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Agenda and Speakers

Education and Skills Symposium 2018Nov 28–29, 2018 Toronto

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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

8:00 AM Registration and Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM Welcoming Remarks from the Chair

The Conference Board of Canada will welcome delegates to the symposium and outline the themes of the event. Research highlights from the Conference Board's latest work on education and skills will also shared.

McKean <br />  
Director, Education and Skills
The Conference Board of Canada
9:15 AM Plenary Session 1
Skills for the Workplace of Tomorrow

The future of work, jobs as well as the make-up of the labour market, are top of mind for employers as they try to anticipate what these will mean for the skills they require. Strategic efforts on the part of both the private and public sectors are needed to provide the required education and skills development opportunities to remain competitive, grow our economy and standard of living, and to improve the social and cultural life of our country. This session will discuss how we can achieve success through commitments to continuous innovation, developing the leaders of tomorrow, leveraging new and emerging technologies, and embracing cultural diversity and inclusion policies and practices.

Tobin <br />  
Executive Director
Labour Market Information Council
Beckles <br />  
Senior Director, Youth Strategy and Innovation, RBC Corporate Citizenship
Royal Bank of Canada
10:00 AM Networking and Refreshment Break

Enjoy some free time to grab a coffee and network with peers.

10:30 AM Plenary Session 2
Decolonizing the Education Experience

Since the 2015 release of the final report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, we have learned about the importance of decolonizing the education experience. Innovative ideas and examples of decolonization, from the physical attributes of classrooms and campuses to curriculum and educational supports, will be shared. This session will also discuss how education can be leveraged to honour the experiences and truths of Survivors.

McLester <br />  
Executive Director, Truth Reconciliation and Indigenization
Algonquin College
Sinclair <br />  
Professor in Native Studies
University of Manitoba
12:00 PM Networking Luncheon and Presentation

Join us for a luncheon to network, renew and make new connections with speakers, experts and potential partners! Delegates will have the opportunity to discuss and share their insights and key takeaways.

Luncheon Presentation
Early Childhood Education: Essential to the Education Continuum

The evidence is clear and abundant-participation in two or three years of early childhood education prior to formal schooling benefits all children. Universal early childhood education removes barriers to opportunity and maximizes the benefits of a public education system.

Ensuring a seamless transition from early childhood education into Kindergarten is also beneficial, especially for vulnerable populations. Recent research on the social and economic benefits of early childhood education as well as the growing role of public education in the delivery of early childhood education will be shared in this presentation.

Stewart <br />  
Director, National Forecast
The Conference Board of Canada
McCuaig <br />  
Fellow in Early Childhood Policy, Atkinson Centre, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education
University of Toronto
Bertrand <br />  
Program Director
Margaret and Wallace McCain Family Foundation (MWMFF)
1:30 PM Workshop Series A
(please select one session)
1:30 PM Workshop A1
Creating LGBT2SQ+ Inclusive Classrooms

The classroom climate has a direct impact on both how well students learn and how well they interact socially. Teachers and administrators in Canada are working hard to make their classrooms inclusive and welcoming, where each student feels safe. Despite these efforts, students who are, or who are perceived to be LGBT2SQ+ continue to face discrimination and marginalization. With intensified stressors like bullying, harassment, and lack of role models, LGBT2SQ+ students are also more likely to experience negative educational outcomes. This workshop will help teachers and administrators create inclusive classrooms for everyone. Join Muhammad from the Rainbow Resource Centre in Winnipeg (Canada's longest continuously running LGBT2SQ+ community resource centre) to gain an understanding of what LGBT2SQ+ inclusion means and how we can establish safer and inclusive environments, create resource groups/GSAs, engage allies, and combat mistreatment and discrimination.

Ahsan <br />  
Training and Education Coordinator
Rainbow Resource Centre
1:30 PM Workshop A2
Skills and Competencies Recognition for Workplace Impact

The Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA) will moderate a panel of experts who will explore current recognition and assessment initiatives and promising practices as well as the impact they have on the lives of people looking to enhance their employment and educational opportunities. Shamira Madhany of World Education Services will discuss the impacts of recognizing the international qualifications and skills of immigrants and refugees, including those without access to verified documents. Mary Harrison of Fanshawe College will share current practices among leading institutions and future directions arising from her recent study, Best Practices in Prior Learning Assessment and Recognition in Ontario Colleges and Universities.

Kennedy <br />  
Executive Director
Canadian Association for Prior Learning Assessment (CAPLA)
Madhany <br />  
Managing Director Canada and Deputy Executive Director
World Education Services
Harrison <br />  
Curriculum Consultant, Centre for Academic Excellence
Fanshawe College
1:30 PM Workshop A3
Using Career Pathways to Meet Skills Needs

Career Pathways is a promising approach to reorganizing post-secondary and workforce development systems to provide a series of connected training opportunities aligned with industry relevant credentials. This workshop will review the key features of Career Pathways and its potential to help Canadians meet the skills needs of the future. To bring the idea of Career Pathways to life, we will share an overview of an ongoing demonstration project to test the effectiveness of the Career Pathways approach in Ontario. The project is a partnership between the Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation, Blueprint ADE and Conestoga College. Workshop participants will learn about strategies for developing a training model aligned with the Career Pathways approach, and have an opportunity to share their own examples of Career Pathways-related innovations and reflect on the opportunities and barriers to scaling these approaches.

