The Weekend Agenda

Friday November 11
group welcome (evening, approximately 6pm)
lightning talks
laughs and fun times of course
Saturday November 12

morning sessions


afternoon sessions

free time (may we suggest you enjoy the hot springs? They’re included in your Gather North ticket)


late night merriment
Sunday November 13
sleep in


check out and leave at your leisure (or stay and indulge in the Millcroft Spa)
All sessions, meals and access to the facilities at the Millcroft (including the hot springs) are included in your Gather North ticket. Accommodations are booked separately.

The Sessions


There’s No Such Thing As Work/Life Balance (It’s all LIFE!)

Work and life are so intertwined it’s sometimes hard to separate one from the other. And yet, we keep trying. On the one hand, our identities are totally tied up in what we do, while on the other hand, we are obsessed with trying to separate from what we do – and we call that ‘balance’. We’re all so caught up in the busyness of finding balance, we aren’t finding fulfillment anywhere. But if you’re deliberate about what you want life to feel like – at work and outside of work – you can start to find balance in the intertwinedness. You have to articulate your vision for happiness in the same way that you would a business plan or project proposal.
In this talk Nancy discusses how to pursue a values-driven existence that promotes whole life balance and emphasizes work ethic and business thinking.

Nancy Lyons

Nancy has been locally and nationally recognized for her role as owner and CEO of Clockwork. She is co-author of “Interactive Project Management: Pixels, People, and Process” (New Riders, 2012) and author of the upcoming book, “Culture (R)evolution: How to win at business by being nice to humans.”
She serves as the Chair of the National Board of Directors at The Family Equality Council, is on the Board of Trustees at Minnesota Public Radio and American Public Media, on the advisory board for American Public Media’s Marketplace, is on the Open Twin Cities Advisory Board, and is a member of the advisory board for the innovative entrepreneurial conference, Giant Steps. She is also a member of the Women’s Presidents Organization and the Minnesota Women’s Economic Round Table.


Investing 101

This is investing 101 y’all. Learn what all the jargon means, how to avoid being ripped off and what investment platform makes sense for you. Eventually, we all need to leave the safety of our high interest savings accounts and deep dive into the stock market. Let me make this less terrifying for you. I got you.

Shannon Lee Simmons

Shannon is a Certified Financial Planner, media personality and founder of the New School of Finance. Simmons is widely recognized as a trailblazer in the Canadian financial planning industry and an expert in Millennial personal finances and money in the digital world. She also has a monthly personal finance column in the Globe and Mail. She was listed as one of Canada’s Top 30 under 30 and won the Notable award for Best in Finance.


Ask For More: Salary Negotiation Strategies for Women

Whether you’re negotiating a new job offer or your annual performance review is approaching, it’s time to ask for more. We’ll cover everything from HOW to ask, WHAT to ask for, WHEN to ask, and how to avoid the biggest salary negotiation mistakes. Learn how to tackle this nerve-wracking endeavour without feeling greedy or whiny.

Kathryn Meisner

Kathryn is a career and salary negotiation coach aka “the guidance counsellor for adults.” Before transitioning into her full-time coaching practice, Kathryn gained recognition as a young professional leader working in private, startup, and non-profit sectors and through collaborations with notable partnership like NASA, the Royal Ontario Museum, and The Art Gallery of Ontario. Kathryn has spoken to and facilitated workshops for more than 20,000 people globally, and even has a TEDx talk on of her favourite topics, how to become resilient.


Ask Me Anything: Contracts & Legal for Independents and Start-Ups

Understanding business law, drafting and negotiating commercial contracts and working with legal jargon can be intimidating! In this talk, I will provide you with the legal know-how and practical tips to avoid common pitfalls of starting and running your own business, the importance of shareholder agreements, contract basics, negotiation tips, and more.

Nicole Park

Nicole Park is a business law associate at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP, a leading international business law and litigation firm with eight offices across Canada and in the UK and South Africa. Nicole advises and acts on a diverse range of corporate/commercial legal matters, including mergers and acquisitions, general contract drafting, debt and equity financings and initial public offerings. She is also involved in the firm’s Start-Up & Entrepreneurial Services Program, which provides tailored legal services that focus on the needs of business start-ups and entrepreneurs.


Nobody Knows What They’re Doing: Inside Stories from a Tech Entrepreneur

Avery Swartz is a tech entrepreneur, web designer, professor, and consultant. That means most days she’s just making things up as she goes along. Isn’t that really what we’re all doing when it comes to technology (whether we’re ready to admit it or not)?
In her entertaining and irreverent style, Avery will share how she’s made a career out of being a friendly nerd, and the lessons she’s learned along the way. She’ll tell the story of building her web design studio and Camp Tech. Hear her opinions on traditional and alternative education, the importance of empathy and generosity, the power of collaboration and how to get comfortable with being uncomfortable.

Avery Swartz

Avery Swartz is a Toronto-based entrepreneur, web designer, and expert in digital strategy. She is the founder and CEO of Camp Tech, the national tech workshop company for non-technical people. When she’s not busy helping people get the web working for them or expanding Camp Tech across Canada, Avery teaches students the business of interactive design and how to work with clients at Humber College, and acts as a digital advisor to a number of charities (including the Art Canada Institute and Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation). Avery is co-host of Gather North.


New this year: Gather North Lightning Talks

We’re setting aside an hour on the Friday night of Gather North 2016 for attendees to present Lightning Talks. These 5-minute long presentations will light a spark and inspire ideas for other attendees, and will be the perfect kickoff to the Gather North weekend.
We invite all Gather North attendees to consider giving a Lightning Talk presentation, as they are the perfect way to practice professional speaking. Take this opportunity to share something useful or motivational with other Gather North attendees, and build confidence as a speaker in a low-pressure and supportive setting. Lightning Talks can be technical, but must not be overtly promotional in nature.
Lightning Talk proposals must be submitted in advance, and those chosen for presentations will be given coaching and tips beforehand to help improve their presentational skills (if they’d like). Only confirmed Gather North attendees may submit Lightning Talk proposals, and there are only ten spots available for presentations. More details on the submission process for Lightning Talks will be sent to all confirmed Gather North attendees this summer.