4Front Atlantic Conference

2013 is the year of how

Since the inaugural 4Front Conference, we’ve been building a plan to illuminate the path forward. A plan to ensure that Atlantic Canada is ready to succeed in the new and evolving global economy.

At the 4Front of Change: An Action Plan for Atlantic Canada is based on feedback from 4Front’s five working groups formed in 2012, and focuses on the five key areas below.

Read the full Action Plan, and comment on the five focus areas to join the conversation on how we’ll get there, together.

  • Panoptika Partners

    First, a soap box to stand on: Innovation is not something that just happens because we will it to happen. It’s messy, takes time, money and hours, and it should ALWAYS meet a market need.

    Sometimes its just a new way of doing the same thing (i.e. the light bulb vs. the candle), but often it’s a revolution. Who would have said they had a great desire to walk around with a music player on their belt…hello Sony Walkman…which eventually became the iPod.

    So, where do we start? Are we trying to invent whole new industries that build on some strengths we already have here? If most of our companies are not looking outside our borders, how will they identify who their customer might be and what are their pain points?

    Who, within the university ecosystem, has ideas that might fit your company’s customer set? Maybe mentors work both ways…a successful business can mentor a researcher, and a successful researcher can mentor a company. We need to develop a skills database that is open, broadly based and accessible. The idea of a mentor bank is a great one. The tools exist to do that…let’s talk!

    Back to “innovation doesn’t just happen”…some of us have skills that can help to engage in that customer-centric mindset. So once you are walking in your target’s shoes, YOU can develop solutions to ease their pain.

    One last comment: we have been amazed at the awesome start-up community that has developed in Atlantic Canada recently. It’s doing all the things that you talked about, in terms of inter-provincial co-operation. There are still some boundaries which exist, but t hey are thin and flexible, and are shrinking by the day. If a bunch of underfunded start-ups can work together regionally, I’m sure the well-funded businesses and governments can figure out how they can help.

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Immigration a buoy for Atlantic Canada

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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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