Doidge <br />  
Director, Partnerships and Social Capital Partners
Central Regional Coordinator, Ontario Centre for Workforce Innovation
Jordan <br />  
Associate Director, Workforce Development
Conestoga College
Myers <br />  
Blueprint ADE
3:00 PM Networking and Refreshment Break

Enjoy some free time to grab a coffee and network with peers.

3:15 PM Plenary Session 3
Work-integrated Learning: Getting to 100 Per Cent

This session will explore the exciting new developments in underlying technologies and digital tools now available to power a new era of connectivity between employers, students and recent grads.

Join Mark Patterson, Executive Director of Magnet, in a lively moderated discussion with an expert panel on some of the multi-sectoral initiatives underway, such as the Magnet's Campus Connect partnership with Orbis Communications, that will make it easier for companies to connect with today's diverse students. This panel will bring multiple perspectives to some of the challenges and potential solutions that will enable us to collectively reach the ambitious goal of having 100 per cent of undergraduate students complete a WIL experience prior to graduation.

Patterson <br />  
Executive Director
Magnet, Ryerson University
Convery <br />  
Director, Early Talent Acquisition, Attraction, and Engagement
Royal Bank of Canada
Plouffe <br />  
Director, Student Work Placement Program, Skills & Employment Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada
Duchaine <br />  
Business Higher Education Roundtable
Grady <br />  
Managing Partner
Orbis Communications Inc.
McRae <br />  
Associate Provost, Co-operative and Experiential Education
University of Waterloo
4:45 PM Closing Remarks from the Chair
McKean <br />  
Director, Education and Skills
The Conference Board of Canada
5:00 PM Networking Reception
6:00 PM Day One Adjourns

Thursday, November 29, 2018

8:00 AM Continental Breakfast
8:30 AM Welcoming Remarks from the Chair

The Conference Board of Canada and Colleges and Institutes Canada will provide remarks on the issues and themes of the Symposium as we begin Day Two of the event.

McKean <br />  
Director, Education and Skills
The Conference Board of Canada
Amyot <br />  
President and Chief Executive Officer
Colleges and Institutes Canada
8:45 AM Plenary Session 4
Achieving Social Change Through Education Partnerships

Pathways to Education is creating positive social change by supporting youth in low-income communities to overcome barriers to education, graduate from high school, and build the foundation for future success. Since 2001, Pathways to Education has grown to support more than 11,000 youth in 20 locations across Canada. Through the collective power of partnerships, graduation rates have improved by an average of up to 85 per cent in Pathways communities. ESDC will introduce the Pathways Program and highlight how it aligns with ESDC's priorities. Pathways to Education Canada will then share how the Pathways Program is breaking the cycle of poverty through education.

Da Costa Lauzon <br />  
Director, Learning Policy, Partnerships and Services Directorate, Learning Branch
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
Fung <br />  
Director of Production, Partner
Black Belt Productions Inc.
Gillespie <br />  
President and Chief Executive Officer
Pathways to Education Canada
10:15 AM Networking and Refreshment Break

Enjoy some free time to grab a coffee and network with peers.

10:45 AM Plenary Session 5
Building Mentally Healthy Campuses

The growth in service demand and the increasing complexity of mental health issues faced by students are creating new challenges for post-secondary institutions. Recent surveys indicate that 50% of students use campus mental health services with 10% in urgent or crisis situations. Mental illness among students is associated with impaired academic achievement, worse occupational preparedness, and lower future occupational performance.

There is an urgent need to address overall campus culture and support students on and off campuses. The Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC) will moderate a panel of experts to shine the light on key issues faced by students, evidence-informed practices that are making an impact, and opportunities to further shape Canada's education landscape to promote and protect psychological health and safety of post-secondary students.

