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    Default All the various "innovative" and "collaborative" groups popping up

    Seems like everyone who's underemployed these days is starting up various collaborative groups, some of which are clearly "for-profit" enterprises. Thoughts on this trend? Would you pay money to attend an event put on by one of these organizations?

    Here's a couple that come to mind. I know there are lots more. Feel free to add your own or tell me your opinion of these.

    Alberta Innovation Engine https://www.albertainnovationengine.com/about
    Energy Futures Lab http://energyfutureslab.com/
    Rainforest Alberta https://www.rainforestab.ca/
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    Here's another one, this former recruiter now runs these "power networking" sessions at $175 a pop.
    https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/power-ne...ts-32496633305
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    I had a big, long rant written up about this, but I decided to keep it short and simple:

    Innovation costs money. The Alberta gov has a research and development branch (aka the Innovates system) to promote this sort of thing. It also has substantial access to funding.

    Therefore, I would not bother with these people, they do not have the contacts or the knowledge to help with anything besides take your hard earned money. If you have ideas and want to meet people, there are large organizations out there that specialize in this sort of thing, or there is also the government entities that are involved with innovation in Alberta.

    http://www.albertatechfutures.ca/
    http://albertainnovates.ca/

    They won't be asking for money either.
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    I'm fascinated by the groups who are "building an ecosystem of innovation" and other bundles of buzzwords.

    I have a big network, and I have no problem leveraging that network to find the people I need to make my business successful. It's hard to imagine what a group of strangers can do beyond that.

    I suppose if you needed VC funding, or advice on doing an IPO or something. None of that would help me.
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    If anyone can tell me what the hell this concept is in plain English, I'd be impressed.

    Originally posted by JWN
    Alberta group offers a safe space to advance innovation as a culture and not just a buzzword
    By Bill Whitelaw
    March 21, 2017, 7:37 a.m.

    It’s not likely you will ever drop it in casual conversation, but it's particularly important in the context of Alberta’s emerging next-gen innovation narrative.

    The concept’s origins are rooted in the study of biological systems, but the underlying principles are now used to examine a broad range of systems thinking.

    From the Greek, autopoiesis derives from “self” and “creation” and speaks to systems capable of sustaining and nurturing themselves.

    Things like ecosystems.

    Autopoiesis is a great way to describe and understand a new innovation movement taking root in Alberta—a movement whose positive momentum bodes well for efforts to develop an inter-connected and self-sustaining system through which innovation is both systemized yet simultaneously randomized.

    It’s called the Rainforest, and it’s a Silicon Valley concept transplanted north of the 49th parallel thanks to the leadership of Albertans like Justin Riemer, Brad Zumwalt and Jim Gibson, among others. They’re invested in connecting innovators from across Alberta in a conversation (and ongoing relationship) that could be incredibly important to the province’s future.

    The beauty of the Rainforest is this: it is a safe forum for innovators who prefer structure and clearly defined, coherent connectivity. For innovators who enjoy systems and relationships characterized by more messy, serendipitous interaction, it is also perfect.

    The biological system parallels are useful for the Rainforest notion in that it isn't difficult to understand how a complex system with many seemingly disconnected parts can all function in a weirdly harmonious way.

    In an Alberta context, the movement is growing rapidly; two “summits” have been held involving dozens of diverse individuals, from tech entrepreneurs—both seasoned and fresh—to academics and corporate types. There is a “slack” group that meets every Wednesday to keep the conversation going.

    All the folks are bound by a common interest in a better-connected innovation system in Alberta.

    What’s even more promising about the Rainforest group is this: it is bound together by a high degree of both collegiality and camaraderie—two words people often use interchangeably, but which actually mean quite different things.

    It’s good to have one or the other when people gather to collaborate, but when the two words are melded they form a very cool high-tensile bonding.

    What’s even more interesting is that this bond has been created over a single word that itself is often the victim of differential definition: innovation.

    It is the packhorse of our ambitions and frustrations. Like "diversification," it’s a word that often has the meaning stretched out of it.

    Politicians in particular are prone to pepper “innovation” liberally throughout their pandering to the public. But innovation, as its true practitioners know, is a difficult and challenging, complex set of things. Failure and frustration for innovators are critical functions in the race for success—a race that itself often has no discernible finish line.

    What innovation is not is a panacea. Innovation as a word won't save Alberta’s beleaguered economy. Innovation as a crutch won't help the energy and agricultural economies move purposefully forward into a future characterized by both uncertainty and opportunity.

    Innovation as an ethos, however, is an entirely different notion. Innovation as an attitude is equally powerful.

    The challenge facing the Rainforest crew is to put definition and meaning into a word that is currently much overworked—a word some would say is also mistrusted.

    Rainforest members seem well on their way to achieving both definition and trust.

    Back to autopoiesis: Alberta's economy is in trouble. In large part that's because as an economic system, its various elements have never meshed very well. Indeed, the gears and cogs often seemed to grind against each other. That’s because self and creation never fit comfortably into the same sentence.

    Perhaps all the folks who are responsible for the economic viability of this province should consider signing the social contract used by the Rainforest process to commit to a better future.

    It’s worth a read...and your signature.

    (If you're interested in the Rainforest, and you should be, check out www.rainforestab.ca. There, you will find out the group and its raison d'etre, including its "slack" community.)
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    Concept is putting a group together of people that want to do something that hopefully can bounce ideas and collaborate.

