Change Leadership 2021 Speakers - The Change Leadership

Dr. Wendy Cukier

Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management, Founder, Diversity Institute at Ryerson University


Dr. Wendy Cukier is the Diversity Institute Founder, Academic Director of the Women Entrepreneurship Knowledge Hub and Research Lead of the Future Skills Centre. She is the co-author of the bestseller, Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Java to Jurassic and former VP of Research and Innovation.

The Diversity Institute has 100 research staff, 100 research associates from around the world, 200 industry partners and focuses on dimensions of diversity and inclusion in the workplace, future skills, and entrepreneurship and innovation. Harnessing the power of innovation, it promotes the advancement of underrepresented groups. The Diversity Institute is also a research lead for the $300 million Future Skills Centre and the $8.6 million Women Entrepreneurship Hub.

Wendy has been recognized with the Harry Jerome Diversity Award, the Bob Marley Award, the Canada-Pakistan Business Council’s Female Professional of the Year, the Metropolis Research Award, the CATA Alliance, Sara Kirke Award for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and 100 Most Powerful Women by WXN. She has been named a YWCA Woman of Distinction and one of the International Women’s Forum 2020 Women Who Make a Difference, a Woman of Influence and one of the "100 Alumni who shaped the Century" by the University of Toronto.

Wendy holds a PhD, an MBA, an MA, and honorary doctorates from Laval and Concordia.

Darren Menabney

Lead, Global Employee Engagement, Ricoh Company Ltd


Darren Menabney leads global human resource projects for Ricoh Company Limited and teaches international MBA students as a Professor at the Graduate School of Management, GLOBIS University. Darren is a global business communication consultant who helps individuals and organizations collaborate, communicate, and create remotely and across cultures.

He is the creator of the Presentation Design Thinking methodology, which melds design thinking and storytelling to create compelling, human-centered narratives.

He is a contributing writer for Forbes and Fast Company, a TEDx speaker, and is part of the IDEO U teaching team.


Mohammed Chahdi

Head of Americas HR Operations Services, Dell Technologies


Mohammed is a Global HR Director with Dell Technologies driving business value through Human Capital Management Strategies, he currently leads a global team focused on delivering best-in-class HR services and offerings utilizing innovation and emerging technologies in alignment to Dell’s vision and business strategies.

With his 20+ years Technology experience and passion for people and leadership, Mohammed is continuously exploring how Technology has shifted the nature of work and the critical role the HR function plays with people and culture strategies to enable business success in a digital economy.

Carl Oxholm

Founder and CEO, Virtue Compass Inc.


​Carl is Founder and CEO of Virtue Compass Inc. (“VCI”), helping individuals and organizations alike, close the gap between who they are capable of being and who they are currently. Prior to this, Carl’s almost 30 years of experience with PwC Canada spanned a variety of executive leadership roles, including Senior Equity Partner, leading service teams with an exceptional track record spanning multiple industries. A Lead Partner on some of PwC’s largest national (and global) priority clients, he enjoyed testing the power of positive influence. As PwC Canada’s National Leader of Culture & Leadership he developed PwC’s service offering around enhanced Emotional Intelligence (“EI”) - increasing one’s capacity to cope and thrive amidst growing demands and expectations.

He is a certified Optimize coach and was PwC Canada’s National Partner Coaching Leader, where he led a faculty of professional external coaches, sat on several of PwC’s global steering committees, and was a founding member of both the PwC Canada Charitable Foundation and its Women in Leadership programs.

Carl continues to respond to numerous ongoing requests to be a keynote speaker – sharing practical insights derived from his many years of experience, and the unique roles that he has enjoyed within the professional services industry. Carl has travelled the world providing talks and facilitating workshops that involve culture change, EI and leadership development. Having helped numerous global companies, not-for-profit organizations and Professional Associations alike, he often says that it is his privilege and pleasure to serve where needed.


Ayleen Farnood

Disruptor, The Knowledge Society


Ayleen is a 16-year-old artificial intelligence (AI), brain-computer interface (BCI), and virtual reality (VR) developer. She has built a BCI that allows its users to spell out words by blinking and has built multiple VR and AI applications. She’s worked as an intern at Microsoft where she built a chatbot and data-visualization software for their finance/education sectors that was eventually deployed to thousands of the company’s employees on an international scale. She’s spoken at conferences such as ConnectIT AI, been featured in media outlets such as the Globe and Mail and CTV, and is an advocate for women and girls in technology. She is currently an intern at one of the world’s leading research labs in cybersecurity at the University of Toronto, where she is applying machine learning to improve autonomous vehicle control.

