February 5 and 6, 2018
National Arts Centre, O’Born Room

Universities innovating to prepare students for a disrupted world

How can universities, civil society and private-sector partners work together to advance a shared agenda, unleash greater innovation and experimentation, and help Canada meet its future skills, innovation and workforce needs?

This national forum brought together university, public service, business and civil society leaders – as well as students and young entrepreneurs –  to explore the challenges  and opportunities around preparing Canada’s young people for the future.

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Archived webcasts on our Facebook page

February 6, 2018

February 5, 2018


Monday, February 5, 2018

11:30 am – 12:00 pm: Registration

Outside the O’Born Room (2nd floor)

12:00 – 2:00 pm: Luncheon and keynote address

O’Born Room

Universities of the future
How can universities innovate to prepare students for a disrupted future? Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan will explore the economic and social challenges created by global competition, changing demographics and technological disruption.

Keynote speaker:
Dr. Sethuraman “Panch” Panchanathan, executive vice president, knowledge enterprise development, and chief research and innovation officer, Arizona State University

Keynote introduction by Elizabeth Cannon, president, University of Calgary

Q&A moderated by Wendy Therrien, director, research and policy, Universities Canada

2:15 – 3:30 pm: Session 1 – Innovations in teaching and learning

O’Born Room

How can innovative approaches, risks and experimentation in teaching be part of the university of the future? This armchair discussion will explore what innovations in teaching and learning are needed to equip graduates for success in a changing, disrupted global knowledge economy.

  • Mark Beckles, senior director, Youth Strategy & Innovation, RBC
  • Paulina Cameron, Director, BC & Yukon, Futurpreneur Canada
  • Sheldon Levy, CEO, Next Canada
  • Kevin Kee, dean of the faculty of arts, University of Ottawa

Q&A moderated by Jennifer Ditchburn, editor in chief, Policy Options

3:45 – 5:00 pmSession 2: Innovations to improve student access and success

O’Born Room

This session will explore innovative solutions making university education more accessible to all –  particularly traditionally underrepresented groups – building pathways to success and opportunities to scaling initiatives.

  • Jennifer Flanagan, CEO of Actua
  • Ralph Nilson, president, Vancouver Island University
  • Maayan Ziv, founder and CEO, AccessNow

Q&A moderated by Deborah MacLatchy, president, Wilfrid Laurier University

Wrap-up by Philip Landon, vice-president, governance and programs, Universities Canada

6:30 – 9:00 pm: Evening reception, dinner and keynote

TwentyTwo at the Westin Ottawa, 11 Colonel By Drive

So you want to be future-proof?
Nearly 42 percent of the Canadian labour force is at a high risk of being affected by automation in the next decade or two. How can we prepare ourselves and the next generation? What are tomorrow’s must-have job skills?

Keynote speaker:
Sean Mullin, executive director, Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship

Tuesday, February 6

8:00 – 8:45 am: Networking breakfast

O’Born Room

8:45 – 8:55 am: Welcome remarks by Kevin Lynch, vice-chair, BMO Financial Group and board member, Rideau Hall Foundation

8:55 – 10:15 am: Session 3 – Innovations in experiential learning

O’Born Room

How can universities, industry and civil society partners innovate to ensure today’s youth are “getting their hands dirty” and integrating more seamlessly into the job market? This TED-talk style session will explore innovations taking place in experiential learning across disciplines.

Introduction by Alan Shepard, president, Concordia University

  • Margaret Biggs, Matthews Fellow on Global Public Policy, Queen’s University
  • Anna Moro, Associate dean of humanities, McMaster University
  • Andrea Ross, senior lead of computing education, Shopify
  • Paul Salvini, CEO of Accelerator Centre and associate vice-president, research commercialization, University of Waterloo

Q&A to follow using Slido

Wrap-up by Valerie Walker, vice-president, talent and skills, Business Council of Canada

10:35 – 12:00 pm: Session 4 – Innovations in entrepreneurial education

O’Born Room

This “world-café” session will explore how universities are transforming education to equip a new generation of entrepreneurs with skills for the 21st century. Participants will have the opportunity to hear and share ideas on innovative entrepreneurial education and discuss opportunities for scaling.

Introduction by John Baker, president and CEO, D2L

  • Dr. Julia Christensen Hughes, dean of the College of business and economics, University of Guelph
  • Dr. David Coleman, professor of technology management and entrepreneurship, University of New Brunswick
  • Dr. Mary Kilfoil, acting director, academic lead for the Starting Lean Initiative, Dalhousie University
  • Dr. Sarah Lubik, director of entrepreneurship, Simon Fraser University
  • Dr. Brent Mainprize, program director of the Aboriginal Canadian Entrepreneur (ACE), at the University of Victoria

12:00 pm – 1:30 pm: Luncheon discussion: Innovating the student experience

Lantern Room

Informal, small-table dialogues on innovating the student experience.

Introductory remarks by Vianne Timmons, president, University of Regina

1:30 – 3:00 pm: Session 5 – Unleashing innovations: a shared agenda

O’Born Room

This interactive session will focus on cross-sector collaboration to equip Canadians with skills for the future. Participants will have an opportunity to build on earlier discussions and work together to develop ideas for scaling promising innovations.

Facilitated by Jesse Darling, program manager of the Policy Innovation Platform at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship

3:00 – 3:30 pm: Session 6 – The next chapter

O’Born Room

Students will provide their perspectives on how universities, employers and civil society can help prepare our  leaders and innovators.

Introduction by Patrick Deane, president, McMaster University

Wrap-up by Pari Johnston, vice-president, policy and public affairs, Universities Canada

Presented in partnership with

Universities Canada