Click on presentation titles for full descriptions.

Dates & Times:


Courtyard by Marriott Toronto Downtown
475 Yonge St, Toronto, ON M4Y 1X7


Wednesday, November 27, 2019
8:00 AM – 6:00 PM

Thursday, November 28, 2019
8:00 AM – 5:30 PM


Register Now

  • Day One

    Wednesday, November 27

  • The Future Workforce conference opening will feature the release of the 2020 Campus Recruitment Outlook Report.

    The Report will feature highlights of findings of a new survey of employers from all industries and all regions across Canada. Don't miss this opportunity to learn about projected campus recruitment activity, key trends and challenges in the industry, and more.

  • This panel of post-secondary leaders will share their perspectives on the changing environment and what institutions, and Canada as whole, must do to prepare and develop our future workforce.

    What are the pressures and changing expectations of post-secondary institutions?
    How are they ensuring that students are actually acquiring the skills and abilities that are needed?
    How are they creating new partnerships with industry?
    What do they believe the role of employers should be in student development?

    Join us for this enlightening and informative discussion with these forward-thinking education leaders.

  • While there is growing acknowledgment that an inclusive, gender-balanced workplace has measurable benefits, the future of work for women is far from certain. As the economy continues to evolve rapidly from developments in digital technology, automation and advanced analytics, these transformative influences will have significant implications for women. This panel will explore how best to equip young women with the necessary skills to anticipate and navigate these coming shifts, while also ensuring meaningful progress towards gender equality in leadership.

  • Join the co-authors of Generational Career Shifts: How Matures, Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials View Work, as they share insights into the next generation of students, Gen Z.

    Drawing on data from Brainstorm's 2019 Student Career Interests survey of more than 24,000 Canadian post-secondary students, Sean Lyons and Linda Schweitzer examine the evidence to identify what Gen Z students are seeking in terms of career development on campus; how they view the labour market; and, what their expectations are of employers and for their career launch post-education.

  • Are you new to campus recruitment or are your campus recruitment efforts not delivering the ROI needed? Why does a tactic work at one school but not the next?

    Join Robert and Kimberley as they cite research and provide valuable insight from their over 20 years of on-campus recruitment experience. You will learn recruitment strategies that can help a wide variety of organizations tap into their future workforce today.

    After just 60 minutes session participants will:

    1. Learn how your corporate versus employer brands differ;
    2. Hear why having a strong employer brand is essential to a successful campus recruitment strategy;
    3. Determine how best to allocate your campus recruiting resources to best fit your student recruitment needs;
    4. Understand why leveraging the expertise of campus career centres is essential and why an institutional customization of your talent attraction strategy is needed;
    5. Hear Robert and Kim’s Top 10 Strategies for growing your on campus brand.

  • The workplace has evolved more in the last 10 years than in the 100 years prior, but we're only just beginning a transition that will completely redefine how, where, when and why we work.

    Prior to the industrial revolution, work was a quintessentially human activity, valuing quintessential human skills. During the turn of the last century, however, work became more robotic, valuing increasingly robotic traits. The transition from a human-centric workforce to the industrial age also wouldn't have been possible without the introduction of workplace conventions and standards, many of which are still in use today.

    After more than 100 years, however, those conventions and standards are beginning to crumble, with advanced technologies and automation ironically returning the concept of "work" to its human-centric roots. Now the most in-demand skills and attributes and the latest workplace trends and structures more closely resemble those of the pre-industrial era than those of the last century. As we enter the next chapter in the evolution of work, we can learn much about what's next by exploring what came before.

  • This session will look at the transition from secondary to post-secondary to the world of work from the lens of a student with a visible and/or non-visible disability. While your institution may offer services to support academic accommodations, it may not be addressing the employment support needs and opportunities that are often needed by students with disabilities.

    You’ll learn about a unique project in the Ottawa area, where two colleges and two universities have been collaborating to explore how they can work together to reduce the employment gap for students and graduates with disabilities, through the David C. Onley Initiative for Employment and Enterprise Development, and the public awareness campaign #AbleTo, geared to inform and engage students, campuses and local employers.

