4Front Atlantic Conference

Thank You

As individuals, as businesses big and small, and as Atlantic Canadians, together we can grow the economy of our region.

Update to the 4Front Atlantic Community

The Commission on Building our New Economy released a report in 2014 entitled Now or Never: An Urgent Call to Action for All Nova Scotians. The report highlighted the urgent need for Nova Scotians to shift their attitude and work together to build a more prosperous future. Though this work was focused on Nova Scotia, its assessment and findings were relevant for all of Atlantic Canada.

The ONE Nova Scotia Commission, a volunteer group of engaged citizens and leaders from a variety of sectors released a report entitled We Choose Now: A Playbook for Nova Scotians in response to the Now or Never report and a ten year focused action plan to create a better future for the province. While again the recommendations focus on Nova Scotia, they are relevant for all four Atlantic provinces. Click the thumbnails below to read the reports.

Time for action

Time to make a personal action plan

The big ideas developed through the 4Front Atlantic Conferences are appropriately ambitious, hopefully exciting, but they are not “blue‐sky impossible” – far from it. They will flow from the collective product of thousands of personal actions taken by committed, passionate individuals who want Atlantic Canada to succeed in the changing and challenging world arena.

Here are 15 things you can do to help create a better Atlantic Canada:


Publicly advocate for change within your own companies and in your communities. Private sector leadership can successfully engage and shift public opinion.


If you are an experienced business person ask yourself: “Who can I mentor?” Consider helping a start‐up, or a young employee or new immigrant. If you are a young business person, ask a local entrepreneur or business leader to be a mentor to you.


Commit to hiring one full‐time paid co‐op or intern or apprentice for at least one term each year, each and every year. (Larger organizations should strive to exceed this minimum challenge).


Consider the possibility of education and health initiatives in your workplace. Can you work with a local institution to set up a targeted skills‐training program or a health and fitness program, or even a low cost EMBA?


Look at the community around you. Can you implement a volunteer program to tutor, train or help people get ready for success in the workforce?


Volunteer to give a guest lecture at a university, community college or high school about your career, profession or company, and share your experiences.


Approach a university’s industry liaison office to see how you can work with the institution’s researchers or tap into its applied research projects to help your firm or sector.


Invite Springboard Atlantic into your company to learn about university research, and how you may benefit and link into this work.


Conduct a strategic competitiveness assessment of your company: Is it ready to compete globally? How productive and innovative are you compared to peers in other countries? What will it take?


Network with other companies and stakeholders in your industry sector to go global as a sector. Be an advocate for greater industry collaboration.


Attend a “reverse trade mission”, or encourage one in your sector.


Take a language course, or encourage employees to do so, and certainly encourage your kids to do so.


Get behind the idea of a start‐up ecosystem HUB that spans Atlantic Canada, and try to engage government, private institutions and universities to sponsor such an organization.


Consider whether you can be an angel investor to one of the region’s start‐ups.


If you are a young university or college graduate, consider turning your research into a new business. Whatever you do, be entrepreneurial.

Past event wrap up


The inaugural conference analyzed Atlantic Canada’s current positioning, considered how to create an Atlantic Canadian “brand” in new and emerging markets; and discussed how to move Atlantic Canada up the “value added curve” in the products and services we sell in the global marketplace.


The 2012 4Front Atlantic Conference built upon the themes and trends identified in 2011, and focused on discussing and identifying what needed to happen for businesses in Atlantic Canada to proactively reshape themselves and to reach their potential on the world stage.


The third installment of the 4Front Atlantic Conference gave participants the opportunity to commit to concrete actions and strategies based on ideas put forward by five working groups formed in 2012. Feedback was gathered and incorporated into an action plan focused on strategies to ensure that Atlantic Canada is ready to succeed in the new and evolving global economy.

Conference News

Time for Action: 4Front Atlantic committee responds to OneNS report

HALIFAX, Friday, February 14 – The 4Front Atlantic advisory committee welcomes the strong recommendations and urgent call to action detailed in the recently released report by the Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy. The report titled, Now or…

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Immigration a buoy for Atlantic Canada

Today, structural trends and seismic events are reshaping economies, societies, politics, power and expectations around the globe. The future is hiding in plain sight, and the question before us is whether we have the wisdom to spot it, and the…

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Can the east coast economy be revived?

It’s been more than four decades since Kevin Lynch left Cape Breton Island to pursue a career that would carry him to the top of the federal civil service, as clerk of the Privy Council. Atlantic Canada, meanwhile, has remained…

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