Cape Breton’s own TED-style inspirational speaker series will be starting its new season of talks on Wednesday, December 1, at the Cape Breton Centre for Craft and Design on Charlotte Street. The feature talk will be Mike Targett. a Sydney-based environmental activist and new media entrepreneur. The evening runs from 7:00pm to 9:00pm, with a brief “newsbyte” style presentation from a local community group, and a performance from a local musician. Complimentary organic, fair-trade coffee and tea will be on hand.
The philosophy behind IDEAS is that, in getting an individual to share stories about following their passions, it encourages others to follow their own passions. Last year, New Dawn Enterprises ran the Ideas speaker series as an experiment, keeping the publicity low-key and sending invites to a limited number of people. Buoyed by the positive reception, this year’s Ideas will be advertised to a wider audience. New Dawn chair Doug Lionais said the IDEAS speaker series was a way of replicating the kind of dynamism that goes at New Dawn. “It’s a place where a lot of vibrant people with all kinds of progressive ideas come through our doors on a daily basis,” said Lionais. While staying sensitive to the fact that the decline of coal and steel created significant economic hardships for many Cape Bretoners, Lionais explained that part of New Dawn’s work is to help encourage a set of narratives for a “new” Cape Breton.
Featured speaker Mike Targett approaches web development as “community development,” working with local non-profits, small businesses, and community groups to make the best use of their web presence and new media tools to reach a wider audience. Targett also co-founded Green Cape Breton, a grassroots-based organization that works to promote environmental, economic, social, and cultural sustainability. Their main areas of focus include transportation, energy, and regional food security.
Targett’s efforts have been gaining attention over the past year. JCI Cape Breton recently recognized his work at the annual HYPE! Awards, where he received the award for Excellence in Community Development. Meanwhile, CBC Information Morning’s Next Generation leadership series featured Targett as one of Cape Breton’s up-and-coming leaders under the age of 45.
There will be an appearance from Marcie McKay, who will give a brief presentation on The ABCs of Building Neighbourhoods, a local project for improving communities through improving their assets. Each IDEAS event also features a musical performance in a nod to the local music scene, and this week’s featured performer will be singer-songwriter Carolyn Lionias.
For more information on the IDEAS Powered by Passion, visit their Facebook group or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.