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.

Better Business

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

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.

Carbon Tax – Whether you are for or against the Carbon Tax, it is here and it is here to stay. What are we going to do about it? How can we leverage this to unleash innovation in our economy? Find out what leaders in the energy and sustainability sectors are doing with their organisations in light of Alberta’s Carbon Levy.

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 realise good bottom lines. There are no-cost or low cost activities that can greatly assist your employees. Participate in a conversation that challenges our prevalent ways of doing business.

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.

International Development Roundtable – Hosted by The Fig Tree Foundation, where they believe that catalysing great development is achieved through encouraging and facilitating cooperation and making disciplined investments in impactful international development projects that are rooted in sustainability, effectiveness, collaboration and transparency. Through highlighting some of the diverse projects that the Fig Tree Foundation has funded we hope to showcase how Ethical Development can be achieved. Boris Martin will also be speaking in this session.

Immigration/Refugee Panel – Canada may think that we are doing great with our immigration and refugee policy, but compared to some other countries, we are not even remotely close. There are many gaps in immigration and refugee services that the government should be leveraging so that we can bring more partnerships into our country. Many people think about food and water when they think about immigrants and refugees, why not think about accelerators and incubators?

Nothing About Us Without Us – The input people most directly affected by solutions to an issue—those with lived experience—is critical in the development and implementation of effective solutions. Effective businesses engage their stakeholders in helping to solve service issues. Come to hear firsthand experiences, successes and challenges of ongoing meaningful engagement. This session is brought to you by the folks of Vibrant Communities Calgary and their Poverty Talks! initiative.

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.

Supply Chain & Human Rights – Understand the risks for companies, consumers and investors when supply chains include forced labour and other human rights abuses. Learn about companies and investors that are cleaning the chains and possible legislation to help them continue. Presenters include Simon Lewchuk, Senior Policy Advisor at World Vision Canada.

Collaboration & Engagement

Rainforest Alberta – “What makes places like Silicon Valley tick? Can we replicate that magic in other places? How do you foster innovation in your own networks?” From the revolutionary book The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley, an ever-growing group of forward-thinking individuals have been gathering every Wednesday on their own dime to share their knowledge, insights and support to implement the principles and philosophy of the Rainforest. The foundation of this is the Social Contract that more and more business leaders a signing. Come learn more about this movement that is quickly expanding in Alberta and be a part of the Rainforest!

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.

Collaborative Leadership – To effect social change, organisations (nonprofits, businesses, churches, academia, among others) increasingly recognise the importance of collaboration and in particular, collaborative leadership. This session will explore how nonprofit organisations and churches collaborate to positively impact their communities and neighbourhoods. Based on the findings of a recent qualitative research study, come listen to the stories of some of the participants as to what works and what doesn’t work when bringing together organisations and their distinct cultures. We also invite you to share your experiences in collaborating to effect social change.


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