Thinking Forward Halifax
Pecha Kucha Night
Picture 7
soaking in big ideas
knowledge black market
ideas for government
Exploring public space turned parking lot
Public Space walking tour
Peter W (Breakhouse Inc) & Joanne M (HUB Halifax)

 4 Days :: Unconference

 Better City, Better Life


4 Days is about generative conversations, sparking ideas and building relationships for a better city, better life in Halifax. It is for everyone. This “unconference” is a genuinely unique platform to engage with passionate people in this community to help make ideas happen. Experimenting with pertinent themes, guest speakers, idea-incubators, collaborative conversation forums, new media, prizes, 4 Days aims to apply design thinking and public engagement to solve complex problems.

This is a collaborative project with Breakhouse Inc, the HUB Halifax and many others.

2009: Thinking Forward Halifax

One day Rachel (co*LAB), Peter W (Breakhouse Inc) and Joanne (HUB Halifax) sat over coffee thinking “let’s do something to stir up ideas in Halifax”. In the spirit of starting anywhere & following it everywhere, we invited some of our international friends to join us for four days of forward thinking in our city.

Our Guests:
John Thackara
(Doors of Perception)
Uffe Elbaek
(Kaospilots Founder, World Outgames)
Peter MacLeod
(Mass LBP)

Over the four days we hosted TEDxHalifax, PechaKucha Night on ideas to save the city, a playful social enterprise Dragon’s Den and a street party to celebrate a heritage building whose memories will last longer than its’ foundation did.


2010: Better City LAB

Themes, ideas, focus areas became clear from the first edition of 4 Days. Building on its momentum and learnings each day in 2010 had a theme and an experimental event to mix the maximum number of ideas and perspectives.


Participants booked a 15-minute, triad dialogue with local knowledge dealers including artists, philosophers, economists, bureaucrats, garbologists, experts, non-experts …. The ‘knowledge dealers’ – through stories, theories, research, ideas & myths – on ideas about MOBILITY in our city.

Is our city an age-friendly city? What about e-mobility? How do we plan our cities for optimal movement of people and goods? Where are all the bike lanes? Could Halifax have a passenger rail system in 10 years? From these conversations a collective story will began to emerge that is a vision or snaphot of what mobility could be for a Better City, Better Life in Halifax.



With the HUB Halifax, we launched a pilot 6 week peer-to-peer incubator program for a few people with great ideas in Halifax. We supported & accelerated the development of these great ideas then showcased them on ENTERPRISE day of 4 Days. This idea-incubator provided opportunity to work on strategy, connect people to resources & talent in our community and globally.

This was an opportunity to spark conversations on the new impact economy and actually participate in community-based investment. In short, this was a fun night to help local social innovators make their ideas happen with a little conversation and a little investment.

For more info on this program, click here.



Civil servants, activists, business folk shared their ideas for government during this inspiring PechaKucha Night.



With Spacing Atlantic, visual artist Leola LeBlanc and NSCAD Media artist David Clark, we hosted a walking tour of vacant and underused spaces in the city. We told stories, participants generated ideas for each space and physically left these ideas on each space.