Like all great explorers, Sparx travelled far and wide this June to uncover the latest insights and trends in the purpose-driven space. From Kelowna to Toronto, we listened to expert speakers, met with mission-aligned professionals, and even collaborated on a major impact-led event.
Check out recaps from the events we attended this June!
The 5th Annual National Magazine Awards: B2B Luncheon
First on our June events circuit, Alexandra Nikitina, Head of Growth at Sparx, headed to Toronto for The 5th Annual NMA:B2B Awards Luncheon on June 2.
At this awards luncheon to celebrate the best of the best in Canadian B2B magazine publishing, Alex had the pleasure of mingling with award-nominated magazine writers, editors, and contributors. Plus, over a delicious lunch, she learned more about the B2B magazine industry and all its facets, including distribution channels, monetization paths, and target audiences.
Perhaps best of all though, we had the chance to spread awareness about our purpose-driven publication, Make The World Better Magazine, and share copies with interested individuals.
Read more details in our NMA:B2B Awards Luncheon recap blog post here.
Creating Inclusive Communities Dialogue
As part of National AccessAbility Week, Hamish Khamisa, Founder & President of Sparx, headed to the University of British Columbia (UBC) Robson Square in downtown Vancouver to join representatives from various organizations and members of the community for Creating Inclusive Communities Dialogue on June 2, a full-day session hosted by Mainland Community Services Society, with lectures and some collaborative elements.
Hamish had the pleasure of hearing from Heather McCain (they/them), Founder and Executive Director of Live Educate Transform Society (formerly Creating Accessible Neighbourhoods), and Harmony Bongat (she/her), disability advocate, co-facilitator, content creator and educator. Throughout the day, the session featured the lived experiences of people with disabilities, neurodiversity and the intersectionality of identities, and perspectives on what “inclusion” really means to some disability advocates.
There were countless moments that stuck with him, including the story of an attendee, an Indigenous woman who overcame adversity having been born with a disability, who is a powerful example of the importance of advocacy in health care, especially for persons with disabilities and for Indigenous Peoples.
The event accommodated various disabilities, including providing stim toys on each table for individuals with stimulation needs and describing the images on screen during presentations so people with visual impairments could follow along. Yet, even at an event designed for accessibility, it’s clear how far we still have to go.
To ensure a fellow member could participate in the group session while being visually impaired, Hamish asked for sticky notes to be read out loud for those who couldn’t read the board, a small initiative to support a peer with a disability. After all, when it comes to showing up for the disability community, #ItStartsWithMe.
Overall, this event inspired us to find ways to be a better ally to people with disabilities, and we look forward to next year’s event!
Together Ensemble 2023
In October 2021, Sparx proudly signed onto the UN Global Compact’s Sustainable Development Goals program, which provides a guideline for businesses to operate responsibly. And while we’ve been continually bettering ourselves in this program, we wanted to learn more about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) globally and new ideas for solutions. Enter, Together Ensemble, a virtual event on June 7–9, with five in-person gatherings held across Canada.
During the virtual sessions we attended, we learned about the crucial steps needed for action on the SDGs from a range of experts across academia, business, government, and more. Some key areas explored were the critical moment we face in mitigating the worst impacts of climate change and the importance of harnessing the creative ingenuity of young people.
A session that was really impactful for us was “Just Transition: Creating an Inclusive and Green Economy Together,” which explored “the concept of a just transition and how other approaches […] must be integrated to ensure that the future economy is one that is green and leaves no one behind.”
The session featured speakers, Nathan Grandjambe, Senior Manager, Indigenous Economic Prosperity, Vancouver Economic Commission; Tessa Jordan, Program Head, Sustainable Business Leadership programs, BCIT; Janet Andrews, Secretary-Treasurer, New Westminster & District Labour Council; and Max Cohen, PhD Candidate in Geography, University of British Columbia, and was moderated by George Patrick Richard Benson, Senior Manager, Economic Transformation at the Vancouver Economic Commission.
The event gave us a lot of valuable information to work with for our own SDG initiatives, and we’re inspired to see new ideas for a better world come to light in Canada and beyond.
As a long-time partner of the Canadian Securities Exchange (CSE), we were thrilled to attend their first-annual SunDAC on June 13, co-hosted with Grove Corporate Services, Newsfile, and OCI Group, a private mining industry networking launched to bring together members of the mining and capital markets communities in person.
We had a great time mingling with everyone and reconnecting with friends among a range of attendees, sponsors, and hosting companies.
Plus, we had the opportunity to hear about the latest developments in the mining space, all while enjoying great food and music, even as the weather turned the event into “RainDAC” later in the evening.
Social Finance Forum 2023
While in Toronto, we also attended the Social Finance Forum 2023 on June 15, presented by Future of Good and SVX, which featured sessions on the state of social finance in Canada, climate finance, and the need for diversity and representation at the decision-making level.
The event taught us that social finance has gone from “nice to do” to “must do” in order to respond to the crises of recent years, exposing the increasing need for capital to be used as a force for good.
It was great to hear from changemakers like Christine Bergeron, former President and CEO of Vancity, and Sage Lacerte, Founder and CEO of Sage Initiative, both organizations which are reshaping the investment landscape and improving the financial well-being of historically-excluded groups and their communities.
Additionally, we were thrilled to connect with so many mission-aligned connections professionals working to use capital to positively impact communities across Canada.
Stay tuned for our Social Finance Forum recap blog coming soon!
Canadian Circular Economy Summit
Our purpose-driven adventures in Toronto continued with the Canadian Circular Economy Summit 2023 on June 19–20, hosted by Circular Economy Leadership Canada and Circular Innovation Council.
Not only did we learn how to advance the circular economy from expert speakers, like the Honourable Steven Guilbeault, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Climate Change, we were able to connect with so many people from a variety of backgrounds in the B2B, B2C, government, and education spaces, all of whom are passionate about protecting the planet. Plus, we had the chance to distribute the Circular Economy edition of Make The World Better Magazine to environmental sector champions.
We left with so many inspiring takeaways from each session and discovered critical areas that require our focus and efforts, such as the lack of circular economy awareness and the importance of using marketing to educate people on how zero waste initiatives can fit into their lives.
Stay tuned for our Canadian Circular Economy Summit recap blog coming soon!
Summit on Responsible Investment 2023
When the Canadian Securities Exchange was looking to host an event to dive into socially responsible investing and environmental, social, and governance (ESG), we were all in to collaborate and bring the vision to light.
At this full-day event in Kelowna on June 27, members of the Sparx team met with companies listed on the CSE, investors, and sustainability experts.
While the day featured an incredible lineup of speakers, panel discussions and company pitches, we were exceptionally proud to have Dr. Victoria Hurth, global expert; thought leader in sustainability, ESG, and purpose governance; and Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership Fellow, kick off the event with a compelling keynote presentation on the purpose-led economy.
In the afternoon, Sparx’s Make The World Better panel brought together changemakers from past editions of Make The World Better Magazine, Mike Williamson, Founding Partner and CEO at Cascadia Seaweed; Bram van den Berg, COO and CFO at Circular Rubber Technologies; and Tracy Lydiatt, Mining Innovation Project Manager at Foresight Canada, as well as Sage Lacerte, Founder & CEO at Sage Initiative who is part of the upcoming issue.
Stay tuned for our Summit on Responsible Investment recap blog coming soon!
Team Up With Sparx
Looking to make the world better? Check out Make the World Better Magazine to find out more about organizations making real change and reach out to us. We’d love to work together on any marketing-related projects to make a positive impact both locally and globally.