Agenda 2022

Agenda subject to change.

Day 1: October 19

8:00 am Registration and breakfast networking
9:00 am Opening remarks, including conference theme intro
9:05 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: Adam Shoalts

9:45 am ORION update
10:15 am


10:30 am

Breakouts by stream

Tech/Security Stream
11:15 am
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. 

Speaker: Ryo Nakane

Research Stream
11:15 am
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, Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Wilfrid Laurier University and Rob Darling, Strategic Advisor from Profound Impact.

12:00 pm Lunch
1:00 pm Panel, plenary
1:45 pm Keynote or plenary panel
2:45 pm Closing remarks
6:00 pm – 10:00 pm

ORION Anniversary Party

Day 2: October 20

8:30 am Registration and breakfast networking
9:00 am Opening remarks, recap of day before
9:05 am

Opening panel, plenary, or keynote

9:45 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 am


10:45 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

11:30 am Closing remarks and networking lunch