Friday, April 4, 2014

Networking Amidst the Slopes

Networking can be fun:

I skied today at Sunshine Village in Banff National Park, just west of Calgary.  Trip had some serious purpose behind it:
  • meeting with some of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute people since I am now a Fellow.  I still am not sure what it means to be a Fellow, so that was one of the reasons I came to Calgary--figure out the expectations and share my views with these folks.  I had a very interesting lunch where they threw a bunch of questions at me--some of which I actually had some knowledge about (NATO, irredentism) and much I did not (China, Putin's inner soul).
  • presenting the book's findings to the people at U of Calgary's Center on Military and Strategic Studies.  Canada has few universities but is a big place, so it made sense for me to go to the CMSS folks to meet them and exchange views.  
  • Both meetings were part of a larger effort that I am leading to build networks among the folks interested in Canadian defence stuff.  The partnership grant will try to make up for the loss of much of the old networks that was lost with the end of the Security and Defence Forum.
These three aspects are all part of a larger thing--once I moved from Montreal to Ottawa, I realized I was committing to Canada for the long term.  I didn't spend much time institution building or networking when I was trying to leave McGill because I expected to move south back below the Wall.  But the magic of the job market led me to my sweet job in Ottawa.  So, doubling down on Canada.

And, yes, going skiing after my work was done is very much part of my "declaring success."  My knees survived today's skiing, and Sunshine Village had many excellent slopes, including a kick-ass trail to the parking lot.  So, I declare "success."

Next week? Daughter's turn as we go to Vancouver to check out UBC.  And, yes, there will be some skiing involved.  Woot.

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