THINK, DREAM, LEAD How Canada is empowering student leaders

For the last 10 years, student leaders from across the country have been inspired to innovate change within their campuses and in their respective communities at the Canadian Conference on Student Leadership.

Besides 2010 and 2012 when there were no conferences held, the years prior have provided growth opportunities for all student leaders in attendance. CCSL has previously hosted at institutions such as Wilfred Laurier University, York University and Hamilton's own McMaster University in 2014.

Day 1 kicked off at Niagara College's Welland Campus.

This year, Brock University and Niagara College jointly hosted the conference, which was full of respectable keynote speakers, concurrent sessions and time to network with the student leader delegates in attendance.

The Strong Women Hand Drum Group, made of local Aboriginal women, opened the conference with a few songs.
Days 2 and 3 took place at the Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls.
The keynote speakers presented in the Convention Centre's main ballroom.

[NOTE: The above 360 video only works if you have the Pie app for iOS/iPhone.]

Delegates were able to choose blocks of 50-minute sessions to attend throughout Days 2 and 3.
Each student leader in attendance received conference 'swag' as a thank-you.

Many of the keynote speakers doubled as post-secondary professors - such as McMaster University Sustainability teacher Joel Hilchey.

...who taught student leaders that risks must be taken in leadership...

...even if those risks could cause you a little harm.

Yes, that is Joel juggling loaded RAT traps on FIRE [taken via Snapchat].

Hilchey is well-known for being "the speaker who plays with mouse traps."

Not all of the speakers were industry professionals... the majority of them were actually student leaders.

Deighton Edwards and Emily Marvel are both Ryerson University students. The video above asks 5 important questions to student leaders so they can check that they're in leadership for the right reasons.

[The video starts explaining at the third 'RU'. The reason for this is that the first two 'RU' questions were self-explanatory: #1 was, "RU doing something just to say you did it?" #2 was, "RU doing it for the Instagram - for the picture, the recognition?"]

I spoke with Edwards to ask what the CCSL meant to her and about the progress being made in clearly defining student leadership.

Deighton and Emily were one of the few session leaders to incorporate hashtags within their sessions - their main one being #REDEFINE. I took advantage of this on Twitter.
Each session was well-prepared by the leaders, providing students with note-taking materials and case studies to practice with.


Just check the tracked tag #CCSL2016 on Twitter - that's where you'll find the answer.

Screenshots of Tweets from several enthused conference-goers throughout the duration of the conference.

Answer: it matters because post-secondary isn't just about getting an education... it's about inspiring students both inside and outside the classroom to...


Mohawk College delegates posing for a quick group selfie on Day 1.
"Leadership doesn't have to be big and glamorous, you just have to take the first step and try." - Joel Hilchey
Created By
Samantha Hoover


All photos, UNLESS otherwise noted within the presentation, belong to Samantha Hoover.

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