Speakers

Dr. Peter Gamwell

Dr. Peter Gamwell is a sought-after speaker and moderator, and has been described as one of the most knowledgeable and thought-provoking presenters on organizational learning, leadership and creativity in North America. He is an award-winning leader in education, and most recently was presented with the 2014 Distinguished Leadership Award from the Ontario Public Supervisory Officers’ Association (OPSOA).

In this lively and engaging presentation, based on Peter’s new book (co-written with Jane Daly) The Wonder Wall: Leading Creative Schools and Organizations in an Age of Complexity, Peter explores the following critical questions: How do you set the stage to foster imaginative, creative and innovative organizational cultures? What strategies can you use to move forward successfully while challenging some common assumptions pertaining to leadership and learning? What are the conditions, fostered in an environment and culture, for optimal learning and creativity to flourish? What can we 'take-away' from inspiring stories of individuals and organizations who have successfully fostered creative learning cultures? Peter will weave delegates through a journey of questions, ideas, stories and song as he describes three imperatives for sparking fresh dialogue, dynamic learning and productive actions to support your organization embrace the new creative age.

Amanda Jetté Knox

Amanda is an award-winning Canadian writer, human rights advocate, public speaker and radio host. Through upheaval in both her personal and professional life, Amanda has learned to stare down fear, embrace change, challenge broken systems, and most of all, lead with love.

In early 2014, her middle child came out to the family as a transgender girl. Alexis’ journey changed everything, and taught Amanda a great deal about courage, compassion and authenticity. A few months later, inspired by Alexis’ courage, Amanda’s spouse of nearly two decades came out as a transgender woman. Since then, her family has been sharing their story of love and acceptance on both a local and international scale. Amanda has became passionate about LGBTQ rights, pushing for protective laws and safe spaces, and educating society about issues currently facing the LGBTQ community.

The family’s journey has been featured on Upworthy, Buzzfeed, CBC, Us Weekly, the Globe and Mail, and various other outlets. Amanda and Alexis recently did work for the UN Human Rights Council, and were featured by Microsoft Canada as two of six Canadian change-makers in their #my24hrs campaign and on the WE Day stage.

Join Amanda and Alexis as they hit the stage to take us through a powerful and awe-inspiring journey about embracing change, leading with love, and living our most authentic lives. 

Dr. Michael Ungar

Dr. Michael Ungar is the Canada Research Chair in Child, Family and Community Resilience at Dalhousie University, and the founder and Director of the Resilience Research Centre. He is among the best known writers and researchers on the topic of resilience in the world. As both a family therapist and professor of Social Work, he has helped to identify important factors that influence the resilience of children and adults during periods of transition and stress. Dr. Ungar’s immense influence comes from his ability to adapt ideas from his research and clinical practice into best-selling works like Working with Children and Youth with Complex NeedsToo Safe For Their Own Good: How Risk and Responsibility Help Teens Thrive and I Still Love You: Nine Things Troubled Kids Need from their Parents

In this story-filled presentation, Dr. Michael Ungar will use examples from his clinical practice and research collaborations on six continents to explore the nature of resilience among children and families. His work suggests the need for an ecological, culturally sensitive interpretation of what resilience means to young people who are confronting great adversity. His work challenges us to think about resilience as something nurtured rather than something innate. That includes breaking down professional silos and making systems work together. With tales from the children he’s met around the world, Michael will show how nine factors associated with resilience make it more likely young people will do well. He’ll discuss each factor along with strategies families, service providers, educators, communities, and governments can use to make each more available and accessible.

Jody Alexander

Jody Alexander is a member of the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan. She is currently the System Vice Principal for First Nations Metis & Inuit Education with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB). Previous, Jody taught at Eganville & District Public School (EDPS) for 13 years and was the First Nation Literacy and Numeracy Resource Teacher. In addition, she held the role of Aboriginal Education Teacher Lead for the Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB).

As a mother of two school-aged children, Jody has first-hand knowledge of the significance of advocating for students. She strives to have all Aboriginal student learning needs met. It is her belief that Aboriginal students achieve success through guidance and support in four main areas; a sense of belonging, a pride in identity, meeting basic needs, and most importantly, through trusting relationships. Jody believes that every student should be exposed to Aboriginal perspectives, knowledge and understanding. She is committed to ensuring Aboriginal Education is honoured throughout the OCDSB and the Province.

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