Rewari <br />  
Manager, Workplace Mental Health, Research, Evaluation & Knowledge Translation
Mental Health Commission of Canada (MHCC)
Hamilton <br />  
Executive Director
Canadian Association of College and University Student Services
Padjen <br />  
Director, Centre for Innovation in Campus Mental Health
Canadian Mental Health Association
Jowhari <br />  
University of Waterloo
12:00 PM Networking Luncheon and Presentation
Valuing Workplace Skills Development

A skilled workforce is capable, adaptable, and flexible and yields both private and public returns. Individuals with advanced skills are positioned to make significant contributions to their workplaces and communities. The Conference Board of Canada and D2L have partnered to share the benefits of skills advancement in the workplace and help companies understand the need for investment in employee development

Howard <br />  
Principal Research Associate
The Conference Board of Canada
Popescu <br />  
Senior Vertical Marketing Manager, Enterprise Product Marketing
D2L Corporation
1:30 PM Workshop Series B
(please select one session)
1:30 PM Workshop B1
The Future of Work: Supporting Youth with Disabilities to Thrive and Become Job Ready

This two-part workshop is co-presented by the Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN) and the Canadian National Exhibition Association (CNEA). ODEN will first discuss supports for youth with disabilities within a school setting. High expectations and learning opportunities lead to work integrated learning programs such as co-ops and paid summer employment. ODEN will present examples of programs available through service providers that have proven successful for students transitioning from high school to competitive employment. The CNEA will then share how it has become a community leader in hiring youth with disabilities. It plays a unique role as a Career-Ready Launch Pad for all youth, including youth with disabilities, by providing youth with volunteer opportunities, summer jobs, and hands on skills development opportunities that can significantly improve their outcomes for a successful career in a variety of sectors.

Campbell <br />  
General Manager, Centre for Excellence
Ontario Disability Employment Network
Barreyre <br />  
Human Resources Coordinator
CNE Association
Muschta <br />  
Diversity and Inclusion Specialist
Ontario Disability Employment Network
Valmont <br />  
Manager, Human Resources
CNE Association
1:30 PM Workshop B2
Putting Graduate Students to Work

The value of the doctorate in today's labour market extends beyond academia, yet doctoral students often lack the skills, knowledge, and attitudes relevant to non-academic careers. In this session, innovative Canadian and international examples that are helping PhD graduates transition to the labour market will be shared. Western University's Own Your Future doctoral professional development program will then be highlighted for its ability to extend the doctoral curriculum to include Career Engagement learning outcomes. Career Engagement curriculum activities will be demonstrated to show how they are used to help prepare doctoral students for versatile careers.

Baytor <br />  
Career Counsellor and Registered Psychotherapist, Student Experience
Western University
Kaiser <br />  
Doctoral Professional Development Coordinator
School of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies, Western University
Leblon <br />  
Professor and Director, Faculty of Forestry and Environmental Management
University of New Brunswick
1:30 PM Workshop B3
Canadian Research Commons—Targeting Social and Human Skills

What are "soft", "transferable", "human" skills needs and how do these needs vary across sectors? How are these "social and human skills" best acquired, fostered and deployed? How can a better understanding of the role of training and knowledge transform our capacity to face emerging economic and societal challenges? Facilitating collaboration opportunities for education, industry, policy and advocacy stakeholders would help them develop frameworks and methods to address these issues and increase the impact of their efforts. This session will present a proposal for a "Canadian Research Commons" on social and human skills, the associated knowledge and their impact. Participants will be invited to comment on the initiative and its research priorities.

Lapointe <br />  
Associate Professor of Philosophy, McMaster University
Director, The Collaborative
Bowkett <br />  
Director, Innovation Policy
Kinder <br />  
Executive Director
Science & Innovation Institute on Governance (IOG)
Miller <br />  
Executive Director
Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences
Podeszfinski <br />  
Acting Director, Scholarships and Fellowships Division
Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada
3:00 PM Networking and Refreshment Break

Enjoy some free time to grab a coffee and network with peers.

3:15 PM Plenary Session 6
The Future of Skills in the Digital Economy

As Canada's economy becomes increasingly driven by innovation-intensive industries, digital skills and digital literacy are of increased importance to the Canadian workforce. Educators, employers, community organizations and other key stakeholders are exploring new ways to ensure that all Canadians have the tools they need to realize this opportunity. The work of the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E) focuses on the shift to an innovation-driven economy. BII+E will be sharing new insights on two critical themes: equipping young people with the digital skills for the future of work; and the urgent need to upskill Canadian workers at risk of displacement due to automation into jobs within high-growth areas of the digital economy.

Join us for a conversation around our current projects:

  • Digital Literacy and Coding — a pilot focused on supporting youth who are traditionally underrepresented in STEM and adjacent professional careers.
  • Palette — an upskilling and retraining pilot for mid-career workers whose jobs are threatened by automation.

Watts-Rynard <br />  
Chief Executive Officer
Polytechnics Canada
Lamb <br />  
Senior Policy Advisor
Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship
Ramkisson <br />  
Senior Project Officer
Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship
Tibando <br />  
Executive Director
Palette Inc.
4:45 PM Closing Remarks from the Chair
McKean <br />  
Director, Education and Skills
The Conference Board of Canada
5:00 PM Symposium Adjourns


We’d like to thank our generous sponsors for their contribution to this event.


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Enactus Canada

Contributing Sponsor

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Marketing Partners

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Colleges and Institutes Canada




Preferred Airline Partner



The details of this event are subject to change. Please revisit this page periodically for updated information.