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Thurs Sept 26

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Thurs Sept 26


MaRS Centre

101 College St

For future-focused organizations to succeed, a bold approach to leadership is needed where diversity, agility, transparency, and experience are not only embraced but encouraged. At Elevate Talent, you’ll connect with the people and companies transforming the world of work, building tomorrow’s leaders, and igniting the workforce of the future. 

You’ll learn that to compete in the new networked world, leaders need to start building tomorrow’s best practices today. The way companies win is through hiring, training, and retaining top talent. At Elevate Talent, industry leaders discuss employee experience, strategies for retention, continual training, creating the optimal workplace, and more.

Talent Speakers

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Mon, Sept 23

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Tues, Sept 24

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Wed, Sept 25

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Thurs, Sept 26


10:00am - 10:10am

Welcome & Opening Remarks at Elevate Talent – The Future of Work

Welcome & Opening Remarks


10:10am - 10:25am

Building the North – Digital Skills and Infrastructure Investment for the Digital Age with Sabrina Geremia of Google Canada

The internet is an incredible platform for growth. But to leverage the vast opportunity of the open web requires a new approach to investing in our future workforce. Join Sabrina Geremia, VP Google Canada, as she unfolds a blueprint for prosperity in the digital age.


10:25am - 10:55am

Digital Skills and the Future of Work with Janet Bannister of Real Ventures; Caitlin MacGregor of Plum; Yung Wu of MaRS Discovery District and Sabrina Geremia of Google Canada

A conversation with industry-leaders on the tools and mindset that will shape the future of work.


10:55am - 11:10am

Can AI Take a Bite Out of Bias in Hiring? with Genevieve Jurvetson of Fetcher

Everyone is biased. Yes, even you. Learn how leveraging automation and mindful AI can help you tackle biases where they are most likely to creep into the hiring process. We will explore the most problematic forms of bias, and shed light on systems, technologies, and the people behind them that will help you unearth the needle-in-a-haystack, diverse candidates that might otherwise get overlooked. Walk away with tactics you can quickly implement to build a more diverse and inclusive organization.


11:10am - 11:25am

Future of Work in an AI World with Armughan Ahmad of KPMG Canada

Digitally up-skilling talent to transform business functions by leveraging exponential technologies as a key differentiator to offer new customer experiences.


11:25am - 11:40am

Unlocking the full potential of technology through diverse teams

Our current tech and innovation solutions need to serve diverse populations worldwide. As a result, building design teams that reflect this diversity is vital to creating platforms and solutions that are truly inclusive. In this keynote, Jodi Kovitz, CEO of #movethedial, explains why creating teams that foster collaboration and belonging between a variety of identities results in better technology.


11:40am - 11:55am

#PlayToWin: Leadership Fortitude for the Digital Transformation with Sil Stroescu of BMO Financial Group

The most important word in ‘Digital Transformation’ is not digital. During this session, Sil will provide a glimpse into the leadership mindset at BMO InvestorLine and the leadership fortitude required to #PlayToWin as an incumbent.


11:55am - 12:15pm

The State of Technology Innovation in Canada with Dave Thompson of Intuit Canada

Developers are playing a central role in connecting consumers and businesses both small and large with the technology and innovation needed to keep up in today’s digitally-driven operating environment. For this session, we will speak with those operating at the cusp of new technologies, to find out some of the benefits and pain points they are experiencing, as well as their view on how technology is helping consumers and businesses across Canada grow and develop.


01:25pm - 01:50pm

The Changing Face of Canada’s Technology Workforce with Michele Romanow of Clearbanc and Melika Hope of Intuit Canada

Earlier this year, it was announced that Toronto is now ranked in the top three North American cities for technology talent. And, the pace of technology expansion in Canada only continues to grow. In the hyper-competitive landscape, what is it that makes people stand out from the crowd? Beyond looking at degrees or diplomas, this discussion will centre on the importance of having a unique mixture of people to bring best-in-class thinking to help solve technology and innovation problems from multiple angles.


