Connections Conference Program

The Connections Conference 2019 will include a balance of plenary and breakout sessions, ample networking time, and a resource marketplace. This year’s theme - adaptive - will support nonprofit sector resiliency and responsiveness to change. Expert speakers and thought leaders will challenge our perceptions, provide us with new skills, and build a shared understanding of how in the nonprofit sector can become adaptive in the face of unpredictable times and challenges in securing resources.

We look forward to releasing the complete program in early 2019 - follow @calgarycvo and subscribe to our newsletter to get the latest Conference updates!

Connections Conference 2019 Program Overview


Plenary sessions


Adaptive Capacity

Speaker: Juan Carlos Eichholz

Our changing world requires organizations to develop an ability to adapt to change, and to do so rapidly, intelligently, and effectively. In conversation with David Mitchell, Adaptive Capacity author and expert, Juan Carlos Eichholz will share a set of practical tools and ideas that leaders can begin using immediately to understand and develop the adaptive capacity of their organization.


Adaptive Advocacy

Speakers: Cathy Taylor and Bruce MacDonald

How can nonprofit organizations and the sector as a whole best adapt advocacy efforts in the lead-up to elections, during election campaigns, and following elections? ONN’s Cathy Taylor will share lessons learned from the recent Ontario provincial election, and Bruce MacDonald will share Imagine Canada’s approach to the upcoming federal election.


Adaptive Economies

Speaker: Todd Hirsch, Moderator: Eva Friesen

Economist Todd Hirsch, in discussion with Eva Friesen, will share his insights into the economic impact of the recent recession in our province and the adaptive traits that help us thrive when unwanted change comes our way.


Adaptive Policy

Moderator: Allan Northcott

Despite the central role of public policy in social change, nonprofit professionals often struggle with their role in policy work. Allan Northcott of the Max Bell Foundation will lead a discussion on policy making in Alberta and how it's changing in a dynamic, polarized environment. Additional speakers to be confirmed.


Breakout sessions


Adaptive Learning

Speaker: Elizabeth Dozois

This session, led by Elizabeth Dozois, will reveal new ways to learn, think, care, and act in systemic-adaptive ways. You will develop a new awareness and understanding of how our natural tendencies impact our ability to learn, and the basics of adaptive learning.


Adaptive Leadership

Moderator: Jim Dewald, Panelist: Adam Legge

Building your leadership toolkit in increasingly complex and changing environments requires considering new paths and skills needed by today’s leaders. Leadership expert, Jim Dewald will facilitate a discussion with Adam Legge and others to provide you with insights on developing the culture you want with the people you need to achieve your mission. Additional speakers to be confirmed.


Adaptive Governance

Speaker: Yvonne Chenier

With the legal compliance required of charities, it can be extremely difficult for employees and volunteers to understand and focus on governance issues that are most important for charities. In this session, philanthropy consultant and lawyer Yvonne Chenier, will make sense of the compliance obligations for Canadian charities in plain language.


Complete program to be released early 2019.


See you at Connections Conference 2019!