2019 marks the 20th anniversary of the Conseil de développement économique de la Nouvelle-Écosse (CDÉNÉ) representing twenty years of dedicated work towards the economic advancement of Nova Scotia's Acadian and Francophone communities. To celebrate this important milestone, we are holding an Economic Summit in Halifax.

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Wednesday, September 11 

From 9am onwards
At the Westin Nova Scotian in Halifax
[see map]

  Portrait Allister et Julie
Opening and welcoming remarks
with Allister Surette, President of the CDÉNÉ and Julie Oliver, Executive Director of the CDÉNÉ

Program Overview

by Mylène Thériault, representative of the Commissioner of Official Languages for the Atlantic Region
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• The modernization of the Official Languages Act will be discussed. Indeed, Canada's Official Languages Act (OLA) is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Since its adoption, several issues still remain. Several stakeholders took advantage of this important anniversary to propose amendments to the OLA. According to the Commissioner of Official Languages of Canada, the OLA must be modernized to become current, dynamic and robust in order to ensure the better development and vitality of official language minority communities at the social, cultural and economic levels. Ms. Thériault will provide an overview of the process of modernizing the OLA and the Commissioner's recommendations in this regard.

Mylène Thériault is a native of New Brunswick and holds a Bachelor of Political Science from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Laws from the Université de Moncton. She also holds a Master's degree in Public Administration from Carleton University.
Now a representative of the Commissioner of Official Languages for the Atlantic Region, she was also Assistant Executive Director for the organizing committee of the Francophones Games, which were scheduled to take place in Moncton-Dieppe in 2021. Ms. Thériault also worked at the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages in Ottawa, where she held positions in political and legal departments.

Presentation on interculturality
by Laura Huynh Lê (45 minutes) 
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• This interactive presentation aims to foster empathy, mutual understanding and inclusion between immigrant employers and employees, as well as within communities welcoming newcomers.

• Laura Huynh Lê has been an Economic Immigration Officer at CDÉNÉ since January 2017. Originally from Belgium, Laura Huynh Lê holds a Bachelor's degree in international cooperation from the Haute École de la Province de Namur and a Master's degree in population and development sciences from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. During her studies, she had the opportunity to do internships in India and Vietnam, allowing her to develop her intercultural communication skills.

Presentation of French-language tourist tours in Nova Scotia by Gwen LeBlanc (45 minutes)
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• The Francophone tourism industry offers Nova Scotia's Acadian regions a new opportunity to diversify as an economic driver. The CDÉNÉ, with the commitment and support of municipalities in the Acadian regions, has developed a tool to help and encourage visitors to travel and enjoy a cultural experience in French in Nova Scotia. The promotion of Acadian culture and heritage through the tourism industry is an opportunity to add a sustainable strategy for communities and their members of all ages. Gwen will present the brand new tool aimed at increasing tourism in the Acadian regions of Nova Scotia.

• Gwen LeBlanc is from Wedgeport. Since 2009, she has been a Community Economic Development Officer for the CDÉNÉ, representing the Argyle region. As an economic development officer, she has actively contributed to promoting the tourism industry as an economic engine for her region and all Acadian regions of Nova Scotia. His professional projects within the Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité (RDÉE Canada) working group include the creation of the National Classification of French Language Services for Tourism Operators in Canada and the creation of CorridorCanada.ca, a website that promotes Francophone heritage, cultural and tourism experiences across Canada. Currently, Gwen is focusing on creating a new website, visitezne.ca, that promotes the economic diversity and sustainability of Nova Scotia's Acadian regions.  

Workshop on the evolution of Artificial Intelligence by Robert Nonez (45 minutes)
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• To understand Artificial Intelligence (AI), we must go back to its origins: What are the motivations that led to its creation? What models have inspired and continue to inspire the creators of this technology? By understanding the links between human and machine intelligence, we will have the necessary foundation to discuss the main inventions that led to the technological advances we know today. Each of these advances will be linked to concrete examples of application in companies. We will discuss the processes necessary for successful integration by describing the human and technical resource requirements.
We will conclude with projections on the future of AI in the short and medium term by analysing their impact on today's companies and with recommendations on strategies for the future. This presentation will therefore provide a practical understanding of artificial intelligence and its applications, allowing you to acquire the knowledge and confidence you need to transform your company into an innovative, efficient and sustainable organization of the future.

