The Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference visits Innovation Park

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On June 8th, 2012, a study group involved in The Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference came to Innovation Park as part of an intensive two-week tour.

Approximately twenty of Canada’s future leaders in business, unions and public administration listened to presentations and engaged in conversation with some members of the Kingston community, the focus being 'Leadership and Sustainable Communities'. These members come from different regions of Canada, and visit a province other than the one in which they live and work.

Keynote speaker, Councillor Sandy Berg, spoke to the contingent about the City of Kingston’s goal in becoming Canada’s Most Sustainable City, in particular related to facilitating affordable housing, rejuvenating brownfields, protecting our natural environment, supporting the production of more alternative energy sources, and enabling economic growth.

JP Shearer, Director of Business Development for the Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) (http://business.kingstoncanada.com), said that for a community to be successfully sustainable and to prosper, leadership has to work not only from the top down, but from the bottom up. He talked about KEDCO’s role as a leader in the Kingston region with specific examples related to the four pillars of sustainability – Economic, Cultural, Environmental and Social.

Dr. Philip Jessop of GreenCentre Canada (GCC) (www.greencentrecanada.com) gave a presentation explaining green chemistry, and their goal of developing ‘clean’ alternatives to the more traditional manufacturing processes and chemical products. He also explained the services that GCC provides in terms of commercialization of early stage products, and their many industry-academia collaborative partnerships. His presentation was followed by a tour of GreenCentre Canada’s facilities.

Additional speakers included the host, Rick Boswell, Assistant Director of Innovation Park, who spoke about research parks being sustainable communities that contribute to the overall economic development of their particular region, and Angel Schur, Communications Coordinator of Innovation Park, who briefly discussed Startup Canada (www.startupcan.ca), a Canada-wide initiative focused on supporting entrepreneurship and bringing support to start-ups. The Kingston leg of the tour is in early September. Also speaking about entrepreneurship was the CEO of Launch lab, Michael Mann. Launch Lab (www.launchlab.ca) helps technology-based companies in advanced manufacturing, IT, cleantech and life sciences and health care bring their ideas to the marketplace and grow their businesses.

Following their two-week tour, the study groups reconvene in Ottawa-Gatineau where they present reports to the Governor General of Canada. For more information, please visit: www.leadershipcanada.ca 

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