Seizing Canada’s Advantage

The annual Symposium and Gala is Ontario Global 100’s flagship event that all members attend. This year’s Symposium will explore how being Canadian can give businesses a competitive edge both home and abroad. The event features a line-up of dynamic speakers sharing insights into some of the most pressing issues for global business in 2020. Here are some highlights:


The Red Chamber on Rideau Street

Senator Rob Black

On Friday, we will begin with an exclusive tour of the Senate Chamber, hosted by the Honourable Rob Black, Senator – Ontario. The Senate is breathing new life into a century-old landmark that originally served as Ottawa’s central train station. Following the tour we will head to TwentyTwo at the Westin Ottawa for our Tapas Reception and evening program.

The Nation’s Capital

The capital city of Ottawa is the perfect backdrop to explore Seizing Canada’s Advantage. On Friday evening, our participants will be welcomed by two proud and impressive Ottawans: Mayor Jim Watson and CEO John Pigott.

Jim Watson is the Mayor of the City of Ottawa – he was re-elected for his third consecutive term in October 2018. Mayor Watson has dedicated most of his career to public service in Ottawa and sits on several Boards, including the National Capital Commission and Invest Ottawa.

John Pigott is CEO of Club Coffee L.P., one of the largest coffee roasters in North America. Since 1906, Club Coffee has built a reputation for quality and sustainable innovation and the company is the leader in plant-based, compostable, single-serve coffee pods. John’s journey of growth in a short time and his dedication to innovation is inspiring. John is proud to be born and raised in Ottawa, and still resides in the same neighborhood his family has lived in since 1885.


Exponential Organizations

Salim Ismail – Founding Executive Director of Singularity University, futurist and best-selling author. Salim will deliver our 8:45am Saturday morning keynote.

As a result of accelerating change, a new breed of businesses is scaling 10 times faster than established organizational structures. Salim Ismail calls these exponential organizations. Salim will describe the characteristics and attributes of these organizations and explains how to implement these ideas into established companies. He looks at today’s fastest growing technologies and the social impact they will have on our organizational, political, legal, educational, and medical systems. From artificial intelligence to biotech, these disruptive technologies are changing the face of many disparate industries and creating new innovations and opportunities.

Futurist and best-selling author of ​Exponential Organizations​ and ​Exponential Transformation​, Salim Ismail has been building disruptive digital companies as a serial entrepreneur since the early 2000s. Salim is Founding Executive Director of Singularity University and Co-founder and Chairman of OpenExO. Salim has spoken in front of top business leaders of Fortune 500 companies & boards including a keynote at the G20 Summit.

Play to Win

Stefanie Schram, Director of Intervention Design, Rotman School of Management

Stefanie Schram is the Director of Intervention Design at the Martin Prosperity Institute at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. She facilitates and coaches executives using the Playing to Win strategy framework and design thinking tools for Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and public institutions. Stefanie collaborated with Roger Martin and Jennifer Riel on the Playing to Win Toolkit for Harvard Business Publishing.

Stefanie will tackle how leaders in organizations of all sizes can guide everyday actions with larger strategic goals built around the clear, essential elements that determine business success—where to play and how to win. A winning strategy includes: winning aspiration, how to win, core competencies, management systems and, most importantly, where to play.

Seizing Canada’s Advantage – The CEO Stories

What does it mean to leverage the Canadian advantage on a global scale? We will hear from top Canadian CEOs, including Linda Hasenfratz (Linamar Corporation), on the competitive advantage of being a Canadian company.

Linda Hasenfratz, CEO of Linamar Corporation

Linda, CEO of Linamar and a Founding Member of Ontario Global 100, has great insight on growing on a global scale, including how to maintain a balance of control and how to support the entrepreneurial spirit while scaling up. Since her tenure as the CEO started in 2002, Linda has grown the company from an $800 million enterprise to over a $6.5 billion company. Throughout her career, Linda has been honoured through various awards including the Outstanding CEO of the Year in Canada for 2018. In May of 2016, Linda and her father Frank Hasenfratz, was inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame. 

Michael Hainsworth, finance and technology television personality and co-host of Geeks + Beats

Michael Hainsworth, finance and technology television personality (you may remember him as former senior anchor at BNN) and co-host of Geeks + Beats, will moderate these sessions. Michael is an expert on distilling financial, business and technology stories into bite-sized, effective take-aways.

Cybersecurity: Risks at home and abroad

By now we know that as we globalize and integrate AI systems into every level of business, the risk to our operations increase. How do we ensure safe operations both in Canada and abroad? How can systems be disrupted? What is the best way to identify threats, and what does robust protection look like? Our Cybersecurity panelists will break down the risks and discuss best practices in digital transformation. Panelists include:

Dr. Ali Ghorbani, Professor of Computer Science and Director of the Canadian Institute of Cybersecurity, is the founding director of the laboratory for intelligence and adaptive systems research. His current research focus is Cybersecurity, Web Intelligence, and Critical Infrastructure Protection. Since 2010, he has obtained more than $15M to fund 8 large multi-project research initiatives.

Dr. Eric Bisaillon is the Director for the Security Architecture branch of the Canadian Centre for Cyber Security (CCCS). His professional interests include: innovative solutions to help advance the safety and security of digital functions and the evolution of traditional and modern business systems and their influence on growth and security.

Josie Brocca, Director, Cyber Certification, Tech & Talent at Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada oversees a number of digital inclusion programs to better enable Canadians to participate in the digital economy.  She is also responsible for CyberSecure Canada, a certification program that aims to raise the cyber security baseline of businesses in Canada.

The Enterprise of the Future

Pavel Abdur-Rahman – Partner, Head of Data & AI at IBM Canada

Pavel Abdur-Rahman is Partner, Head of Data & AI at IBM Canada. Pavel’s expertise in AI and advanced analytics will help participants navigate the challenging landscape of AI, machine learning and digital transformation. Participants of Symposium 2018 may remember an enlightening talk on “Prediction Machines” by Dr. Ajay Agrawal from UT’s Creative Destruction Lab. In a follow up to this session, Pavel will provide guidance on how to incorporate these technologies and platforms into day-to-day operations.

We are quite excited for these sessions on Friday and Saturday! Not to mention our Saturday night Gala. Stay tuned for more details in our next blog…