  • Looking to take your personal brand as a recruiter to the next level? Wondering how you can become a talent influencer in your industry? Overwhelmed with what you should be posting and how frequently?

    This interactive session will provide insights on how you can build trust with candidates online, increasing not only your personal brand but in turn your organization's brand. Through live examples, you will learn how to create quality content, improve both your LinkedIn and Twitter presence and understand the fundamentals of personal branding.

  • Campus Recruitment is an important piece of every company’s ability to attract and retain the next generation of talent. Building brand awareness and engagement on campus is necessary and requires time and dedication to build key relationships. Being a smaller company amongst the big companies you can at times feel as though you are going unnoticed and unrecognized … but having the big name doesn’t guarantee your campus brand will be successful. You and your creativity along with your relationships make the brand, the engagement, and the overall student recognition.

    This workshop will dive into the top strategies to help you compete, including: developing key campus relationships; maximizing sponsorship opportunities; effective social media use; enlisting your internal stakeholders; and a wide variety of events – on and off campus.

  • The incoming talent pool is preparing to enter a workplace that will look very different from the one you entered when you first began your career. Some of the things that bother managers today might actually be things that next generation talent needs to do in order to thrive in future workplaces (for example, their reliance on technology). They need to think differently about work than anyone has ever had to before - and this can cause challenges.

    This presentation explores the values, the motivators and expectations of today’s students. Understanding the next generation of talent is essential to recruiting and retaining tomorrow’s workforce.

  • The Talent Partnership Expo will take place on the afternoon of the first day of the Future Workforce conference, followed by a cocktail reception. For employers, the Expo is an opportunity to learn about new programs, services, and schools that they may not usually partner with. For schools, the Expo is an opportunity to make new employer connections.

    The Expo is intended to maximize interaction and information exchange with the least possible effort. There will be no large display booths, just great connections and conversations. 

    Each “exhibitor” will host conversations at a high-top table. 

    Before the exhibits “open,” several schools will make “one-minute pitches” to encourage employers to visit their table. The 90-minute Expo will be comprised of 15 minutes of these brief “pitches” followed by 75 minutes of interaction.

  • Day Two

    Thursday, November 28

  • In a time of unprecedented change and disruption to the very nature of work, this opening panel brings together an exceptional group of subject matter experts from the workforce ecosystem, representing the worlds of business, academia and industry to explore and shed light on the challenges and opportunities for industry in developing the Future Workforce.

    Mark Patterson, Executive Director of Magnet and Founding Member of the Future Skills Centre Advisory Board, will moderate a discussion that explores these questions:

    • What are the “hot button” challenges for industry in building a competitive workforce of the future in Canada?
    • Where is Canada shining in a global context?
    • What are the opportunities that Canadian companies should be leaning into?
    • Focusing on the big picture, what are the global trends at play in workforce innovation that we collectively ignore at our peril?
    • In order to prepare for the future, what should our national roadmap look like- and how can we ensure that we take a holistic, collaborative approach to change across the workforce ecosystem?

  • In 2019, Brainstorm Strategy Group implemented an in-depth survey of more than 24,000 post-secondary students across Canada. The survey covered a broad range of topics related to education and careers including goals and aspirations, career development, the job search, and employer preferences. Among the respondents were more than 600 students who self-identify as Indigenous; more than 900 who indicate they have a disability; more than 2,000 who are LGBTQ, and more than 5,000 from visible minorities.

    Their birth year makes these students all “Gen Z,” but their varied backgrounds and experiences lead to some great differences. This presentation will illuminate some of the unique career development and employment interests and needs of each of these diverse groups and help to shed light on what employers and educators need to do to engage them.

  • As post-secondary institutions are challenged to become more responsive to the future readiness of their graduates, new structures, relationships, approaches and programming need to be developed. This session will focus on the foundation and advances made at Wilfrid Laurier University to develop, secure support, and implement an institutional approach to experiential learning and career development.

  • While organizations have come to recognize the strategic benefits of building a diverse and inclusive work environment, unconscious bias in the recruitment process often debilitates employers' ability to build a diverse workforce.

    While AI offers some promise of overcoming bias, the challenge for engineering teams in building and designing this technology is extremely complex.

