Our sessions will cover 3 main streams of ‘Better Business, Local/International Issues, and Collaboration and Engagement’. 

Further information on specific sessions and speakers will continue to be updated, and you will have the opportunity to register for individual sessions in September.

Our Saturday Afternoon Feature Sessions:

The Rainforest: Cultivating an Innovation Ecosystem – Rainforest ecosystem system behaviour is analogous to human innovation ecosystems. It’s a way of thinking about innovative cultures, where new things are born and where untold random interactions produce surprises and wonderful things. The Soul of the Next Economy Forum is very much about that as we bring together multiple sectors to foster innovation, collaboration, and corporate social responsibility. This session will explore how we cultivate untapped innovation both within and between our organizations and sectors. Henry Doss, Managing Partner of Rainforest Strategies, will address how we can align culture, leadership, and strategy for greater innovation. As an action point, Jim Gibson will also speak to efforts of Rainforest Alberta and their collective effort to improve Alberta’s innovation ecosystem and ways in which we can participate in this innovation ecosystem.

International Development Roundtable – Hosted by the Fig Tree Foundation, where they believe great development is achieved through facilitating cooperation within the international development community in Calgary and making disciplined investments in impactful international development projects. Joined by Boris Martin and Dan Lavin, and facilitated by Ed Temple of Opportunity International, Fig Tree’s core values of effectiveness, collaboration, transparency and sustainability will be discussed in the format of their Roundtable Forum to illustrate how together we can catalyze truly great development.

Indigenous and Non-Indigenous Sharing and Reconciliation Circle – Facilitated by an Elder, Hon. Dr. Reggie Crowshoe, this two and half hour circle will provide an opportunity to share and deepen our understanding of reconciliation.  Registration will be limited to the first 15 registrants. Everyone will have an opportunity to share their unique views and perceptions.

Our Saturday Morning Break-out Sessions:

Better Business

This stream is brought to you by the Business Development Bank of Canada

Supply Chain & Human Rights – Understand the risks for companies, consumers and investors when supply chains include forced labour and other human rights abuses. Watch a short documentary from Fair Trade Jewellery Co. and join in the talk-back with co-founder Ryan Taylor and Craig Ryan of BDC. Then learn about companies and investors that are cleaning the chains and possible legislation to help them continue from Simon Lewchuk who will share highlights from the recent World Vision Canada forced labour report.

Disruptive Business – Disruptive business models focus on creating, refining, re-engineering or optimising a product, service function or practice. These companies tend to gain distinctive competitive value propositions. Disruptive companies become category dominant brands insuring sustainability. Hear from Jim Dewald,  Dean of University of Calgary’s Haskayne School of Business as he conducts a workshop based on his recently published book Achieving Longevity: How Great Firms Prosper Through Entrepreneurial Thinking. 

Doing Business Differently – The majority of business leaders intuitively create a dichotomy between a good bottom line and a good top line. A number of business leaders in Calgary have decided to “do business differently.” Their premise is the way to a great bottom line is a great top line. They have developed business models which are sensitive to the environment, employee centred human resources policies and that realize good bottom lines. There are no-cost or low cost activities that can greatly assist your employees. Participate in a conversation with employees of Calgary companies that are doing business differently. Steve Armstrong will be interviewing employees from First Calgary Financial, Momentum, Fiasco Gelato and Job Jar.

Measure What Matters – Today’s entrepreneur feels that traditional financial measurements does not capture their broader impact and success of their organization. Come learn about an international tool that has over 55,000 users that helps you measure what matters most to you and your business. Based on the robust B Corp assessment, the tool will allow you to explore governance, your relationship with your employees and community, and your environmental impact. It is aspirational with a deep ROI. Hosted by Carla Heim, Senior Advisor BDC

Local & International Issues 

When You Leave –  What happens to NGO development projects after the NGO leaves their community (whether it is voluntarily or not)? The FigTree Foundation will be bringing in Boris Martin, CEO of Engineers Without Borders Canada and Dan Lavin, Community Initiative Programs in Sierra Leone to speak to their experiences in this area and share ideas for how we can practice better, more sustainable international development.

Canadian Newcomers & Entrepreneurial Spirit – For 150 years Canada continues to be a land of welcome. Journey to Canada excites people whether they are looking for a safe refuge or a land of opportunities. Often, the longest and most complicated journey is not even that of landing in Canada (though for many this take years). It is rather, navigating once in Canada, the journey towards acceptance, recognition, and being a Canadian. A round table panel of newcomers to Calgary with the stories of their own entrepreneurial journey and fellow Calgarians from private, not-for-profit, and educational institutions with a desire for collaboration will share exciting narratives.

Engaging and Consulting Lived Experience: The good, the bad, the ugly – When we stop and listen to those experiencing poverty, not only do we hear that they want to be involved in change making efforts, but that their input is valuable to the effectiveness and sustainability of organizations in all sectors–often colloquially summarized in the expression, “nothing about us without us.” Facilitated by Lee Stevens, Engagement Specialist with Vibrant Communities Calgary, a panel of three members of Poverty Talks! will share their experiences of positive and not-to-so positive engagement experiences. There is important learning that can have a positive impact in all organizations.

Cross Cultural Business Holistically Impacting Lives – Learn how Joma Bakery Café, a social enterprise with 400 employees across 4 cities in Lao, Vietnam and Cambodia, is empowering communities and developing people through business in Southeast Asia. Joma exists to impact lives through employment opportunities, working closely with several NGOs to provide job training and employment opportunities to disadvantaged persons and victims of human rights abuse. Jonathan Blair, cofounder and CEO of Joma Bakery Café will be presenting this session.

Collaboration & Engagement

The Resilient Workplace – Healthy organisations start with healthy people. If we want to have high performing cultures, we need to focus on our employees and build each other up first. 1 in 5 Canadians experience a mental illness in their lifetime. Stress and depression from work (or the lack of work) is a huge contributor to this statistic. How can we create responsible organisations that are able to improve the wellness of our employees and increase their resilience? Come hear from a panel of leaders in these fields and find out how to create a mentally healthy workplace that will help your business be resilient and thrive in any circumstance.

Millennials and the Next Economy – What role do millennials play in the next economy? How do they affect the future of social and civic innovation? What is the arts scene going to look like? Come hear from representatives from Mount Royal University, Calgary Arts Development, cSPACE and students recently involved in projects that address these areas as they share their learnings and experiences with us.

Social Impact of Blockchain – What is all the fuss about? Discover what the blockchain really is and why is matters. This high impact presentation lays out the discovery of the blockchain principle and how it changes the way we think about networks and information. You’ll learn what a smart contract is and the immense societal-level impact coming into view now. Rob will present the implications of inarguable data, shared sources of truth and how this may redefine the basic constructs of our society including how we organize ourselves. Who and what will this affect? What are the ethical issues? What kind of world will we make? Blockchain changes everything.


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