Mishaal Lakhani

Activator, The Knowledge Society


Mishaal Lakhani is an 18-year-old problem-solving enthusiast, passionate about tackling big problems, such as maternal mortality, youth homelessness, and food waste. She began her journey replicating neural networks and virtual reality programs and is now deep diving into the science of learning.

She has worked with companies such as The Knowledge Society: TKS Foundations Associate Director, Ending Maternal Mortality as a Learning Strategy Developer to aid curriculum administration to reduce rates of death while giving birth in Nigeria, Downtown streets team: Solving the Youth Homelessness Crisis in San Francisco, Zappos: Innovation Intern working on food waste, Cellular Agriculture Society: Design intern, Consulting Projects with The Knowledge Society: Working with Sidewalk Labs for affordable housing, Kidogo for early childhood education in East Africa, Wealthsimple for financing higher education and CIBC Digital: Digital strategist

Currently, she is studying at the innovative Minerva University, her first year curriculum is based on learning transferrable skills to prepare us for the world of the future, teaching core competencies of thinking critically and creatively, and interacting and communicating effectively. This is done through an evolved teaching model, grounding in active learning, and learning through doing, by applying these skills to real-world problems. They also spend their 4 years in 7 different cities across 4 different continents (San Francisco, USA ; Seoul, South Korea; Taipei, Taiwan; Buenos Aires, Argentina; London, England; Berlin, Germany; Hyderabad, India)

She is passionate about sustainable development goals (specifically women's health) and the future of food.

Seyone Chithrananda

Innovator, The Knowledge Society


Seyone Chithrananda is a 17-year-old machine learning (ML) researcher. Over the past year, he’s been a researcher at the intersection of ML and biochemistry and is on the early-stage drug discovery team at Nurix Therapeutics, a public biotech company in San Francisco. He also works as a researcher at the intersection of chemistry and computer science within the Matter Lab at the University of Toronto, where he is supervised by Prof. Alan Aspuru-Guzik. Alongside his work at Nurix and UofT, he is on the open-source developer team for DeepChem, a project aiming to build scientific drug discovery tools using machine learning, based out of Stanford University. Seyone's work is graciously supported by the Emergent Ventures Fellowship from the Mercatus Centre and Thiel Foundation. This fall, he will be a freshman at UC Berkeley, studying computer science, statistics and chemistry.

Soula Courlas

Managing Director, Talent & Organization/Human Potential, Accenture


Soula is a member of the Accenture leadership team in Canada as a Management Consulting Executive and Managing Director, Talent & Organization/Human Potential, based in Toronto, Canada. Soula has held senior leadership roles within industry and consulting organizations bringing 25+ years of combined experience from across Canada’s Fortune 100 private and public sector companies advising C-suite executives undertaking complex organization transformations driven by technology, new operating models, M&A, capability and culture shift to improve performance through people, culture and organization. Soula is a leader, influencer, and builder of all things related to advancing the human experience in the world of work. She brings a passion for driving alignment between the work ‘environment’ and work ‘force’ to achieve strategy, promote brand, and deliver results.

A frequent speaker at HR and industry conferences, and an avid writer on topics related to organization and HR transformation, future of work, culture shifting, and organizational readiness, Soula is a thought leader inspiring audiences and promoting a mind-set shift in how we interpret the dynamics impacting the world of work.

Nikolas Badminton FRSA

Chief Futurist, Futurist.com


Nikolas is the Chief Futurist and Think Tank leader at Futurist.com, a Fellow of the RSA and the futurist that the world's most impactful companies, A-list Hollywood, and international media turn to for big ideas, new thinking and opinion. .

Nikolas has advised the world's most impactful companies, including NASA, Google, Microsoft, United Nations, United Way, Bank of Canada, Government of Canada, UK Home Office, Government of Cayman Islands, American Express, AT&T, Thales, Rolls Royce, Heineken, Procter & Gamble, IDEO, and many more..

His research and thinking has been featured by CTV, Global News, BBC, VICE, The Atlantic, Fast Company, Techcrunch, Business Insider, Huffington Post, Forbes, Sputnik and Venturebeat. .

