prosperity we enjoy as a country.
Consider the opportunity to support some of the most precarious workers, often the working poor, and most vulnerable financially. And yet somewhat ironically, the makers of what will advance us into a more prosperous future in often unpredictable and high win ways for all.
Here is what we at NOMADS | United would propose. All individuals who have not qualified under another support category and self-identify under the category of creative, innovation or other forms of divergent work (i.e. value creation) would qualify. They would receive the same level of funding support as those under the CERF. That is, $2,000 per month for up to four months.
The benefit would allow creators & innovators to purchase or upgrade supplies, materials and equipment and meet basic living costs while designing, drawing, writing, launching or inventing the next great thing to boost Canada’s economy.
Why do this? Two reasons …
1) It’s the right thing to do. Social justice demands addressing the needs of the most vulnerable.
2) It’s the economically smart thing to do. Creators, entrepreneurs and innovators drive economies into the future and make them resilient.
Many don’t currently have access to community resources that they would be able to use otherwise to write a novel, or produce media, or launch a new venture. And this would allow them to make these small investments from which we will all benefit.
Today, it has become very apparent that we have a fragile system. Part of this is due to centralization, and far too great a focus on order and scale. We were already vulnerable, and this pandemic only served to expose the weakness of the system. Moving forward, we have a unique opportunity to strengthen the system. How? In the words of author, Nassim Taleb, we benefit from instituting an alternative system that benefits from disorder. It is not the opposite of our current fragile system, but rather anti-fragile. Many small bets, with a few big payoffs that far outweigh the initial investment. It is diversification via divergent economies.
All of the payouts to date are investments back into a fragile system, albeit a vital one as a temporary lifeboat for many souls. But many future shifts are coming shortly after this crisis is resolved and at the same time, there will be a great pressure to return to status quo, or homeostasis. It is human. But unlike this event, the coming crises may be more invisible to the public eye until the devastation has wiped out millions of jobs or significant portions thereof permanently. We can address those issues now while navigating through the current storms by refusing to return to where we were. For a short window of time, this traumatic event can help steer us towards a better future and perhaps even safe from a greater devastation that few can see on the horizon but it is there. Automation, AI, robotization are all moving us into a new world and it’s up to us whether that ushers us into a utopian or dystopian existence. My advice to you prime minister, guide us to new shores. Invest in an anti-fragile system in tandem with our current fragile system and once we reach new shores, follow the advice of the newly landed ship captains arriving to the new world and burn the ships!
It will be the dreamers, visionaries, inventors and creators, discovers and truth seekers of all types that will get us there. We need them more than we know. And we need to create systems that will give them access to opportunity to do what they do best. For all of our benefit.
Many indigenous peoples of Canada are a vital part of this alternative system and should be fully included. They can help us see the long view, create and explore alongside us. And equally benefit from the outcomes.
Let’s not focus on getting back to normal, or back on track but finding new tracks for a shared, inclusive future of dreamers and doers, creators and builders. We need all kinds of minds to be successful for the challenges of our day and in the days ahead.
Let me leave you with this wisdom verse, written by the author of Proverbs.
“Plans fail for a lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.” (Proverbs 15:22)
The key here is to include many advisers, avoiding an echo chamber and inviting broad perspectives and fresh insights into the decision making process. May God give you wisdom and a great compassion for all people of Canada.
Robert M Peacock
NOMADS | United
Advocate & Self-Advocate for Neurodiversity Movement and Neurodivergents