Day One

Nora Spinks | Energize, Strategize, & Maximize Your Success at Home and Work

Positive, supportive, and effective work environments are essential for individual and organizational success. Learn how you can help to create a work environment where everyone is able to reach their full potential, achieve their personal and professional career objectives, realize their dreams and aspirations—without fear guilt anxiety or regret. Hear what individuals, unions and organizations around the world are doing to energize themselves and each other, and recognize achievements, contributions and potential and customize work arrangements and career paths. Nora Spinks, president of Work-Life Harmony Enterprises will provide information and insights into the world of work, the diverse work force and creating positive, high performing and highly productive work environments where everyone is engaged, included and supported. She will provide practical tactical strategies, proven techniques and simple suggestions that you can apply in your life and workplace to achieve success as you define it.

Nora Spinks is the founder and president of Work-Life Harmony Enterprises, an international research and consulting firm based in Toronto, Canada. For more than 20 years, Nora has worked with progressive organizations, helping business, labour, government and community leaders to create effective, productive and supportive work environments; strengthen families; and build healthy communities. 

Bill Benjamin | The Science Behind Great Leaders

Great leaders are able to manage their emotions when there is tension and conflict so they can engage more skillfully. Great leaders know that emotions are infectious – as a leader you have the power to unleash best performance or to sabotage it.

What do highly effective leaders do differently? Is there a science to great leadership?
The answer is yes, and the key is learning the science of managing emotions. According to a recent Harvard study, Emotional Intelligence is the greatest driver of success in Leadership.

Bill Benjamin is the CEO of IHHP, contributing to its status as a world leader in the exciting fields of Leadership, Performance and Emotional Intelligence (EI). His passion and enthusiasm for EI and its impact on leadership development, combined with his talent as a motivational keynote speaker, leave audiences inspired and wanting to hear more

Bill has a degree in Mathematics with a major in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo in Canada. In addition to using his background in sales to motivate and inspire audiences, Bill leverages his Mathematics degree and technical background to take a scientific approach to helping leaders understand how to increase leadership and performance.

ACT II Studio & the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP) | I’m Still Here: A Research-Based Drama on Living with Dementia

Funded partly by the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program (MAREP) at the University of Waterloo, I'm Still Here is a powerful research-based play that captures important aspects of, and deepens understanding about, the dementia journey from the perspectives of persons living with dementia and their family partners in care. The play brings deeply moving experiences shared by persons with dementia and their family members during research to life through dramatic performance. The intent of the play is to help diminish any unnecessary suffering that can come with living with dementia due to misunderstandings and stigma. I’m Still Here had its live debut performance in 2004 at MAREP's A Changing Melody forum and both the live drama and the DVD version of it have since been viewed by people around the world to great acclaim. I’m Still Here was written by Vrenia Ivonoffski, a playwright and the Artistic Director of ACT II Studio at Ryerson University, with researchers Gail Mitchell and Christine Jonas-Simpson. It is performed by actors from ACT II Studio.

Sherry Dupuis is the Director of the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program, an associate professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, and the Director of the Aging, Health and Well-Being Collaborative Ph.D. Program at the University of Waterloo. She has over 24 years of professional and academic experience working with older adults and their family members. Guided by an authentic partnership philosophy, her research interests include: identifying ways to improve the quality of the lives of persons with dementia and their families living in the community and in long-term care facilities; examining educational, therapeutic and recreational programs for older adults, especially persons with dementia and their family members; and understanding leisure in later life and the link between leisure and health for older adults. Sherry is also committed to the transfer of research into action through the use of participatory approaches to research and is currently exploring the use and impacts of alternative representations of research such as research-based dramas in transforming images, understandings and actions in dementia care.

Jeremy Gutsche | Creating a Culture of Innovation and Customer Obsession

In a world of increased competition, intensified customer demands and shifting employee demographics, a culture of innovation is more important than ever before. Jeremy's Culture of Innovation framework exposes the audience to ground-breaking ideas related to perspective, customer obsession, tolerance for failure and creativity. In these categories, he provides examples that prove you can't just check the box, you have to be revolutionary. The presentation provides a toolkit of ideas and examples of how leading innovators are changing the game to cultivate breakthrough organizations.

Jeremy Gutsche is an innovation expert, author of Exploiting Chaos (#1 Most Popular at CEO Read), host of Trend Hunter TV, "one of North America's most requested keynote speakers", and the founder of, the world's largest network for trend spotting and innovation. He has written several thousand articles and overseen the publication of 60,000+ trends for an audience of 8 - 10,000,000 monthly views. Routinely sourced by the media, Jeremy's broad appeal ranges from the Economist and the Financial Times to FOX News and Entertainment Tonight. He has been described as "a new breed of trend spotter" by The Guardian, "an eagle eye" by Global TV, an "Oracle" by the Globe and Mail and "on the forefront of cool" by MTV.

Steve Uzzell | Open Roads Open Minds

Using his striking photographs as illustrations of his metaphor about possibility and creativity, Steve inspires audiences to take advantage of his experience and vision to make any venture an adventure. In any project he undertakes, Steve's preparation lays the foundation for magic to happen; "Chance favors the prepared mind," said Louis Pasteur. After all, our eyes will only ever see what our mind is prepared to comprehend. He spends six months of the year traveling the world for his clients; the remainder teaching and delivering his presentation "Open Roads Open Minds: An Exploration of Creative Problem Solving".

Steve Uzzell, a National Geographic photographer, travels the globe for clients such as Honda, Weyerhaeuser, Yellow Freight, Boeing and France and his work has garnered international acclaim and won numerous awards, including ten from Communication Arts. Along the way Steve Uzzell has photographed two books, Maryland and The View From Sterling Bluff and had editorial work published in over 50 publications including Newsweek, Smithsonian, Time, and U.S. News.