Collaboration vs. Competitiveness: Val Fox and the Ryerson DMZ

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Valerie Fox on collaboration
Val Fox is the director of Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone

Traditional models of capitalism and entrepreneurship are built on the idea that investors and innovators take a risk and compete with established companies. But now a new model is growing, one based on collaboration.

At Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone, director Val Fox is working to create an environment that fosters both innovation and collaboration. Students and recent graduates bring their ideas and the DMZ provides the expertise and the tools to make them a reality.

While you’d think that putting so many young entrepreneurs together in a small space might foster a highly competitive environment, Fox says that isn’t the case.

“The [Digital Media] Zone is filled with various companies, and they all interact, they all collaborate, they help each other to be better companies,” she says in her interview with Ramona Pringle. “And so eventually, they’re going to be able to make it on their own.”

“So my prediction is what you’re going to see is a clustering of companies, and those clusters of companies will become very strong, and they will be able to compete on the worldwide stage because they’re coming together.”

Collaboration certainly will never replace competition, but it represents a new way to look at entrepreneurship – not just as an opportunity to butt heads and force your way to the top, but as an opportunity to work together with like-minded, innovative people in forging a way forward into the future.

Check out Val’s interview with Ramona, and find her on Twitter @vfox10

Several DMZ projects will be discussed here at rdigitaLIFE in upcoming weeks, but you can meet some of its students, including Kanika Gupta and Thiago Caires, right now.


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