Alliance Blog

A Warm Welcome to Anyone Seeking to Do It Their Way

It appears that British Columbia residents are starting to get used to their newest A-list immigrants from the UK — Prince Harry, Meghan, and baby Archie — who have chosen to make a new life for themselves in Canada. It’s a bold move. Reinventing yourself is difficult in the best of conditions. Imagine trying to do it with the added burden of roles steeped in the traditions of monarchy and indelibly linked to your identity.

So, when Haeghan (sorry-not-sorry for lame ‘ship’ name) find they have outgrown the tranquility of British Columbia — fyi, Canada’s 24th ranked city for innovation/startups — I propose they relocate to SoCal where we have our own tradition of welcoming individuals and iconoclasts inventing the future.

One of the ingredients in SoCal’s secret sauce is our openness and drive to seek out the best in all its surprising forms. We value your ideas and how you show up regardless of where you came from. Here’s a principle we live by that captures this idea:


Smart ideas don’t just come from people with smart titles — they can come from anyone and anywhere. That’s why we always look beyond the traditional and expected to discover what’s new and what’s next.*

Modern-day royals seeking a new destiny is not a well-worn path. Even though they could look to the past for guidance, perhaps they would get more instructive examples from SoCal culture that values authenticity and seeking out diverse influences. Another SoCal principle elaborates on this theme:

DO IT YOUR OWN WAY We believe everyone should carve their own path, whichever way they choose, because game-changing greatness doesn’t always follow a straight line. It’s these one-of-a-kind paths that make the SoCal community what it is and make each of us who we are.*

If you’re thinking of reinventing yourself, blowing up norms, upsetting the apple cart, and innovating your own way, you are more than welcome to join our community. And if you just like hanging with people who do those things and being part of the movement, well you’ve picked a great moment in time to be here. Just remember, we don’t do things the same way as everybody else, and we don’t expect you to either.

We await with sunkissed arms, stretched wide open for you as we do for everyone, regardless of who you were or where you came from.

*Excerpt from brand strategy report conducted by the amazingly talented and insightful team at Bulldog Drummond on behalf of Alliance for SoCal Innovation.

@Steve Gilison is Head of Programs and Operations at the Alliance for SoCal Innovation. You can also find him on Linkedin.