The High-Impact Talent Roundtable

August 26th 8am to 1230pm, Mount Royal University

Calgary having fewer post-secondary students could leave Calgary with a structural talent deficit in 5–10 years.

— Calgary Economic Development

Alberta, like much of the world, is facing an unprecedented pace of change, driven by technology, demographic shifts and globalization. Boundaries between traditional disciplines, sectors and skills are blurring, resulting in 66% of Canadian employers reporting difficulty in filling entry-level positions and 40% cannot find candidates with the required set of soft skills. This skills gap has a significant impact on both an organization’s competitiveness and an individual’s ability to pursue their personal and professional goals. This is the high-impact talent challenge.

High-Impact Talent is not defined by a simple check-list of skills. Rather, high-impact talent is driven by the unique labour market dynamics of a region, sector or organization, and is anchored in an individual’s capacity to effectively adapt and thrive in perpetually turbulent market conditions. These dynamic capabilities enable people to identify emerging opportunities and reconfigure or acquire new skills to thrive. People with dynamic capabilities are future-ready. They lead trends, they don’t follow. Click HERE to read more high-impact talent and dynamic capabilities. While the entire education system must ensure that we are developing future-ready students, universities have a unique role in supporting a graduate’s professional transition

Collaborating to Close the High-Impact Talent Gap

Dynamic capabilities enable people to identify emerging opportunities and reconfigure their skills or acquire new skills to thrive. People with dynamic capabilities are future-ready.

To confront this challenge, Mount Royal University’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is leading a research program exploring our dynamic labour market and how this impacts the development of adaptable high-impact talent. To support this, the Institute and MRU Career Services has developed a free open-access Designing YOU series, including 12 books and 14 podcasts, to support young adults in planning their personal and professional development.

As part of this initiative, you are invited to attend the High-Impact Talent Roundtable where we will explore how new and innovative approaches to work-integrated learning could contribute to developing talent that will thrive today and in the future. Questions we will explore include:

  1. What are the knowledge and skills that innovative employers require today and in the future?

  2. What is the gap between employers’ emerging needs and the knowledge and skills graduates possess?

  3. What role can work-integrated learning play in ensuring graduates are future ready?

  4. What are global best practices in work-integrated learning today?

Who Should Attend?

Because the challenge of developing high-impact talent is systemic, many of the solutions will require collaboration across the high-impact talent ecosystem. Therefore, the Roundtable will include employers, post-secondary educators, policymakers and students in higher education. The meeting will be a hands-on working session. All participants will roll up their sleeves, collaborate and contribute their expertise to the challenge of developing high-impact talent.

The Program

The Roundtable program will be interactive and focus on thought-provoking panels and small group discussions. As part of our discussions we will explore four radical proposals included in Stanford 2025 - An exploration of undergraduate experiences in the future, and how they could contribute to developing high-impact talent. These include:

Panel 1: The Future is Agile. Should it be for Higher Education?

Educators, employers and policymakers are advocating for more agile and responsive learning formats in universities. At its core, this challenges the future of a traditional university degree format. In its place, many believe that agile and adaptable talent development should be rooted in a portfolio of diverse learning and experiences, including work-integrated learning and micro-credentials. So, what is the future role of a university and a traditional university degree in this new learning model? For additional information click HERE.

 Panel 2: Can Work-Integrated Learning Develop Soft Skills?

Research suggests that employers are increasingly prioritizing foundational soft skills, including communications, organizational, critical thinking and interpersonal skills over task or discipline specific skills and knowledge. This panel will explore the opportunities and challenges that work-integrated learning may offer to systematically develop and track these essential skills during a student’s post-secondary education. For additional information click HERE.

Click HERE for the full agenda.

What is the Anticipated Outcome?

The outcome of the Roundtable will be a series of prioritized questions. Some of these questions may be big, with long-term implications demanding increased collaboration; while others may be small enough to be actioned by participants in a classroom or workplace. Mount Royal University’s Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will act as a conduit, facilitating partnerships among individuals and organizations to develop evidence-based and actionable intelligence. Armed with these insights, leaders in industry and universities can confidently move forward with implementing coordinated programs and policies that will have a significant impact on the high-impact talent challenge.

The Panelists

Dr. Stephen Price   is the Dean for the Faculty of Health, Community and Education at Mount Royal University. His faculty uses multiple forms of work-integrated learning, including clinical and practicum experiences, as well as community service learning, and international and domestic field experiences. Steve's research interests include student engagement and the role that student experiences, including work-integrated learning and community service learning, have on student success and preparing students for the future workplace.

