2015 Speakers

Introducing Remarkable Leaders Who Will Speak at the 2015 Summer Conference

Helen Angus is Deputy Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and International Trade and Deputy Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues and Seniors Affairs effective. Most recently she was Associate Deputy Minister for Policy and Transformation at the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). In 2012, she returned to the Ontario Public Service (OPS) as Associate Deputy Minister at the MOHLTC after 10 years in leadership positions in the health sector. Prior to returning to the OPS, she was vice-president responsible for the Ontario Renal Network at Cancer Care Ontario (CCO). She was also CCO’s vice-president of Planning and Strategic Implementation and vice-president of Research and Analysis at the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Helen was educated at the University of Toronto and holds a Master of Science degree in Planning.

Adwoa K. Buahene, M.A., is a managing partner and co-founder of n-gen People Performance Inc. She has dedicated the last 11 years to working with industry leaders across North America, in both the private and public sectors, to build strategies and programs that target, motivate, and engage a multigenerational workforce. With over 15 years of training and performance consulting experience, she has leveraged her expertise to create solutions in five practice areas – sales and customer service; leadership, team building, Gen Y, and HR. Adwoa has presented to international audiences, written numerous whitepapers, and co-authored two books: Loyalty Unplugged: How to Get, Keep & Grow All Four Generations and Upgrade Now: 9 Advanced Leadership Skills. As a multigenerational workplace expert, she is regularly quoted in national newspapers and trade magazines and on radio and television. She has a master’s degree in analytic philosophy from Dalhousie University and was been nominated for an RBC Canadian Woman Entrepreneur Trailblazer Award. She is a member of the volunteers with the United Way management advisory committee and acts as board of directors’ vice-chair for VHA Home Healthcare.

Léo Bureau-Blouin is a former student representative and ex-member of Quebec’s national assembly.  He was president of the Quebec federation of cegep students during Quebec’s student strike in 2012. After his student engagement, he was elected as a member of the National assembly for Laval-des-Rapides at the age of 20. He then became the youngest MNA in the history of the national assembly. He served as MNA and parliamentary assistant for the prime minister for youth issues from 2012 to 2014. He is now a student at Laval University Law school in Quebec city. His main fields of interests are politics, youth engagement and law.

Karen Carter is the Executive Director of the Myseum of Toronto, an innovative approach to the museum experience, and a new way to experience Toronto’s natural spaces, cultures, history, archaeology and architecture. She has over 20 years experience working and volunteering in a variety of cultural and educational settings in Toronto. She is the co-founder and Chair of Black Artists’ Networks Dialogue (BAND), an organization dedicated to the promotion of Black arts and culture in Canada and abroad. Karen is also the Program Coordinator and faculty member for the Culture and Heritage Site Management program at Centennial College’s Story Arts Centre.

Braulio Ferreira de Souza Dias is the Executive Secretary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). He has over three decades of experience in biodiversity science and policy and its implementation and national and international levels. He possesses a unique combination of scientific training and extensive experience in negotiation. He was involved in the negotiations for the development of the CBD and has since participated in each meeting of the Conference of the Parties as a member of the Brazilian Delegation. Prior to becoming Executive Secretary in 2012, he was the Secretary of Biodiversity and Forests at the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, and prior to that, the Director for Biodiversity Conservation. Dr. Dias has a degree in Biological Sciences from the University of Brasilia and a doctorate in Zoology from the University of Edinburgh.

Jane Hilderman hails from Camrose, Alta., where she grew up on a family farm. She now resides in Toronto where she co-leads Samara Canada, the non-partisan charity dedicated to improving political participation and strengthening Canada’s democracy. She’s also Samara’s Research Director and oversees dynamic projects exploring where Canadians participate in democracy, how Members of Parliament do their jobs, and citizen perceptions of politics. Most recently, Jane helped to oversee the creation of Samara’s The Democracy 360—a report card on how Canadians communicate, participate, and lead in politics. Jane frequently discusses Samara’s work in the media, including CBC Radio, CTV’s Power Play, CPAC’s Prime Time, TVO’s The Agenda, Maclean’s and Global News. She joined Samara after working on Parliament Hill for both government and opposition MPs through the longstanding Parliamentary Internship Programme, a prestigious program for young professionals. Jane is a graduate of the School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Toronto and Queen’s University.

Mitzie Hunter is the Associate Minister of Finance, responsible for the implementation of the Ontario Retirement Pension Plan (ORPP). She was first elected to the Ontario Legislature in a by-election in August 2013. Following her re-election in June 2014, she was appointed to Cabinet by Premier Kathleen Wynne. She is a skilled collaborator with a passion for building partnerships and tackling tough issues. Prior to entering public life, she held senior executive positions in the corporate, public, and non-profit sectors. She served as the CEO of the Greater Toronto CivicAction Alliance, as Chief Administrative Officer at Toronto Community Housing, as Vice President at Goodwill Industries, and as a regional director at Bell Canada. Mitziegraduated from the University of Toronto (Scarborough Campus) and holds an MBA from the Rotman School of Management. She has received numerous awards for her dedication to volunteerism.

Paul Kershaw is the founder of the Gen Squeeze campaign. He is a farmer morning and night. By day, he is a University of British Columbia (UBC) professor, public speaker, volunteer, and regular media contributor. Paul is one of Canada’s top thinkers about generational equity with Canadian Family magazine describing him as “the ‘Generation Squeeze’ guru.” Twice the Canadian Political Science Association has awarded him national prizes for his research. “Armed with a laptop and a raft of statistics,” The Vancouver Province describes Paul as “a one-man road show trying to change BC one talk at a time.” Since he knows a one-man show will never be enough, he’s suiting up and spreading out with thousands across the country to ensure Canada works for all generations. At UBC, Paul is Associate Director of the Human Early Learning Partnership in the School of Population and Public Health.

