Education: The Next Generation
Panelist: The Honourable Ross Romano, Anne Sado and John Stackhouse, Moderated by Hamoon Ekhtiari
” How Will We Prepare Learners for the Workforce of 2020 and Beyond? “
Dec. 3, 2019
Today’s technology is changing industries at a rapid pace, causing the labour market to face a period of uncertainty. Managing this transition is an important challenge, as is preparing for the future beyond an expected increase in automation. Some call it future proofing, others re-skilling; but what are Canadian institutions doing to address these concerns, how are employers working with academic institutions to prepare employees?
Hear from our esteemed panelists – The Honourable Ross Romano, Anne Sado and John Stackhouse – who will discuss these concerns, offer solutions, and illustrate that stronger links between employment and education are key to progress.
The Honourable Ross Romano, MPP Minister of Colleges and Universities
Ross Romano was first elected to the Ontario Legislature on June 1, 2017 in a provincial by-election and re-elected in June 2018. Ross now serves as the Minister of Colleges and Universities.
Born and raised on his family’s farm in the Sault, Ross attended Algoma University before graduating from Windsor Law School and went on to practice law for 12 years in his community. Serving and giving back to the place that raised him has been a guiding force in his life. Romano previously served as the Ward 6 Councillor for Sault Ste. Marie, chaired the local Downtown Association and Downtown Rotary Club, and worked with the city’s youth as a coach for the Sault Youth Soccer Association.
A life-long Soo-ite, Ross understands the challenges his community faces every day and the opportunities that lay ahead. Whether he is at home or at Queens Park, Ross tirelessly works each day for the best interests of Sault Ste. Marie. When he is not cheering on the Soo Greyhounds, Ross can be found volunteering around the community, working in his garage, or spending time with his wife Heather and their three children.
Anne Sado, President, George Brown College
A native of Toronto, Anne Sado has been President of George Brown College since 2004. Her impact on the vision, direction and culture of the college has seen a doubling of enrolment and a significant increase in its physical footprint in the heart of Canada’s largest city. She has also led a critical public discussion on the value of college education in Ontario’s economic development.
Anne’s areas of focus have been the development of a workforce with the right balance of skills for the knowledge economy, innovation in learning and the transition of new Canadians into productive careers to drive economic growth. A strong advocate of experiential learning, she has emphasized the importance of deepening partnerships with industry across the GTA.
Beyond her leadership at George Brown, Anne is Co-chair of the Business/Higher Education (BHER) Roundtable. Anne also serves on the boards of Legacy Private Trust, and Mount Pleasant Cemetery Group. In the past, Anne has served as Chair of Colleges Ontario’s Committee of Presidents, ORION, the Toronto Region Board of Trade, Polytechnics Canada and Trillium Health Centre and on the boards of the Toronto Finance International, YWCA of Greater Toronto, Junior Achievement and the Canadian Hearing Society Foundation. In 2018, Anne was appointed as an Honorary Colonel for the Governor General’s Horse Guards (GGHG). These volunteer efforts have given her a broad perspective on the social and economic challenges facing the GTA.
Anne was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in June 2013. She was recognized as one of Canada’s Top 25 Women of Influence in 2014, a YWCA Woman of Distinction in 2012 and one of Canada’s Most Powerful Women by WXN over four years, leading to her induction in the WXN Hall of Fame in 2014. She was inducted as a fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering in 2015, inducted into the University of Toronto’s prestigious Engineering Hall of Distinction in 2010 and awarded the Ontario Professional Engineers Gold Medal in 2007. She has also received the Queen’s Diamond and Golden Jubilee Medals, the Professional Engineers Ontario Citizenship Award, and an Arbor Award from the University of Toronto.
Anne holds an MBA from the University of Toronto as well as a Bachelor of Applied Science in Engineering. Anne was also awarded a Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, from the University of Toronto in June 2011.
John Stackhouse, Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO, RBC
As Senior Vice-President, Office of the CEO, John advises the executive leadership on emerging trends in Canada’s economy, providing insights grounded in his travels across the country and around the world. His work focuses on technological change and innovation, examining how to successfully navigate the new economy so more people can thrive in the age of disruption.
Prior to joining RBC, John spent nearly 25 years at the Globe and Mail, where he served as editor-in-chief, editor of Report on Business, and a foreign correspondent in New Delhi, India. Having interviewed a range of prominent world leaders and figures, including Vladimir Putin, Kofi Annan, and Benazir Bhutto, he possesses a deep understanding of national and international affairs.
In the community, John serves as a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs, C.D. Howe Institute and on the boards of Queen’s University and the Aga Khan Foundation of Canada.
John is the author of three books: Out of Poverty, Timbit Nation, and Mass Disruption: Thirty Years on the Front Lines of a Media Revolution. He is currently working on his fourth, about Canada’s global population in an age of nationalism.
Hamoon Ekhtiari, CEO, FutureFit Ai
A lover of all things blueberry and/or avocado, Hamoon is the CEO of FutureFit Ai, an AI-powered intelligence platform for the future of work that partners with national governments and global companies on upskilling & reskilling. Previously, he was the Director of Strategy and Innovation for the Executive Vice President at TELUS. Prior to that, Hamoon was the Founding Director of Studio [Y], a leadership and innovation academy at MaRS, Canada’s largest innovation hub. He has also founded a social enterprise which raised $1M in its first year, helped build Deloitte’s consulting business in the Caribbean, and taught as adjunct faculty. Hamoon is a member of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference, an AdR Fellow at University of Cambridge, a recipient of University of Waterloo’s Alumni Achievement Medal, and a Canada Millennium Scholar. He is passionate about unlocking the potential of people, organizations, and societies to re-imagine and build the future.