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Connections Conference 2018: Thinking Differently, Together

  • Ross Glen Hall, Mount Royal University 4825 Mount Royal Gate Southwest Calgary, AB, T3E 7N5 Canada (map)

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2018 Speakers & Sessions:


Thinking Differently About Leadership  

Building adaptive capacity requires resilient and agile leaders who can anticipate, manage, and succeed in changing circumstances. The Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, Founding Principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College joins David Mitchell, President and CEO of CCVO, to discuss leadership in times of change and how to navigate the uncertainty with confidence and skill. 

 The Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell became the 19th and first female Prime Minister of Canada in 1993. She also held cabinet portfolios as Minister of State for Indian Affairs, Minister of Justice and Attorney General, and Minister of National Defence and Veterans’ Affairs. After leaving politics, Campbell served as Canadian Consul General in Los Angeles, taught at the Harvard Kennedy School, and chaired the Council of Women World Leaders. She has also served as International Women’s Forum President, and was a founding member and later Secretary General of the Club of Madrid, an organization of former heads of government and state who work to promote democratic values. Campbell is the Founding Principal of the Peter Lougheed Leadership College at the University of Alberta.  @AKimCampbell 

David J. Mitchell is the President and CEO of the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations. He has a broad professional background, spanning the private, public, and education sectors. Most recently, David was Vice President, College Advancement & Chief External Relations Officer with Bow Valley College, where he built strong connections in the Calgary community. From 2009 to 2015 he served as President & CEO of Canada’s Public Policy Forum, a non-governmental organization dedicated to improving the quality of government through multi-sectoral dialogue. Before that he served as vice president at three Canadian universities. David also has significant private sector business experience that includes executive positions within Western Canadian resource industries. His expertise is in the areas of convening, fundraising, and public policy.  @dmitchellYOW 


Thinking Differently About Reconciliation  

Canadians from all walks of life continue to embrace reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples of Canada, laying the all-important foundation for work that will continue into the next generation. Kris Archie, Executive Director, The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, and Lori Pritchard, Principal, Sir John A. Macdonald School, will share their reconciliation reflections and stimulate your own thinking on how to make the journey your own. Moderated by Tim Fox, Director of Indigenous Relations, Calgary Foundation 

Kris Archie, is a Secwepemc and Seme7 woman from the Ts’qescen First Nation. In her own words, “My lived experiences as a mixed blood woman, mother, and community member informs my desire for inclusion, accessibility, and justice. Archie was the manager for the Vancouver Foundation’s strategic initiative, Fostering Change, before becoming the Executive Director of The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada. The Circle is a national member-based organization which promotes giving, sharing, and philanthropy in Aboriginal communities across the country. In all her roles, Archie works to transform philanthropy and contribute to positive change by creating spaces of learning, relationship building, and activation.  @WeyktKris  @TheCircleCanada 

Lori Pritchard is an Indigenous (Métis) educator and leader. She holds a Bachelor of Education Degree from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters Degree in Indigenous Education from the University of New England in Australia. Pritchard is currently the principal at Sir John A. Macdonald Jr. High School in the Calgary Board of Education. Her previous roles included system lead for Indigenous Education and principal at Piitoayis Family School. Pritchard has received numerous honours as an educational leader, including being selected as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals in 2013. She has taught in both provincial and on-reserve school systems. Lori is an active member of Calgary’s urban Aboriginal population, serving as a volunteer for various boards, committees, and community events.  


Tim Fox is a proud member of the Blackfoot confederacy from the Blood (Kainai) reserve located two hours south of Calgary. He is the Director of Indigenous Relations with the Calgary Foundation, where he hopes to incorporate work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission both internally and in the broader community. Through increased education and awareness, capacity building for the charities the Foundation supports, and providing strategic direction, Fox endeavors to mobilize reconciliation by facilitating a change process that speaks to the need for Indigenous specific support. He shares in the values of the Calgary Foundation and believes there are ways this work can live and thrive for the next 150 years.   @timothycfox 


Thinking Differently About Alberta and Canada – changing perspectives  

How have the significant changes in Alberta’s economy in recent years impacted Albertans’ perspectives? Shachi Kurl, Executive Director, Angus Reid Institute, and Glen Hodgson, Senior Fellow, Conference Board of Canada, will present compelling evidence about how you can leverage public opinion for greater impact. Moderated by Scott Decksheimer, President and CEO, ViTrēo Group. 

As Executive Director of the Angus Reid Institute, Shachi Kurl can be found offering analysis on CBC’s At Issue panel, as well as in The Globe and Mail, the National Post, and other influential forums. At the Institute—one of North America’s premier nonpartisan, nonprofit research and public opinion polling organizations—she works to further public knowledge, debunk myths, and contribute to debate and discussion in meaningful ways to enhance the understanding of issues that matter to Canada and the world. Kurl brings nearly two decades of public policy expertise to her role. Her expertise has been sought by policymakers who have invited her to testify before parliamentary committees at the House of Commons. Kurl holds a degree in Journalism and Political Science from Carleton University.  @shachikurl 

International economist and author Glen Hodgson has over 35 years of experience in global and Canadian macro-economics, international trade and finance, fiscal and tax policy, and other “big picture” topics. He is the first Senior Fellow at the Conference Board of Canada, after spending 12 years as the Board’s Senior Vice President and Chief Economist. Hodgson’s economics career spans the federal Department of Finance, the International Monetary Fund in Washington D.C., and Export Development Canada. He has published two books, written over 350 reports, briefings and articles, and shares regular commentary in The Globe and Mail. Hodgson is a member of Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission, which undertakes research on using price signals to discourage negative outcomes like greenhouse gas emissions or road congestion, and encourage positive ones.  @HodgsonGlen 

