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Why participate?

I have ideas and solutions

Innovation and productivity are the drivers of economic growth. They thrive where diverse networks of businesses, ideas, people and organizations interact; consider the Ideas Festival as the collision of the minds that instigates change.

I care about the future of Atlantic Canada

Atlantic Canada's aging demographic means young people need to increasingly take on positions of leadership in business and government. The need to collaborate has never been greater to build that critical mass required to attract foreign investment, build economies of scale and repatriate our talent.

The world is changing rapidly everyday

The rapid pace of economic and social change, including the rise of developing countries, is forcing us to more effectively stimulate, communicate and apply new ideas. Importantly, there is no consensus around which ideas should be used.

Mathieu LeBlanc



In 2006, while working for a forestry consulting firm in the Ottawa region, Mathieu decided to move back to the Maritimes to start his own forestry management company ‘’ACFOR’’ in the midst of the worst forestry crisis in history.

Mathieu describes himself as a social entrepreneur, to further environmental and social goals. ACFOR ‘’Acronym for Acadian Forest’’ restores and increases the quality of the Acadian Forest through sustainable forestry management.

Mathieu recently founded a second company with Dick Arsenault from Wellinton PEI. ACFOR Energy delivers renewable heat to commercial buildings and rural communities with wood biomass, using the most advanced biomass boilers in the world.

ACFOR’s success has been recognized many times with awards. Mathieu was recently named in the top 20 under 40 by the Canadian Forest Industries.

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"Many aspire to do what you have done and none in my experience come anywhere close to the high standard of inspiration exchange and impact you have created."

- Lea Bryden, VP accountability and citizen engagement, Capital Health

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