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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.

2013 Speaker's list

Cheryl Stewart

Associate Vice President, University Advancement, Mount Saint Vincent University and 21inc Alumni

Cheryl StewartCheryl Stewart is the Associate Vice President, University Advancement at Mount Saint Vincent University where she establishes the University’s broad fundraising strategies, designs and evaluates alumnae programs and leads campaigns to support university priorities.  Prior to that, she led a multi partisan team of 100’s of volunteers as the Campaign Director for Mike Savage for Mayor.  She also led the transition team as Principal Advisor in the early days of Mayor Savage’s tenure as the new Mayor of Halifax Regional Municipality.

Cheryl completed her Masters Degree in Public Administration at Carleton University, began her career in Intergovernmental Affairs at the Privy Council Office in Ottawa and has worked in strategic policy and planning in several Federal government departments including Immigration, Health, and the RCMP.  Cheryl spent two and a half years as a Senior Parliamentary Advisor to the Minister of Public Health, the Minister of Citizenship and Immigration and the Prime Minister of Canada.  In these roles, she was responsible for advising the most senior levels of both elected and public servant leadership on a wide variety of issues facing Canadians.

Returning to Nova Scotia in 2006, Cheryl joined Nova Scotia Business Inc. as the Director of Policy and Planning where she worked with many other business and economic development organizations on Nova Scotia’s Competitiveness Agenda – examining key strategies drivers such as labour and education and their role in positioning the Province to compete in a global economy.  She was also the Provincial Project Manager for Entrepreneurship at Nova Scotia Community College where she led a broad strategic initiative to embed entrepreneurial skills into the educational pathways of students across the province.  In 2010, Cheryl was selected as a Top 50 Atlantic Canadian Emerging Leader Under 35 by 21 Inc.  She is an active member of several community groups including the United Way Board, 21 Inc. Board of Directors and is a member of the Halifax Mayor’s Economic Advisory Committee.  Cheryl is a former Board member of Neptune Theatre and was Founding Vice Chair and Past Chair of FUSION Halifax.

Cheryl lives in Dartmouth with her partner Shane and their son Easton.

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"We don't need 2.3 million people in Atlantic Canada to change the world....we only need to mobilize 23,000 to impact change!"

- David Campbell, Principal at Jupia Consultants

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