Dr. Stephen Price is the Dean for the Faculty of Health, Community and Education at Mount Royal University. His faculty uses multiple forms of work-integrated learning, including clinical and practicum experiences, as well as community service learning, and international and domestic field experiences. Steve's research interests include student engagement and the role that student experiences, including work-integrated learning and community service learning, have on student success and preparing students for the future workplace.

AnneMarie Dorland   is an Assistant Professor in the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University. Named a Joseph Armand Bombardier Scholar by SSHRC and a member of the University of Calgary’s Teaching Academy, Dorland has been committed to bringing together her background as a graphic designer, brand strategist and qualitative researcher to develop innovative, creative and design-oriented undergraduate learning experiences for the past decade. Dorland has played an integral role in the design and leadership of the inquiry-based and experientially focused UCalgary Global Challenges curriculum, the first of its kind in Canada, and in the development and implementation of undergraduate research support for a U15 Canadian University. A creative practice researcher and contributor to several international publications on the use of design-based problem solving, she is passionate about using the practices of the studio to help students create new and innovative ideas in their marketing, branding and design work.

AnneMarie Dorland is an Assistant Professor in the Bissett School of Business at Mount Royal University. Named a Joseph Armand Bombardier Scholar by SSHRC and a member of the University of Calgary’s Teaching Academy, Dorland has been committed to bringing together her background as a graphic designer, brand strategist and qualitative researcher to develop innovative, creative and design-oriented undergraduate learning experiences for the past decade. Dorland has played an integral role in the design and leadership of the inquiry-based and experientially focused UCalgary Global Challenges curriculum, the first of its kind in Canada, and in the development and implementation of undergraduate research support for a U15 Canadian University. A creative practice researcher and contributor to several international publications on the use of design-based problem solving, she is passionate about using the practices of the studio to help students create new and innovative ideas in their marketing, branding and design work.


Pamela Brown    is  a Senior Human Resources Business Partner with RBC. Pamela provides strategic advice and counsel on employee engagement, talent management, diversity and inclusion, change management and other aspects of human resources. She brings more than 15 years of experience in communications, marketing, employee engagement, program management and strategic planning to her role with RBC. Past roles include leading corporate communications for RBC in Alberta, in addition to senior advisory and leadership roles in the public and non-profit sector. Pamela holds a Masters of Arts in Communications and Technology from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta.

Pamela Brown is a Senior Human Resources Business Partner with RBC. Pamela provides strategic advice and counsel on employee engagement, talent management, diversity and inclusion, change management and other aspects of human resources. She brings more than 15 years of experience in communications, marketing, employee engagement, program management and strategic planning to her role with RBC. Past roles include leading corporate communications for RBC in Alberta, in addition to senior advisory and leadership roles in the public and non-profit sector. Pamela holds a Masters of Arts in Communications and Technology from the University of Alberta, a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of King’s College and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Alberta.


Patti Pon  is a veteran community and arts champion with an extensive track that includes leadership positions at the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts (now Arts Commons), Alberta Performing Arts Stabilization Fund, and Alberta Theatre Projects, among others. She serves on the board of The Calgary Foundation and on a committee for the Calgary Stampede. She was a founding board member of the Asian Heritage Foundation (Southern Alberta), served on the steering committee for imagineCalgary, and was a member of the JUNO Executive Host Committee and the Olympic Bid Exploration Committee.

Patti Pon is a veteran community and arts champion with an extensive track that includes leadership positions at the EPCOR CENTRE for the Performing Arts (now Arts Commons), Alberta Performing Arts Stabilization Fund, and Alberta Theatre Projects, among others. She serves on the board of The Calgary Foundation and on a committee for the Calgary Stampede. She was a founding board member of the Asian Heritage Foundation (Southern Alberta), served on the steering committee for imagineCalgary, and was a member of the JUNO Executive Host Committee and the Olympic Bid Exploration Committee.

David Lui   is accountable for the omni-channel brand, digital and customer experience strategy of an iconic $1.2B apparel and footwear retailer (Mark’s, L’Equipeur) with over 380 stores across Canada, and Canada’s largest sports, health and wellness retailer (Sport Chek, Atmosphere, Sports Experts) with $2.1B in revenues across 430 stores coast to coast. Lui earned an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University. With over 25 years with some of the world's leading brands, Lui is passionate about the ever-changing retail market, supporting the needs of marketers and retailers, and has been recognized through multiple business awards for my leadership in the industry.

David Lui is accountable for the omni-channel brand, digital and customer experience strategy of an iconic $1.2B apparel and footwear retailer (Mark’s, L’Equipeur) with over 380 stores across Canada, and Canada’s largest sports, health and wellness retailer (Sport Chek, Atmosphere, Sports Experts) with $2.1B in revenues across 430 stores coast to coast. Lui earned an MBA from the Ivey Business School at Western University. With over 25 years with some of the world's leading brands, Lui is passionate about the ever-changing retail market, supporting the needs of marketers and retailers, and has been recognized through multiple business awards for my leadership in the industry.

