Lady Justice: The Future is Already Here

The Pandemic has been noted to have a few silver linings, including digital adoption. I never completed my undergraduate degree in psychology as I was granted early entry into law school. As I was paying for my post-secondary education out of my own pocket, I thought I would complete the degree later in my “spare time” when I could better afford it. But, I went from having little money, to having little time. Two daughters graduated from high school by 2020. I now had a chance to return to school, but I would have to start the degree over, and I was thinking more along the lines of an MBA.

I was fortunate in the fall of 2020 to be accepted into the Harvard Business Analytics Program. It would not have crossed my mind without the Pandemic. I realized my skillset in digital transformation needed to get to the next level if I were to be able to knowledgeably address the access to justice issue with all the tools available to us these days. I am also a big fan of optimizing my time and practice. The Program was completely online due to the Pandemic. After two years of a Pandemic, Harvard finally had a make-up conferral ceremony for all the grads this past June. At that time, I had the enormous privilege of being selected to present a Flash Talk at THE Harvard Business School, top ranked in the world, to an international audience.

A quote used by one of our brilliant profs during the event sticks with me: “The future is already here, it is just not evenly distributed” – William Gibson. I was amazed throughout the program at what can be accomplished with artificial intelligence, machine learning, data analytics and open innovation. There is both a bright side and a dark side to innovation. As the dark side never lets up in exploiting technology, we need to ensure we take advantage as well, for the good. The goal should be to achieve our potential as a society. Including, as I have previously stated, getting to that four-day work week.

I am currently on the Red Deer & District Chamber of Commerce Board, eager to use all I learned to help distribute the future in my community. I learned about how the City of Red Deer, Red Deer College (as it then was) and Chamber got together many years ago to create an event which continues until today – the Agri-Trade Equipment Expo. It is one of the top events of its kind in all of North America. It has also international attention, including a German pavilion this year.

Now there is a new opportunity upon us to be global leaders in this latest technological revolution. This includes another potential partnership with the Red Deer Polytechnic, the Chamber and others including Alberta Innovates and various levels of government – The Smart MTX (Smart Manufacturing Technology Exposition), an exciting new exposition taking place April 4 and 5, 2023 at the Westerner Park. Please support this exciting adventure. I already signed up for a booth! Central Alberta has so many exciting projects to allow us to achieve our potential, I am looking forward to it.

Donna Purcell, K.C., (aka Lady Justice) is a Central Alberta lawyer and Chief Innovation Officer with Donna Purcell QC Law. If you have legal questions, contact dpurcell@dpqclaw.com.

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