Nikolas’ thinking can be seen in the opening chapter for the new book ‘The Future Starts Now’. He’s also writing a new book that equips world leaders and executives with the tools to imagine new futures, see unforeseen risks and strengthen strategic planning.

Lisa Kimmel

Chair and CEO, Edelman Canada


Lisa oversees Edelman’s Canadian and Latin American operations, and sits on Edelman’s Global Operations Committee. In her role, she provides senior counsel to clients, and is responsible for the regions’ growth strategies. In Canada, she has led the region’s strategic evolution to a best-in-class communications firm – the biggest evolution in the firm’s history. Edelman Canada has been awarded a Cannes Lions for its “In the Head of a Hacker” campaign on behalf of HP, and Strategy Magazine’s 2017 PR Agency of the Year. .

Lisa’s fresh, collaborative and authentic approach has not only resulted in award-winning programs for clients but has fostered a corporate culture based on innovation, teamwork and integrity. Edelman Canada has been recognized as one of the Great Place to Work® Best Workplaces in Canada and Best Workplaces for Women for nine consecutive years. .

Passionate about advancing women in business, Lisa is chair of the firm’s Global Women’s Equality Network (GWEN), which is committed to fostering an environment where women of all backgrounds can enjoy equal opportunities.  She is committed to supporting future leaders and championing women’s causes. She is a sought-after speaker and commentator at events and in the media. In recognition of her efforts, Lisa is a recipient of both the Financial Times and HERoes Champions of Women in Business Top 100 Female Executives, and a 2019 YWCA Toronto Women of Distinction award for Corporate Leadership. She has also been inducted into the Women’s Executive Network (WXN) Top 100 Most Powerful Women in Canada Hall of Fame. .

Lisa is actively involved with several mentorship programs through the Women’s Executive Network, American Marketing Association and Women in Communications and Technology Protégé Program. She sits on the Boards of Directors of the Toronto Region Board of Trade and CivicAction. Lisa also sits on the Global Advisory Board for G(irls)20, and is a member of the United Nations Women’s Empower Advisory Group and the Canadian Chamber of Commerce Council for Women’s Advocacy. 

Phil Buckley

Founder and Managing Director, Change With Confidence


Phil Buckley is an award-winning author, coach, public speaker and senior change management professional with over 32 large-scale change projects under his belt—including co-leading global change management for the $19.6 billion Kraft Foods acquisition of Cadbury. For over 25 years, leaders and their teams worldwide have relied on him to help drive performance through change..

Over Phil’s career, he has held senior leadership positions, including Global HR Director Commercial, Global Organizational Change Director, Americas VP Organization Change and Vice President HR Canada. His change assignments include mergers, divestitures, organization restructurings, growth capability developments, efficiency drives, culture initiatives and systems implementations..

Phil is the founder and managing director of Change with Confidence, a management consulting firm that helps leaders and their teams be their best as they create a better future. Through expertise, advice and skill-building, their purpose is to enable organizations regardless of the changes they must champion..

Phil is the author of two books, Change on the Run: 44 Ways to Survive Workplace Uncertainty and Change with Confidence: Answering the 50 Biggest Questions that Keep Change Leaders Up at Night. His work has been featured in Forbes, Businessweek, The Globe and Mail and many other business publications..

You can find Phil’s podcast, Change on the Run, blog and monthly newsletter at changewithconfidence.com.

Navroop Sahdev

Founder and CEO , The Digital Economist


Navroop Sahdev is the founder and CEO of The Digital Economist, an impact organization with the mission to drive technological convergence by bringing investable opportunities, in line with the Sustainable Development Goals, to the fore. A pioneering economist and technology futurist, Navroop’s work lies at the intersection of emerging technologies, economic science and business strategy. Along with the world’s most respected digital economists, in 2019 she co-authored “Blockchain Economics: Implications of Distributed Ledgers: Markets, Communications Networks, and Algorithmic Reality”, the first book on the economics of blockchain. .

Navroop is currently a Connection Science Fellow at the MIT Media Lab, part of a curated group of top scholars and entrepreneurs in emerging technologies with a track record of outstanding achievement, who are building the future of Distributed Ledger Technologies, Digital Identity and Digital Networks. She was listed as one of the Top Blockchain Influencers in 2018 by Media Shower. .

