I was thinking about a model of having students come in for terms of 6 months to 3 years. I do want people to come to live here on a full-time basis. I want the median age of the population to drop. I want the people who are moving here to have respect for the island and their fellow inhabitants. I understand your view, but I believe that controllable growth is much better than the current situation. If the property is unaffordable now, is the situation going to get better?
As for flying under the radar, I think we are living in the wrong century for that. Social media has and is changing the world. One video about Cortes that goes viral on Youtube has a maximum potential audience of 1,000,000,000 viewers. That’s a lot of zeros. More likely but less sensational is that wealthy people talk to their real estate brokers about nice vacation places and Cortes becomes very visible just through sale searches.
As per why I like education, the following relates my experience with one educational organization. I lived in Saskatoon for about 40 years. For those of you who are not acquainted with the city, the University of Saskatchewan is a big part of Saskatoon. In my family, my wife and daughter went to school there, and I worked there. No, no, I was a janitor, not the Chancellor. Anyway, I’m not sure but I think all my family used the various university facilities in one way or another.
The biggest hospital in the city was originally called the University hospital. It was closely associated with the University per se, and it was often called a “teaching hospital”.
The University has a heavy agriculture component. There are barns, fields and test plots right inside the city. A big research park was spawned on university land, and it is full of high tech bio science research firms. Not saying I agree with everything they do, but you can’t deny how the university was instrumental in developing the businesses.
The University raised funding for a device called a particle accelerator, which is used for medical diagnostics, among other things.
So, in short, there is a lot of students, a lot of staff and a lot of stuff going on there, but how does this 100 year old institution with 20,000+ full time students relate to Cortes?
The U.of S. is far from a perfect institution, but you can interpolate and extrapolate what it does well. Here are a few things I know an educational organization that is designed correctly can do.
It can bring money directly into the community.
It can foster business by teaching people how to grow, process, market and sell. It can develop the business models and infrastructure to do this. It can develop apprenticeship programs. It can research everything and anything. It can start, develop and build a business, and then transfer it to a private entity.
It can lead or support funding initiatives.
It can create an awareness of and a charisma about the location it is in.
It can develop credence and accessibility for economic initiatives.
It can reduce the median age of the community.
It can be flexible in what and how it teaches. Another strength is that the community has the ability to control the organization. I think that there’s a number of options open to Cortes, but I don’t think that there is any other option that provides as much direction or long term impact that the right type of educational organization(s) can offer.
And last (and in my opinion) most important, the right type of school can bring in young energetic people. Heck, it can even attract old energetic people.