    Hear real experiences from industry experts on how they've tackled bias, helped increase diversity in the workplace, and ensured that the technologies they use are ethically built.

  • Are you an ideas person?
    Do you a burning idea that you are looking to develop and bring to fruition for your institution?
    Do you have a frustration, pain point, process or program that you wondered “what if we did this differently”?

    Come to our “hacking the future” session where we will discuss ideas that our participants have and be surrounded by other innovators prepared to give feedback, allowing people to work through an idea with like minded people. In post-secondary – we are both collaborators and competitors – “collompetion” – we like to lead the way and will share the way once we’ve launched. Keeping this in mind, those that come to this session agree to add to other’s ideas, collaborate on how to bring the ideas to fruition and cheer them on along the way. Participants will not only walk away with an elevated idea that they can bring back to their institution, but also a new network of people to collaborate with in the future.

  • This facilitated panel will give delegates an opportunity to hear directly from a diverse group of students and recent graduates about what really works when attracting and recruiting students on campus. What do they think of employers’ websites, their social media presence, and the in-person experiences created on campus and off? How have employers truly impressed them – or turned them off? What are their perceptions of the future of work?

    During this panel discussion, you will learn how accurate your current perceptions are of students’ career preferences and what drives their decisions. Ask questions, listen to alternate perspectives and join the debate! This is your chance to get “up close and personal” with the future workforce.

  • Three different companies in three different industries all share a similar objective: to attract the attention of the right student candidates and create an opportunity to engage. In today's highly competitive recruitment market – and with students' attention split across so many different communication channels – how do you connect through the noise? How can employers deliver an authentic message that will catch students' attention and build trust?

    Join these three experts from Blackberry, Accor Group, and BMO Financial Group as they share their experiences and most recent tactics to create a dialogue with Gen Z. Learn what has worked and what has fallen short. Then join the discussion, pose your questions, and share your experiences.

  • PwC Canada embarked on their journey using video interviews and online assessments for campus recruitment in 2017. Since that time the firm has experienced many talent successes in the market and also several lessons learned in relation to the candidate and internal client experience. In the summer on 2019 PwC Canada launched an enhanced digital process, integrating on demand video interviews and gamified assessments.

    Hear how PwC Canada's innovative approaches opened up the recruitment funnel, decreased time to offer and resulted in their most diverse entry level cohorts ever. From CEO engagement to technical go-live, their Recruitment & Resourcing Leader will highlight the key milestones and learning points from their experiences.

  • The War on Talent is here and employers need to maximize the great talent they already have. Hear how Dentsu Aegis Network, a leading marketing services and digital group, launched a talent mobility program that created a new wave of innovation and engagement. Hear how HR teamed up with the business to launch a program that is helping the next generation of talent have career inspiration conversations across the business.

    This session will cover:
    - A refreshing look at mobility in a multi-generational workforce
    - Thinking about mobility from a lens of innovation, engagement, and inclusion
    - Developing the KPIs and ROI
    - Launching a Pilot
    - Success stories
    - Scaling mobility through technology

  • In a competitive talent landscape where job opportunities for students are endless, how does your organization stand out? Employers today need to evolve their talent acquisition strategy to attract and retain young talent. Students are continually looking for thoughtful and impactful ways to engage with companies, outside of the traditional information session. In 2018, we listened to our students and reconsidered how employers can engage with young talent on-campus.

    Join Kathryn Leistner and Rachelle Ireson as they take you through the innovate, high-impact campus engagement initiatives they launched in 2018 for their employer partners. Through these exciting initiatives, they saw a number of successes, including: a 46% increase in student engagement; a 200%-1300% increase in student hires for partnering employers, and; becoming known as providing some of the most innovative campus engagement opportunities in North America.

  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) is poised to permeate and potentially disrupt many, if not all, industries. With new technology comes a new set of challenges and considerations from an ethical perspective. Join Jeff Lui in this session, where he will discuss the impact of AI and the questions that must be considered when developing any responsible AI implementation and its impact on the workforce. He will also discuss his career journey through the field of AI and how he continues to be involved in the wider industry.