Break Out of the Ordinary, and Change the World

By Sara Smith

When the revolution comes, where will you be? Liking an article on social media and wishing you could have come up with something that brilliant… or working on the front lines of innovations and initiatives that might change the world for the better?
Entrepreneurs, visionaries, innovators, and free-thinkers: get your butts to Kingston this May, because this is your time to shine. The Breakout Project is an entirely new, fully unique opportunity to get in on the ground floor of exciting projects that have the potential to improve our world.
The Breakout Project comes in the tradition of launchpad events like TechCrunch Disrupt and DEMO, but instead of technology, the subject at hand is positive social, environmental, and global change. Over the course of 48 hours, ten teams (with project concepts ranging from education in third world countries, to new avenues for charitable giving, to equal opportunities in STEM fields, and more) will turn ideas into action and excitement at Kingston’s historic Fort Henry. The teams will compete in challenges designed to drive their concepts towards success, aided by the skills, smarts, and social prowess of the event’s attendees.

Get ready to flex your creative muscles and connect with other innovators.
Photo via Innovate Kingston/iStock

“We believe there are big problems in the world, and in order to solve those, we need innovative solutions,” says Grant Goodwin, CEO of Innovate Kingston (the organization behind The Breakout Project). “In order to build a large innovative organization quickly, you need massive amounts of four key ingredients: talent, funding, connections, and awareness. The format of this event is a world first, designed specifically to bring those four ingredients on a massive scale to ten teams, who are going to tackle these amazing missions.”
The course of The Breakout Project’s 48 hours will be filled with TED Talk-style presentations, rousing mission statements from each of the teams, and a series of challenges for both the team members and the attendees. These challenges are designed to whip everyone into a frenzy of creativity, collaboration, and connection. “We’re calling this the Innovation Kitchen, and it’s where the crucial ingredients come together,” says Goodwin. Challenges will start simple, such as each team finding 200 members from the attending audience to pledge allegiance to their cause, and ramp up in intensity to larger tasks such as finding celebrity endorsements, gathering supporters from 10 different countries around the world, and securing $500,000 in financing.
Keynote presentations will provide inspiration to help teams succeed. Photo via Innovate Kingston/iStock

Wondering if you should attend this groundbreaking phenomenon? Goodwin explains that The Breakout Project is styled like a two-day convention, but offers much more immersive, interactive elements that stand to change lives, and potentially the world. “This is for people who want to make a difference, and to be immersed in an innovative environment and experience,” he says. “You’ll be learning, collaborating, sharing, doing, and celebrating, in a way that’s never been done before.”
Whether you enter the fray with a group and a good idea of what team you want to support, or as a free agent looking to make new connections, the format of this event is guaranteed to foster amazing networking opportunities and new friendships. Puzzles will have you exploring Kingston’s historic downtown, and ten local pubs will host a “company night” for each team where attendees can help their chosen group to plan, organize, and get excited for the challenges that still lie ahead. Will you leave The Breakout project with potential job offers, new and valuable business connections in emerging industries, and influential new pals to brainstorm with? Only time, and the limits of your ambition, will tell.
Celebrate your achievements with a crowd of new friends – and Sam Roberts! Photo via Innovate Kingston/iStock

After the incendiary 48 hours is over (and after the finale concert featuring the Sam Roberts Band), Goodwin expects the effects of The Breakout Project to carry on, leading us to a brighter future. “We’re trying to get these teams financial support, all kinds of talent, connections around the world, and the awareness they need to launch their project over the next year, in order to achieve their 365-day goal,” he says. The project webpages for each team will live on after the event, enabling attendees and audiences alike to watch their progress and continue to participate in these world-changing initiatives.
Kingston, with its rich history, thriving student and entrepreneur population, and easy accessibility from so many other innovative Canadian cities, is the perfect incubator for The Breakout Project’s first-ever event. If you’re not in town and want in on the action, plan your visit now, and get ready to be a part of something significant for our country, and the world. “It’s a Canadian mission to use our innovative skill sets to solve big problems,” says Goodwin. “Everyone wins if we can get these projects launched.”
The Breakout Project happens May 10-12, 2017 at Fort Henry. Team submissions are still open and early bird tickets are available online for a limited time. Visit for more information.