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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

Jessica Melanson

Creator, Tabs project

Jessica MelansonJessica Melanson was born in 1995 and raised in the town of Dieppe, New-Brunswick. After graduating from École Mathieu-Martin, she moved to the province next door, where she is currently enrolled in her first year of post-secondary education. Dalhousie University, which is located in Halifax, Nova-Scotia, is her home-away-from-home and the focus area where she has introduced her recycling project.

The latter consists of collecting pop tabs for wheelchairs. This has been an ongoing project for the past two years and one that will continue to expand.

Thanks to class mates, peers and family members, they were able to collect 5 water jugs filled with tabs. "Fun fact, 1450 tabs = 1pound and for every pound, she receives (drumroll...) approximately 0.70$!"

After such success, she decided to enter her project at the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge and found herself in awe when she won 1st place in the Individual Community Engagement category.

The simplicity of this project versus its impact makes for eager individuals, like Jess, to spread the word. She is excited to hop on stage and discuss in greater detail her wonderful initiative.


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"I thought your conference was first rate and told others as much. Ideas and networking applied to public policy are an irresistible combination."

- Colin Robertson, Diplomat & Professor

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