Think Conference 2022

Saskatchewan Polytechnic presents THINK: The Future of Work, Technology and Learning 2023. This unique, one-day conference will help us prepare for the possibilities of our future.

We are excited to invite you to join us for the 4th annual one-day event, presented by Saskatchewan Polytechnic.  The featured cutting-edge Keynote Speakers, and exciting roundtable discussions will be greatly thought-provoking.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Be sure to check this page daily for updates on our exciting program and guest speakers!


Conference Keynote Speakers

Dr. Michelle R. Weise

Dr. Michelle R. Weise is the author of Long-Life Learning: Preparing for Jobs that Don’t Even Exist Yet (Wiley, 2021). Her book was awarded the 2021 Phillip E. Frandson Award for Literature by UPCEA (University Professional and Continuing Education Association), recognizing the author and publisher of an outstanding work of continuing higher education literature. Thinkers50 named her one of 30 management and leadership thinkers in the world to watch in 2021.

Dr. Weise leads Rise & Design, an advisory service tailored for organizations seeking to design education and workforce strategies that will prepare working-age adults for the jobs of today and tomorrow. In the past, she has served as Vice Chancellor of Strategy and Innovation at National University System, Senior Advisor at Imaginable Futures, a venture of The Omidyar Group. She was also the Chief Innovation Officer of Strada Education Network as well as of Southern New Hampshire University. With Clayton Christensen, she co-authored Hire Education: Mastery, Modularization, and the Workforce Revolution (2014) while leading the higher education practice at Christensen’s Institute for Disruptive Innovation.

Her service work includes advising BrightHive, a data collaboration platform, the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP), the SkillUp Coalition, Basta, Hitch, Bayes Impact, Clayton Christensen Institute Social Capital R&D Project, and World Education’s Personal and Workplace Success Skills Library. She has also served as a commissioner for Massachusetts Governor Baker’s Commission on Digital Innovation and Lifelong Learning, Harvard University’s Task Force on Skills and Employability, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ Commission on the Future of Undergraduate Education.

Her commentaries on redesigning higher education and developing more innovative workforce and talent pipeline strategies have been featured in The Economist, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Harvard Business Review and on PBS NewsHour.

Michelle is a former Fulbright Scholar and a graduate of Harvard and Stanford.

Paul Leinward
Paul Leinwand is an Adjunct Professor of Strategy at Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management, and Global Managing Director, leading the Firm's approach to Capabilities Driven Strategy and Growth for Strategy&, PwC's strategy consulting business (previously Booz & Company where he was a senior partner).   
Mr. Leinwand has co-authored a series of books with Harvard, including Beyond Digital: How Great Leaders Transform Their Organizations and Shape the Future (Harvard Business Press, 2022), Strategy That Works: How Winning Companies Close the Strategy through Execution Gap (Harvard Business Press, 2016), The Essential Advantage: How to Win with a Capabilities-Driven Strategy (Harvard Business Press, 2010) and Cut Costs & Grow Stronger (Harvard Business Press, 2009).   He has also co-authored many articles on purpose, identity, strategy and leadership with HBR, including Why Are We Here?, The Coherence Premium, Digitizing isn't the same as Digital Transformation, 6 Leadership Paradoxes for the Post-Pandemic Era, The Cure for the Non-For-Profit Crisis, Ask an Expert: How Do I Become a CEO?, Your Whole Company Needs to Be Distinctive, Not Just Your Product, as well as articles with the Wall Street Journal and Strategy + Business. 
Mr. Leinwand sits on the board of the Smithsonian's Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum, the Goodman Theatre, The Adirondack Mountain Club, and The Genuine Scooter Company, and has served as an advisor to many non profits.   Mr. Leinwand has spoken about topics of purpose, identity, strategy at numerous events and forums, and also served on the World Economic Forum's Global Future Councils.     
Mr. Leinwand has a Masters in Management from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Washington University in St. Louis.

Martin Ford

Martin Ford is a futurist and author focusing on artificial intelligence and robotics, and the impact of these technologies on the job market, economy and society.

He has written four books on technology. His 2015 book, Rise of the Robots: Technology and the Threat of a Jobless Future, was a New York Times bestseller and won the £30,000 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award.

In Ford's most recent book, Rule of the Robots: How Artificial Intelligence Will Transform Everything (2021), he argues that AI is a systemic, general purpose technology that will ultimately compare to electricity in terms of its impact on the economy and society. Ford argues that AI will be one of humanity's most consequential technologies, transforming virtually every industry and aspect of civilization, and that it will be critical driver of increased innovation and creativity that will lead to future advances across a broad range of fields in science, engineering and medicine.

