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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

Tim Coates


Tim Coates 3Project Manager, Economic Development, Corporate Citizenship at IBM

Tim works at the intersection of business, technology and social innovation. 

With IBM, Tim manages a portfolio of economic development programs that bring the company's unique knowledge and market leading assets in technology and problem solving to bear on some of the world's most pressing challenges. Programs in his portfolio include the Smarter Cities Challenge, SME Toolkit, and Supplier Connection.

Prior to joining IBM, Tim was Managing Director of CTNEXT, a $25m public-private partnership that brought together Connecticut's small business community to create a system of support for high performing young companies. With a network of 14 public and private sector partners, CTNEXT established identified young companies with the greatest potential and mobilized resources to give them the best chance at success. 

Prior to CTNEXT, he co-founded of 21inc, an “action tank” building a community of entrepreneurial leaders with some of Atlantic Canada’s most promising young people under age 35. He was Executive Director of 21inc from 2006 to 2011.

In 2010 he was recognized by Progress Magazine as “People We Love,” and one of New Brunswick’s 20 top innovators. A frequent speaker and writer on leadership and social innovation, his writing has appeared in The Boston Globe, The MarkNews.com, and The Telegraph Journal. He was selected from hundreds of applicants in 2007 as an Action Canada Fellow, a national leadership program.

From 2007 - 2011 he was an Adjunct Professor at St. Thomas University and the University of New Brunswick, teaching classes in economics, entrepreneurship and public policy. 

In 2007, Tim completed a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. He has BA with First Class Honors in economics from St. Thomas University.

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