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Twenty years ago once sounded so futuristic

by David Scott


It’s now 2016. And I thought the 1990s sounded so futuristic.

My high school graduation from Grade 13 – which no longer exists – was in 1984. Thanks to George Orwell, that was an ominous year. Actually, more of what he wrote is a reality today with our digital footprint marking our travels. Not to mention cameras just about everywhere we move in public. There is real potential for ‘Big Brother’ if governments have the time, resources and inclination to track our every move.

But have we really changed that much in 20 years? Apparently, yes.

Remember telephone banking? That was revolutionary. That’s how ING Canada got its start in 1996. Founder Arkadi Kuhlmann, HBA’71, MBA’72, LLD’10, had a vision. It evolved quickly into online banking. He’s well into his next venture: ZenBanx, a mobile multi-currency exchange platform.

Twenty years ago, there was no Accessibilities for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). But Lorin MacDonald, JD’09, with a team of like- minded advocates and politicians made that a reality in 2005. It would be her dream now 10+ years later for national disability legislation in Canada.

As usual in this issue we feature talented and interesting alumni thriving in their professions. We hope to inspire today’s graduates for the next 20 years.

“I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now,” sang Bob Dylan in My Back Pages. Our own Back Page column has a new look, along with the entire magazine thanks to the work of designer Rob Potter, and a new voice(s). The in-demand and talented writer, author and political commentator Paul Wells, BA’89, after more than a decade sharing insights with our readers is handing over the reins to two talented alumnae making their mark in Canadian journalism. Over the course of the year, you will see offerings f om Shannon Proudfoot, BA’03, Ottawa-based staff writer for Sportsnet magazine; and Lauren Pelley, BA’10, MA’11, Toronto- based multimedia journalist and reporter at the Toronto Star.

We are thrilled and pleased to feature their writing.

If history repeats, then the Roaring 2020s could be quite an adventure. All the best to our readers for 2016!

This article appeared in the Winter 2016 edition of Alumni Gazette
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