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Tickets on sale now for Stir the Potential conference in Sault Ste Marie

Renew your focus, "future-proof" your career from May 27-28

A brand-new innovation conference with an impressive lineup of speakers is coming to town this May, courtesy of the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre.

The nonprofit is one of 17 Regional Innovation Centres in Ontario that exist to support economic development in regions across Ontario. The Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre is responsible for the Algoma region, offering local business supports, workshops, events, and more.

“We support projects that foster effective partnerships, encourage sustainability and develop talent in the Algoma region,” says Lori McDonald, Director of Marketing and Communications. “Our organization believes that the region has so much opportunity for growth, and our new conference is about stirring up opportunities.”

This belief in the promise of the Algoma area is what inspired the Innovation Centre’s Executive Director, Peter Bruijns, to first imagine the centre’s new “Stir the Potential” conference. The event focuses on encouraging organizations and individuals from all industries to use innovation and creativity to future-proof their careers and their businesses. Amidst the many challenges we face on a global scale, the conference seeks to support and inspire.

"As entrepreneurs, readiness isn't just about having a polished pitch—it's about cultivating a deep understanding of your business, its potential, and its challenges. It's the preparation behind the pitch that fuels entrepreneurial growth and builds trust with investors, and other key stakeholders along the development continuum. At the Stir the Potential conference, we're looking forward to supporting you on this journey of preparation, ensuring that when opportunity knocks, you're ready to open the door," says Northern Ontario Angels Executive Director and event sponsor Ian Lane.

“The conference started off as a way for us to look at how we could encourage people to look at the opportunities to innovate around climate change, and shifted to include examining the whole idea of what it takes to innovate,” says Lori.

Bob McDonald

With the issue of climate change in mind, the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre booked Bob McDonald, science journalist and host of CBC’s Quirks & Quarks, as a speaker. McDonald will speak about how our existing technologies can be used to fight climate change. His speech will tie in with one of the workshop sessions hosted by Emily Cormier, Sustainability Coordinator for the City of Sault Ste. Marie, where participants will think about climate change from a business perspective. Conference attendees will have the opportunity to attend two out of the conference’s four sessions.

Another interactive session called “Get Out Of Your Own Way” will be run by leadership coach Helen Antebi. Attendees of this session will learn how to overcome mental barriers, understand how psychology influences decision-making, and how to better leverage their creativity.

“You’ll get a chance to explore what limits versus encourages self-expression, the conditions you create that bring about your natural, innate creativity, and the ways you can influence the creativity of those around you,” says Helen.

Other speakers at the conference include Nikolas Badminton, a “global futurist” who has worked with organizations like Google, NASA and United Nations; Gilad Cohen, a Toronto-based artist and founder of the JAYU charity; and Ted Nolan, a former NHL hockey player and coach from Garden River First Nation.

Ted Nolan

"To be able to have Ted Nolan speak about his personal experiences of perseverance at this event is incredibly special,” says Lori. “At the Innovation Centre, we understand the ups and downs of the entrepreneurial journey, so to be able to offer some inspiration by having Ted Nolan speak about not giving up will be so valuable for attendees.”

The Innovation Centre hopes that attendees will come away from the conference with a renewed sense of focus in their career paths or strategic plans, as well as an understanding of the importance of thinking about how you can do things differently.

“There’s nothing like this conference here in Algoma or northern Ontario. We want to encourage people in the area to start thinking about trends of the future.”

The event runs May 27 - May 28. Tickets are on sale now, with individual and group rates available: