Sanjay Khanna

Sanjay Khanna

Partner, NOW Partners, Strategic Advisor and Foresight Expert

Throughout his career, Sanjay has been a prescient advisor to private, public, and social sectors on risks and opportunities associated with converging crises that encompass geopolitical fragmentation, socioeconomic reordering, population health issues, technological acceleration, and climate change. A highly regarded educator and keynote speaker, he believes that leadership and learning are keys to unlocking an organization’s value. Sanjay has specialized training in scenario planning and is a skilled facilitator and empathic coach. His evidence-informed opinion is that growing economic and environmental uncertainty makes it essential to build social capital. Using this lens, he has enabled numerous organizations to strengthen strategy and build resilience.

Sanjay has more than 25 years’ experience working with a diverse group of organizations. As a writer and researcher for leading technology companies in Silicon Valley, he recognized the importance of converging crises on mental health and decision making, and he founded the Resilient People and Climate Change Conference, a seminal meeting on the psychosocial and sociocultural impacts of climate change. Subsequently, as Resident Futurist and Saul Rae Fellow at Massey College in the University of Toronto, he conducted research, taught, and wrote about these issues. During this time, he was futurist-in-residence at the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, a consultant to Public Health Ontario, and co-curated Open Minds: Adapting to the Future, a unique public engagement program funded by Goethe-Institut Toronto that showcased the role of artists, designers, and musicians in providing early warnings of the need to adapt to the future.

For the last five years, Sanjay has been focused on innovation at the intersection of the private, public, social, and academic sectors. In his consulting practice, he has recently co-authored thought leadership on converging crises with Baker McKenzie and on cybersecurity scenarios with Boston Consulting Group, BCG Platinion, and The Decision Lab. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Sanjay has facilitated numerous foresight workshops and presented keynote sessions on converging crises for clients including Baker McKenzie, BC Lottery Corporation, Competent Boards, Deloitte Canada, Family Enterprise Foundation, FMO—Dutch entrepreneurial development bank, Global Alliance for Banking on Values, Thomson Reuters Foundation, and the World Congress on Justice with Children.

Sanjay served as futurist at global law firm Baker McKenzie, working with lawyers, clients, board directors, and the C-suite to advance a holistic understanding of global risk and change. As a member of the firm’s global ESG and climate risk committee, he was tasked with co-creating new advisory services in these domains and facilitating the international expansion of the firm’s relationship with the World Economic Forum’s Climate Governance Initiative. Prior to this, Sanjay was a senior consultant on natural catastrophe and flood risk at Insurance Bureau of Canada, the industry association for property and casualty insurance, where he advocated for “whole-of-society” approaches to addressing climate impacts.

Sanjay is a Visiting Lecturer at the Royal College of Art, the world’s leading art and design university. In addition, he is Adjunct Professor, Department of Political Science, McMaster University, where he co-teaches the Digital Transformation and Strategy course in the pioneering Master of Public Policy in Digital Society Program, where he sits on the advisory board. Sanjay formerly taught graduate and undergraduate courses within the university’s Health Leadership Academy, Michael G. DeGroote School of Business.

Sanjay advises Médicins Sans Frontières/Doctors Without Borders Canada, Humanitarian Action on Climate and Environment (HACE); The Decision Lab, a socially conscious applied research firm; and RiskThinking.ai, a leading climate risk data and software provider. An active member of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, Sanjay is an Expert Reviewer of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in Working Group II (Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability), commenting on several iterations of the First Order Drafts since 2012. He has a rich understanding of the challenges and opportunities related to the Taskforce on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD).

Sanjay’s work has been published in academic journals and textbooks. He has also been featured and quoted by media outlets including the Financial Times, CBC, The Globe and Mail, Les Affaires, and Nature. Sanjay received a Global Competent Boards Designation (GCB.D) from Competent Boards in 2020 and is currently a contributing leader to that organization’s ESG certification program for board directors and business professionals.