2010 Ideas Festival

When: Wednesday, November 24, 2010 - 19:00 - Friday, November 26, 2010 - 12:30

Where: St. Andrews-by-the-sea, New Brunswick

The Ideas Festival brought business and government leaders, innovators, entrepreneurs,  and artists to Atlantic Canada from across the country to engage with the people and ideas shaping our world. The Festival tackled many of Canada's big issues - economic recovery, aging population, youth outmigration, energy sustainability and democratic participation.

Co-produced by the Public Policy Forum and 21inc this year, the Festival  brought some of Canada's established leaders into direct dialogue with some of our brightest young minds.

Hope, leadership, risk-taking and collaboration were some of the recurring themes. Each session strongly reinforced the belief that to solve our most complex problems, we need to collaborate and innovate, and we need strong leaders.

"You have to earn leadership every day through your character and actions," said former Clerk of the Privy Council Alex Himelfarb, about the importance of strong, active leaders. He spoke about how experience can sometimes get in the way of good decision-making, acknowledging that "baby boomers don't know when to get out of the way. I'm part of the problem and I'm here to stay. I'm never going to die." Himelfarb quipped. He said that falling back on the same old broken systems will not fix our societal problems.

The festival was closed by PPF president David Mitchell who declared the conference was evidence that we as a society should transform discussions into something that demographically resembles a family dinner table, rather than just gatherings of the "grey-hairs or no-hairs," as they were jokingly referred to throughout the two-and-a-half days. "The Ideas Festival was multi-sectoral, multi-regional, and multi-generational; perhaps this should be the model for the future of all policy dialogues," said Mitchell.



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Watch the official Ideas Festival trailer


Watch highlights from the Festival

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View media coverage of the Ideas Festival

Thank you to our partners


Ernst & Young LLP T4G
The Globe and Mail Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency





Bullfrog Power


New Brunswick Securities Commission