Innovate Atlantic: Harnessing our Innovation Community’s Barn-Raising Power

Atlantic Canada’s innovation community feels a lot like Waterloo’s did in the years leading up to the growth happening there today. We are seeing increased collaboration across sectors and a willingness to adopt innovative mindsets and methodologies to move the region forward. Atlantic Canada has the opportunity to be recognized as a national and global leader in innovation — but it will take a barn-raising to get there.

Source: Google

In the context of innovation, barn-raising considers what is possible if the community worked together to take strategic risks and set ambitious goals.

As Waterloo’s innovation ecosystem grew, a vibrant community formed thanks to leaders like David Johnston (while President of the University of Waterloo), who worked to bring people together to think about what could be achieved. The Waterloo region harnessed the power of barn-raising to reshape itself, and Atlantic Canada can benefit from the same way of thinking.

One of the key activities that helped develop the community in Waterloo were events that brought big thinkers and doers to the community in a way that engaged — not lectured — and challenged everyone to think about how the community can lead the growth.

In partnership with the Rideau Hall Foundation and Canadian Innovation Space, Volta will host a conference designed to inspire, connect and challenge innovative mindsets in Halifax on November 5.

Innovate Atlantic is a one-day conference broken up into panels and talks with some amazing people — including former Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, who will join us in the afternoon to talk about Canada’s culture of innovation. The panels won’t be like typical panels where a moderator asks questions and everyone takes their turn. There will be conversations where people share their experiences and talk about what excites them.

While the speakers will certainly be a highlight of the conference, the event’s success will be in the connections attendees make and the conversations people have with each other. It is important to have people with a wide range of experience in the room and recognize that no matter your background or experience, you can add value to the conversations. If you are questioning whether Innovate Atlantic is for you, please reach to the Volta team to learn more about what this conference has to offer.

Innovate Atlantic is one of the most exciting events I have helped plan and I look forward to the community coming together on November 5.

Visit for more information on the speakers, sessions and to get your tickets. Use the code “Innovate18” for a $250 discount on the general ticket price.

About Jesse Rodgers

Jesse is Volta’s CEO. A 15-year veteran of the startup world, Jesse was the Founding Director of the Creative Destruction Lab at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto and the Velocity Program at the University of Waterloo. These two programs are the top performing incubation/acceleration programs in Canada and have attracted attention from outside the country. Jesse also Co-Founded TribeHR, an HR SaaS company acquired by NetSuite, and was the Vice President of Business Development at Boltmate, which was acquired by Shopify. Jesse has a BA from the University of Waterloo and an MSc, Internet Computing from the University of Liverpool.