Times are changing rapidly. And with change comes uncertainty. Technological, social, and economic disruptions are revolutionizing the ways the public sector operates and how policies are created. As a public sector leader, are you equipped to strategically navigate, monitor, and embrace these disruptions?

The Public Sector Leadership 2020 will inspire public sector organizations to think differently, act inclusively, and work effectively to lead change in an uncertain climate.

Join us February 3–4, 2020, in Ottawa, Ontario, and connect with industry experts and leaders from all levels of government.

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Jamelle Lindo

Emotional Intelligence Leadership Coach, PARADIGM People Development Inc.

Jenny Tremblay

Director General
Infrastructure Canada

Neil Bouwer

Canada School of Public Service

Randy Grieser

Author, The Culture Question and The Oridinary Leader

David Weiss

President & CEO, Weiss International Ltd.

Lisa Kimmel

President and CEO
Edelman Canada


8:00 a.m.
Continental breakfast
8:30 a.m.
Opening and Welcome Remarks
9:00 a.m.

What does the future hold for Canada? Are our institutions and economy at odds with rapid technological and cultural change? Are we keeping up?

For years we’ve studied and praised leaders like Steve Jobs who “think different” and disruptive innovators like Mark Zuckerberg who “move fast and break things”. But the world is finally contending with the dark side of disruption!

The goal is to stay ahead of the shifting currents, follow disruption with creation, and to create sustainable, creative teams where everyone is excited to show up for work each day. Technology and media expert Jesse Brown will explain the challenging shifts ahead, and how to embrace disruption and become a change agent in the public sector.

Jesse Brown

Digital Media Expert, Disruptive Journalist, Futurist

10:00 a.m.
Table exercise

Engage with fellow leaders through a facilitated networking exercise. Reflect on the event theme and its relevance to your role, organization, and sector.

Nathalie Laurin

Leadership Coach and Facilitator,
The Niagara Institute

10:30 a.m.
Networking break
11:00 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions—Set A (please select one)

A1—Think differently

We are living in the midst of the greatest digital proliferation in human history which has largely come to be known as Industry 4.0. This comprehensive talk by Jamelle Lindo explores why emotional intelligence is becoming the single most valuable leadership and workplace skill today and as we move into this digitally driven future. Furthermore, it brings forward the latest research to validate what business leaders and professionals can do to position themselves for success in the midst of todays incredibly demanding and evolving digital world.

This talk will equip you with key knowledge preparing you for the new world while also providing you with simple strategies to enhance your own, as well as your teams' emotional intelligence.

Jamelle Lindo

Emotional Intelligence Leadership Coach PARADIGM People Development Inc

A2—Act inclusively

You may think you know what your workforce wants … but how can you be certain?

With an inclusive design framework, you can delve into individual human experiences and gain perspective on the assumptions we make as leaders.

Get in touch with the individual needs of your workforce through strategic decision-making tactics such as user testing and research. Build a work culture where employees’ needs are met, and a workforce that is empowered to do their work.

Learn how to engage your workforce through strategic collaboration and ensure that your organization best reflects and the diversity and uniqueness of your workforce.

Nilufer Erdebil

Founder & CEO, Spring2 Innovation

A3—Work effectively

Thanks to the most competitive labour market in decades, increasing technological innovation and disruption, and the decreasing shelf life of skills, acquiring and developing top talent and skills has never been more important to the public sector’s ability to deliver services and outcomes for Canadians. Built around the world’s largest professional network (over 16 million members in Canada and more than 660 million globally), LinkedIn is also the world’s largest recruitment services company and skills-focused online learning platform, and therefore uniquely positioned to support this effort.

In this session, you will learn how Public Sector organizations are:

  • using data to modernize and innovate their talent strategy;
  • building their employer brand and tapping into new talent pools and passive talent;
  • recruiting students, executives, and high-demand and niche talent;
  • up-skilling their workforce by developing a learning culture;
  • empowering HR to be a strategic partner using data and labour-market insights.
Michael Page

Government Lead, LinkedIn Talent Solutions

12:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions—Set B (please select one)

B1—Think differently

In an age of #FakeNews and disruption, Canadians expect more from their employers, institutions, and government. As we look to the future, building and maintaining trust is a business imperative for sustainable success. In the public sector, integrity and ethics play a crucial role in building confidence amongst employees and citizens.

As a leader, you play an important role in modeling ethical behavior and fostering a culture of integrity within your organization. Hear more about the status of trust in government and how the public sector can model ethical leadership in this engaging panel discussion.


Anti-Corruption Ethics and Compliance Expert


Lesley Ryan

Deputy Corporate Secretary and Senior Director, Compliance, Bank of Canada

Lisa Kimmel

President and CEO
Edelman Canada

Mario Dion

Conflict of Interest and Ethics Commissioner

B2—Act inclusively

Gender-based Analysis Plus is increasingly promoted as Canada’s approach to mainstream inclusion. Can this process be extended to ensure inclusivity in the workplace? Join Women and Gender Equality Canada in exploring GBA+ and how it can improve the workplace by informing the hiring, recruitment, and other organizational processes to create more equitable and inclusive outcomes for Canadians.

