Talk about something to talk about! The energy in the room was palpable as over 400 community-minded Winnipeggers came together in the name of community. Real human connections were made, novel ideas were sparked, and stimulating conversations could be found throughout the room and at every table.
It was GenNext Summit’s fourth great year of inspiring the next generation of leaders at this unique one-day professional development and networking event.
Summit, which is organized entirely by volunteers, is an opportunity for Winnipeg’s young influencers to get together to learn, share ideas, challenge, and inspire each other on how we can effect real and last positive change in our community both now and into the future.
This year’s theme was “innovation,” and how we can make our city a better place to live by exploring new ways to address challenges.
In the spirit of Innovation, local company Badgemeister made it is easy for GenNexters to connect and to do away with paper business cards at the same time. With a simple tap, GenNexters could send their contact information from their phone into another GenNexter’s address book.
Local companies inVision Edge and UpHouse™ engaged the audience in unique interactive workshops and brainstorming activities. GenNexters got to connect with the people at their table and share all kinds of unique perspectives.
With so many great ideas being thrown around throughout the day, it was helpful and super interesting to have a graphic facilitator from Descision Works capturing these ideas and uploading the images to a big screen.
A crowd favourite at Summit was the GenNext Talks 7×7, a unique speaker series of seven inspiring Winnipeggers who are making a difference in our community. Each speaker had seven minutes to share the important work of their agency.
This year’s line-up included Aly Raposo, Mood Disorders Association of Manitoba; Jessica Floresco, Mother Earth Recycling; Carmyn Aleshska, KidThink; Lucille Bruce and Betty Edel, End Homelessness Winnipeg; Diane Roussin, Winnipeg Boldness Project; Mitch Bourbonniere, Mama Bear Clan; and Sonya Ballantyne, Cree filmmaker.
GenNexters got to learn more about the amazing work of many of the community-serving agencies at the GenNext Connect tables, where they could drop by, connect with agency staff, and ask questions.
Summit also featured an informative and thought-provoking discussion called “A Conversation with WPRC” about the TRC92: Youth Employment initiative, which connects Indigenous youth with employers on a journey of truth and reconciliation.
The session was moderated by MaryAnn Kempe, with Dave Angus and Jessica Dumas participating in the discussion.
Doing good deeds makes both the one who gives, and the one who receives, feel awesome! As a demonstration of goodwill and community, presenting sponsor, Payworks gave participants a chance to make a request at the Payworks “Pay It Forward” booth, and then Payworks would try to grant that request. One participant requested a dog at Summit and Payworks did it—which led to the dog’s adoption!