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Michelle Holland - Toronto's Chief Advocate for the Innovation Economy

Michelle Holland is the Chief Advocate for the Innovation Economy for the City of Toronto and has been the leading voice on technology and innovation. She has lead the City's efforts to encourage growth in the sector, promote and protect innovation and technology jobs, encourage greater gender diversity and position Toronto as a leader in the innovation economy in all respects.


She continues to lead the City's branding strategy with respect to the innovation economy that will create a unified voice to attract and retain talent. She is also leading the process that has identified May 31, 2018 as the first Digital Literacy Day in the City of Toronto. It the brings together a wide range of public and private sector partners within Toronto's innovation economy, with a focus on ensuring no one is left behind in the new economy.


Councillor Michelle Holland was elected to Toronto City Council in 2010 and has served on the most important City Council Committees including Executive Committee, Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, Budget Committee and Economic Development Committee.


She is currently Chair of Scarborough Community Council, Vice Chair of the Economic Development Committee and Chair of the City's Corporations Nominating Panel where she has been leading efforts to facilitate gender equality on boards. As a graduate of the Director's Education Program she has considerable board experience including the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Design Exchange and the Art Gallery of Ontario among other boards.

Tomi Poutanen - Co-Founder of Vector Institute and Layer 6 AI, and Chief AI Officer, TD Bank

Tomi has accomplished momentous breakthroughs both in leading the way and changing the AI landscape in Toronto and Globally. He co-founded Toronto-based Layer 6, the first company to offer clients a prediction engine powered by a real-time deep learning framework (AI). Layer 6 uses AI in its platform for prediction and personalization; enabling it to analyze various forms of data, learn and anticipate the needs of an individual client. It also won The ACM Recommender System Challenge in August 2017 for the best recommendation system.


Prior to Layer 6, Tomi built a $100M search marketing program, and led the global launch of Yahoo Answers. He also developed the recommendation engine powered by Deep Learning and co-developed the data-compression algorithm used by Microsoft in software distribution and cloud storage.


Tomi co-founded the Vector Institute which has a vision that includes building, leading and sustaining AI Innovation in Canada as well as attracting the best global talent focused on research excellence. Tomi is also a founding G7 Fellow at the Creative Destruction Labs, a leading AI venture incubator that has launched successful Canadian startups worth $1 billion..


He holds an MASc in Computer Engineering and an MBA from the University of Toronto, and proud father of Anna ('07) and Sophie ('09) who love to code. Tomi is an Entrepreneur, a Software Engineer and a Machine Learning specialist.

Prof. Tiff Macklem - Dean, Rotman School of Management

Tiff is widely regarded as a top-class economist, innovative thinker and a leader whose opinion is much sought-after regarding impacts of disruptive technologies on business and economic development. He is also a strong advocate for the key role that leadership has to play in order to capitalize on the Artificial Intelligence revolution.


From 2010-2014, Tiff served as senior deputy governor of the Bank of Canada, sharing responsibility with the governor and four deputy governors for monetary policy and for the Bank’s role in promoting financial stability. He was also the Bank's chief operating officer and a member of its board of directors, overseeing strategic planning and coordinating the Bank’s operations. Macklem has also played a leading role in efforts to ensure stable financial systems worldwide.


Prior to his appointment at the Bank, Tiff served as associate deputy minister of the federal Department of Finance and Canada’s finance deputy at the G7 and G20, the IMF, and the Financial Stability Board. He also served as chair of the Standing Committee on Standards Implementation of the Financial Stability Board. In that role, he worked to establish an international system of peer review to promote and assess the implementation of new financial standards across the 24 most financially important countries in the world.


Tiff is a well-known expert in monetary and financial systems and has contributed articles to academic journals, as well as providing chapters and commentaries on monetary and financial sector policy and international economics in books and conference proceedings.


Since coming to Rotman, Tiff has also been appointed the chair of the board of the Global Risk Institute, chair of Ontario's Panel on Economic Growth and Prosperity, a director of Scotiabank, and a member of the Asian Business Leaders Advisory Board.

Claudette McGowan Biosketch - CIO, Enterprise Technology Employee Experience, BMO

Claudette is an award-winning Technology Leader with 17+ years of success leading digital transformation, optimizing infrastructure, designing new support approaches to improve service experience. She has led more than 600 IT professionals in the planning, engineering and support of workplace technologies across all BMO branches and office towers.


Claudette began her IT career in healthcare at Wellesley Hospital. She later joined the Computing and Telecommunications Division at the Metropolitan Toronto Police Services. Before joining BMO, Claudette spent 4 years at Deloitte where she was a key member of the Technology Management Team.


