GenNext Amplify


GenNext Amplify




March 24, 2021 - March 25, 2021
9:00 AM - 7:30 PM

On March 24 and 25, we’re handing over the mic to local voices and turning up the volume!

GenNext Amplify is a two-day virtual event celebrating the launch of GenNext East Ontario with a series of speaker sessions led by local advocates, artists, and professionals.

Join the conversation and learn about issues affecting our communities with change-makers from across our region. Discover everything you need to know about GenNext East Ontario, our work, and how you can get involved in making a difference in your local community. All work and no play is no fun for anyone, so we’ll include wellness, happy hour and networking sessions to help you get social! 

Your ticket supports your community

We want this event to be accessible regardless of your financial situation, so tickets are pay what you can. All proceeds from ticket sales will go back into our communities in support of GenNext East Ontario’s causes: mental health, youth homelessness, equitable employment, and diversity and inclusion.

Our session speakers will be exploring these themes through their personal lens of lived experiences and expertise, so you’ll have the chance to learn first-hand about the complex challenges affecting our region—while also giving back to create lasting change. 

You’re welcome to drop in on a single session, or join them all—whatever suits your schedule. 

The event has ended. Click here for the event recap and session recordings.

Amplify Schedule

As with all virtual events, we’re going to do the very best we can to minimize any technical difficulties and stick to our schedules. We know your time is valuable and we’re so happy that you’ll be joining us!

Lunch-time Live Sessions

We’re so excited to introduce our incredible lineup of speakers and panelists! 🥁  

Spend your lunch with us, and make time in your day for some creative motivation, education, and inspiration. Our local speakers, panelists, hosts, and moderators are all coming together over these two days to share their experiences and discuss the complex issues close to their hearts. We want Amplify to be a place where you can find a wide range of perspectives and thought-provoking conversations that stay with you long after your lunch break.

Nathan Hall

Cultivating culture: Unlocking your team's potential

MARCH 24, 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Join Nathan for a conversation about company culture—why it’s important, and how COVID-19 has changed it. He’ll also talk about his experience cultivating culture at his company, Simple Story.

Nathan Hall is an award-winning entrepreneur, business leader and educator. He is the CEO of Culture Check, an anti-racism support centre for the workforce that provides support, education and best practices to address racial discrimination at work. He is also the CEO of Simple Story, a video marketing agency that specializes in helping brands tell their story.

Connect with Nathan on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Charlotte Smith

Real talk: Youth homelessness

MARCH 24, 1:00 - 1:45 PM

No young person chooses to be homeless, yet hundreds of local youth access emergency shelters each year. Join Charlotte for a no-nonsense Q&A to learn about this issue and its root causes, and what we can do to make a difference for the most vulnerable youth in our communities.

Charlotte Smith is a masters of sociology student, advocate, and co-founder of the Making the Shift (MtS) Scholars With Lived Experience Network, a network for scholars who have experienced youth homelessness. Charlotte is passionate about transforming her experiences of homelessness and addiction into tools for public awareness and community building.

Connect with Charlotte on Twitter and Facebook.

Liz Clarke

Empowering youth in our communities

MARCH 25, 11:30 AM - 12:15 PM

Hear Liz talk about how to guide and mentor youth into leveraging their potential and abilities to pursue their purpose and dreams. She’ll explore how we can show up for youth in the ways that they need, and be a resource to them—not a barrier to their creativity.

Also known as HTBSLE (pronounced hitta-baseelay), Liz is a social artist, focused on using her creative content to influence long-term social impact. Her passions for visual artistry, piano composition, event coordination, and public speaking have led her to host her own events for young Black folks in Ottawa, start her own business, and collaborate with extraordinary creatives and artists.

Connect with Liz on Instagram and Twitter.

Sowmya Rajasekaran

Supporting an inclusive workplace culture

MARCH 25, 1:00 - 1:45 PM

A panel discussion about inclusion in employment for all spectrums of diversity with Sowmya Rajasekaran, Heidi Hauver, and Lianne Berne.

Sowmya is a champion and an outspoken advocate for inclusion & women’s empowerment with a key focus on social impact. She currently works with the Ontario Disability Employment Network to focus on Innovation & Best Practice in Diversity & Inclusion. When COVID-19 hit, Sowmya began reaching out to her community to check in. These conservations inspired her to launch Buildupwomen, an online community created to inspire, learn from, share, support, engage and build up women during and post-COVID-19.

Heidi Hauver

Supporting an inclusive workplace culture

MARCH 25, 1:00 - 1:45 PM

A panel discussion about inclusion in employment for all spectrums of diversity with Sowmya Rajasekaran, Heidi Hauver, and Lianne Berne.

Heidi partners with innovative companies to provide executive leadership in human resources, mentorship and coaching. She is the Vice President, Talent and the HR, Leadership and Culture advisor for Invest Ottawa and Bayview Yards. A dedicated volunteer and advocate, Heidi gives her time, expertise and mentorship to support a variety of organizations including Algonquin College, Hire Immigrants Ottawa, Women in Communications & Technology, Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) and the Ottawa Regional Cancer Foundation.

