Agenda 2022

Agenda is subject to change.

Day 1: October 19


8:00 – 9:00 am | Registration and Breakfast Networking


9:00 – 9:05 am | Welcome and Opening Remarks


9:05 – 9:45 am | How to Remain Unflappable in the Face of Anything: Lessons from a Professional Adventurer on Staying Cool Under Pressure 

Staying cool under pressure is one of the most critical components of success in any walk of life; whether it’s a snarling grizzly bear waking you up in the night or working in a high-pressure career environment. Shoalts has learned to handle pressure and stress in a way that’s different than most: by sleeping alone in polar bear territory, paddling a canoe through mazes of shifting arctic ice floes, trekking solo in mountains, and riding out countless storms and gales in his canoe and tent. He’s seen remarkable success with his adventures.

Shoalts is the author of bestselling books, has made multiple international TV appearances, and has even met one-on-one with the Prime Minister of a G8 nation. None of this would have happened if he didn’t first learn how to dispel worry and remain cool under pressure.

In his keynote session, Shoalts draws lessons from some of his most epic adventures to demonstrate how audiences can take what he’s accomplished in the wild and apply it to their high-pressure professional situations. With wit and humour, he shows us how we can move further than we ever thought possible and become unshakeable under pressure.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to block out distractions and develop a positive mindset in the face of challenge
  • The mental tactics needed to successfully manage high-stress situations
  • The secrets of endurance to help overcome physical and mental challenges

Keynote Speaker: Adam Shoalts


9:45 – 10:15 am | Building a Strong Future for Research, Education and Innovation in Ontario

ORION’s ongoing strategy is focused on three priority areas: cultivating purpose and engagement within the industry, supporting world-class research, education and innovation through our network and building trusted community partnerships. In this session, ORION CEO and President, Alfonso Licata will share the journey so far and set the course for the future.

Speaker: Alfonso Licata


10:15 – 10:30 am | Break


10:30 – 11:10 am | Concurrent Breakouts 

Breaking Vendor Lock-in to Accelerate Innovation in Next Generation Education and SmartHealth Networks 

Most would agree that multi-vendor networks—enabling best-of-breed innovation and price competition—are preferable to networks dominated by a single vendor. But breaking vendor lock-in has been a struggle. This presentation identifies the root causes for vendor lock-in, and how today’s advances in technology with disaggregation, open modelling and user programmability, we can address this dilemma.

Speaker: Filipe Correia

Modernizing the Campus  

Brought to you by Amazon Web Services (AWS) 

The pandemic has accelerated digital transformation in education, and as restrictions lift and return to the campus moves forward, change continues. Hear about success stories from the last few years, and get inspired to reimagine solutions to common problems facing the education space. This session will bring you the good and highlight some growing concerns that transcend the status quo. From enabling researcher access to computing power to building new applications to deliver a more engaging student experience, hear from the people working directly with institutions in Ontario today. 

Speaker: Candi Jeronimo

Cybersecurity in the Past, Present and Future Workplace  

Technology has been transforming higher education for decades, since the first computer in Canada started being built in UofT 1949. Technology has enabled institutions to run efficiently, transform research capabilities, make connections around the world, and much more. And while technology has enabled us to do so much, it also presents modern-day challenges.

Now that everyone—administrative staff, faculty and students—relies on computers and the internet for their day-to-day job, the cybersecurity mindset is shifting from exclusively an IT responsibility, to understanding that everyone plays a role in protecting their workplace from cyber attacks. And with the increase in hybrid and remote work, the threat landscape has expanded: there are now more devices and more networks for cyber criminals to infiltrate.

Join CIRA for a look at how working in higher education has evolved over the past, present and future, and what tools and processes IT teams are now looking to implement to reduce cyber risk. 

Speakers: Ryo Nakane and Andrew Fraser


11:15 – 11:55 am | Concurrent Breakouts 

Optimizing the Workforce for Cyber Crisis Resilience: An Interactive Simulation Hosted by Immersive Labs

As we continue to evolve our corporate defences, even the best crisis response plans struggle to account for the human element. The performance of your technology might be a known quantity, but what about your human capabilities? This interactive session will test organization-wide decision-making skills using a realistic cyber crisis.

Join this interactive session to:

  • Understand the business impact of technical choices, stakeholder management actions and more
  • See real-time data on the effects of decisions on crisis management and response
  • Strengthen your organization on both sides for greater resilience

Speaker: Immersive Labs

The State of Play for Communicating Research Funding Opportunities to Internal and External Stakeholders: Barriers and Opportunities

Based on interviews and survey data collected from research administrators across Canada in 2021, this session will share the current state of how Research Administrators communicate funding opportunities as well as innovative new ways of solving identified pain points.

Speakers: Shawna Reibling and Brian Romansky

It is on Us to Shape a People-First Future of Work

Prieeyya Kaur Kesh explores how the role of the worker, workplace and workforce are each evolving and has a vision for what we can do to actively shape how they connect and intersect.  