In 2008, Claudette founded Excelovate, a human services company designed to help people and enrich lives through the creation of new products and services. Her work has played a pivotal role in launching the first innovation centre in Aurora, Rap Riderz Innovation Centre.


Married and a mother of two, Claudette's commitment to the community is evident in her passion for literacy and everything technological. Claudette has authored five books and in partnership with First Book Canada and other leading corporations, Claudette launched the Black Arts and Innovation Expo (BAIE) as a novel way to celebrate Black History Month. The BAIE promotes diversity and inspires excellence in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics by showcasing the outstanding achievements of current innovators in the arts, entrepreneurship and technology.


Claudette is a recipient of a 2014 Green4Good Visionary award and in 2015 she was hailed as a BBPA Exchange - Woman of Honor and among the Top 100 Black Women to watch in Canada.

Dr. Nick Horney, Ph.D.- Leadership Agility Expert, Author & VUCA Master

Dr. Horney is a master in VUCA ((volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity), and the founder of Agility Consulting and Training, and has been recognized for innovations in organizational agility theory and practice which includes The AGILE Model®. Nick has consulted with global leaders to help transform their vision to action by anticipating change and building more adaptive capabilities.


He has been recognized as an expert in organizational agility by journals such as People & Strategy and CIO Magazine, and presents at numerous conference on the topics on Change Management, Talent Management and Organizational Agility.


He recently co-authored a book entitled Focused, Fast and Flexible: Creating Agility Advantage in a VUCA World; and is currently working on a book that features a 10-year study of leadership agility with 1078 global leaders -- Decoding Your Leadership Agility: Getting Fit for Continuous Course Corrections.


Dr. Horney's first-hand knowledge of agility and change management was developed during his 23 years as a Navy Special Operations officer leading diving and explosive ordnance disposal teams, where agility was a defining characteristic of success.

Niluka Kottegoda - Vice President Merchandising Innovation & Development Sobeys Inc.

Niluka is an innovative thinker and visionary leader. As Vice President Merchandising Innovation & Development for Sobeys Inc. She is responsible for evolving the overall customer offer, developing key brand relationships with store-within-store concepts, and growing sales and profitability through emerging category management.


Since joining the organization in 2004, she has held progressively senior merchandising and procurement roles across multiple functions including Analytics, Global Sourcing, Procurement & Procurement Services, and Merchandising Process & Integration.


She holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Acadia University as well as a Kellogg-Schulich Executive MBA from Northwestern University (Kellogg School of Management, Chicago) and York University (Schulich Business School, Toronto).


She also serves as a Board member for Guyana Help the Kids, focusing on reducing neonatal and infant mortality in developing countries, and recently founded the Dream Chaser Change Maker Scholarship to help improve access to post secondary education both in Canada and around the world.

Daniel Marquez - National Strategy Leader for AI, Accenture

Daniel is a leader in the Accenture Strategy practice and Accenture’s Strategy leader for AI, which has seen him work directly with ecosystem partners to help shape the Canadian AI landscape. Beyond this, he is actively working with major Canadian companies, to help them set direction on how AI will play an increasingly prominent role in the future of their organization.


He has served as a strategic advisor to many of Canada’s most prominent companies, and specializes in helping organizations reshape themselves to survive and thrive in a turbulent age of digital disruption.


Daniel has a keen interest in better understanding what makes organizations innovative. As an inaugural Fellow in the Accenture Innovation Fellowship, Daniel is seeking to unlock the value trapped in otherwise healthy organizations, and to help them build resiliency against disruption in the increasingly uncertain times to come.


Daniel is also a founding member and CEO of the University Consulting Group (UCG), a non-profit organization focused on providing pro-bono strategic advisory services to charities and non-profits.

Host: Yvonne Ruke Akpoveta, OliveBlue Inc.

Yvonne is a Change Management and Leadership Strategist, Speaker, Author and John C. Maxwell Leadership Coach. She is a firm believer in the value and benefits of effective Change Leadership, and works with organizations to help them successfully lead and transition through change.


She holds a BSc honours in Business Information Technology & Marketing from London Guildhall University, and an MBA with Warwick Business School, England.


She is multifaceted, having worked with a variety of clients including JP Morgan Chase, Royal Bank Canada, Deloitte, Phillips Consulting, and General Motors to deliver strategic and business critical projects. During her time with these organisations, she led major projects, pioneered change, and gained invaluable experience in developing individuals and businesses to help them drive results.


Her international experience in Europe, Africa and North America has afforded her exposure to diverse business environments and a proficiency in thinking outside the box.


She is also a published author, and an Inspirational and 'Tell it like it is' speaker, who is passionate about helping individuals, entrepreneurs and organisations drive change and achieve their goals.


More information about Yvonne: www.yvonnerukeakpoveta.com

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