Scott Decksheimer has been a leader in the nonprofit field for more than 20 years. Before co-founding ViTrēo Group, a leading Canadian fundraising consultancy, Scott was the Director of Fund Development at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT). At SAIT, he worked with his team to complete an $80 million campaign, which at the time was the largest fundraising campaign in southern Alberta history and the second largest in Alberta’s history. Scott is an international trainer, an active board member, an award-winning fundraiser, and is skilled at developing leadership within organizations.  @sdecksheimer 


Thinking Differently About Caring – the foundation for social change  

Tap into your intentions and aspirations for your work with social entrepreneurs Al Etmanski and Vickie Cammack, who will discuss the importance of establishing caring relationships to effect profound social change. This session will challenge your thinking about the foundational building blocks of collective impact. Moderated by James Stauch, Director, MRU Institute for Community Prosperity 

Al Etmanski and Vickie Cammack have been engaged as community organizers, teachers, social entrepreneurs, and writers in the world of social innovation for more than three decades. They co-founded the pioneering social enterprise PLAN (Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network) in 1989 and Social Innovation Generation (SIG). They have stewarded several innovations in the area of care, including Canada’s Registered Disability Savings Plan – today there are more than $4 billion in deposits; Representation Agreements, a grassroots alternative to adult guardianship which enshrines in law the legitimacy of caring, trusting relationships to support vulnerable adults; and Tyze Personal Networks, a social purpose technology business to spread the use of care networks and address isolation. Etmanski and Cammack’s specialty is spreading social innovations beyond short term success to achieve lasting impact. They are members of the Order of Canada. Their books include Safe and SecureA Good Life and Etmanski’s most recent, Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation  @aletmanski  @vickiecammack 

James Stauch is the Director of the Institute for Community Prosperity at Mount Royal University, which links students to knowledge, people, and tools to help them make transformational change in their communities. Stauch has also served as a foundation executive and consultant with nearly two decades of experience working in the field of philanthropy, including as senior executive for the Walter & Duncan Gordon Foundation in Toronto. From 1999 to 2002, he managed the Community Grants Program at The Calgary Foundation. Stauch has also chaired or co-founded several membership-based philanthropic foundation networks and collaboratives, including the Arctic Funders Collaborative, International Funders for Indigenous Peoples, Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, and the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network. Through his consultancy and foundation work, he has worked with and learned from many local communities north of 60, as well as regional and national Indigenous organizations.  @cpmru 


Thinking Differently About Collaboration  

“Collaboration is increasingly difficult and increasingly necessary,” says Adam Kahane, Director of Reos Partners and author of Collaborating with the Enemy. In this conversation with David Mitchell, CCVO, Adam will explore the idea and practice of ‘stretch collaboration.’ You’ll gain insights on how flexibility and improvisation can help you successfully engage diverse others, whom you might not like or trust, to confront the complex challenges of our day and achieve positive results. 

Adam Kahane is a Director of Reos Partners, an international social enterprise that helps people move forward together on their most important and intractable issues. He is the author of Solving Tough Problems: An Open Way of Talking, Listening, and Creating New RealitiesPower and Love: A Theory and Practice of Social ChangeTransformative Scenario Planning: Working Together to Change the Future; and Collaborating with the Enemy: How to Work with People You Don’t Agree with or Like or Trust

During the early 1990s, Adam was head of Social, Political, Economic and Technological Scenarios for Royal Dutch Shell in London. He has held strategy and research positions with Pacific Gas and Electric Company (San Francisco), the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (Paris), the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (Vienna), the Institute for Energy Economics (Tokyo), and the Universities of Oxford, Toronto, British Columbia, California, and the Western Cape.  @adamkahane 


7:30 am          Registration & Networking Breakfast

8:30 am          Welcome  (Dana Silver, Director, Community Engagement, CCVO)

8:35 am          Blessing & Acknowledgement of Land  (Dr. Reg Crowshoe)

8:50 am          Opening Remarks  (Dana Silver)

9:00 am          Thinking Differently About Leadership  (Rt. Hon. Kim Campbell, Founding Principal, Peter Lougheed Leadership College; in conversation with David Mitchell, President & CEO, CCVO)

10:00 am         Refreshment Break

10:15 am         Thinking Differently about Reconciliation  (Kris Archie, Executive Director, The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada Lori Pritchard, Principal, Sir John A. Macdonald School; moderated by Tim Fox, Director of Indigenous Relations, Calgary Foundation)

11:45 am         Networking Lunch  (Marketplace open for book sales)

1:00 pm          Thinking Differently About Alberta and Canada – changing perspectives  (Shachi Kurl, Executive Director, Angus Reid Institute & Glen Hodgson, Senior Fellow, Conference Board of Canada; moderated by Scott Decksheimer, President and CEO, Vitreo Group)

2:00 pm           Thinking Differently About Caring – the foundation for social change  (Vickie Cammack & Al Etmanski, Social Entrepreneurs; moderated by James Stauch, Director, Institute for Community Prosperity, Mount Royal University)

3:00 pm          Refreshment Break

3:15 pm          Thinking Differently About Collaboration  (Adam Kahane, Director, Reos Partners in conversation with David Mitchell)

4:30 pm          Closing Remarks  (Dana Silver)

4:45 pm          Informal Networking Reception  (Marketplace reopens)

Earlier Event: March 20
Innovation Awards 2017
Later Event: April 26
An Evening with the Mayor