Brief Thoughts from Fallon
The SREDA Forum 2020 was all about growth, and it got me thinking about the road we’ve taken to get to this year’s Forum. I wish I could Marty McFly myself back to our first Economic Outlook Luncheon in 2015 and tell my younger self that we’d have over 600 people attending a SREDA event in 2020. The 83 people who were there, including me, would have thought this impossible.
This year’s Forum was epic. We had one of the best sets of speakers for a one-day event in Saskatoon, ever. Charlie Clark, Peter Stoicheff, Darla Lindbjerg, Philip Ducharme, Murad Al-Katib, Jacqueline Cook, Nick Crighton, Mark Thompson, Dylan Jones, Harry Lafond, Darci Lang: we had them all. (And if that list seemed long to you, I could list another dozen!) When else have you seen that kind of lineup in one day—and on a Friday?
It’s not just the Forum that’s changed. The SREDA team has grown so much over the years, from our struggling early days to now, when we help grow the local economy with innovative economic development projects. Projects like the EXPLORE program, hosting mining tech companies in Saskatoon from all around the world (this year, we’ve got Finland, Israel and Australia visiting), or our new programs to support Indigenous entrepreneurs and students. We’ve helped more than 500 entrepreneurs start their businesses (this year alone!), and our incentive program has helped about a dozen local companies expand. We continue to support growth in the Saskatoon Region, as well as marketing Saskatoon across Canada and the world. And have I ever mentioned the NEWSflash? (Oh, just did). At SREDA, every day is a chance to make masterpieces and chase down perfect moments.
So not only did we get to gather with 600+ of the Saskatoon Region’s brightest minds to share how they’re growing their businesses—we also had the chance to reflect on how growth has changed us as people and as a city. It’s not always easy to grow, since it forces you out of your comfort zone. But it’s worth it.
We launched Growing Together: A vision for Saskatoon’s new economy at the Forum this year. SREDA worked with hundreds of people across key sectors and throughout the community to make this vision for growth. And now it’s live. We hope it will inform and inspire you to contribute to our city’s growth story and chase your own perfect moments.
Oh. And speaking of perfect moments… there was a choir.