Tanya Noel

Senior Policy Analyst, Policy and External Relations Directorate,
Women and Gender Equality Canada / Government of Canada

B3—Work effectively

Everyday, a leader must communicate, direct, motivate, and set goals. Imagine being a leader who performs these duties in a way that empowers your team. Imagine having a team that is fully resourceful, curious, and solution-focused. And, imagine being able to bridge the gap between your team’s current and desirable performance levels.

Come and discover what is meant by using a coaching approach in the workplace and the impact it can have on your experience as a leader. In this session we will explore:

  • What is a coaching approach?
  • What is the potential impact?
  • How to begin?
Nathalie Laurin

Leadership Coach and Facilitator,
The Niagara Institute

2:00 p.m.
Networking break
2:15 p.m.
Concurrent Sessions—Set C (please select one)

C1—Think differently

In our fast-paced work environment, public sector organizations need strong leaders who can gain insight and discover solutions to complex situations. Complex situations are characterized by uncertainty about future directions and high levels of ambiguity due to multiple stakeholder interests. Unfortunately, many organizational efforts fail largely because leaders attempt to simplify complex problems rather than struggle with the ambiguity of the complexity in innovative ways. The Becoming Leaders of Innovation workshop answers the question: How can leaders work with diverse teams to generate insights and discover innovative solutions to complex situations? This insightful, interactive and practical workshop is based upon Dr. David Weiss’ coauthored book Innovative Intelligence (Wiley) and his subsequent research. This session explores the following questions:

  • What are the three core principles to lead innovation effectively?
  • How can leaders of innovation gain insight and discover innovative solutions to complex situations?
  • What are the implications for leaders in the public sector?
Dr. David Weiss

President & CEO
Weiss International Ltd.

C2—Act inclusively

When employees feel empowered through an inclusive culture, it opens the door to innovative ideas, greater collaboration, diversity of thought, and ultimately a happier workplace.

As a leader, fostering an inclusive culture allows you to hire, retain, and promote the best talent. You will be able to make informed decisions that consider diverse perspectives.

Learn what policies and practices affect inclusion. Hear from a panel of inclusion and diversity experts as we explore strategies, tools, and tactics to better engage a diverse workforce.


Senior Research Associate
The Conference Board of Canada


Gina Wilson

Associate Deputy Minister at Public Safety Canada - Sécurité publique Canada

Peter Flegel

Director, Anti-Racism Secretariat

C3—Work effectively

Develop digital skills today to be prepared for the digital shifts of tomorrow.

This past decade has seen drastic shifts and advancements in technology. From the introduction of Bitcoin to artificial intelligence and machine learning, technology has changed the job market and will continue to do so as we enter the fourth industrial revolution.

Learn how the digital world will affect the public sector and what is needed to modernize operations in these changing times. Gain insights into the culture change required to “do digital” successfully in the public sector.

Neil Bouwer

Vice-President, Canada School of Public Service

3:15 p.m.
Networking break
3:30 p.m.
Keynote session

A vision to lead through change is nothing without having the understanding and support of your employees. During times of greater disruption, it is your role as a leader to help employees feel comforted, optimistic, and excited to join and support your organization’s journey of change. Hear tactics you can use to help employees adjust to the shifting environment, be inspired to embrace change, and view change as an opportunity to grow, learn, and instill purpose in their work.

Hugh Drouin

Commissioner of Social Services
Regional Municipality of Durham

4:15 p.m.
Keynote session

Applying change management principles to business operations is an outdated process. In 2020, change is the new normal, and a leader’s ability to navigate disruption is business as usual. In this closing keynote session, Alex Benay will draw from his experiences to demonstrate how you can embrace rapid change, learn from failure, and leverage the strengths of a diverse community to move forward and be a catalyst for change.

Hugh Drouin

Partner – Digital and Government Solutions, KPMG LLP

4:45 p.m.
Wrap-up and adjournment
5:00 p.m.

Sponsored by the Public Sector Leadership Council

Members of the Public Sector Leadership Council (PSLC) are pleased to invite you to a post-event reception and networking event at the conference venue.

PSLC offers its members extensive opportunities for networking through three meetings per year. These events allow public sector executives to share best practices, exchange information, and learn from leading experts on leadership.

8:00 a.m.
Continental breakfast
8:30 a.m.
Welcome and recap of Day 1
8:45 a.m.
Table exercise

Take this opportunity to engage with fellow leaders through a facilitated networking exercise. Share your observations and key take-aways from the event and start thinking about how you can apply these lessons in your workplace.

Nathalie Laurin

Leadership Coach and Facilitator,
The Niagara Institute

9:15 a.m.
Panel discussion

What does it take to be a change agent in the public sector?

