Max Valiquette 

Innovation and Trends Expert


Trends With Benefits

In his opening keynote address at the National Museum for Human Rights, Max Valiquette will discuss current trends and what they mean to pension and benefits industry. “Trends with Benefits” looks at shifting demographics, new cultural trends, shifts in business and industry, and developing, disruptive technologies. 

Max Valiquette helps companies, organizations, and brands find solutions to their problems by better understanding their employees, customers, and communities. Named one of Canada’s “Most Influential Marketers” by Marketing magazine, he has worked with some of the biggest brands around the world throughout the course of his career as a leading marketing and brand strategist.


As a journalist and broadcaster, Valiquette hosted TVOntario’s weekly youth-oriented current affairs show, VoxTalk; was a frequent contributor to the internationally syndicated television programs Listed and Evolution; and has made frequent appearances as both a panelist and guest-host for the Business News Network’s daily wrap-up show, SqueezePlay. He can be heard every two weeks as a “Round One” panelist on Moore in the Morning, and every month on AM1010’s weekly radio rewind, Viewpoints. Valiquette has appeared on the CBC’s Lang and O’Leary Exchange,  written and delivered columns for CBC Radio’s Day One, and appeared on Q and The Current. He also writes for the pages of Canadian Business, Marketing,  and Strategy magazines. His insights and opinions have been featured in The Financial Post and The Globe and Mail; on NPR and MuchMusic; and in scores of other media outlets.

Valiquette holds a BA from the University of Ottawa, is a former Central Canadian Debating Champion, and has performed, as a sketch comedian, on the main stage at Second City Toronto.

JUNE 6, 2017 

Leonardo Brody

Leonard Brody

Business and Technology Visionary


The Great ReWrite

We are living in a unique moment in history, when revolutionary change is occurring at a frenzied pace. Whereas the Industrial Revolution took over a century to cement, widespread change now happens in decades, or even in just years. In fact, the last five years have been some of the most tumultuous in history, coming on the end of the financial crisis and giving way to huge bounds in technological advancement in every sector.

While change used to happen from the top down, through governments and management, change now happens from the ground up, with savvy entrepreneurs dictating everything from new technology, to currency, to banking practices, to what’s being called “the internet of things”.

This massive scale of disruption has understandably left organizations on shaky footing, struggling to to engage consumers and employees alike and stay relevant. Those that learn to adapt to this rapid pace of change, that allow themselves to be “rewritten” for the modern day, will survive and prosper.

In his keynote address, Leonard Brody will explain the answer to this widespread uncertainty, and how to harness it in your organization.

Leonard Brody has been called “a controversial leader of the new world order” by BC Business magazine. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, venture capitalist, bestselling author, and a two-time Emmy nominated media visionary who is consistently ranked as the #1 speaker on conference programs. In his compelling, customized talks–for clients ranging from the United Nations to Visa and Pepsi–Leonard addresses the rapid pace of change, innovation, and disruption facing us all, and what to do about it.

Leonard has helped in raising millions of dollars for start-up companies; been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history; and has been involved in the building, financing, and/or sale of five companies to date. He is currently the President of the Innovation and Digital Group for the Anschutz Company, one of the largest live sport and entertainment businesses on the planet, which owns assets such as the O2 Arena in London and the Staples Center in LA; sports teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Galaxy, and the Los Angeles Kings; and is one of the premier concert promotion businesses in the world, seating hundreds of millions of people a year.

Leonard also acts as principal in several venture capital funds throughout the world; is behind the financing and creation of 20-30 companies a year; and is one of the proud owners of Coventry City Football Club in England. If that wasn’t enough, Leonard was asked to run for Mayor of Vancouver in their last election.

A highly sought-after speaker, Leonard has lectured at institutions such as Stanford, the G8 and the United Nations. His insight has been requested by companies such as The Financial Times, Warner Music, Dell, Visa and Pepsi, as well as, the governments of countries such as India, Israel, Ireland, Russia and South Africa. His work has been featured in such publications as Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, the BBC and The New York Times.

Leonard is co-author of the bestselling books, Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Jurassic Park to Java and Everything I Needed to Know About Business…I Learned from a Canadian. Currently, he is authoring a new book in partnership with Forbes magazine, entitled, The Great Re:Write. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Queens University, a law degree from Osgoode Hall and is a graduate of the Private Equity Program at the Harvard Business School.

  JUNE 6, 2017

Virologist Dr. Jim Strong 

From the National Microbiology Laboratory

Lunch Guest Speaker: Dr. Jim Strong 

Outbreaks: What keeps a High Containment Researcher Up at Night?" 

The worst Ebola virus outbreak in the history began in December 2013 and surveillance is still ongoing in some parts of West Africa. The Special Pathogens department of the Public Health Agency of Canada’s (PHAC) has provided diagnostic support via numerous deployments of the mobile laboratory to assist World Health Organization and Médecins Sans Frontières in their disaster responses as well as the developing some of the key medical counter-measures (e.g. Zmapp and VSV-EBOV vaccine) that have been used on some human patients.

While the world including Canada have been preparing for outbreaks such as this, mostly by performing basic and applied research on high consequence pathogens, this outbreak caught many in the high containment field off guard by its size, geography and rapidity of spread.

In order for us to prevent Ebola and other viruses from affecting Canadians we must understand their complex lifecycles for which we are just scratching the surface.  Specialized training, high containment facilities, research models and travel to remote regions of the world are expensive challenges but necessary to protect Canadians from these rare but imposing infections. 

Speaking from his own experiences on the ground, fighting Ebola, Virologist Dr. Jim Strong asks us to reimagine the way we structure our healthcare systems and how the ravages of Ebola could have been diminished with better preparation and attitudes

  Jim Strong obtained his MD and PhD from University of Calgary and subsequently came to Winnipeg for training in Pediatrics as well as Post-Doctoral training at the National Microbiology Laboratory.

His PhD studies included the molecular virology of Reovirus. He is currently cross appointed to Departments of Pediatrics and Child Health, Medical Microbiology and Pediatric Infectious Diseases at the University of Manitoba as well as the Head of Diagnostics and Therapeutics Division of Special Pathogens at the Public Health Agency of Canada. 

He has also been a consultant to the World Health Organization in management of Ebola and Marburg virus outbreaks in equatorial Africa. His current research interests include basic clinical pathophysiology of filoviruses in cell culture and animal systems..
May 7, 2017 

Wednesday Keynote Speaker: TBC

Speech Topic TBC

Thank you to all FORUM 2017 sponsors