Monday, March 9, 2020

Thought leaders gather to talk about the future of talent

Waterloo Innovation Summit Speaker Series banner.

2020 represents the return of the Waterloo Innovation Summit speaker series, where WIS travels to different locations to build on and enhance the reputation of the University and share its expertise. The first summit of 2020 will be held in Ottawa on Tuesday, March 10 and will focus on the future of talent. At the summit, leaders in the private and public sector will share insights and best practices on how to future-proof the Canadian workforce by attracting and retaining top talent.

The invite-only event will feature two panel discussions: the Talent Imperative and the Talent Multiplier and a keynote address featuring Marcelo Cortes, chief technology officer and co-founder of Faire.

Speakers include:

  • President Feridun Hamdullahpur;
  • Sandra Banks, vice-president, university relations;
  • The Honourable Bardish Chagger, minister of diversity, inclusion and youth and member of parliament for Waterloo;
  • Trevin Stratton, chief economist and VP policy, Canadian Chamber of Commerce;
  • Norah McRae, associate provost, co-operative and experiential education at Waterloo;
  • Keynote speaker Marcelo Cortes, chief technology officer and co-founder of Faire;
  • Panel moderator Jennifer Ditchburn, editor-in-chief, Policy Options at the Institute for Research on Public Policy;
  • Leah Nord, director of workforce strategies and inclusive growth at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce;
  • Patrick Borbey; president of the Public Service Commission of Canada; 
  • Cheri Chevalier, worldwide sales director, emerging solutions at Microsoft Canada; and
  • Anojan Gunasekaran, associate product manager, insights and analytics, Shopify.

The University of Waterloo is in a unique position to help businesses succeed, offering expertise in co-op, entrepreneurship and impact-based research. This event will connect the University with key business leaders, government, and alumni in the Ottawa market. 

The Summit is delivered in partnership with the Canadian Chamber of Commerce.

Global Impact: Everything is going to change

Two people in cold-weather gear walk across an ice field.

This is an excerpt of an article originally published in Waterloo Stories as part of an ongoing Global Impact series.

For eight days straight, researcher Christine Dow and her team dragged a sled-mounted radar system roughly 85 kilometres across the frozen Antarctic. The hard-earned data they collected has Dow convinced the Antarctic Ice Sheet is destabilizing faster than anyone thought. “It’s scary,” says the Canada Research Chair in Glacier Hydrology and Ice Dynamics at Waterloo. “The West Antarctic was predicted to take 1,000 years to collapse. Now, we’re talking a few hundred years.”  

Read how Dow’s Antarctic trek is setting a timetable for our climate emergency.

Introducing IMPACT coffee - equity brewed into every cup

Impact Coffee banner with a diverse number of arms holding up coffee mugs.

A message from UW Food Services.

Starting today, UW Food Services will sell IMPACT coffee in various locations, with proceeds from each cup going to University of Waterloo’s HeForShe campaign.

To support and advance the University of Waterloo’s gender equity goals, UW Food Services will donate a portion of every cup of IMPACT sold to the HeForShe campaign. IMPACT is small-batch roasted at Baden Coffee Company using Peruvian coffee beans sourced through Café Femenino, an ethical sourcing model committed to ending the cycle of poverty impacting women-identified coffee farmers. From farm to your coffee cup, IMPACT is an organic, Fair-Trade certified coffee sourced with a gender-equity framework.

IMPACT coffee will be sold across campus at various UW Food Services locations including: Browsers (DP), CEIT Café (EIT), Eye Opener (EO), LA Café (HH), South Side Marketplace (SCH), Mudie’s (V1) and The Market (CMH). 

For more information about IMPACT Coffee and the HeForShe initiative, please visit

Monday's notes

Here's the latest Nutrition Month "myth vs. fact" supplied by Health Services Dietitian Sandra Ace:


Drinking milk causes breast cancer.


There’s nothing like big, splashy headlines to scare people away from eating a favourite food or even an entire group of foods. The confusing and contradictory headlines about eggs and cholesterol over the last 30 years are a good example. The latest food-related controversy to make the news is a recently published study that looked at dairy and soy consumption and breast cancer risk in a large group of North American women. The researchers concluded that as milk intake increased, the risk of breast cancer also increased slightly. There was no clear association found between soy products and breast cancer risk.

The headline you may have seen declaring “One cup of milk per day associated with up to 50 per cent increase in breast cancer risk” is very misleading. In fact, the absolute risk of developing cancer in this study was small: 2 per cent (2 cases per 100 women) or 3 per cent (3 cases per 100 women) for women who drank milk, a difference of 1 per cent. This is based on a study analysis done by PEN, (Practice-Based Evidence in Nutrition) a knowledge database developed by Dietitians of Canada and a global network of registered dietitians and nutrition professionals that offers current and authoritative guidance on food and nutrition. While this is a subscription service, open-access to commentary on this study is currently available to the public and you can read more about its conclusions and limitations here.

