GRIT - Ed.04 - Flipbook - Page 24
Sevaun Palvetzian is the
Officer at Rogers, a NEXT
Canada Board Director
and the former CEO of
A widely respected leader with
deep cross-sector expertise,
Sevaun is regarded as one of
Canada’s most influential voices
on civic engagement, urban issues
and corporate responsibility.
The fallout from the COVID-19
pandemic will affect our communities for years to come. What do
you expect will be some of the
key issues facing Canadians?
COVID-19 has turned our world
upside down. Some parts of the
pandemic we’ll be only too glad to
put behind us. But there are some
important lessons from it we can’t
lose focus on as recovery kicks off.
One, is the digital divide. We
have some of the best networks
in the world in Canada. A lifeline
during COVID. But there are still
gaps—in rural areas in particular—
and we need all sectors working
together to close them.
Two, support for charities and
NGOs. Many have been gutted
during COVID but play too important a role in communities to falter. We need deeper partnerships
with the community-serving sector
to help support their work.
And three, in recovery ahead,
we need to ensure that chronic,
long-standing issues of inequality are addressed. Deep gaps need
targeted efforts. And ongoing commitment to close them.
Is there a role for entrepreneurs in
response to these issues?
100%. Canada’s productivity and
growth depends on getting the
most out of our tech and innovation ecosystem. Huge mountain for
us to climb in post-pandemic recovery. The social and environmental issues we face, similarly, need
big brains from all sectors tackling
them creatively. We can’t afford to
be in low gear on how we leverage our entrepreneurship bench
strength on any front.
BEHIND THE SCENES
Which book has had the most
profound impact on you?
The Wisdom of Crowds by
James Surowiecki. It takes the view
that the best solutions, the best
products, the best approaches, and
the best teams are created by having a diversity of views shape them.
I first read it years ago, but it remains the most profoundly influential in shaping my leadership style
and problem-solving approach. I’ve
seen its value play out in countless
ways across every sector — the wisdom of the crowds always produces a better outcome.
Finally, what are you most looking
forward to once the pandemic is
Can’t pick just one! Personal, human interaction beyond my family
— though I love them! Travel beyond
my postal code — burning through
the pages of my passport. And not
having to say, “you’re on mute!” 27
times a day during meetings.