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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

Julia Rivard

Julia rivardJulia Rivard moved from North Bay, Ontario to Dartmouth, Nova Scotia at the age of 19 to pursue her training in the sport of CanoeKayak. After four years of training she earned a position on the Olympic Team representing Canada at the 2000 Olympic Games.

Throughout her sporting career, Julia completed a degree at Dalhousie University and Graphic Design at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design.

Her business career started in 2005 when she opened Queen Street Studios which served as a collective for independent creative professionals in the HRM. In 2007 she joined Queen Street Studios with a web development firm called Norex and with partner Brandon Kolybaba, grew the one business to eventually be three.

In 2009, Julia took over to lead Norex's sister company SheepDog as Chief Executive Officer, working with North American Enterprise clients in their technology implementation and development.

In 2012, Julia moved back to Norex to help lead the growth into new markets for clients in web development.

Julia and her partner Leah Skerry have also launched, a crow-funding platform for Canadian Athletes which has raised over 100,000 for athletes in less than eight months and a social sharing platform that brings all #hashtagged content on the web together.

In addition to business Julia stays involved in the community as a member of the Premier's Economic Advisory Council, as Vice Chair of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design Board of Governors as Vice Chair of Marketing for CanoeKayak Canada, and as a member of the Canadian Olympic Committee.

In 2012, Julia was recognized for her efforts as a recipient of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.

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"Your festival was a spectacular idea, a wonderful event in every way possible; a terrific foundation on which to move forward and to build a better and more prosperus community for all."

- David Hawkins, Co-founder of XYZ Stratégie-Communication Inc.

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