Born in Teulon, Manitoba, Potter attended Glebe Collegiate Institute in Ottawa, before earning a BA in Philosophy at McGill University, then MA and Ph.D. degrees in philosophy at the University of Toronto. He was also an assistant professor at Trent University for three years. Upon graduation, he did post-doctoral work at the Centre de recherches en éthique (CREUM) at the University of Montreal.
His academic background is in metaphysics and political philosophy, post-secondary educational policy, branding, consumerism and popular culture. He maintains an interest in technology and the future of the news media.