In 1963, The British Royal Society coined the expression 'Brain Drain' to complain about the emigration of British scientists to the United States who were attracted to the American Dream and the streets paved with opportunity.
The same phenomena held true after the fall of the Iron Curtain when the East lost many of their best to the Capitalist West.
The countries that offered the best opportunities could drain other countries of their talent, the intellectual firepower needed to drive innovation in their country and a new economy. The trifecta for the worker was to also find a place where they wanted to build a life and raise a family. Even within a country, a city like Austin, Texas could become magnetic.
Today, the in-demand talent that can work remotely can put 'place' at the top of their list. What is the best place for me to pursue my passions, to be with like-minded people, to build a family, and to keep more of my income for me?
In big cities with unaffordable housing or affordable housing that require long commutes, big taxation countries, big polluters, or places with lousy education and healthcare will have to wake up to the reality that will be drained of talent and their tax base. Corporations that attracted talent to their places of work, even with sushi bars and pool tables, will now have to compete for talent.
If I was Toronto, or Ontario or Canada I would wake up to the reality of an economy on the move. You can't compete against the sun and surf seekers but you can establish yourself as the best place to raise a family. To do so:
Designate the 'silicone North' hubs. Places with fresh air, and water, locally and locally grown food. Places where people can pursue their passions - skiing, golf, hiking, etc.
Tax-free incentives to attract new entrepreneurs, and taxpayers investing as shareholders.
A completely revamped educational system from elementary to university, that puts the student first, bureaucracy last, rewards exceptional teachers and replaces mediocre to signal we are the best place to teach your children.
Competitive tax structure.
A hybrid culture that brings people together as human beings.
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