Interview with Geoff Sharpe, Digital Public Affairs Strategist – A Canadian Millennial to Watch


In the spirit of celebrating Canadian Millennials over the month of June, our team at Abacus Data have been conducting a series of interviews that spotlight individuals we consider to be Canadian Millennials to Watch.

We’re kicking off the summer with some inspiring Millennial stories told by change leaders across many sectors. We see Millennial industry leaders creating positive change for the future of business and public affairs in Canada and its about time someone reports on their accomplishments, successes and passions.

Today, we are excited to introduce you to Geoff Sharpe, a digital media strategist at Navigator Ltd. He’s been active in politics since he was young and is at the cutting edge of public affairs digital media strategy.

Meet Geoff Sharpe, Digital Strategist

Geoff Sharpe (check out his LinkedIn page) grew up on Vancouver Island and attended the University of Victoria where he studied political science.  While at UVic, he was active in the BC Liberal Party serving as President of the BC Young Liberals from 2011 to 2012.

geoffsharpectvnewsGeoff was hired by Navigator, a public affairs consulting firm based Toronto, where he is a digital media strategist.  Since moving to Ontario, Geoff was a digital media strategist for Kathleen Wynne’s successful bid to lead the Ontario Liberal Party.

Geoff’s work on the Wynne Campaign, with Chris Cowperthwaite and Taylor Scollon, involved building the campaign’s website and its social media presence.  Their work was highlighted in a great article on how big data is changing politics in Canadian Business Magazine.

Geoff has also published an article in Campaigns and Elections Magazine describing digital campaigns and how software such as NationBuilder is having a profound effect on how campaigns are organized and how voters are mobilized.

I caught up with Geoff on Sunday to chat about his career so far, his thoughts on the evolution of political campaigns, and to talk about what it’s like to be a Millennial in the public affairs/political arena.

Some highlights from his interview:

How did you get involved in the Kathleen Wynne campaign for Leader of the Ontario Liberal Party?

What should young professionals do to be taken seriously at work?

Why do you think so many young Canadians are disengaged from politics and public affairs?

What advice would you give to organizations looking to recruit and retain Millennials as employees?

I asked Geoff what advice he would give to other Millennials recently graduating or graduating in the next few years.

Here’s three valuable tips:

  1. Always say yes.  No job/task is too small.  Get involved and never turn down an opportunity to show off who you are.
  2. Network, network, network.  Get out of your comfort zone and meet people.
  3. Put yourself in a situation where good luck can happen.  That window of opportunity won’t open if you’re always in your house, sitting around waiting for things to happen.

To find out more about Geoff Sharp and the cutting edge work he’s doing on digital public affairs campaigns you can find him:

Geoff isn’t the only Canadian Millennial involved in politics.  There are a lot of Canadian Millennials making a difference in the political life of our country.

Whether its as campaign volunteers or staff, political staffers in the Prime Minister’s Office or Premier’s offices across the country, as elected members of Parliament or Legislative Assemblies, or even as mayors, Canadian Millennials are active in public affairs across Canada.

Later this week I’ll look at youth political participation in Canada.

The Canadian Millennials Research Project

In 2011 Abacus Data launched its Canadian Millennial Research Practice to help Canadian businesses, associations and government ask the questions they need answered about my generation, the right way.

David Coletto is CEO of Abacus Data and leads its Public Affairs research practice. He has a PhD from the University of Calgary and is an adjunct professor at Carleton University.  He’s an avid road cyclist.

Contact David Coletto:

T: 613-232-2806 x. 248

E: david@abacusdata.ca

W: http://www.abacusdata.ca

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