Quality Network for Universities: Insights from the 2016 Innovation Study Tour to San Francisco

The Conference Board of Canada, June 5, 2017 at 02:00 PM EDT
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In February 2016, The Conference Board of Canada’s Quality Network for Universities (QNU), a platform for university leaders to explore issues critical to their institutional missions, conducted a study tour to San Francisco and the Bay Area. The goal was to learn about and build connections relating to research innovation, commercialization, and best practices in universities working with industry.

Participants learned how Canadian universities can benefit from the opportunity for growth through collaboration, interdisciplinary research and teaching; strong interactions with industry beginning with basic research; and the need to embrace change, disruption, and failure.

Webinar Highlights

During this 60-minute presentation, Dr. Matthew McKean, Associate Director of Education and Manager of the Quality Network for Universities, along with David Stewart, Independent Researcher and Consultant on Canada-US Education and Innovation Projects, will discuss findings from the trip derived from presentations given to the delegation. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to learn more about success in innovation in San Francisco and the Bay area through close collaboration among higher education, government, business, and industry. Specific topics include:

  • Higher education in California and Canadian studies at UC Berkeley;
  • Teaching and learning through academic programs; UC Davis Centre for Educational Effectiveness, The Wiki Ed Foundation and Graduate Studies at Stanford University;
  • The innovation ecosystem and what universities can learn from incubator spaces;
  • Disruption is the key to moving forward, and is the basis for profitable innovation and growth.

About Matthew

Dr. Matthew McKean is Associate Director of Education in the Conference Board of Canada’s Centre for Skills and Post-Secondary Education, a major five-year initiative that examines the advanced skills and education challenges facing Canada today. Matthew leads the research agenda and stakeholder relations and, as part of a team, is building an inclusive, cross-sectoral national strategy for the post-secondary education system that aims to address the future of work and the drivers of change that are disrupting the educational landscape.

As Manager of the Quality Network for Universities, Matthew also leads the Conference Board’s long-standing and distinguished executive network of university provosts and vice-presidents from across Canada. He facilitates meetings in Canada and internationally and prepares agendas that offer learning, dialogue, and best-practice exchanges around strategic issues facing today’s universities.

Prior to joining the Conference Board, Matthew worked in policy at the Canadian Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences. He holds a PhD in History from Queen’s University, Kingston, and is an Adjunct Research Professor in the Department of History at Carleton University. Matthew writes for a wide audience on a diverse range of topics. His writing has appeared in The Globe & Mail, National Post, The Toronto Star, The Ottawa Citizen, The Hill Times, rabble.ca, Popmatters, Exclaim!, and This Magazine. He is a board member of the Ottawa International Writer’s Festival and was recently appointed to the National Advisory Committee for the Prime Minister's Awards for Excellence in Education.

About David

David Stewart is an independent researcher and consultant with a focus on Canada-US education and innovation initiatives. Since 2012, his clients have included the University of Saskatchewan, Concordia University, the Conference Board of Canada, the Canadian Association of University Research Parks, the Digital Moose Lounge, Expansion Québec, the Region of Waterloo, the Consulate General of Canada, and the Bay View Alliance (a UBC-led Canada-US university collaborative). His work focuses on early phase policy and project development in the areas of regional economic development; Canada-US affairs, and higher education innovation and improvement.

From 2007 - 2012, David served as an Academic Relations Officer with the Consulate General of Canada in Palo Alto, advancing Canadian government and university interests in Silicon Valley. He has presented on Canadian innovation activities at academic and government panels, and in 2015 received the Consul General’s “Expat of the Year” award.

Previously, David had served as the Executive Director of International House, a Charlotte, NC based non-profit, where he had also founded Charlotte's first community immigration law clinic. He began his career as an immigration and employment lawyer in Toronto and in Massachusetts, including three years with a successful tech startup. He holds a B.A. (History) and an LL.B. (Law) from McGill University in Montreal, and an M.A. (Intercultural Relations) from Lesley University in Cambridge, MA.

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