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Bestselling Author and Entrepreneur, Don Tapscott, Appointed Chancellor of Trent University

Trent alumnus and one of the world's top business thinkers to be installed as Trent's eleventh chancellor in June 2013

Mr. Don Tapscott
Mr. Don Tapscott

The Senate of Trent University is pleased to announce its decision to approve the appointment of Mr. Don Tapscott to be installed as Trent University's eleventh chancellor at Convocation ceremonies to be held Friday, June 7 at 10 a.m. A bestselling author, entrepreneur and one of the world's top business Thinkers50, Mr. Tapscott is also an alumnus of Trent University.

Recognized as one of the world's leading authorities on innovation, media, and the economic and social impact of technology, Mr. Tapscott 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, he was re-named one of the most important living business thinkers in the world by Thinkers50 in 2011. 

In commenting on his appointment, Mr. Tapscott said: "I'm deeply honoured to have been chosen to be the first Trent alum to become chancellor, particularly to fulfill these duties while the University celebrates its 50th anniversary. I look forward to spending more time returning to and collaborating with the University that got me started in higher education."

"I am delighted by the appointment of Don Tapscott as Trent University's chancellor-elect," said Dr. Steven E. Franklin, president and vice-chancellor. "Since graduating from Trent in 1970, Mr. Tapscott has been an outstanding ambassador for the University, exemplifying the distinctive qualities of a Trent graduate through his many successes. I look forward to seeing Mr. Tapscott engage with our students, alumni and our community as he shares his exceptional talents as well as his deep commitment to this University."

Mr. Tapscott is CEO of a Toronto-based think tank The Tapscott Group, and was previously founder and chairman of New Paradigm. He is vice-chair of Spencer Trask Collaborative Innovations, a new company building a portfolio of companies in the collaboration and social media space. With a Master's degree in Education from the University of Alberta, he is also an adjunct professor at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and the inaugural fellow of the school's Martin Prosperity Institute where he is currently leading a large investigation of new models of global problem solving, cooperation and governance. 

Author and co-author of 14 widely-read books about information technology in business and society, Mr. Tapscott's book Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything, co-authored by Anthony D. Williams and released in 2007, became the best-selling management book in the U.S. for that year. Translated into 29 languages, Wikinomics was chosen as one of the best books of the year by a number of publications, including The Economist. In 2010, he and Mr. Williams released a follow-up, Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet, which was described by The Economist as a "Schumpeterian story of creative destruction."

Among Mr. Tapscott's other well-known books are: Paradigm Shift (1992); The Digital Economy (1996); Growing Up Digital (1998); Digital Capital (2000); The Naked Corporation (2003); and Grown Up Digital (2008). He has given more than 1500 keynote speeches and presentations to many of the most important audiences in the world, including being invited to speak to world leaders by the World Economic Forum in Davos many times. His clients include top executives of many of the world's largest corporations and government leaders from many countries. The Washington Technology Report called him the most influential Canadian media authority since Marshall McLuhan. Mr. Tapscott and his wife Ana Lopes, an honorary and former member of Trent's Board of Governors, sponsor the annual Tapscott-Lopes Business and Society Lecture.

A strong supporter of the Trent University learning model, Mr. Tapscott says, "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-focussed, customized, collaborative learning experience is the new model for developing knowledge workers who can build more effective social and economic institutions.

"In my parents' generation, you learned a trade or skill and you were set for life. Today, young people are set for fifteen minutes. Employers will need thinkers and problem-solvers, not just heads stuffed with facts." Trent's new chancellor-elect considers himself fortunate to have attended Trent. "It was the perfect place for me. I learned through small-group discussion and interaction with teachers. At Trent, I discovered my deep passions. And I learned how to think better, how to write, and how to solve problems."

A proponent of learning that encourages critical thinking and citizens who push the boundaries of new paradigms, Mr. Tapscott encourages undergraduates to study a range of liberal arts and science topics that pique their interest. "They'll discover what they love, equip themselves for citizenship and the next stage of the life-long learning required for success in a knowledge economy," he says.

Duties of Trent University Chancellor

The role of the chancellor includes conferring all degrees and diplomas and sitting as an ex officio member of the Board of Governors and the Senate. In addition, the chancellor serves as chair of the Senate Executive sub-committee on University Honours and represents the University in an official capacity at external functions from time to time. Each chancellor brings his or her special talents and interests to the position, and enters into and enhances the life of the University. The term of the office is normally for three years but is renewable upon the recommendation of Senate Executive and the agreement of Senate and the incumbent.

About Trent University

One of Canada's top universities, Trent University is renowned for encouraging the dynamic interplay of research, teaching and learning, which enhance and energize each other in the classroom and beyond. The University is consistently recognized nationally for faculty who maintain a high level of innovative research activity and a commitment to the individual student. Trent distinguishes itself through excellence in the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences as well as professional and graduate programs. Trent is dedicated to preparing students to make significant contributions to an increasingly complex world by providing them with a distinctive liberal arts, science or professionally- focussed education, which is enhanced by global perspectives, experiential learning and interdisciplinary approaches to personal and professional development. Trent's Peterborough campus boasts award-winning architecture in a breathtaking natural setting on the banks of the Otonabee River, just 90 minutes from downtown Toronto. Together with Trent University Oshawa Thornton Road Campus, Trent draws excellent students from throughout the country and around the world.

Posted on Tuesday, March 12, 2013.

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