Hear from public sector leaders who exemplify what it means to embrace—and lead through—change.

Learn how they championed a strong vision and built a culture of innovation. Create the conditions that drive innovation to carry out the mandate of your organization.


Harry Sharma

Director, Innovation and Technology


Brenda Lammi

Vice-President, Professional and Leadership Development
Canadian College of Health Leaders

Evan Siddall

President and CEO Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation

Eric Fournier

Director General Innovation, Innovation for Defence Excellence

Anil Arora

Chief Statistician of Canada

10:15 a.m.
Networking break
10:30 a.m.
Concurrent Sessions—Set D (please select one)

D1—Think differently

The public sector’s job is to meet the needs of the communities it serves. What better way to know if you’re meeting those needs than directly engaging with those communities?

Explore real-life stories on how government has partnered and engaged with communities to drive greater impact for Canadians.


Jenny Tremblay

Director General
Infrastructure Canada


Matthew Chandy

Manager, Office of Regional Economic Development
Region of Waterloo

Acting Director of Policy and Partnerships Division, Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)

D2—Act inclusively

In this session, we delve into the pain points, challenges, and opportunities that organizations commonly face when it comes to workplace mental health. How to create an atmosphere where employees feel safe, how to support employees who are healthy, and how to support employees when they need help. As a leader, you play a critical role in recognizing, addressing, and preventing workplace violations that can have an impact on nurturing a psychologically safe environment for employees. This session will build your confidence and abilities to address workplace mental health by:

  • strengthening your ability to have conversations with employees about mental health
  • understanding what to do when an employee needs help
  • building coaching and leadership tools to positively support a mentally healthy workplace
  • developing coping skills that can facilitate employee resiliency
Dr. Bill

Chief of Research, Workforce Productivity
The Conference Board of Canada

D3—Work effectively

The nature of work is shifting. We are exploring different ways to collaborate, add expertise to our projects, or contract out specific jobs on a temporary basis.

Explore emerging trends in the public sector related to the gig economy:

  • Advantages and disadvantages;
  • Implications for the public sector and its labour practices;
  • The gig economy’s impact on unions.

Learn what policies and practices affect inclusion. Hear from a panel of inclusion and diversity experts as we explore strategies, tools, and tactics to better engage a diverse workforce.


Lori Turnbul

Director, School of Public Administration, Dalhousie University


Steve Hindle

Steve Hindle

Vice-President Part Time, Professional Institute of the Public Service of Canada (PIPSC)

Joe Boughner

Director of Public Affairs and Professional Development at ACFO-ACAF

11:30 a.m.
Networking break
11:45 a.m.
Closing keynote session

Change is inescapable in this digital, connected, and dynamic era. These disruptions are revolutionizing how the public sector operates and calling for a behavioural shift among its leaders. Are you equipped to strategically navigate these trends? Do you consider yourself a change agent?

In this closing keynote, Colette Kaminsky will share her experiences as a change agent and discuss ways to mobilize innovation in your own organization. Learn how you can promote a culture that embraces continuous improvement, agile execution, and empowered leadership to better respond to change.

Colette Kaminsky

Director General, Strategic Innovation Fund, ISED Innovation Canada

12:15 p.m.
Wrap-up and adjournment
1:00 p.m.
Post-Event Workshop (Optional)
(available to event attendees only)

ACHIEVE CEO and Author, Randy Grieser, will share his own journey of leadership and inspire you to think differently and grow as a leader. This training is based on his book, The Ordinary Leader: 10 Key Insights for Building and Leading a Thriving Organization, and explores how to make these insights a reality in your own organization. Particular attention is given to employee engagement and organizational health—two areas that an international ACHIEVE survey showed were of the greatest importance to leaders and employees. Participants will learn new and different ways of working through challenges and capitalizing on opportunities, and be encouraged to think critically about their own approach to leadership.

E-mail us to apply for the post-event workshop →

Author, The Culture Question and The Oridinary Leader

HRPA CPD logo This learning event is pre-approved by HRPA for up to 7.5 CPD hours.

Please check in regularly for any updates to the proposed agenda.

Exclusive access

Public Sector Leadership has a post-conference workshop. E-mail us to see if you qualify.

Previous event highlights

The Public Sector event have been ongoing since 2007. Here are some highlights from the 2018 Public Sector events.

  • 307 past attendees
  • Overall satisfaction rating of 4.2/5.0

Attendees by job function:

PSL - Jobs by function Public admin. Services Communication Manufacturing Financial services

Attendees by job title:

PSL - Jobs by title Technical Director Manager Admin Vice-President CEO Unknonwn

Kasia Majewski

Kasia Majewski

Head of Marketing and External Relations
Canadian Museum of Nature

Steve Fedorchuk

Steve Fedorchuk

Executive Director
People & Culture

Valerie Normand

Valerie Normand

Director of Product Development
Canada Post

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