In partnership with the MacEwan University Social Innovation Institute, Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Chandos, we were proud to host the inaugural Enlightened Economy Summit in our space this week!
We had over 150 delegates from across sectors and industries come together in sessions focused on change for the future. Topics explored what innovations are already taking place and what’s needed to build a future of inclusivity, accessibility and possibility.
Dr. Deborah Saucier, president of MacEwan University, kicked off the conference bright and early with some illuminating thoughts during her opening remarks. She inspired the bright-eyed learners in all of us by reminding us that post-secondary institutions are agents for optimism and joy. We were also delighted to have MacEwan's Indigenous Knowledge Keeper, Roxanne Tootoosis with us to help us start the day off on the right foot. It was our honour to show our gratitude and provide offerings for the opportunity to meet on this land.
The Summit’s program began with a panel including Mayor Don Iveson, Tom Redl (Chandos), Jackie Foord (City of Edmonton), Jen Panteluk (JA Northern AB & NWT) and Jeff Chase (City of Edmonton), moderated by Craig Ryan (BDC). Panelists discussed diversity in Edmonton's industries and the inherent entrepreneurial mindset of the nonprofit sector.
Next up was the first keynote of the day, Daniela Papi-Thornton, who spoke passionately about systems-led leadership. A nugget of her wisdom was to, "be systems-led and understand the problem. If you are married to your solution you may have to find a new problem for it." You can get a taste of Daniela’s passion and wisdom by watching her TED talk!
Conference delegates were thrilled to receive their own copy of Joel Solomon's book, The Clean Money Revolution as a gift at registration. His presentation, our second keynote, was a thought-provoking call to action including the "feminization and inclusivization of our finances and our economy."
MacEwan University Provost, John Corlett, joined us to welcome the delegates back from lunch, before setting off into four breakout sessions: Business as a Force for Good, Empowering the Next Generation of Leaders, Social Procurement and Responsible Investing and Finance.
It's always tough to choose between such high value sessions, so we had a closing panel moderated by Tom Redl, to recap each session. The whiteboard above is what our masterful emcee, Sarah Chan was able to capture as notes from the discussion. (Our SMART boards are now installed, so the days of taking photos of whiteboards are now behind us).
An energy filled reception concluded the day. We were so glad to present the inaugural conference in Roundhouse and Allard Hall. We couldn't have done it without the support of our presenting partners, the Social Innovation Institute, BDC and Chandos! Visit bcorporation.net to learn more about the BCorp Certification that drives both BDC and Chandos to make a positive impact. We'd also like to extend a HUGE thank you to Blake Loates for her photography sponsorship - stay tuned for more photos! And also a virtual round of applause for our talented emcee, Sarah Chan.
We definitely recommend taking a look at the #EECON2018 twitter feed to see more great quotes from the keynotes and breakout panels!