Terry Sydoryk     is currently the CEO of Chaordix Inc., a Calgary based company that provides community software powering crowd innovation and co-creation for some of the world’s leading brands, including LEGO, Ford, Bosch, Proctor & Gamble and others. Terry has more than 25 years of senior management experience in the technology industry. He began his career with Nortel and worked in the areas of Finance, Product Management and Business Development. Following Nortel, Terry was a co-founder of Calgary based AudeSi Technologies Inc, (acquired by WindRiver Systems), COO of Toronto based Plazmic Inc (acquired by Research in Motion) and COO of Calgary based Evoco (acquired by Accruent). Terry is active in the Calgary technology sector as an advisor, board member and Angel Investor and is a founding member of the A100. Terry holds a BSc in Engineering and a MBA from the University of Alberta, and is actively coaching AAA Hockey.

Terry Sydoryk is currently the CEO of Chaordix Inc., a Calgary based company that provides community software powering crowd innovation and co-creation for some of the world’s leading brands, including LEGO, Ford, Bosch, Proctor & Gamble and others. Terry has more than 25 years of senior management experience in the technology industry. He began his career with Nortel and worked in the areas of Finance, Product Management and Business Development. Following Nortel, Terry was a co-founder of Calgary based AudeSi Technologies Inc, (acquired by WindRiver Systems), COO of Toronto based Plazmic Inc (acquired by Research in Motion) and COO of Calgary based Evoco (acquired by Accruent). Terry is active in the Calgary technology sector as an advisor, board member and Angel Investor and is a founding member of the A100. Terry holds a BSc in Engineering and a MBA from the University of Alberta, and is actively coaching AAA Hockey.

Court Ellingson   Joined Calgary Economic Development in 2014 as Research Manager. Since that time, he has focused on strategic planning for the organization and the community. As the steward of the Economic Strategy for Calgary he convened government, non-profit and private sector stakeholders in the creation and implementation of the  Calgary in the New Economy .  Court has been active in the community and economic development field for over 15 years including Country Program Manager for CUSO International in Indonesia and Senior Consultant with Millier Dickinson Blais (now MDB Insight). Court’s portfolio includes core research, strategic communications, Startup Calgary and Export Development. Through his role implementing  Calgary in the New Economy , Court convenes community to address Calgary’s priorities in Talent, Innovation, Place and Business Environment.

Court Ellingson Joined Calgary Economic Development in 2014 as Research Manager. Since that time, he has focused on strategic planning for the organization and the community. As the steward of the Economic Strategy for Calgary he convened government, non-profit and private sector stakeholders in the creation and implementation of the Calgary in the New Economy.

Court has been active in the community and economic development field for over 15 years including Country Program Manager for CUSO International in Indonesia and Senior Consultant with Millier Dickinson Blais (now MDB Insight). Court’s portfolio includes core research, strategic communications, Startup Calgary and Export Development. Through his role implementing Calgary in the New Economy, Court convenes community to address Calgary’s priorities in Talent, Innovation, Place and Business Environment.


Jennifer Pierce     joined TC Energy to lead Human Resources in April 2019. Previously, Jennifer was an executive with TransAlta and led acquisitions and clean energy development, engineering and construction as Senior Vice President of Business Development. Joining TransAlta in 2006, Jennifer held a series of progressively senior roles including Senior Vice President, Energy Trading & Marketing, Vice-President, Commercial Management, and Vice-President of Communications and Investor Relations. Jennifer has a Master of Business Administration from the Jesse H. Jones School of Management at Rice University. She also earned a Master of Political Management from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Boston University. Jennifer grew up in Calgary and remains active in the community. She is chair of the Mount Royal University School of Business and Communication Studies Dean’s Advisory Counsel. She was also vice-chair of the Board of Governors.

Jennifer Pierce joined TC Energy to lead Human Resources in April 2019. Previously, Jennifer was an executive with TransAlta and led acquisitions and clean energy development, engineering and construction as Senior Vice President of Business Development. Joining TransAlta in 2006, Jennifer held a series of progressively senior roles including Senior Vice President, Energy Trading & Marketing, Vice-President, Commercial Management, and Vice-President of Communications and Investor Relations. Jennifer has a Master of Business Administration from the Jesse H. Jones School of Management at Rice University. She also earned a Master of Political Management from The George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Communications from Boston University. Jennifer grew up in Calgary and remains active in the community. She is chair of the Mount Royal University School of Business and Communication Studies Dean’s Advisory Counsel. She was also vice-chair of the Board of Governors.

 
 
 
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