Finding Opportunity in Uncertain Times

Each year the Soul of the Next Economy Forum aims to foster conversation revolving around the challenges we face globally and locally and how, together, we can engage in sustainable, business-orientated solutions to those challenges. In order to continue this conversation, this year’s theme is “Finding Opportunities in Uncertain Times.” Calgary is filled with such vibrant people who have an amazing entrepreneurial spirit that is very much a part of our past and our present--this includes people who have been in this country for generations, as well as those who have only recently arrived. At the same time, we’ve undergone many challenges in our local economy. The natural resources industries and all the related and supporting business are undergoing a major shift that has resulted in the loss of tens of thousands of jobs. We find ourselves, indeed, in uncertain times. And yet, this isn’t the first time we have faced adversity. Our spirit is a resilient one, and it flows from the connections we make with one another. The Forum is very much about these connections and collaborative efforts. It’s a chance to learn from one another and to discover new opportunities together.

As with every year, our hope is that each participant will meet someone new, and will encounter a new idea or way of doing business that benefits all stakeholders--communities, investors, employees, customers, the environment, as well as businesses up and down the supply chain. More than anything else, our hope is that new ideas, new ventures, new partnerships will emerge that create and foster lasting societal impact.


We have many new partners for this year’s Forum. In addition to Ambrose University and Vibrant Communities Calgary, Thrive (Momentum’s community leadership initiative) and the REAP Business Association have joined forces to host this year’s Soul of the Next Economy Forum. In addition, we have some great Associate sponsors in the Calgary Foundation and Calgary Arts Development, as well as Patrons in Suncor and Calgary Economic Development. This is on top of so many generous Supporters and Friends. See all our sponsors here.

What’s common among these organizations is a desire to improve the quality of life of all Calgarians and those in surrounding regions through economic growth that benefits all. 

Our leadoff keynote speaker on Thursday is Paul Shoemaker who will be speaking on a new kind of leadership--one that is capable of bringing about a collaborative, societally impactful change. Then on Friday we’ll hear from Tim Coldwell, President of Chandos Construction, about creating businesses that lead with purpose. As we move forward from our uncertain times, leadership and collaboration will be essential. We’re trusting that these individuals will help stimulate tremendous conversation and open the doors to new opportunities as a result.

In terms of programming, the Forum will host in partnership with the REAP Business Association, this year’s Be Local Awards that celebrates excellence in local business. We will be highlighting many fantastic local businesses, so it will be a great opportunity to hear about these businesses and to make new connections.

In addition, Thrive’s annual Community Huddle will be built into this year’s Forum. We will be providing members from all communities the ability to share their thoughts and ideas about how to ensure we continue to have thriving and flourishing communities. There will be many opportunities for individuals to participate in our breakout sessions and during our discussions following keynote addresses, along with many other chances to meet new people and learn new ideas.

On top of that, we are also going to hear from our cities’ artists who will share their perspectives about what it means to nurture and foster the soul of the next economy.

Needless to say, we are very excited about this year’s Forum as we bring business and community leaders, along with the vibrant citizens of our city, to learn, connect, and engage.