Conference Opening and Keynote – Dr. Farah Alibay (F/SI)

Farah Alibay is a French-Canadian Aerospace Engineer. Born in Montreal (Quebec, Canada), she spent most of her childhood in Joliette (Quebec) and of her teenage years in Manchester United Kingdom) tinkering with any project she could get her hands on and fascinated with space and exploration. These passions led her to pursue a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Aerospace & Aerothermal Engineering from the University of Cambridge (Cambridge, United Kingdom) before moving back across the Atlantic ocean to pursue a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston, USA) with a focus on Systems Engineering. In 2014, she joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) where she is currently part of the M2020 mission, working on the Perseverance rover, which landed on Mars in February 2021, and the Ingenuity helicopter, which performed the first powered flight on another planet in April 2021. Prior to joining the M2020 team, she worked on several other missions, including the InSight Mars Lander and its companion mission the Mars Cube One (MarCO) CubeSats.

Outside of her day-to-day job, Farah has a passion for science communication, having appeared in newspapers, tv and radio shows, and conferences across the world. She is a fierce advocate for women and minorities in STEM and has given herself the mission of contribute towards making this field more diverse and equitable. She is also active in her local community, notably as a Big Sister in the Los Angeles Big Brother Big Sister program, and as a Court Appointed Special Advocate, helping children navigate the foster care system. Finally, in her spare time, Farah can be found exploring the mountains near her home where she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, and mountaineering.

Keynote Address: Wesley Hall (E/SI)

As the chairman and founder of WeShall Investments Inc, a private equity firm with a diverse portfolio of companies predominantly supporting BIPOC entrepreneurs, Wes Hall comes from humble beginnings in rural Jamaica. He grew up in a plantation worker’s shack as one of several children supported by his grandmother. Despite these challenges, his grandmother instilled in him the value of hard work, ambition, and industriousness. In 1985, Wes immigrated to Canada, where he set about to become the businessman you see today. Dressed daily in a suit, Wes started as a mail clerk at a leading law firm in Toronto. His curiosity, intelligence, and ability to spot opportunities allowed him to turn a $100K loan from the bank to start his first business, Kingsdale Advisors, into becoming the most preeminent shareholder advisory firm in Canada.

Wes’ expertise was invaluable on the complicated dispute between Toronto-based Goldcorp and Nevada-based Glamis Gold from 2004 to 2006, Xstrata PLC’s USD 18-billion takeover of Falconbridge in 2006, and the $19-billion merger between Suncor and Petro-Canada in 2009.

A staunch philanthropist, Wes is deeply committed to community upliftment. He is the founder of the ambitious and highly successful BlackNorth Initiative designed to help end systemic anti-Black racism in Canada. He has instructed Black Entrepreneurship & Leadership at the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto, a first-of-its-kind course in North America. Wes is the vice-chair of the Board of Governors at Huron University College, a member of the Capital Markets Modernization Taskforce, and sits on the board of directors for SickKids Foundation, TIFF, and Pathways to Education Canada. The Canadian Chamber of Commerce awarded him the Canadian Business Leader of 2022. Wes has received Honorary Doctorates from Queens University, Toronto Metropolitan University, the University of Ottawa, and the University of the West Indies. He also received the Medal of Distinction from Huron University in 2022.

Wes’ other accomplishments include penning a bestselling memoir, “No Bootstraps When You’re Barefoot”. He launched a podcast in partnership with the Toronto Star, “Between Us with Wes Hall”, and is also on the hit CBC series, “Dragons’ Den.”

Keynote Address: Gerd Leonhard (E/SI)

“People, Planet, Purpose and Prosperity.” – That is Gerd Leonhard’s motto. Over the past two decades, he has risen to one of the top 10 futurist keynote speakers worldwide and has recently become the #1 virtual speaker in the age of Corona. With nearly 2,000 engagements in 60+ countries since 2004, and a combined audience of over 2.5 million people, Gerd has been listed by Wired magazine as one of the Top 100 Most-Influential People in Europe, and as ‘one of the leading media futurists in the World’ by The Wall Street Journal.

Gerd focuses on the intersections of humanity, science / technology, business, and culture. He promotes sustainable, human-centric values, and emphasizes the importance of foresight, future-ready leadership, and resilience in the face of uncertainty. He is also known for speaking out against the pitfalls of unbridled extractionist capitalism. His acclaimed keynotes (both live and virtual) are renowned for their hard-hitting and provocative style – inspiring, humorous, motivational, and always personal. Using cutting-edge creative motion design and immersive backdrops, Gerd’s performances (both in-person and for online events) have reinvented the very definition of ‘presentation.’

Gerd is highly regarded as a global influencer and has advised business leaders and government officials around the globe.

His diverse list of clients includes countless governments, NGOs and Fortune 500 companies such as SAP, Microsoft, Google, VISA, Accenture, Deloitte, Motorola, KPMG, Sony, UBS, Tetrapak, Mastercard, BBC, Unilever, Lloyds Bank, WWF, Sony, The Guardian, PwC, Siemens, RTL, The Financial Times, Ogilvy, Omnicom, The EU Commission, Audi and many others. A true thought leader in the futurist space, Gerd is above all a dedicated humanist who believes that all technological progress should further collective human flourishing.

Gerd uses his keynotes, presentations, workshops and advisory sessions to deep-dive on complex topics. Recurring themes include business in the post-Covid-19 world, the need for a sustainable, equitable reform to conventional capitalism, addressing existential risks like climate change and uncontrolled technological proliferation, the future of work and of the human-machine relationship, exploring what it means to be human in a world of machines and algorithms, and the ethics of technology and tech regulation in an interconnected world. As Gerd likes to say, humanity will change more in the next 10 years than in the previous 100 years – so let’s embrace technology but also maintain, protect and nurture what makes us human!

Closing Gala

Attire: Business/Cocktail, Black and White.

All good things must come to an end, but not before bidding farewell in style!

Bring your dancing shoes and your appetite to a final evening with your colleagues and new friends. The Supersonic Hearts Band will be sure to have you on your feet into the evening.

Plated, three-course meal will be offered. Vegetarian/Gluten-free options will be available.

Tickets included with full Congress registration.