The Great Resignation, The Great Reshuffle, the 4-day workweek and quiet quitting—all signal the need for a better way of working, training and managing people. Because what we have right now is not equipped to carry us into a future of work and a job market that is itself evolving. The World Economic Forum cites that we are in a transitional time as a global labour market, where automation across sectors will displace almost 85 million jobs while over 97 million jobs will be created as a result of technology adoption at scale.  

In all this, Prieeyya presents data, observations and actionable insights for leaders to understand the opportunity ahead of us (both globally and locally here in Ontario) as it relates to training, managing and work environments. In this unprecedented shift of labour between humans and machines that is playing out in real-time, it is on us, as a collective workforce to ensure that we are shaping and creating a future of work that is both inclusive and human-centric. 

Speaker: Prieeyya Kaur Kesh


11:55 am – 1:00 pm | Lunch


1:00 – 1:40 pm | Collaborating for the Future: ORION Community Spotlight

The collaboration, innovation and creativity of the ORION community never cease to inspire. This session features lightning presentations about unique, forward-thinking initiatives from across our ecosystem.

Lightning Presentation 1—The University of Ottawa Cyber Hub

The University of Ottawa (uOttawa) Cyber Hub brings together world-class researchers, experts and leaders to drive excellence in experiential training and interdisciplinary research in cybersecurity and cyber safety. This presentation will highlight key elements of the uOttawa Cyber Hub including the uOttawa-IBM Cyber Range as well as the colocalization of the uOttawa IT Security Operations Centres that will help drive future collaborations.  

Speakers: Jean-Ray Arseneau, Guy Vincent Jourdan and Sean Geddes

Lightning Presentation 2—Living Labs: Developing a Formula for Transformative Change 

CENGN has put its first Smart Living Labs into operation, providing innovative digital tech companies access to industry-specific commercial-grade deployment environments. The CENGN Smart Mining and Smart Greenhouse Living Labs are real-world connected mining and greenhouse facilities that enable IoT-based validation projects. Learn how these environments help Canadian tech companies commercialize their products and drive digital transformation across sectors. 

Speaker: Lisa Klimstra

Lightning Presentation 3The Challenge of the Virtual Campus 

After two years of research and teaching in a virtual campus, we have encountered many challenges. What have we learned as we move forward and how does this impact the way we teach coding, AI and Cyber in the future?  

Speaker: Ali Hirji


1:45 – 2:25 pm | Strategies to Promote Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility in the Workplace

As organizations work to promote equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility (EDIA) in the workplace, many struggle with where to start, how to develop a strategy around it as well as understand the challenges of an EDIA culture. In this panel, we will learn about best practices and challenges as individuals and organizations implement EDIA programs and policies.

Speakers: Sheliza JamalSyrus Marcus Ware and Heather Watts


2:30 pm | Closing Remarks


6:00 – 10:00 pm | ORION Anniversary Dinner at Earls


Day 2: October 20


8:30 – 9:00 am | Registration and Breakfast Networking


9:00 – 9:05 am | Opening Remarks


9:05 – 9:45 am | A Global Conversation: Forging the Future of Global Research Education and Innovation Networks

As part of the Global Research and Education Network (GREN), ORION connects Ontario to the global community. In 2022, the annual investment in global research is approximately $2 billion USD. Investment by research and education networks across the globe supports access to international tools, collaboration and learning. Over the past three years, the value and impact of research and education networks have been greater than ever. We now have an opportunity to reflect on our collective impact and assess the challenges and opportunities that will define the future direction of research, education and innovation networks. This international panel will highlight the unique impact of their individual networks and discuss collective challenges for cybersecurity and the value of diversity for furthering innovation.

Speakers: Howard Pfeffer, Jet de Ranitz, Jim Ghadbane and Louis Fox

Moderator: Alfonso Licata


9:45 – 10:25 am | The Future of Workplace Mental Health and Neurodiversity is Strengths-Based: Meet Your Superheroes

Imagine forging a future of healthy and resilient work cultures built through innovation and collaboration to reveal the powers of the Superheroes in your midst!

Discover a unique strengths-based vision of the lived experience of mental health and neurodivergence that engages, empowers, and elevates your commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. It’s easier than you think. Get ready to make real change, shake up the status quo, and have fun while forging this new future!

Speaker: Sharon Blady


10:30 – 10: 45 am | Break


10:45 – 11:25 am | Bold New World: The Future of Leadership

What if public and nonprofit sector leadership radically evolved over the next few years? Current leadership models and structures are not working in many public and nonprofit contexts. Prior to COVID-19, many organizations were struggling to address systemic racism, gender equality, Indigenous reconciliation and shifting generational values, creating tension for dominant leadership philosophies. Many of these challenges have been intensified by COVID-19 stresses and financial constraints, while a host of other challenges have emerged, demonstrating the fraught nature of current leadership approaches. Join us to explore emerging changes impacting leadership philosophies, aspirational future scenarios that might unfold, and present-day examples that illustrate the possibility of these futures.

Speakers: Jessica Thornton and Heather Russek


11:25 – 11:30 am | Closing Remarks


11:30 am | BBQ Lunch