    Theory: Group or like minded influential business leaders and up and comers gathering together to create amazing ideas and projects.

    Reality: mostly unemployed or underemployed get rich quick type folks hoping to get you involved in whatever Herbalife, psi seminars, investors group that a friend of a friend has made a fortune off of.

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    I see another one:
    https://www.calgarychamber.com/interact/ignite
    Originally posted by Calgary Chamber
    Accessible innovation, for business owners like you.
    In an era of disruptive and global changes at a breathtaking pace, companies need to be creative, agile and adaptable to succeed and not be left behind.
    Sounds daunting, right?
    Innovation doesn't mean you have to cure cancer or launch a rocket into space.
    It's about finding a new opportunity for your business. It's about making a new idea reality. It's about bringing a new product to market.
    That's why the Calgary Chamber developed a new program called Ignite.
    Using a two-pronged approach, Ignite provides Chamber members with both practical outcomes and learning opportunities that support their growth and innovation initiatives.
    There are two streams of the program:
    Innovation Primer Workshop Series – for companies looking to uncover adjacent possibilities and new innovative product and service ideas for their companies
    Innovation Accelerator Program – for companies that have a new innovative product or service and want to sprint it to market-ready in 90 days.
    Is innovation right for your business? You bet!
    Innovation isn't just for tech companies. Here are the kinds of businesses that Ignite could help:
    Retail stores
    Restaurants
    IT
    Finance
    Construction
    Engineering firms
    Real estate
    Mortgage brokerages
    Law firms
    Environmental firms
    Manufacturing
    Breweries and distilleries
    Not sure which Ignite program is the right fit for you?
    Do this self-assessment to find out:
    Do the self-assessment
    I must be quite stupid, because I have no idea what the hell these programs do.
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    All I can guess is that you go to one of these things and hope that someone gives you an idea for free.
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    What pisses me off about these startups is they all try so hard to be different that they end up being the same. eg. the overzealous use of buzzwords where I have to re-read the mission statement several times and still have no idea what the company does

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    There are a few shady ones, but I know Energy Futures Lab isn't one of them. The Suncor Foundation is a big sponsor of them and they have some bank/energy execs as fellows/directors.

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    Originally posted by Marsh
    There are a few shady ones, but I know Energy Futures Lab isn't one of them. The Suncor Foundation is a big sponsor of them and they have some bank/energy execs as fellows/directors.
    So, what does a person gain from attending events put on by a group like this? Even if they aren't shady, what benefit does a person get?

    EFL is running a "showcase" event at the Jack Singer Concert Hall for $57 a head. Capacity there is 1800, but I assume they are expecting under a thousand people. Still a decent rake . . .
    http://energyfutureslab.com/energy-f...-lab-showcase/

    I'm honestly curious. Is there something I'm just not understanding?
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    Originally posted by ExtraSlow

    So, what does a person gain from attending events put on by a group like this? Even if they aren't shady, what benefit does a person get?

    EFL is running a "showcase" event at the Jack Singer Concert Hall for $57 a head. Capacity there is 1800, but I assume they are expecting under a thousand people. Still a decent rake . . .
    http://energyfutureslab.com/energy-f...-lab-showcase/

    I'm honestly curious. Is there something I'm just not understanding?
    Honestly I dont know. I've never had any interest in these things or found them useful...so no idea.

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    They are repackaged con-sultants.

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    I don't really know wtf Energy Futures Lab does.

    http://energyfutureslab.com/get-involved/

    1) Community meetings; Participants head to a local pub after the one-hour discussion to get acquainted further and continue the conversation.
    2) Newtonian Shift (wtf?); Are you looking for a fun, intense, and thought-provoking activity to help your group better understand energy transition?
    3) Fellowship; Once you have learned about the work of the EFL, have a look at the Fellowship.

    Is this like a front for a swinger's club or something?

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    JOIN US FOR A SHOWCASE OF ALBERTA’S ENERGY FUTURE.

    Innovating Alberta’s Energy Future Showcase event will feature leaders and influencers from across Alberta and inspiring talks by EFL Fellows.
    As polarized debate continues, a diverse group of innovators and influencers are working together to help shape Alberta’s energy future. They reject ‘black and white’ arguments in favour of a colourful middle ground where ideas intersect and real innovation takes place.
    Join special guests like Mayor Naheed Nenshi, investor and co-founder of the Cleantech Group Nicholas Parker, and former Calgary Flames and Edmonton Oilers Andrew Ference in learning about and being inspired by the people and work of the Energy Futures Lab.
    This inspiring afternoon will feature Energy Futures Lab Fellows – innovators and influencers from oil and gas, clean tech, social entrepreneurs, not-for-profit organizations, First Nations, and more – who will present on initiatives and ideas they are developing at the Energy Futures Lab. Additional guest speakers and cultural performances will spark provocative insight and conversation!
    WTF? He's a nice guy but has zero knowledge about energy other using fucktons of it.

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    Originally posted by suntan


    WTF? He's a nice guy but has zero knowledge about energy other using fucktons of it.
    Haha yeah I saw Robyn Regehr downtown also. He does biz dev for some engineering company..

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    Ex Hockey players working as salesmen is nothing new. Robin Regehr also owns or co-owns a rentals business. I know a guy who's in that with him.
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