3ThoughtThursday – Grey County Ec Dev, tri-county tech sector, building networks

In an earlier blog post I mentioned a powerhouse discussion between the NII team and Grey County staff surrounding their Climate Change Action Plan. The momentum in this region goes far beyond climate change planning.


1) This week we hosted the Grey County Economic Development team, including the Business Enterprise Centre staff and Catapult Grey Bruce.


The purpose of the meeting was for both organizations to share program updates and gain a better understanding of who is doing what and where. We quickly realized this team is dynamic, passionate, and just as enthusiastic about collaboration as the NII team. They are also smart, witty, and seem to work in a culture like that at NII: full of kindness and laughter.


With a recent announcement of funding for the Sydenham Campus in Owen Sound, this team is ready to kick their work into high gear. This is an exciting time for the group and what an opportunity for the region.


To our friends at Grey County, thanks for reaching out and being interested in our work. We’re looking forward to more discussion!


2) I especially love the part of my job where I get to meet with curious and brilliant people to talk about interesting things and new opportunities for our region.

I had a wonderful meeting with Chris Herbert, Partner and Founder, Mi6 Agency. Chris is relatively new to the region and brings tremendous experience in connecting tech-minded entrepreneurs to drive inspiration and collaboration.


Chris and I spent an hour sharing stories of success, addressing common challenges, and coming to the conclusion that the region has an opportunity to leverage and support the tech sector. Seems like a no-brainer, eh?


Are you scratching your head at the idea of the tri-county tech sector? It may not be obvious, but there is an ecosystem here to foster. As a start, there are many nuclear suppliers who have focus on digitalization, automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics. Outside of nuclear, there are many tech players who could benefit from coming together.

The Clean Energy Frontier Program and economic development professionals everywhere will agree when I say leveraging assets (like the tech sector in the tri-county region) will lead to growth and success.

Check out Chris’ latest post on Grey Bruce Internet Providers.


3) As you can tell, my week has been filled with new contacts and new opportunities to build my network.


Have your read the book Build Your Dream Network by J. Kelly Hoey? You should. In fact, in addition to reading it, you should grab a pen, a highlighter and you should mark it up with what sticks. I highly recommend it!


You know those networking events with skewered meat and cocktails, and you don’t have enough hands to dig through your pockets and pass over a business card (and you certainly don’t want your boss watching you eat the awkward appetizers)? Spoiler alert: that’s not the only way to build your network.


Author J. Kelly Hoey is brilliant. She is kind, funny, thoughtful, articulate, and is truly supporting professionals everywhere. I had the opportunity to have dinner with her a few years ago where I soaked in every story and example of how building our network can become our superpower. If you’ve leveraged your network to solve a big problem, you know exactly what I mean.


In Kelly’s book she talks about what it means to build and maintain genuine relationships.

The kind of relationships that create space to call for support when you need to and to dial up a contact in support of another contact. It’s sort of (…exactly) what we do at the NII—we connect and convene.

I’ll stop typing about how great her book is and will leave you the link to find out for yourself (it also makes a wonderful gift for a new grad in your life): https://jkellyhoey.co/


You can also follow Kelly on Twitter, where she actively drops reminders and tips to Build Your Dream Network.

Jessica Linthorne is the Director of the Clean Energy Frontier.