01:50pm - 02:10pm

How to Raise Successful People: Simple Lessons for Parents, Teachers and Managers with Esther Wojcicki

Internationally renowned educator Esther Wojcicki will talk about what can we do about the fundamental shift in the way we parent and view kids these days and how it is impacting the school and the corporate world. That shift seems to be contributing to the epidemic of highly stressed children, depressed teenagers, and stressed out adults. She will give a talk about ways to cope with what is now a parenting issue seen internationally.


02:10pm - 02:35pm

The Transformational World of Work with Lisa Sterling of Ceridian

The pace of technology has accelerated exponentially over the past decade, with consumers quickly embracing new ways of doing things – from purchasing goods, to booking travel, to communicating with one another. Despite rapid technological advances in our everyday lives, innovation in the workplace has often lagged behind. To compete and win in the global war for talent, companies need to recognize the changing expectations of the workforce and design modern employee experiences to attract and retain the right talent. Is your organization ready for this transformation? What role will HR play in this new world of work? Lisa Sterling, Ceridian’s Chief People & Culture Officer, will provide real takeaways organizations can use to support a next-gen employee experience.


02:35pm - 02:55pm

The Greenhouse Approach: Cultivating Intrapreneurship in Companies and Organizations with Chitra Anand

If marketplaces are being disrupted, then companies need to re-think how they operate. To succeed, modern businesses need to learn how to grow from within, without getting lost in the weeds. Creative thinking and innovation are the foundation of any organization. It is what drives new product development; creating brands, creating compelling storytelling, creating new lines of business. While we know and understand that innovation is the currency to value creation, many organizations get stuck, they become complacent, and at times they become irrelevant. Greenhouse thinking is a mindset shift; a shift to how we approach our thinking within challenging environments.

In this keynote, Chitra Anand uncovers the power of intrapreneurship, explaining why and how it’s important that today’s corporate cultures shift toward intrapreneurship to maintain their relevance in the modern, highly competitive marketplace.


02:55pm - 03:10pm

Winning Talent Strategies to Attract and Retain Your Company’s Biggest Asset – its People with Shonezi Noor of Sampler

How did Sampler become one of Canada’s Most Innovative Workplaces? Shonezi Noor, Chief of Staff at Sampler will discuss how they discovered & implemented a set of values that have unlocked the potential of a highly-engaged, diverse #Samplerfam.


03:10pm - 03:40pm

The Shift: Taking a Chance on a Startup Career with Nadia Kumentas of InteraXon Inc.; Ryan Skrobar of Ulula; Fiona Gao of eSight and Manda Cuthbertson of MaRS Discovery District

In this session, you will hear from three innovators who walked away from an established career to forge a new path with a high growth company.


03:40pm - 04:25pm

Our Next Hire with Claudette McGowan of BMO, Reem Gedeon of CompuCom Canada, Ahmed Ismail of Hxouse, and Erin Elofson of Pinterest Canada

Not your regular panel discussion! There are positions within a business that need to be filled. What are the attributes, skills and approach to hiring the perfect candidate.


04:30pm - 06:30pm

Interac’s Talent Social

During Elevate’s Talent Day – Interac will be hosting a Talent Social bringing together top Toronto professionals in the tech industry for an evening of networking, food and drink. Come out and join Interac staff and executives, chat with leaders from the Toronto-based Fintech, browse our current job postings and generate great conversation. Oh, and did we mention we will be live recruiting for the Interac Rotational Associate Position while we are there?


06:00pm - 10:00pm

Ping Pong Party @ Stackt (Day 2)

Astound Commerce is joining the Elevate King West festivities at Stackt with a high-energy Ping Pong extravaganza. With DJ Lee Groves laying down the tracks and a digital leaderboard tracking the spins and wins of underdogs and champions alike. The Astound Ping Pong Party is the place to unwind after the Elevate day sessions, or wind up for some evening drinks and fun.

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