Want more creative, productive and engaged employees? A "passion day" each week may just be what they need. Mark Dabrowski is not your typical computer nerd. Recognizing the positive impact of following your passions, Mark is constantly striving to improve himself and others’ happiness, productivity, and work satisfaction. Upon completing his education in computer engineering technology from the Rochester Institute of Technology, Mark was recruited by Terry Matthews and Wesley Clover to come to Kanata where he co-founded Teldio - a two way radio applications company. Mark is currently the Director of Research and Development. In 2015, Mark’s love of technology and the environment merged when he participated in the inaugural AquaHacking Challenge. Tying for first place with his teammates, the event thus marked the birth of Water Rangers. Water Rangers is a not for profit organization which aims to connect citizens to their local rivers, lakes and streams. Mark currently acts as the Director of Technology.
What happens when an academic research lab allows pure curiosity to guide its investigations? What happens when that lab opens its doors and invites the community to come in and play? Andrew Pelling launches a bold idea to create a street-level research lab that amplifies ideas through a potent mixture of craft, serendipity and curiosity. What would happen if we provided our communities with accessibility and resources to explore audacious ideas? Can we accomplish even greater things if we all work together? Canadian experimental scientist Andrew Pelling uses low-cost, open source materials to discover new biology and create novel living technologies of the future. He runs an interdisciplinary, curiosity-driven lab at the University of Ottawa where he researches non-genetic ways to create artificial tissues and organs. He has, for instance, grown human cells in apples and living skins on LEGOs – innovations with the potential to replace prohibitively expensive commercial biomaterials. While unconventional, much of his other experimental work has led to new insights in cancer pathology, muscle degeneration and stem cell development. Andrew has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions, including a TED Fellowship (2016), Raine Medical Research Foundation Professorship (2014), Ontario Early Researcher Award (2010), Discovery Accelerator Award (2009) and a Canada Research Chair (2008-2018).
Why is it important to write our own story? It speaks to our individuality, our independence, our integrity. It speaks to our humanity. Use the pen of your conscience to write your own story. As a toddler, Sheema Khan emigrated from India to Montreal, where she immersed herself in Quebecois culture and quickly became fluent in French. Currently a patent agent in Ottawa, she is also a published author, soccer player and hockey mom. The path to patent agent has been an interesting one: She holds a Masters in Physics and a PhD in Chemical Physics, both from Harvard University. After completing post-doctoral research at MIT and McGill, Sheema worked as an R&D scientist in pharmaceutical sciences and is an inventor with numerous patents in drug delivery technology. In addition, since 2002, she has been a monthly columnist for Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail. A collection of her columns have been published in the book Of Hockey and Hijab: Reflections of a Canadian Muslim Woman. In 2012, she was a recipient of a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for service to Canada.
No Wi-Fi? No water? What’s your problem? We are more connected, informed and aware than we have ever been. Yet, with all this access we continue to lose sight of the bigger picture –real world problems, like access to safe water. We have become distracted, over-scheduled and seduced by technology. In this energetic and thought-provoking talk, author Craig Gauthier questions our perspective on the things that really matter. He provides insight into why we need to change our relationship with technology – in hope of finding humanity in our digital world. Craig Gauthier is an entrepreneur with two decades of leadership, communication, business, technology and marketing experience. As founder of Strategy Line, he currently works around the world with organizations helping them tell their story through video, build their brand and become market leaders in their industry. Craig is also a highly sought after professional speaker, having delivered over 500 keynotes and workshops at organizational meetings, industry conferences and global events. He has spoken for or consulted with some of the biggest brands – including National Hockey League (NHL), New Balance, Coke, Lexus-Toyota, Honeywell, Cisco, Texas State University, Microsoft, Google, Disney-ABC Television Group, McDonalds, Nautica and Tommy Hilfiger.
When his professional hockey career ended suddenly at age 29, Doug learned how the mind could very well be one of the strongest barriers we consistently face. What can be said for our physical versus our mental boundaries? He says there is a surprising beauty, opportunity and positive outcomes that can result from trauma—or other initially perceived negative experience. Doug Smith is a retired NHL player whose career spanned over a decade. A first round NHL draft choice in 1981, he played for the Los Angeles Kings, Buffalo Sabres, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks and Pittsburgh Penguins. His professional sports career was suddenly and tragically ended in a head first collision resulting in a broken neck and spinal cord injury. His two daughters were then just under two years old. His story of recovery and healing is unforgettable and inspiring. He is the author of three books and several papers on the subject of transition and performance including Thriving in Transition & Phenomenal Outcomes. In his latest book, the The Trauma Code, Unlocking your Performance, Doug delves into his personal story of success and trauma and explores the powerful but intricate relationship between the mind and the body.
Your brand—and your name—can sometimes be interchangeable in the world of business. But what happens when your name—or your brand—becomes internationally recognized? And what happens when it becomes front and centre in a battle of intellectual property? Justina Antonia (formerly Justina McCaffrey) is one of the most respected fashion designers in the wedding and evening dress industry. She shows her collection at highly regarded International Bridal Market in New York twice each year and has designed privately and on contract for many fashion houses, retailers and individuals. She has also developed other collections such as an in-house moderately priced wedding series, a bridesmaid selection, an evening wear compilation, and a grouping of luxury lingerie exclusively for Marshall Fields. Her dresses have graced the covers and been featured in the world’s top magazines and newspapers. Her creations and have been worn by countless celebrities and socialites internationally.
When we first starting watching Mad Men, we were shocked and amused to see people smoking in workplaces. But in 20 years, we’ll look back on today and ask: Why did a multi-billion-dollar industry market junk food to 3-year-olds? How did a culture of obesity become the norm? Obesity is the defining health issue of this generation, like smoking was of the last. How can we change that? Alex Munter is President and CEO of the Children's Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa, a world-class centre that provides outstanding family-centred patient care, pioneering research, and training for the health care professionals of the future. Since joining CHEO in 2011, he has helped CHEO earn recognition as one of Canada’s most admired corporate cultures and a leader in research, health technology and patient-centred care. A leader even in his youth, Alex founded a newspaper at age 14 and served four terms as a municipal councillor after being elected to city government at 23. He has been in the forefront of major change on public policy issues like smoke-free public places, equal marriage rights and mental health.
An unconventional death educator with an equal parts wry and wise delivery style, Dr. Kathy Kortes-Miller is committed to showing her audience that talking about death and dying won’t kill you. Using stories and research, Kathy extends an invitation to view death as not a taboo subject - but rather a shared life experience. Audience members walk away with shifted perspectives and a deep understanding that talking about death, without knowing or needing all the “answers”, actually brings us closer to our loved ones than we ever imagined possible. Dr. Kathy Kortes-Miller, MSW, PhD thinks about dying and death a lot. She knows thinking about it – and teaching and researching about it – helps her to embrace life full on. An unconventional death educator with a passion for palliative care and improving end of life care for all, Kathy has inspired and challenged a generation of healthcare providers to be prepared to care for individuals who are dying, as well as their families, regardless of the setting. She has been teaching and researching at Lakehead University for over a decade leveraging her experiences as a cancer survivor, and as a palliative care provider, to challenge us to have the important conversations about dying, death and life. Kathy strives to make an impact with her teaching and research to discover, share and communicate the information that we are all "dying to know."