Why did you attend HIVEX this year?

By Mary Clements.  November 20th at 4:26pm

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Question: Why did you want to attend HIVEX this year?

Carly Skidmore

1_Carly Skidmore

“I love HIVEX and am here representing Fuse”


Brittany Staboon

2_Brittany Staboon

“Engage in the city and contribute in a positive way”


Jay Carter

3_Jay Carter

“To empower and inspire new sustainability leaders in the city”


Suzanne Zandbergen (@thegenerator)

4_Suzanne Zandergen

“There’s so much going on in Hamilton right now and this is the place to be part of the change that’s happening”


Maria Topolovic

5_Maria Topolovic

“To promote a more sustainable Hamilton”


Kevin Huynh

6_Kevin Huynh

“To hear keynote speakers, see what’s next for Hamilton and meet new people”


Agata Mancini

7_Agata Mancini

“To connect with people”


Jennifer Roth

8_Jennifer Roth

“To hear Jason Thorne speak!”


Emily Stencel

9_Emily Stencel

“As part of Starter Company, we have to attend a networking event”


Pearl Mendonca

10_Pearl Mendonca

“A great event for professional development in Hamilton”


Louise Noel-Ambrose

11_Louise Noel-Ambrose

“HIVEX is a great opportunity to network to a new audience!”


Amanda Stancati

12_Amanda Stancati

“To meet new people and get inspired!”

Mary Clements

Mary Clements is owner of Les Petites Pommes, a small business located in Hamilton that helps people learn and have fun in French through camps, tutoring services and adult classes!  She is also a member of HIVE’s PR Subcommittee.

HIVEX 2014 ‘Ambition’ Photo Gallery #2

Check out a fascinating second perspective of HIVEX 2014 in photos, taken by Scott Summerhayes (@ScSummerhayes), producer for Urbanicity.


A first-timer’s view of HIVEX

By Kim Wojtczak.  November 7th at 10:07am.

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Once a year, a sizeable cluster of Hamilton’s best and brightest YPs gather to take part in a series of engaging workshops, networking sessions, and interacting with fellow emerging leaders. This annual Hamilton landmark event is HIVEX, and 2014 marks my first time as an attendee.

Going into HIVEX: Ambition, I was incredibly excited and anticipated I would walk away with a number of takeaways regarding Hamilton’s socio-economic development and how to ignite positive change within our city. What I got from the conference definitely exceeded my expectations.

I was most surprised by the sheer amount of engagement from fellow attendees and passion for Hamilton that I saw. I took part in the Taking the Lead – Studio Y and Business of Local workshops, and the energy in the room both times was inspiring; it amplified my own desire to engage and share my ideas for tomorrow’s Hamilton.

The Studio Y workshop encouraged us to get into groups and think of a time in history when Hamilton felt truly united. From that memory, we were to come up with an idea for a better Hamilton that we could realistically execute. This fast-tracked strategy session forced us to focus on an ideal plan that left no time for doubts or second-guessing. In my opinion, the outcome was an awesome one: a group of YPs more in tune with what they would envision for a brighter Hamilton, and input from their peers on how to make it a reality.

The second workshop, The Business of Local, was equally energizing and did a great job of spotlighting a variety of important sectors of focus throughout the city. Each participant engaged in a roundtable discussion for two different sectors, and we were encouraged to target areas we were less familiar with. The energy was high, and people seemed to genuinely want to include their input on a wide range of issues. It made me realize how important it is for us as Hamiltonians to consider widespread engagement outside of our respective industries and niches.

Last was the mayoral debate, which closed the conference fittingly with the simple but powerful message highlighting the importance of civic engagement for all Hamiltonians.

My first HIVEX was one to remember. The annual conference is an opportunity for idea-sharing and inspiration, and I encourage all YPs in Hamilton to attend next year. You’ll interact with locals from all walks of life and professional backgrounds, each with something unique to bring to the important discussions impacting Hamilton’s future.

See you next year!

Kim_Headshot Kim Wojtczak is the Marketing and Communications Coordinator for Innovation Factory Hamilton.

HIVEX Workshop Recap

By Emily Kinread.  November 6th at 9:33am.

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Taking the lead – Studio Y – HIVEX Workshop turns talk into action

Ambition. What does it mean to someone trying to enable positive change within their community? How can each of us make a difference to the broader socio-economic development of the city? This is what James Arron, Scott Baker, and Ross Curtner, graduates of Studio Y, addressed in their HIVEX Conference workshop on October 18, 2014.

Studio Y is an immersive fellowship for young people committed to driving positive change in their lives, their communities and the systems that surround us.

(R) Emily Kinread at HIVEX 2014.  Photo: @alyssa_lai

(R) Emily Kinread at HIVEX 2014. Photo: @alyssa_lai

The workshop kicked off with the group being asked to focus on a positive, inspiring memory they have of Hamilton. They were then prompted to use this memory as the motivation for what they would ideally do to help make Hamilton better.

The trio then instructed attendees to form small groups, where each individual shared their idea, and then received strategic feedback from the other group members. Through these small groups, each idea was evaluated and strategies for growth were developed.

The workshop finished off with everyone being encouraged to sign a document committing to make the positive change they identified.

Attendees were not only inspired to make a difference, but also to reflect upon the power of asking for help and taking advice from peers. 

The Business of Local – Reflecting on how to build a sustainable community

Working together to better the Hamilton community was an overarching theme of the 2014 HIVEX Conference. The Business of Local workshop, lead by the Hamilton Sustainable Professionals Network, explored improving the city through sustainable growth.

According to Peter Topalovic of the Hamilton Sustainable Professionals Network, the “business of local” is made up of a number of sectors, including: economic development, arts, culture & heritage, small business, infrastructure and development, education and community, food and agriculture, health and quality of life, natural ecosystems, innovation & incubation, and Impact investing.

“Hamilton is at a tipping point and we all need to work together to make it better,” stated Topalovic.

This was echoed as Eric Miller, a consulting economist and university lecturer, took the stage.

Miller stated, “business as usual is no longer as economic as it used to be.”

He believes that to maintain economic sustainability, we must take into account building capital, human and social capital as well as natural capital, rather than just focus on the market value of development. We must ensure the shared value of these areas is a focal point, in order to ensure long-term ambitious sustainability is achieved.

Following Eric Miller’s presentation, David Carter, Executive Director of Innovation Factory spoke about the importance of developing clusters. Carter reflected on the reasons clusters are formed in nature: for protection, to be better hunters, and to be stronger as a group than as individuals.

“Even candy is better in clusters,” joked Carter.

Cater proposed that through the clusters developing in Hamilton, we are reaping the same benefits as those seen in nature. Clusters such as Software Hamilton, Hamilton HIVE, Platform 302 and others, are all bringing people together with shared interests, and those groups are stronger together because of it.

“We need to continue to build more inclusive clusters within the city,” stated Carter. “As these groups thrive and grow we are positioning Hamilton to be stronger by building more collaborative partnerships which in-turn will build a sustainable Hamilton.”

emily_kinread Emily Kinread is a marketing professional and enthusiast in Hamilton Ontario, and is a member of the Hamilton HIVE PR sub-committee.