Sept/Oct 2012

Come together

Networking by Design event unites Toronto’s mining networks

By Marty Dregischan and Manuel Cortes

There is strength in numbers. No one knows that better than mining professionals, who have a long history of banding together to address key issues, share knowledge and collaborate on initiatives. But, in a global environment where mining projects are often developed by multidisciplinary, cross-cultural teams, it is more essential than ever to break down the silos of experience and expertise that can sometimes inhibit progress. Networking by Design, launched this year in Toronto, aims to do just that by giving existing networking groups an opportunity to come together at a series of face-to-face events.

Our first Networking by Design meeting was held in June at the Watermark Irish Pub in Toronto, drawing nearly 200 attendees from across the mining sector to network and to identify opportunities for collaboration. Members of four groups helped organize the inaugural event, including: Women in Mining (Toronto Branch); Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business; CIM Hispanics in Mining Toronto; and CIM Mining Professionals, the Next Generation (Toronto).

“The turnout of mining professionals at the recent Networking by Design event was impressive,” said Kathy Chapman, co-chair, Women in Mining, Toronto Branch. “Women in Mining Toronto members are looking forward to the next event.”

Our event attracted a wide range of professionals from across the industry – not only those associated with the four founding groups. Attendees included government approval agency representatives, engineers, lawyers and other stakeholders. The broad range of specialists at the event allowed attendees to discuss complex issues from multiple perspectives, in an informal atmosphere. Topics such as new development in remote regions were brought to the fore, and government approval agents and other stakeholders shared perspectives on the development of these ­projects.

Attendees told us they were excited to meet people from all of the groups involved and to have the opportunity to connect with individuals working at various levels, and in various specialties in the mining industry.

We were very happy with the outcome of the event and aim to continue to build the momentum by bringing more independently operating groups together. We hope that the Networking by Design platform will not only increase communication within the Toronto mining community but will also help attendees build solid, long-lasting relationships with key industry stakeholders.

“We were pleased to be collaborating with other groups on this initiative,” said Clint Davis, president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business (CCAB). “CCAB is the largest employer of Aboriginal people. Events like this one provide invaluable opportunities for our stakeholders to connect with key individuals in the industry.”

The Hispanics in Mining Toronto group was equally thrilled with the collaborative event. The recently formed group aims to unite Spanish-speaking mining professionals and strengthen their connections with the industry in Toronto.

We would like to extend a sincere thank you to our sponsors, Coffey Mining, AMC Consultants and the CIM Toronto Branch for helping to bring this first event to fruition. We plan to organize a networking evening every three to four months, to be held at various downtown Toronto venues. Upcoming events may also be integrated into other mining conferences taking place in the city.

Catch the Networking by Design sessions at CIM Convention 2013 in Toronto.

Marty Dregischan is chair of Mining Professionals – The Next Generation, Toronto, 2nd vice-chair of CIM Toronto Branch and chair of M4S, CIM.

Manuel Cortes is chair of Hispanics in Mining Toronto.

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