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SEIDO Student Creates Saskatchewan Youth Symposium

The first Saskatchewan Youth Symposium was held January 25 and 26 2013, thanks to the creative initiative of University of Saskatchewan student (and SEIDO Student Officer) Meahgan Sweet.

Sweet, a long-time student member with the Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program (SEIDO), says the mandate of the symposium was to “develop a more passionate connection to Saskatchewan” and was definitely achieved. “My ultimate goal was for student delegates to walk away with a greater appreciation and understanding for the province they call home. I think we have succeeded.”

Over the two days, workshops and presentations were based on the issues of internationalization, innovation, sustainability, and urbanization.

On the evening of January 25th, Nicholas Kokkastamapoulos, SEIDO Program Coordinator, was given the honour as lead sponsor to introduce Lionel Labelle, President and CEO of Saskatchewan Trade & Export Partnership, as the event’s keynote speaker. LaBelle astounded the audience with his overview of Saskatchewan’s growing international role as a major multi-billion dollar exporter of diverse goods and services. More than 200 delegate students attended the Saskatchewan Youth Symposium, with the Saskatoon business community invited to help kick-off the event and provide students with an excellent networking opportunity.

Workshop presenters on Saturday included:

  • Sue and Bill Brooks of Eclecthink International Consulting Firm for Creativity and Innovation

  • Eric Anderson, a resources specialist and radio personality on Prosperity Saskatchewan

  • Nicholas Kokkastamapoulos, SEIDO Program Coordinator and Director for the University of Saskatchewan’s Hanlon Centre for International Business Studies

  • Gary Mearns, VP of Human Resources at Federated Co-operatives

  • Ms. Jennifer Campeau, MLA for Saskatoon Fairview

  • Dr. Nazeem Muhajarine, an award winning medical researcher at the U of S College of Medicine

  • Lyle Stewart, Saskatchewan Minister of Agriculture

Sweet says she was excited to have such support from the business communities. “This was the first entrepreneurial idea of mine that I have taken from incubation to completion and we have a strong foundation for years to come,” she says. “Our event sponsors were extremely generous and without their support we would not have had this unique Saskatchewan experience.”

* Please note this article has been updated to reflect the new name change of the “Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program” (“SEIDO”), from its former program name as the “Saskatchewan International Trade Officer Program” (“SITO”).

The Saskatchewan Economic & International Development Officer Program (SEIDO) allows university/college and high schools throughout Saskatchewan the opportunity build global business knowledge, related skills development, and training opportunities for a career in global business, international trade and development. For more information, please contact Nicholas Kokkastamapoulos (SEIDO Program Coordinator) at the Haultain Institute for Global Business Studies at or or by telephone at (306) 715-2260. Thank you.

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