Amplify was a blast! Missed it? Here’s what you need to know


Last week, the GenNext community came together for Amplify: our very first virtual event as GenNext East Ontario. 

Over our 2 days together, we heard from local leaders who spoke from their own lived experiences and expertise on the complex challenges affecting our region. Each lunch-time live session included a Q&A session for our participants to submit their own questions for our speakers.

We know not everyone was able to attend all of the sessions—and those of you who did attend may want a refresher 😉—so we’re bringing Amplify to you!

Here’s your chance to replay these conversations about workplace culture, youth empowerment, diversity and inclusion, and youth homelessness, and pick up on some things you may have missed the first time around. 

If this is your first watch, sit back, relax, and prepare for informative and engaging sessions from our incredible keynotes. 

You can also watch the fun demos and Q&As from our happy hour sessions and engage with the wellness content from our sponsors and friends. We’ve made these all-access links public, so you can use these recordings as a resource to share with your friends, family and co-workers. 

Learn about the issues affecting your community. Start conversations. That’s what GenNext East Ontario is all about.

Lunch-time Live Speaker Sessions

Cultivating culture: Unlocking your team's potential with Nathan Hall

Nathan Hall joined Amplify for a lunchtime live session and led us in a conversation around company culture—why it’s important, and how COVID-19 has changed what culture looks and feels like. 

As CEO of Culture Check, an anti-racism support centre for the workforce, Nathan provides support, education, and best practices to address racial discrimination at work. 

At Amplify, Nathan spoke about his own experience cultivating and supporting a healthy and inclusive workplace culture as CEO at both Culture Check and Ottawa-based video marketing agency, Simple Story

Watch the video to see Nathan in conversation with host Naomi Haile.

Connect with Nathan on Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

Real Talk: Youth Homelessness with Charlotte Smith

We sat down for a no-nonsense Q&A with Charlotte Smith and host Mohamed Sofa to learn more about youth homelessness, 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. 

During the pandemic, Charlotte also founded LivExAlliance, a group of peers (made up of youth and young adults) with lived experience of youth homelessness, and allies, working to support marginalized youth throughout COVID-19 and beyond.

While we weren’t able to cover everything in 45 minutes, it did give us a chance to start the conversation.

Connect with Charlotte on Twitter and Facebook.

Empowering youth in our communities with Liz Clarke

We kicked off Day 2 of Amplify with musician, poet, and social artist Liz Clarke (also known as Htbsle—pronounced hitta-baseelay), who’s focused on using her creative content to influence long-term social impact. 

Liz’s 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.

Hosted by Amanda Lowe, Liz’s lunchtime live session explored how we can show up for our youth in the ways that they need, and be a resource to them—not a barrier to their creativity. 

Enjoy some of Liz’s poetry in action as she begins her session.

Connect with Liz on Twitter and Instagram.

Supporting an inclusive workplace culture with Sowmya Rajasekaran, Heidi Hauver, and Lianne Berne

Our final Lunch-time live session of Amplify was an informative panel discussion featuring industry leaders Sowmya Rajasekaran, Heidi Hauver, and Lianne Berne.

At GenNext East Ontario, we believe in building a diverse, vibrant workforce, where every person has access to employment, a solid understanding of how to be financially secure, and an opportunity to become financially independent. 

Host Kelly Mertl led us through an incredible discussion with all three panelists on creating inclusion in employment for all spectrums of diversity, and tangible practices that we can all adopt to support an inclusive workplace culture.

Think back to your first job as you dig into the panel recording.

Connect with Heidi on LinkedIn, with Lianne on LinkedIn, and with Sowmya on Facebook and Twitter.

Happy Hour Demos

As always, it wouldn’t be a true GenNext event without our friends Top Shelf Distillers & Dominion City Brewing Co. in tow! We ended both Day 1 and 2 of Amplify with a networking and AMA session that’s sure to make any hour happy.

Join cocktail wiz Sara Ainslie from for a live demo of one of Top Shelf’s signature cocktails and to gain top tips and tricks to make you the best bartender on the block, just in time for summer. 

Connect with Top Shelf on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

And Pat Bolduc of Dominion City led us through a tasting of Dominion City’s beers, answered all of our pressing questions on craft beer, and helped us learn how they manage to make some very good beer. 

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

Mindful Mornings

We also made sure to start each day of Amplify with mindful practices that allowed for a moment for yourself. Deep breath in. Stretch your legs. Sketch your thoughts.

Here are some short wellness and meditation activities led by local instructors for you to enjoy at your own pace, in your own space!

Thank you!

If you liked Amplify, and want to continue to fuel lasting change in our communities, consider joining GenNext+, our group of monthly donors. 

When you become a GenNext+ monthly donor, you’re investing in causes you care about.

Joining means you’re supporting United Way’s 100% local initiatives that bring measurable change for our communities’ most vulnerable people.

This event wouldn’t have been possible without our amazing sponsors, speakers, panelists, hosts and moderators. We can’t thank them enough for choosing to be a part of Amplify, and making it everything we could’ve dreamed of—and more!  

PS – Looking for those great Canadian tunes we were playing at Amplify? Well, you’re in luck. 

Jam along with us to some great home-grown classics! Trust us, you’ll want to put this on repeat and turn up the volume!

Follow us on social  @GenNextEastON and subscribe to our newsletter to stay in touch and up-to-date on all things GenNext!


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