"Why not Windsor-Essex?"
Those are the words YKNOT Windsor-Essex coordinator Dan Brown has for Windsorites and is why Windsor 180 was held.
The first ever summit was held June 19 at the St. Clair Centre for the Arts.
The sold-out event saw attendees participating in workshops looking at the job market and meeting with leaders from around the region.
“It’s so easy to say what’s wrong with the world and then you say, someone should do something, there’s always a finger you can point, but just point the finger at yourself” - Dan Brown
Brown said the summit was about changing the opinions of the city.
“It was a gut feeling for me that we just need to get together as many young people as we can who are tired of the negative talk or the apathy or whatever it is about our region and want to take matters into our own hands,” said Brown.
The event also featured two keynote speakers. Keanin Loomis, President of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, and Dave Wilkin, founder of Ten Thousand Coffees, spoke about how to reinvigorate the city and look at finding jobs in new ways.
Wilkin, whose company connects youth with industry leaders to discuss ideas over coffee, said a summit like Windsor 180 prompts people to continue the conversation.
“Whether it’s at a conference or whether it’s just on your own at a local coffee shop, that’s how people will start companies, find cool opportunities or even find their own jobs,” said Wilkin.
In addition to the keynotes, people also attended ‘breakout sessions’ to discuss topics such as entrepreneurship or building their brand, and met with leaders from the region including WEtech Alliance and Windsor-Tecumseh MPP Percy Hatfield to share ideas and solutions for issues facing the region.
“Whatever we talk about here today can go and be applied tomorrow, next week, next month, this year, whenever, depending on the outcome of the topic,” said Alexandra Wiseman, who attended the event.
Loomis said people should take away the idea of working together, not only with those in Windsor but other Ontario communities to create something better.
“We need to band together,” said Loomis. “Not only do we need to do that as Windsorites and Hamiltonians within our own communities, but then as communities together in this larger ship we call Ontario that’s being buffeted by a lot of global forces.”
At the end of the summit, Brown said to make Windsor better, people need to stop pointing fingers at others and solve the problem yourself.
“It’s so easy to say what’s wrong with the world and then you say, someone should do something, there’s always a finger you can point, but just point the finger at yourself,” said Brown.
If people want to get more involved, Brown suggests contacting the various Windsor 180 supporters because they have shown willingness to listen to youth.