Sanjay Khanna is a futurist, speaker, and thought leader who helps businesses, governments, and not-for-profits to Adapt to the Future. He is for a six-month term Futurist-in-Residence at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra. For 2014-2015, he was a Visiting Scholar in Strategic Foresight at Massey College and was the College’s inaugural Resident Futurist for 2013-2014. He was one of 21 global experts interviewed for KPMG International’s major 2014 report Future State 2030: The global megatrends shaping governments. Sanjay is an expert on how key megatrends may affect mental health, productivity, and decision-making among leaders and citizen-consumers. In 2008, he reported on the emerging scientific basis for linking climate change with mental health. In 2009, he launched the world’s first conference on how climate change may affect human psychology, society, and culture. In 2010, he was nominated as a “Transformational Canadian” in The Globe and Mail. and in 2009 as a TED Fellow. His articles and op-eds have featured in Nature, The Huffington Post, Corporate Knights, Yes! Magazine, Reuters, Worldchanging, Grist, and more..

Jim Leech, C.M., the Chancellor of Queen’s University, is the former President and CEO of Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, one of the world’s largest and most innovative pension funds. In 2013, he co-authored The Third Rail, Confronting our Pension Failures, a best-selling book that received the 2013-2014 Best Canadian Business Book Award and was a finalist for the Donner Award for contribution to Canadian public policy.

Mr. Leech is currently Chancellor of Queen’s University (one of Canada’s leading research intensive universities); Senior Advisor to McKinsey & Company; chair of Toronto General and Western Hospital Foundation (Canada’s largest hospital foundation) and MasterCard Foundation ($10 billion foundation focused on youth education and financial inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa); and an Honorary Colonel in the Canadian Forces.

In 2012, he was awarded the Queen's Diamond Jubilee medal in recognition of his work with True Patriot Love Foundation. In May 2014, he was a member of Canada’s largest expedition to ski to the magnetic north pole to raise awareness and funds for Canadian military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Mr. Leech was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada for his for contributions to Canada as an innovator in pension management, for his writings on the subject of retirement funding, and for his community involvement.

Mr. Leech holds a B.Sc. (Hons. Math and Physics) from the Royal Military College of Canada and an MBA from Queen's University. He is also a graduate of the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Mike Moffat is an Assistant Professor in the Business, Economics and Public Policy group at Ivey Business School at Western University where he teaches courses in international trade and firm-level strategy. He also serves as the Chief Economist of the Mowat Centre, an independent public policy think tank located at the School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Toronto and Ontario’s non-partisan, evidence-based voice on public policy. An economist by training, Mike’s interests relate to the intersection of public policy, economic growth, and business strategy for exporting companies.

Mike, his wife Hannah, his daughter Marguerite, his son Mats, and his dog Robbie Burns, and two cats all live two blocks from where Mike was born: St. Joseph’s Hospital in London, Ontario. Mike is a passionate defender of Southwestern Ontario, where his family has lived for generations. He developed an interest in public policy through witnessing the economic decline of the region. Mike has a Ph.D. in Management Science from Ivey, an M.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester, and a Combined Honours B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Western University.

Christopher Ragan is an Associate Professor in the Department of Economics at McGill University, the Chair of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, and a Research Fellow at the C.D. Howe Institute. His published research focuses mostly on the conduct of macroeconomic policy. His 2004 book, co-edited with William Watson, is called Is the Debt War Over? In 2007 he published A Canadian Priorities Agenda, co-edited with Jeremy Leonard and France St-Hilaire from the Institute for Research on Public Policy. He is the author of Economics and has a regular column in The Globe and Mail. For over 15 years, Chris has been teaching microeconomics for McKinsey & Company, a leading international consulting firm. He also teaches in EDHEC’s Global MBA program in France and in the McGill-HEC Executive MBA program. He received his B.A. (Honours) in economics from the University of Victoria and his M.A. in economics from Queen’s University, and completed his Ph.D. in economics at M.I.T. See his personal McGill website for downloads of his published research as well as his newspaper columns: http://people.mcgill.ca/christopher.ragan/

Armine Yalnizyan is one of Canada's leading progressive economists. She joined the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives as senior economist in 2008, focusing on income inequality, labour markets, and public finance. She has a twice-weekly business column on CBC Radio's biggest morning show, “Metro Morning”, reaching a million listeners in the Greater Toronto Area. She also appears weekly on “The Big Picture Panel”, featured Wednesdays on CBC TV's premier business show, “The Exchange with Amanda Lang”, and contributes to The Globe and Mail's “Debates”. Armine is Vice President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics and a member of the advisory board for the Institute for Population and Public Health, one of 13 Canadian Institutes for Health Research.

Deborah Yedlin has been covering the energy sector as a business columnist and radio commentator for almost 20 years, from which she has witnessed several downturns. Born in Edmonton, Deborah completed her degree in Economics at the University of Alberta followed by an MBA from Queen’s University.  Deborah refers to herself as a lapsed investment banker, having worked on Wall Street and Bay Street before making the switch to journalism in 1996.  She is currently a business columnist with the Calgary Herald and a regular commentator for CBC radio.

2016 Summer Conference

The Canada Project

Identity, Citizenship, and Nationhood in a Changing World

August 5-7, 2016
The YMCA Geneva Park Conference Centre, Orillia, ON

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Couchiching Connects
April 2017
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