Ford's previous book, Architects of Intelligence: The Truth about AI from the People Building It (2018) consists of conversations with the most prominent research scientists and entrepreneurs working in the field of artificial intelligence, including Demis Hassabis, Geoffrey Hinton, Ray Kurzweil, Yann LeCun, Yoshua Bengio, Nick Bostrom, Fei-Fei Li, Rodney Brooks, Andrew Ng, Stuart J. Russell and many others. The conversations recorded in the book delve into the future of artificial intelligence, the path to human-level AI (or artificial general intelligence), and the risks associated with progress in AI.

His first book, The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future (2009) also dealt with the effects of automation resulting from advances in artificial intelligence, and the potential for structural unemployment and dramatically increasing inequality.

Ford earned a BSE in computer engineering, magna cum laude, from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and a graduate business degree from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.



Ken Coates

Ken Coates is one of Canada's foremost analysts of the challenges and opportunities facing the country. Raised in Whitehorse, Yukon, his northern informed views of Canada bring original and creative insights into contemporary realities. He works extensively on the impact of science and technology on society, particularly related to the world of work. He has deep insights into the issues facing rural and small towns in Canada and, conversely, the rise of the economically dominant city states in the country. Ken has also written extensively on Indigenous rights and economic development and has worked with Indigenous groups across Canada and internationally. He is a leading commentator on Arctic affairs and northern development. Author of many books and articles, Ken contributes extensively to debates on television, radio, newspaper and social media. He is the Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation, Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan.  


Long Life Learning Q&A Panellists

Kelly Lendsay

Kelly Lendsay, a social entrepreneur, is internationally recognized as one of Canada’s foremost innovators and organizational development experts in Indigenous engagement and workplace inclusion systems, models, and corporate/Indigenous partnerships.  His dynamic communications style and passion for innovation has earned him the reputation as an engaging thought leader and effective bridge-builder fostering trusted partnerships for workforce and economic development across Canada, USA, Australia and abroad.  He was honored by the University of Saskatchewan as one of their “100 Alumni of Influence” in the last century whose accomplishments have been recognized for influencing the growth and development of the university, the province, and the world. A proud Canadian Indigenous leader of Cree and Métis ancestry, he moves seamlessly between both worlds fostering economic inclusion, wellbeing, and prosperity for all.

In 2020, Lendsay founded “Luminary: Advancing Indigenous Innovation for Economic Transformation, Employment and Well-Being” with more than 160 Luminary partners including 88 universities, colleges and business schools, over 50 Indigenous businesses and NGO communities from Canada, USA, and Australia. This new Indigenous innovation eco-system is a ‘global first’ to accelerate research, innovation, and research talent development in Canada and abroad.

Kelly is recognized for pioneering numerous ‘innovative firsts’ over the last 35 years including new lifeguarding and lifesaving rescue techniques in his first career as an Aquatic and Recreation Director, Swiftwater Rescue 3 Company, and was youngest person to serve as chair of the National Lifeguard Service of the Lifesaving Society. He earned his MBA in 1993 and in 1994-95 launched the first Aboriginal Business Education program in Canada at the University of Saskatchewan.  In 1997, he led a team of consultants to produce the fifty-year economic forecast entitled: “Saskatchewan and Aboriginal Peoples in the 21st Century: Social, Economic and Political; Changes and Challenges - The Impact of the Changing Aboriginal Population on the Saskatchewan Economy: 1995-2045; this forecast was a unique first in Canada.

In 1998, Kelly stepped onto the national stage as the inaugural president and CEO of Indigenous Works, created by the recommendations in the 1996 Report from the Royal Commission of Aboriginal People. He has been leading the charge designing new systems and Indigenous engagement strategies, growing the organization into an award winning, ISO-certified enterprise.  In 2008, he was invited by the Australian Government (Education, Employment and Workplace Readiness Department) to conduct public and private sector workshops in Canberra, Sydney, and Brisbane sharing models and practices in Indigenous workplace inclusion strategies and systems. In 2009, he developed a partnership with the National Native American Human Resource Association in the United States; and over the past decade Kelly has generated more than a dozen sectoral partnerships in Canada and abroad including the World Indigenous Higher Education Consortium in 2022. He was a 2022 semi-finalist for Indigenous Entrepreneur of the Year award hosted by the CANIES Innovation and Entrepreneurs Foundation.