• Robert Nonez is a manager of IBM's Data and AI (Data & AI) department. He is leading a research project that links IBM to Ottawa's La Cité Collégiale College. The project consists of experimenting with various innovative techniques in Artificial Intelligence and developing solutions to automate the detection of problems in software. Prior to his management role, Robert was the technical lead for the public APIs for the IBM Watson Analytics product and for the administration functions of the IBM Cognos product. During his 19 years of experience in software development, the United States Patent Office (USPTO) granted him nine (9) patents for his inventions. He currently sits on the Invention Proposal Review Committee of IBM's Data and AI Department.
Originally from Haiti, Robert co-founded and sold a SaaS company that addressed the issue of access to software solutions adapted to the realities of developing countries. He later co-founded a company that offers an innovative method of monitoring the price of products sold on the Internet. Canada's competitiveness in high technology areas requires the creation of institutions to make these technologies easily accessible. With this conviction in mind, Robert sits on the Advisory Committee of the Centre d'Accès à la Technologie en Bio-Innovation (CAT-B) of the Cité Collégiale and on the 2017, 2018 and 2019 committees of the Colleges and Communities (CCI) Program of the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC).

Workshop on Internet security (cybersecurity) by Jean-Michel Blais (45 minutes)
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• What do a Quebec financial company, an extramarital dating website, a credit history assessment company and the ninth largest city in the United States have in common? Desjardins, Ashley Madison, Equifax and the City of Atlanta have all been affected by Internet crime (cybercrime), which can take the form of hacking, fraud, theft of money, captivity and data mischief in addition to identity theft. 
In addition to these highly mediatized and technically sophisticated cases, the majority of crimes on the Internet are in fact often not very sophisticated, causing rather limited damage. But the extent of cybercrime is worrying, as it increasingly affects ordinary people, not just large companies. 
What should we do then? People need to be made aware of the various forms of Internet crime and how to counter these threats. In an illuminating presentation, former Halifax Regional Police Director and former Royal Canadian Mounted Police senior officer Jean-Michel Blais takes a look at today's digital threats. It will provide some insight into this world of darkness so that individuals and companies can counter this phenomenon both at home and in the office.

• Jean-Michel Blais has thirty-one years of police service with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), the United Nations and the Halifax Regional Police (HRP). He completed his career as a police director with PRH in April 2019. He is a well-known speaker, having presented to organizations and companies in the private, public and parapublic sectors on contemporary leadership and management to address workplace behaviours including underperformance, personality disorders, conflict, harassment, indiscretions and (over)reactions caused by human and natural disasters. 
In 2014, Jean-Michel participated in a TEDx speech on mental health in policing, a subject that still fascinates him and for which he offers interventions and presentations. Since his retirement from PRH, Jean-Michel has been offering his services as a consultant and principal of Empiric Consultancy Solutions (www.empiric.solutions) in French and English with an emphasis on leadership, labour relations and complexity management. He is currently writing a book on his experiences and lessons in leadership and complexity that is expected to be published in 2021.

Workshop on sustainable development by Nicolas Gagnon (45 minutes)
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• The positioning of companies in terms of social responsibility and sustainable development is becoming increasingly important to increase their competitiveness. Whether it is due to the emergence of new requirements from major public and private buyers, in Canada and abroad, new consumer expectations or the gradual integration of sustainable development criteria into corporate financing conditions, positioning in sustainable development is becoming a strategic issue for SMEs. However, while a business strategy focused on sustainable innovation is increasingly an opportunity for Canadian SMEs to stand out from the competition and increase their competitiveness, few are well equipped to meet these new market expectations. This conference aims to briefly demystify the implications of this business model, present some market trends, best business practices, opportunities and other benefits associated with it and steps to take action.

• Nicolas Gagnon has been the Executive Director of the Centre québécois de développement durable (CQDD) since 2012. Over the past 15 years, he has advised many policy makers and business leaders on issues related to the application of sustainable development and corporate social responsibility. He holds a master's degree in environmental sciences and has previously worked for several institutions, including the OECD in Paris, the International Centre for Environmental Technologies in Tunis, the Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement (BAPE) and the former Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal. Since taking up his position at CQDD, he has advised more than a hundred organizations in both the public and private sectors. As a director, strategic advisor, certified trainer, speaker, initiator and coordinator of structuring and innovative projects, Nicolas Gagnon is involved on a daily basis to support organizations in adopting more sustainable business practices.

From 5pm onwards
Reception at Pier 21 in Halifax
[see map]

Banquet with speaker and cultural show

Screening of video testimonials
• These videos, which are testimonials from CDÉNÉ's clients and partners, highlight their experiences in services and collaboration over the years and retrace the careers of former CDÉNÉ employees who have benefited from their experiences within the CDÉNÉ to advance their careers.

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