Shawna Lawson B.Comm, EcD
When I was working on my Masters, I asked my favourite prof what he thought my strengths were and he replied “Your ability to see the big picture and the possibilities within it”. I guess that strength has served me well in my career and life. Economic resiliency for me is the very basis of any community’s development – whether that is a village of 800 or a nation of several million – it is dependent upon the health of businesses, social networks, good governance and its environment.
One of our clients remarked to me last week that I was sort of like an economic sleuth – digging down until I find the gems that will make their community shine. I liked that because it rings true. I believe there are gems all around us if we just pay attention and don’t get dragged down by all the reasons we can’t do something.
I have been fortunate. Born in a northern Manitoba mining town, raised in Red Deer and the first woman in our family to go to university, I have had the opportunity to work and live across the globe. And whether it has been a Borough in London, a village in the Mekong Delta, a bustling city in India or a small town in rural Alberta, all want the same – a promising future for their children and loved ones. I like to think that with each project I have worked on, I have contributed to making that happen in some small way.
My favourite quotation of all time is Anais Nin’s “How can I accept a limited definable self when I feel, in me, all possibilities?” I feel this applies not only to myself, but to the communities we work with.