Silvia Fraser

Director of Workplace Strategies, ModernTO, City of Toronto

Silvia is the Director of Workplace Strategies, ModernTO Workplace Modernization, and an award-winning, thoughtful and energetic leader with the City of Toronto. Silvia is passionate about transforming and modernizing the workplace of Canada’s largest city by reimagining how people work.

Silvia has over 20 years of progressive leadership experience with the cities of Toronto and Mississauga in driving positive change through engagement. Highly skilled in helping high-performance teams develop intelligent workplace strategies, Silvia is adept at leading complex operations, transformative programs, including business strategies, transformation initiatives, and modernization, to help municipalities attain their strategic goals.

Karel Vredenburg

Global VP of Client Insights and Research, & Head, IBM Canada Studios & Innovation , IBM

Karel is IBM Global Vice President of Client Insights and Research, responsible for leading the company's worldwide team of researchers and the insights they provide to product, services, and executive teams. He was most recently responsible for IBM’s global design leadership, the company’s internal profession and culture of design, and the design organization’s external engagement and academic programs.

Karel introduced and implemented IBM's design system including Enterprise Design Thinking into each of the business units of the company globally and founded the Design Executive Team of senior design executives. He serves as the head of IBM Studios Canada, is Industry Professor at McMaster University, and co-founded the Future of Design Education initiative with Don Norman. Karel blogs on design, technology, and optimizing the human experience.

Brien Convery

VP,Talent Acquisition, Quadreal & Executive in Residence, University of Toronto

Brien is responsible for leading QuadReal’s talent acquisition strategy, focused on building and attracting diverse and high-quality talent across all levels of the organization globally. He also holds the part-time position of Executive in Residence, Department of Management at the University of Toronto Scarborough where he is an industry advisor to faculty and to the students in the areas of professional development and leadership.

As a talent executive, published thought leader, TEDx speaker, and podcaster, Brien has been featured in many publications, books, and magazines and has received numerous honours and awards for his work and passion supporting youth and their careers. Brien is a graduate of The University of Hartford, Connecticut holding a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Management and Operations.

Zabeen Hirji

Executive Advisor Future of Work, Deloitte & Executive-in-Residence and Board Advisor

Zabeen is also a former Chief Human Resources Officer, RBC. She is a strategic advisor to the private and public sector. A thought leader in the Future of Work, talent, leadership, reskilling and upskilling, and diversity, equity, and inclusion, Zabeen is a frequent speaker, writer, and media commentator, bringing a practical perspective from her senior leadership experience. Currently in her Purposeful Third Act, she creates impact through activating her purpose “to unlock the potential of people and build inclusive prosperity.”

Her other roles include Senior Advisor at Knockri, Board Director at Sleep Country Canada, Executive-in-Residence at Beedie School of Business Simon Fraser University (SFU), Special Advisor to the Clerk of the Privy Council, Board Member at Public Policy Forum, and Visiting Professor, King’s College London.

She has been widely recognized for her impact, including Canadian HR Awards, Ivey Business School Lifetime Achievement in Leadership, Governor General's Meritorious Service medal for Diversity and Inclusion, SFU Outstanding Alumni Award, and Catalyst Canada Honour for championing women and minorities in business. Zabeen holds an MBA from SFU.

Dr. Dave Mayer

Chief Scientist, and HR & AI Adoption Expert. Knockri

Dave is a visionary and technology evangelist, spearheading groundbreaking research as the Chief Scientist at Knockri.  In his current role,  he works as a trusted domain expert focused on the adoption of automation in Human Resources - building trust in AI through transparency, accountability, and risk mitigation. With a deep understanding of workplace psychology and machine learning, he works with Fortune 100 clients to design and implement novel approaches to the automation of employee interviews, helping to solve issues related to efficiency, job performance, and discrimination in employee decision-making. 

He has worked on numerous research projects in the areas of job analysis, assessment development, and machine learning, culminating in numerous publications and presentations at leading industry conferences worldwide. His work is shaping the future of employee-decision making, enabling companies to leverage the power of technology while ensuring fairness and equality in their processes.  

Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta

Change Management Strategist & Founder, The Change Leadership

Yvonne is a Change Management Strategist, Advisor, and Change Leadership Advocate, with over 20 years of experience helping executives, professionals, and organizations to navigate through change in today’s fast-paced and disruptive environment. She is the founder of The Change Leadership, a series of events and community focused on preparing professionals and organization to respond better and faster to change in their industry.

She is passionate about helping professional and organizations lead and respond to change better & faster. She has worked with organizations such as RBC, TD, Deloitte, Loblaws, and JP Morgan Chase to lead and manage their Strategic, Technology and Change Initiatives.

She holds a BSc honours in Business Information Technology from London Guildhall University, an MBA from Warwick Business School, and a Change Leadership Certificate from Cornell University. She works closely with professionals to help them more effectively lead and manage change in their organizations, to become sought after change leaders in their organizations and industry. She is a published author and change catalyst.