PEN reports “This is an observational study, so cause and effect cannot be established. Dietary intakes were self-reported and only measured once at baseline, so there is room for errors and omissions.” The study did not adjust for many variables that could confound the results. The conclusions also differ with findings reported by the American Institute for Cancer Research and a summary of systematic reviews, which did not find a consistent link between dairy products or milk intake and the risk of postmenopausal breast cancer and actually observed a reduced risk of premenopausal breast cancer.

While further research clearly needs to be done to better understand the benefits or risks of the dairy-cancer connection, focusing on a healthy lifestyle that includes eating a balanced diet and nutritious diet, being active and avoiding smoking are well-established ways to lower your cancer risk.

Link of the day

75 years ago: the firebombing of Tokyo

When and Where

safeTALK training for students, Monday, March 9, 1:00 p.m., NH 2447 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Coping Skills Seminar – Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, March 9, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

World's Challenge Challenge, Monday, March 9, 5:00 p.m., NH 3407.

2020 Latin American Film Festival screening, Post-Mortem, Monday, March 9, 6:30 p.m., Kitchener Public Library main branch. Admission is free.

First Year Residence Problem Pitch, Thursday, March 19, 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., V1 Main Lobby.

Alleviating Anxiety Seminar, Tuesday, March 10, 1:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Coping Skills Seminar – Thriving With Emotions, Tuesday, March 10, 4:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, March 11, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

Noon Hour Concert: Selections from 24 Paganini Caprices,  Wednesday, March 11, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University Chapel. 

2020 Silver Medal Award Guest Lecture: What is Arabic good for? Future Directions and Current Challenges of Arabic Language Educational Reform in France, Wednesday, March 11, 4:00 p.m. PAS room 2083.

Coping Skills Seminar - Challenging Thinking, Wednesday, March 11, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Systems Design Engineering Capstone Design Symposia 2020 Thursday, March 12, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., E7 2nd Floor.

Biomedical Engineering Capstone Design Symposia 2020 Thursday, March 12, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., E7 2nd Floor.

Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, March 12, 3:30 p.m., HS 1106 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

Global Engineering Week Game Night, “SYDE 261 Design Showcase,” Thursday, March 12, 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., E7 Event Space.

Mechatronics Engineering Capstone Design Symposia 2020 Friday, March 13, 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., E7 1st and 2nd Floor.

Bridges Lecture Series presents François Bergeron, Mathematics, Université du Québec à Montréal and Members of the Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Symmetry: Bach and Math, Friday, March 13, 7:30 p.m., SJ2/Academic Centre, Vanstone Lecture Hall. Please register in advance. 

BLND Design and Business ConferenceCreative People. Innovative Ideas. Fun Workshops.” Saturday, March 14, all day event, Stratford School, University of Waterloo.

Concept by Velocity - Graduate Student Startup Fund applications close, “Apply for the chance to win $20,000 and take your research to the next level.” Monday, March 16.

Coping Skills Seminar – Cultivating Resiliency, Monday, March 16, 3:30 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on  GoSignMeUp.

2020 Latin American Film Festival, Ruben Blades is not My Name, Monday, March 16, 6:30 p.m., Kitchener Public Library main branch. Admission is free.

More Feet on the Ground Mental Health Training for Students, Tuesday, March 17, 2:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp

Distinguished Lecture Series, “An Ethical Crisis in Computing?” featuring Moshe Y. Vardi, University Professor, Rice University, Tuesday, March 17, 3:30 p.m., DC 1302.

Electrical and Computer Engineering Capstone Design Symposia 2020, Wednesday, March 18, 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., E7 1st and 2nd Floor.

Research Ethics drop-in session for faculty and students, Wednesday, March 18, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Dana Porter Library (study booth on the main floor).

Conrad School of Entrepreneurship and Business MBET information session, Wednesday, March 18, 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m., E7 2324-2328. Register today.

NEW - Noon Hour Concert: Peter and the Wolf, Wednesday, March 18, 12:30 p.m., Conrad Grebel University Chapel.  

NEW - Coping Skills Seminar – Thriving With Emotions, Wednesday, March 18, 6:00 p.m., HS 2302 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

NEW - Concept by Velocity - Intro Session: Billion Dollar Briefing, “Get introduced to different billion-dollar problems that are waiting to be solved,” Wednesday, March 18, 6:30 p.m., South Campus Hall, 2nd Floor.

NEW - Grad Student Community and Conversation Circle, Thursday, March 19, 3:30 p.m., HS 1106 – Register on GoSignMeUp.

NEW - How to Walk on Water and Climb up Walls – Applied Math Undergraduate Lecture by Dr. David Hu, Thursday, March 19, 5pm, STC 0050.

NEW - Waterloo Centre for German Studies Grimm Lecture 2020, “Thinking Itself is Dangerous: Reading Hannah Arendt Now,” Thursday, March 19, 7:00 p.m., CIGI Auditorium at Balsillie School of International Affairs.