“Overall, it was an inspiring feeling to be seated in the same room as some of the most important business and political leaders in our community.”
Written by: Cam Galindo
Political Science Level IV
On June 21st I attended the Bay Area Economic Summit hosted by the Hamilton and Burlington Chambers of Commerce at the Royal Botanical Gardens. The cost of attending was covered by an experiential grant called the Hamilton Matters Fund offered through the Office of Experiential Education in the Faculty of Social Sciences. The theme of this year’s Bay Area Economic Summit was “Leading Change in a Regional Age”. The idea was to further strengthen the cooperation between neighbouring communities as shared interested are advanced in a global economy.
Discussion topics included world economic trends, inspiring stories of regional collaboration, driving innovation in the public and private sectors, and lots more. Much of the information was conveyed through panel discussions, breakout sessions, and several key note presentations. The conference took place throughout the entire day, and concluded with an address from the Premier of Ontario, Kathleen Wynne.
Her speech touched upon several points including the importance of local businesses and organizations working together to achieve similar goals. Not surprisingly, the Premier reinforced her support for Light Rail Transit in Hamilton and other transportation infrastructure projects in the GTHA that include the expansion of the GO Transit system. She even spoke to her government’s commitment to provide free tuition to low income families by mentioning that, “Brainpower is not determined by a family’s purchasing power.” Thus, once again reinforcing her government’s commitment to creating equal opportunities for students. Overall, it was an inspiring feeling to be seated in the same room as some of the most important business and political leaders in our community.
Every so often, students at McMaster University are offered the opportunity to experience something new and go beyond the books. Last month, I did just that. Through my Experiential Education (EE) office in the Faculty of Social Sciences, I was made aware of an event that was being hosted by the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce called Ambitious City 2015, Is Hamilton Canada’s Brooklyn? The cost of attending the event was covered by an experiential grant, called the Hamilton Matters Fund, offered through the EE office. I’ve always been one to experience as much as possible so I accepted the offer and attended the event with a friend.
The event was more of a spirited panel conversation between experts on the movement fuelling Hamilton’s fresh identity and new economy. The discussion ended up being moderated by none other than Steve Paikin, host of TVO’s the Agenda, and someone whom I look up to as a Political Science student. Also in attendance was the President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, Carlo Scissura, and a few local notables.
Written by: Clarissa Huffman
Sociology Level III
What comes to mind when you think about your city? Or any city? Most people think about the bustling streets, busy urban centres, and suburban residential areas. When most people think of urban planning they think of infrastructure and design; city hall professionals working to make our city run smoothly, with cost and (hopefully!) the environment playing large roles in the decisions made.
Since my interests lie in urban development, environmental assessment, and sustainability, listening to the Mayor of Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, speak on his triumphs in transforming his city was absolutely enlightening. His open conversation with Jennifer Keesmaat, the Chief City Planner of Toronto, was equally as fascinating, bringing together two different parts of the country to talk about the strengths and weaknesses from both cities, and how they can learn from each other to grow into the strong, sustainable cities we hope to see in our country’s future. Continue reading →