Knowledge development; knowledge translation; intercultural communication
George Tombs is an award-winning author and filmmaker. As a journalist he reported from six continents, then served as executive director of a medical association, university professor, and then consultant for a wide range of health and science research organizations. George Tombs has a PhD in the History from McGill University, and did a postgraduate year at Oxford University’s Medical Sciences Division. He has written several award-winning books, including Robber Baron: Lord Black of Crossharbour, an unauthorized biography of Conrad Black. In July 2020,
George Tombs completed production of the biographical film The Blinding Sea (108 minutes, original version in English, with French sub-titles). This film has won eleven festival awards around the world so far, and was shot on location on an icebreaker wintering in the Beaufort Sea, on a tall ship on the Southern Ocean, by dog-team in Alaska, the Yukon and the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and on the glaciers of Antarctica and Norway.
This film focuses on polar explorer Roald Amundsen’s two-year apprenticeship with the Inuit of Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, during which they painstakingly shared with him their intimate knowledge of the polar environment. This led Amundsen to great success: he never ceased praising Inuit for their deep understanding of Nature and their ingenuity. The film combines factual accuracy with bold story-telling, a cross-cultural approach, oral histories whether European or Aboriginal, a focus on physical and psychological health, and the refreshing eye-witness perspective of an acclaimed biographer.
In the aftermath of the Truth and Reconciliation process, Canadians need to know more about the extraordinary knowledge system that Inuit created, and that enabled them to thrive in one of the world’s harshest natural settings. During the 20th century, government and church policies of assimilation and particularly residential schools severely undermined the Inuit knowledge system. Many Inuit are now reconnecting with their knowledge traditions. Explorer Roald Amundsen did not just include Inuit knowledge to achieve his objectives: instead, their knowledge and deep understanding of Nature formed the cornerstone of his success. The presentation should accompany screening of the film.
The Blinding Sea offers valuable lessons about Amundsen’s leadership, evidence-based decision-making, project management, inclusion (of Inuit) and access to the best knowledge. Inclusion is a dilemma for many organizations nowadays – they know it’s important, but they don’t realize it requires out-of-the-box thinking – a paradigm shift. As a leader, Amundsen’s main qualities were humility, curiosity, the thirst for new knowledge and the readiness to apply it in practice. I would like to bring a message about knowledge and inclusion to a wide range of organizations, to help them develop winning strategies and open the way to success. The presentation should accompany screening of the film.
Montreal , Quebec
Mind the Gap
Mind the Gap recounts the misadventures of an improbable hero, Richard Grey, who wears a gas mask in front of the TV set, while watching his favourite hockey team, the Montreal Canadiens. Given that he grows up pretty much in confinement, weird things happen around him … or is it all in his mind? In this quirky coming-of-age novel, readers meet a cast of colourful, off-the-wall characters, from Grandmother Grieve to Father Reginald and Mother Augusta to the elusive "girl next door", Chloé Trahan.