Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the LearnToronto launch party at ING Direct’s Network Orange in downtown Toronto – and I have to say, it was a truly fantastic event. For those of you who don’t know, LearnToronto is an attempt to connect the various tech communities and user groups in the Greater Toronto Area. If you’re like me, you love attending meetups, user groups, and learning sessions – however, there are so many options each week and too often, many of the events are held at the same time. LearnToronto addresses this problem while enriching the Toronto tech community.
I would tell you more about LearnToronto, but I wouldn’t be able to top Milan Gokhale‘s description:
“As a city, Toronto boasts world-class universities, a strong social safety net, a stable financial sector and government- backed innovation funds. As a community, organizers have stepped up to put on events that teach, share and inspire. There are meetups for technologies and several disciplines. The pace is frenetic, the relationships are complex and the noise is cranked up.The burgeoning tech community in Toronto is experiencing growing pains. Event organizers are too busy to talk to each other, when they aren’t competing for the same audience. Developers are confused about whether Monday nights mean HackersnestTO, DevTO or the Rails Pub Nite. University students are deciding about which career path makes the most sense.”
“Today, we’re announcing a new initiative that we think will fill the gap. Learn Toronto is a volunteer-supported online platform that connects various meetups in Toronto. Our web-based tool is the culmination of months of effort from Toronto’s most respected technology leaders to centralize event plannings and learnings from peer meetups, workshops and lectures. As a group, we launched as an event management tool for tech leaders. In the future, the plan is to add sections to share learning materials and produce exclusive content.”
“The goal is to build an inclusive, accessible and affordable community where everyone wants to come learn and develop their skills in Toronto. Our first version is now ready to be shared, and begins to show case how the entire city of Toronto is a school for learning.”
So what was so awesome about the launch party? It was truly incredible to see so many people in the same room who all had a common goal – to build a community for people to learn. Everyone was a volunteer, a teacher, and a student – and everyone did it for the betterment of community – and that to me is truly beautiful.