Engaging speakers, contentious issues, and lively discussion. That's CONNECTS.
CONNECTS came into being in 2004, the year that SANDSTONE Asset Management was founded. From the outset, Sharon and Brent shared an exceptional commitment to enhancing not only the lives of their clients and colleagues, but also, of their community as a whole.
In the wake of the terrible events of 9/11, they were convinced that balanced, informed debate on societal issues of importance was almost impossible. Polarization was accelerating, media commentary was distorted, and reasonable discussion had evaporated. In an effort to bring a variety of perspectives to the table, they set out to find some of the very best people on the planet who could address the most contentious issues of our times – not to change opinion, but rather, to offer alternative points of view to inform our decision making processes.
Their dedication to this undertaking has attracted leading speakers from across the globe. From Romeo Dallaire’s stunning discussion of genocide in Rwanda, to Sir Kenneth Robinson’s elucidation on creativity and innovation; from Jonathan Taplin’s expose of unregulated monopolies to Julia Dhar’s collaboration with the University of Calgary Debating Society to inspire us “to live in fragments no longer” – these superb guests have exemplified the possibilities, and reminded us of the urgency, of choosing to become more involved in the world around us.
The need for genuine engagement and informed discussion has never been greater. We live in a world where news is largely controlled, and the internet exacerbates our tendency towards confirmation bias. Everyone is angry and at odds with each other, stymying efforts to confront pressing universal problems. Cohesive, thoughtful action on the part of us all is required. As Robert Johnson reminded us at our CONNECTS evening in 2013, we do not want to be seen as the “hollow men and women” who failed to address the challenges of our times.