Ensuring No Good Ideas Go to Waste

A good idea unshared is a good idea wasted.

As a national festival of politics, arts, and ideas, Spur is providing us with an environment for healthy debate, stimulating conversation, and a safe space to meet, laugh, and learn.

It is a forum for each and every one of us to share ideas, and an opportunity for us to hear from not just the panelists, but also one another. Because ideas can be powerful.

The Power of Ideas

Many people are surprised when they hear that fifteen years ago I was on a very different trajectory; I was on a path to enter the criminal justice system. That is until someone had the bright idea to subsidize community recreation programs for low-income families.

It was this idea that helped me to learn how to swim. It was this idea that kept me out of trouble by giving me something productive to do in my evenings and the weekends, providing me with the opportunity to take part in judo, basketball, and t-ball.

To be fair, it was more than just this as I was lucky enough to have a support system of family and mentors to complement my community recreation. But as we’ve come to realize with many things, it’s these different things together that created an environment for me to become a responsible, productive member of our community.

What if whomever had that great idea to subsidize community recreation programs had not decided to share it? What if they had decided to keep the idea to themselves?

Spurring Action

We have spent more than enough time discussing the various challenges that face our city, country, and the world. That is not what Spur is about—Spur is about action.

It is through the lens of action that I will be viewing the Festival. Thanks to those who acted upon their idea fifteen years ago to make community recreation accessible, I am now in a position where I can give back and I am a firm believer that if I can, I must.

As a Public Fellow, this means I will be at every event, ever ready to listen and engage. I look forward to seeing you at the Festival, and am even more excited to hear your ideas. Together, let us ensure that no good idea goes unheard.

Kevin is a connector, city-builder, and military officer working to build a stronger, more resilient and prosperous Canada through social innovation and cross-sectoral collaboration.

As Head of Municipal Partnerships at Magnet, Kevin is building cross-sectoral partnerships across Canada to combat unemployment and underemployment among individuals facing barriers connecting to jobs. He is also a CivicAction DiverseCity Fellow, former banker, and a naval intelligence officer active in city-building.

In Toronto, Kevin serves as Co-Chair of the Toronto Youth Equity Strategy, the Steering Committee for Poverty Reduction TO, and other city committees and community boards. He also sits on the University of Western Ontario, his alma mater, Council of Presidents as Chairman of the Dan Management Advisory Council.

Named Canada’s Top Under 30 Pan-Asian leader in 2014 and a 2015 RBC Emerging Scholar, Kevin has represented Canada at the 2010 G8 and G20 Summits, the 2013 G20 Summit and a trade mission to the Asian Pacific. Most recently, he was awarded a Harvard Kennedy School of Government fellowship and selected to take part in their Emerging Leaders program in the summer of 2016.

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