Navroop is frequently interviewed by Forbes as a subject matter expert on the economics of emerging tech. She has co-authored Hyperledger’s "Blockchain for Business" online course - the biggest on the subject - with over 170,000 students so far and is regularly requested as a keynote speaker at industry conferences. She holds three masters in IP Management, Economics of Innovation and Applied Economics. Previously, she worked at Harvard University and the United Nations Environment Programme. In 2017, Navroop served as a United Nations Youth Delegate.

Guy Pearce

Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data Officer, Convergence.tech


Guy Pearce has served on governance boards in banking, financial services, and a not-for-profit, and as CEO of a multinational financial services organization. His interest in artificial intelligence began with natural language processing in the 1980s, which has been sustained given continued developments in the field. Consulting in digital transformation, data, risk, and governance, Pearce readily shares his experience as an author and as a speaker.

He was awarded the ISACA® Michael Cangemi Best Author award in Los Angeles for peer-reviewed contributions to the field of IT governance, some of which have been translated into French, Portuguese, Spanish, Chinese, and Japanese. He serves as Chief Digital Officer and Chief Data Officer at Convergence.Tech, a Canada-based digital transformation firm operating globally. He holds degrees in computer science and business, as well as certifications in IT governance (CGEIT) and privacy (CDPSE).

Jennifer Campbell

Founder, Action Impact Movement


Jennifer Campbell is a certified coach, seasoned facilitator, and author of the Amazon #1 best-selling book Talking Change: Must-Have Conversations for Successful Leaders. Jen founded Action Impact Movement (AIM) to enable people and organizations to commit to action, make an impact, and create movement toward their desired results.

Clients seek her out because of her diverse management consulting and leadership coaching background and her ability to create beneficial and sustainable change in people and organizations.

Jen holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from Queen’s University and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC) through the Coaches Training Institute. After living and working in Toronto for two decades, Jen and her family moved to the mountains on the west coast of Canada where she loves to ski and mountain bike.

Siriphone Maldonaldo

Director People Engagement, Harbinger


Siriphone (Siri) is an award-winning professional communicator who is passionate about helping organizations enable change with inspiring, robust, and impactful change management and communications strategies that focus on the people side of business transformations. Recognizing that change cannot be achieved without true engagement, Siri leverages her 10+ years experience leading complex corporate change management and communications programs, to drive change from the inside-out.

Strive Mazunga

Director Scotia Digital, Scotiabank & Co-Chair of Scotiabank’s Black Employee Network


Leader, mentor, coach with 20+ years’ experience in engineering technology, and digital transformation. Serial entrepreneur with a passion for emerging technologies in emerging markets!

Having worked in finance, media, retail, and loyalty I have seen an opportunity for better equity and diversity in the corporate world. Currently co-chair of Scotiabank's grassroots employee Resource Group.....Scotiabank Black Employee Network(SBEN) I working to see better representation of black professionals in big enterprises.

Tim Morton

Founder and President of Prompta & Prompta AI®


Tim Morton is an internationally recognized leader in driving successful business transformation and culture change. He’s passionate about facilitating effective and lasting change, building capabilities and coaching leaders to enable their organizations to thrive through change and disruption.

Tim founded Prompta (which means Readiness in Latin), Canada’s first certified diverse management consulting firm by the CGLCC and Canada’s 2018 LGBT+ Business Enterprise of the Year. In 2019, Tim launched Prompta AI® a change management accelerator which utilizes NLP & Machine Learning to uncover employee/stakeholder sentiment to improve change effectiveness, business adoption and enhance employee engagement.

Tim has focused his career on improving corporate cultures, and enhancing working lives. To date, he’s supported over 30 organizations to thrive through transition, including having enabled M&A integrations valued at $32 billion in aggregate.

His change management experience includes IT,CRM & ERP implementations, digital transformations, merger integration, restructuring, and diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) culture change support, Executive and Team Coaching and most recently the future of work.

Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta

Change Strategist, and Founder, The Change Leadership


Yvonne is passionate about working with professionals and organizations to help them determine the what, how and when of leading and managing change. Helping them to navigate how to adapt to the ever-changing tide of uncertainty, technological disruptions and fast-paced change. Yvonne has acquired over 20 years global working experience across various industries that has equipped her with the practical tools and knowledge to help her clients meet their professional and organizational goals.