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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

Gerry Pond

Gerry PondAs Co-Founder of Mariner, Gerry has over 45 years of in-depth experience in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. As the CEO of NBTel and the President of its successor, Aliant Telecom, Gerry was at the helm during a period of significant deregulation in the Canadian industry. Under his leadership, NBTel embarked on a decade of innovation, and in the process transformed NBTel into an international ICT leader

He was the driving force behind the formation of Mariner Partners Inc. and has co-founded a number of successful ICT start-ups in Atlantic Canada including iMagicTV, Q1 Labs, Brovada Technologies, Radian6, Shift Energy and Cirrus9. As a proven innovator in ICT, Gerry is the Co-Founder of Propel ICT, a start-up accelerator, and East Valley Ventures, an advanced accelerator for Atlantic Canadian start-up companies with a mission of helping passionate Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs launch meaningful and enduring technology companies. There are currently over 30 companies connected to East Valley Ventures.

Gerry, former Chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (1997), has been recognized both nationally and regionally, including the prestigious 1997 Canadian Information Productivity Association (CIPA) Innovator of the Year and Hall of Fame, the NB Knowledge Industry Recognition and Achievement (KIRA) Awards Person of the Year 2002, the 2003 Queen's Golden Jubilee Medal, the Top 50 CEO Award in Atlantic Canada in 2003 and 2005 by Atlantic Business Magazine, and an Honorary Doctor of Letters from The University of New Brunswick – Saint John. Educational achievements include a BA from the University of New Brunswick; Organizational Effectiveness Program, Harvard University; Executive Program, McGill University; and Senior Executive's Program, University of Western Ontario. Recognized for his tireless contribution to the region's economic development, Gerry was inducted into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame in October, 2007.

Most recently, Gerry was awarded at the Canadian Startup Awards with the 2011 Canadian Angel of the Year by Techvibes & KPMG. Over the years, he has been instrumental in the success of many Atlantic Canadian start-ups and his leadership has made him an inspiring mentor to many individuals in the IT community. In 2012, he was recognized with the Canadian Red Cross Humanitarian award for New Brunswick. Gerry was named recipient of 2013 Order of New Brunswick for his innovative spirit and for being the driving force behind so many of New Brunswick's information technology and telecommunications success stories such as Radian6 and Q1 Labs. Both companies were recognized by the Canada Venture Capital & Private Equity Association's (CVCA) as Deal of the Year in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

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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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