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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

Brock Dickinson

Brock DickinsonPrincipal, Millier Dickinson Blais

Brock Dickinson is a Principal with Millier Dickinson Blais, Canada’s largest specialist economic development consultancy, where he works with companies and communities across Canada and around the world to accomplish their economic growth and development goals.  In September of 2010, Millier Dickinson Blais was named to Profit Magazine’s “Hot 50” list of Canada’s fastest growing young companies.

Before entering the private sector, Brock served as Director of ICT & Advanced Manufacturing for the Toronto Region Research Alliance, as Director of Economic Development & Tourism Services for the City of St. Catharines, and as Executive Director of the Western Valley Development Authority in rural Nova Scotia.  In these roles, he has helped to leverage more than a billion dollars in new investment, and the creation of 5,000 new jobs.

Before entering the field of local economic development, Brock spent six years as a consultant with the United Nations, coordinating development projects in more than 30 countries.  In 1995, he was appointed Secretary-General of a UN development conference, the youngest Secretary-General in UN history.

A widely published writer and popular public speaker, Brock is Associate Director of the University of Waterloo’s Economic Development Program, and a member of the Advisory Committee of the University at Buffalo’s Institute for Transnational Studies.  Brock has a BA from the University of North Carolina and a Master’s degree in International Relations from Brock University, where his research focused on global economic development best practices.  He has also studied at Queen’s University and the French-language Université Sainte-Anne.  

Originally from Digby County in Nova Scotia, he now lives in the Niagara Region of Ontario with his wife Krstina, son Spencer (age 8) and daughter Morgan (age 6).rincipal, Millier Dickinson Blais
Leading economic development thinker

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

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