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Ottawa Changemakers: Talking Stick lets Indigenous communities discuss shared challenges – Ottawa Business Journal

October 31, 2023

Providing a platform that allows people to talk to someone anonymously about shared challenges is proving a successful business model for Ottawa-based TryCycle.

With more than 10,000 conversations lasting an average of 23.5 minutes in its first 12 months, TryCycle’s Talking Stick has become the platform that many of Canada’s Indigenous communities turn to for culture-based support.

Conceived during the pandemic, the goal of Talking Stick was to encourage Canada’s Indigenous peoples to talk about and raise awareness of the importance of vaccination. Data soon revealed that users were discussing other urgent issues, such as domestic violence, isolation and substance use.

“It has been overwhelming,” says TryCycle co-founder and CEO John MacBeth. “The greatest discovery of my business life is that connection is everything. That is the sole real goal of Talking Stick. It’s just to provide a safe environment for a person to feel connected.

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