TechYukon: What and Why.
Since this is the first of what will be many posts on this new website, the first order of business has to be to explain what this website is about, what TechYukon is about, and why we went to the effort to get all this up and running.
TechYukon--the website and, ultimately, the organization it turns out to be--came about in the process of an exercise in self-evaluation and re-visioning on the part of the members of the Yukon Information Technology Industry Society (shortened, usually, to YITIS).
YITIS has a history of being a pretty sound and respectable organization, but one not much known outside of a fairly narrow range of members and partner organizations.
It has been around since the year 2000, and has been active in partnering with the Yukon government in fostering the stability and growth of the information technology sector in the Yukon. But, aside from the occasional Friday evening beer-and-snack social event, it has not been much engaged with the business sector generally.
The time has come for that to change. Having been active in developing an IT Sector Strategy, and then an implementation plan for that strategy, YITIS found it had tasked itself with ownership of a plan that meant re-thinking its very nature and purpose. The outcome of that re-thinking is TechYukon.
Though it will continue to operate as YITIS behind the scenes for the moment, it will eventually evolve into either a newly-named non-profit society, or perhaps a non-profit corporation. Those are options we will be exploring in the months to come.
Because TechYukon is both a point of arrival, and point of departure. It marks a transition from the older IT-business focus of YITIS, to a broader version of technology-driven business generally.
That is why the new name speech to technology generally, not just information technology, and why we sport the tag-line, “Technology is our territory.”
Even sixteen years ago, “information technology” was actually a pretty narrow definition for what the society was all about. A number of member companies—the telephone company, radio-communications companies like Total North, and the half-dozen Internet service provider companies that existed in those days--were more about communications than information technology. They were technology-driven, but not technology-producing enterprises.
That is even more true of the technology ecosystem in the Yukon today. Film and sound producers, telecommunications companies, even mining and tourism companies, are now technology driven in a way they were not two decades ago, and are now an important part of the technology ecosystem.
TechYukon’s ambition is to be the agency that advocates for and supports the health and development of those enterprises, and by doing that supporting the health and development of the Yukon economy.
There are a number of jobs in hand for TechYukon in the year ahead: Striking productive working relationships with other industry organizations to mutually advance their mandates; discovering the best organizational model for TechYukon itself (society or non-profit corporation?); uncovering and addressing the most important issues and most promising opportunities facing the technology sector.
As we said, the creation of TechYukon is not a destination point for the organization that once called itself YITIS. It is the start of a whole new journey, of which this website is just the first, tentative step.