As one of the partners of EconoUs, Calgary Economic Development is telling the story of our changing city, says Court Ellingson, Vice President Research and Strategy.

“We tell Calgary’s story in the interest of investment attraction, people attraction, and EconoUs is a great way for the rest of Canada to learn something new about Calgary or see Calgary in a different light.”

EconoUs is a national business conference that connects community and business leaders, exploring ways to shift from an economy focused on “me” to an economy that is by and for “us” – hence, EconoUs. This will be the conference’s first time in Calgary, spearheaded by Thrive. 

Calgary Economic Development sits on the planning committee of EconoUs, leveraging marketing strategies to its connections in the corporate sector, and developing the programming for the weekend-long conference.

“An economy for all has really deep meaning to me,” says Court, who spent most of his professional life working with non-profits focussing on areas of social justice, employment equity, and human rights. “I firmly believe that economies that work for everyone are more resilient in the long run and are more successful when everyone has the opportunity to prosper.”

EconoUs fits with Court’s stewardship of Calgary Economic Development’s 10-year economic strategy, Building on our Energy. The strategy’s goals include: shared prosperity, strong communities, and sustainable development and diversification.

Court noted that people are more “exploratory” since the economic downturn. According to the Conference Board of Canada, oil and gas made up 33.1% of Calgary’s GDP last year, compared to 53% in 1987.

“People have found that the economy doesn’t ‘work’ for them anymore,” says Court. “I think EconoUs can help people find new and different opportunities and ways of doing business – there’s a different understanding of what it means to be an employee or have a career.”

As steward of Building on our Energy, Court works with strategic partners, stakeholders and non-profit organizations to find ways to collaborate and lend support in areas of innovation and skills development.

“People don’t have to give up in order for other people to gain,” he says.

“EconoUs is going to tell lots of those stories, and hopefully energize people to think differently.”