Lianne Berne

Supporting an inclusive workplace culture

MARCH 25, 1:00 - 1:45 PM

A panel discussion about inclusion in employment for all spectrums of diversity with Sowmya Rajasekaran, Heidi Hauver, and Lianne Berne.

Lianne is the Research Manager for Employment Initiatives at United Way East Ontario. Her current research is focused on youth employment and local solutions for marginalized youth to overcome barriers in the labour market. Lianne has a graduate degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland and spent several years working in higher education administration in both the United States and Canada prior to joining the United Way team.

Connect with Lianne on LinkedIn.

Mindful Mornings

Start your day by taking a moment for yourself. Stretch your legs. Sketch your thoughts.

With help from talented local instructors, we’ll send short wellness and meditation activities straight to your inbox, first thing in the AM for you to enjoy at your own pace. We hope they’ll help you start your day off on the right foot before diving into our Lunch-time Live Sessions.

Alex Ure


Alex teaches practices that work with and for your everyday life. Alex will share two guided audio meditations, one about focusing on the present moment and one you can do while out for a walk! 

Connect with Alex on Instagram. Website: 

Laura Hanek


Laura is a graphic recorder and illustrator based in Petawawa, who translates the thoughts of changed-focused individuals into action-oriented visuals to take projects to a new level. Laura will share some tips on sketchnoting and how to how to doodle with purpose. 

Connect with Laura on Instagram. Website:

Maya Hum

Art journaling

Maya is often drawn to creating nature-based settings balanced between reality and imagination. Maya will share an art journaling exercise about finding your “inner landscape”—a place that makes you happy that it is in your mind’s eye.

Connect with Maya on Instagram and Facebook. Website:

Ali Arbeau


Ali has a passion for meeting people where they’re at, and helping people feel at home in their bodies. Join Ali for 15-minute desk yoga to help you move and break up your day. 

Connect with Ali on Instagram and Facebook. Website:

Warrior Yoga


Warrior Yoga is a non-profit organization dedicated to expanding access to yoga and meditation. Join Warrior Yoga teacher Laura D’Alessandro for a slow yoga class.

This international network of yoga and meditation teachers is committed to taking action to create a more inclusive and accessible yoga community.

Learn more about their work by visiting their website

Connect with Warrior Yoga on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

Networking & Happy Hours

So you’ve had a jam-packed day. Time to unwind and enjoy a night out (of the ordinary). During our networking and happy hours, get together with other GenNext supporters while our friends at Dominion City Brewing Co. and Top Shelf Distillers treat you to a beer sampling and cocktail demo. Have questions about their businesses, products or drink-pairing tips? Ask them anything! 

Pat Bolduc

Join the GenNext team and Pat Bolduc of Dominion City Brewing Co. for virtual mixing, mingling and DCBC beer sampling.

Follow this link to get access to the sample pack, or bring your own drink and just come for the conversation. We’ll get the breakout rooms going, see some familiar faces and welcome new ones!

Pre-pandemic, Pat served as the Events Manager at Dominion City, but thanks to COVID-19, his role has changed a lot. On top of still having a hand in events, Pat is also managing delivery logistics for Dominion City’s home delivery service as well as contributing to the Quality Control team at the brewery. 

Connect with Dominion City on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Sara Ainslie

Top Shelf’s Sara Ainslie will be on hand to show off some cocktail-making tips and tricks you can take with you.

Follow this link to get access to the cocktail kit, so you can follow along, or you can watch and hang out with the GenNext team. We’ll be available to answer any questions you have about the new GenNext East Ontario.

Sara has been a member of the Top Shelf team since its inception. In 2020, Sara’s role as Event Director quickly changed to managing hand sanitizer distribution across the province. Recently, Top Shelf launched a new initiative, Top Shelf Cares, a platform that unifies the company’s messaging and its work in social responsibility through environmental impact, wellness, and enterprise. 

Connect with Top Shelf on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Virtual Auction

But that’s not all … We’re also hosting an online fundraising auction in support of GenNext East Ontario. Each bid goes a long way to help us continue to improve local lives—you’ll get to take home a great prize and know that your contribution is making a 100% local impact. Click here to view all our auction items and place a bid now! 

Registration is now closed. Stay tuned for our event recap coming soon!

What is GenNext East Ontario?

GenNext East Ontario is social impact movement, powered by United Way East Ontario, on a mission to inspire and enable the next generation of change-makers to fuel 100% local impact.

Social issues aren’t limited by geography—they transcend boundaries and affect the well-being of our entire region. Previously known as GenNext Ottawa, in 2021 we became GenNext East Ontario and now represent and work with communities across Prescott-Russell, Ottawa, Lanark and Renfrew Counties.


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