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Don Tapscott’s Peterborough Connection

As a student choosing a university, a young Don Tapscott wanted an engaging, personalized and interactive learning experience. At Peterborough’s Trent University, the now world-renowned author and expert on innovation, technology and economics found just that.

“At Trent I wasn’t just a passive recipient of knowledge,” explains Dr.Tapscott, “but rather a co-creator of my own intellectual capacity. It was the perfect place for me I learned through small-group discussion and interaction with professors. At Trent, I discovered my deep passions and I learned how to think better, how to write, and how to solve problems.”

Today, Dr. Tapscott is a best-selling author and one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation, media, and the economic and social impact of technology. He has been an advisor to business and government leaders and has introduced ground-breaking concepts that are part of our understanding of a rapidly-changing world. A graduate of Psychology and Sociology at Trent University and a recipient of an honorary Doctor of Laws degree in 2006, Dr. Tapscott was named one of the most important living business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50 in 2011. He was also recently named to the Order of Canada, for leadership in the field of business innovation, particularly for his research on the economic and social impact of information technology.

Don Tapscott, Chancellor of Trent University, Official Photo

Another role Dr. Tapscott plays is that of Chancellor of Trent University – the first alumnus to have been appointed to this position. Part of his time as Chancellor has allowed him to spend more time returning to and collaborating with the university where he learned so much.

Dr.Tapscott describes himself as a champion of Trent University’s learning model stating that, “It’s no longer just what you know; it’s your capacity to solve problems, to think, to research, and to reinvent your knowledge base. Trent’s student-focused, customized, collaborative learning experience is the new model for developing knowledge workers who can build more effective social and economic institutions.”

Trent University’s main Symons Campus in Peterborough is an inspiring place to learn – set on the banks of the Otonabee River, a stunning natural landscape provides an environment where you can grow, thrive, live and connect. Equally as inspiring as the natural backdrop is the university’s reputation for innovation which carries through from the classroom to the architecture and research facilities that make up the campus. The buildings of Trent University’s Symons campus are award-winning – designed by well-known architect Ron Thom, they have been recognized as being an internationally significant heritage site of the modern movement in architecture. The research facilities provide students with real-world experience, alongside expert faculty members, both on campus and in the community.

In addition to Dr. Tapscott, others who have enjoyed the Trent University experience include authors Linwood Barclay and Yann Martel, and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dr. James Orbiniski.

Trent University is one of Canada’s top universities, and was founded on the ideal of interactive learning that’s personal, purposeful and transformative. It is consistently recognized for leadership in teaching, research and student satisfaction. Across all disciplines, Trent brings critical, integrative thinking to life everyday. Students lead the way – co-creating experiences rooted in dialogue, diverse perspectives and collaboration. This creates a dynamic and engaging environment where today’s students develop the skills and analytical mindset that have alumni, like Dr. Tapscott, tapping into their true potential and becoming lifelong learners and thinkers.

Trent University's Bata Library, overlooking the Otonabee River

This article was originally published in Peterborough Possibilities. Read the entire publication here.