Steve Wilson

Steve Wilson was the executive lead of the new Centre for Digital Transformation C4DT and Smart Campus Projects at the British Columbia Institute of Technology BCIT. As a senior consultant with over 15 years of experience in the information and communication technology ecosystem, Steve provides strategic solutions to solve his clients’ biggest challenges. Combined with a number of professional and academic certifications, Steve is a passionate champion for the “Art of the Possible,” whether it is digital transformation, digital innovation, smart campus strategy or organizational leadership.

Steve is also an advocate of lifelong learning – futureproof, and is currently pursuing his PhD in the field of public sector digital innovation management, information governance and international public policy issues related to the Internet and universal access. Steve also continues to assist in the development of post-secondary training opportunities, online learning initiatives, digital innovation leadership and provides engaging presentations at industry events and conferences. Steve also authors articles including, Innovation Leadership in Polytechnics Beyond COVID: Sense Making and Transformation in an Age of Uncertainty, and the anticipated publication of his first book, Putting People First: Digital Transformation Management later this spring.

Steve is also currently studying behavioural insights as part of the Advanced Professional Certificate Program at the University of British Columbia. Steve’s family and his love of the outdoors, travel and meeting new people are his prime motivators. Steve currently lives on the Sunshine Coast of British Columbia with his spouse Cheryl and their three daughters.


Student and Alumni Round Table


Jesse White

In 2022, Jesse White crossed the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Regina campus convocation stage as a member of the first graduating class of Sask Polytech’s Bachelor of Applied Management program. White was also the recipient of the Student Outstanding Citizenship award, which recognizes a student who has inspired and encouraged others to make positive changes and whose work benefits the campus community and others.

Since 2016, White has earned several credentials through Sask Polytech including a certificate and diploma in Media Arts Production at Prince Albert campus, a certificate of completion from Shenzhen Polytechnic as part of the 2018 Sask Polytech international culture study in Shenzhen, China ,and a Website Design and Development applied certificate at Regina campus.

Jesse has been a voice for the student body, contributed to social causes and built relationships with faculty and fellow students throughout his journey at Sask Polytech. He served on the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Students’ Association (SPSA) for three years, including as president. In addition, White served as the student representative on the Sask Polytech Board of Directors for two years where he helped shape the Sask Polytech student experience.

Jesse is currently working as a communications coordinator with ALS/MND Associations.



Lindsey Boechler photo

Lindsey Boechler, MA, is a Research Manager with the Centre of Health Research, Innovation and Scholarship (CHRIS), Saskatchewan Polytechnic, Canada. Lindsey completed the Advanced Care Paramedic program at SIAST Wascana Campus in 2007 and practiced as an advanced care paramedic in urban, rural, and northern settings for more than a decade prior to becoming an educator. She began with the Saskatchewan Polytechnic School of Health Sciences in 2015 as a Paramedic programs faculty member, transitioning into the role of Program Head in 2017. Lindsey obtained her Master of Arts- Leadership from Royal Roads University in 2019 and is currently pursuing a PhD from Interdisciplinary Studies program the University of Saskatchewan. Lindsey is a 2022 Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship recipient, and she received Saskatchewan Polytechnic’s 2023 Applied Research Award of Excellence. Lindsey’s current research explores how virtual reality (VR) technology can be used to promote the mental health and well-being of Indigenous youth living in rural and remote communities and frontline personnel (paramedics and police officers) across Canada.

Lisa Malowany

Lisa Malowany graduated from the Rehabilitation Worker Diploma program in 1992. Since that time, she has worked in the disability service sector with a focus of supporting people experiencing disability to live their best lives. She is invited to speak to Saskatchewan. Polytechnic’s Disability Support Worker program every year to share her career path and the impact her education has had on it. She is currently the Program Manager and Trainer with SARC, a provincial association of approximately 100 community-based organizations dedicated to supporting people within their community to live life to their full potential.


Lyle is a recent graduate of the Mining Engineering Technology Program at the Saskatoon Campus. As a student, he sat on the executive board of two mining organizations and represented his program at many of their events.


Terrace Tonn

Terrace Tonn was a graduate of the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Dental Assisting Program in 2020 and has since returned to gain her Advanced Diploma in Dental Hygiene which she will complete in June 2023. She has been a very involved student during her four years at Saskatchewan Polytechnic serving on the Academic Progress Committee as well as the Curriculum Committee for the Dental Programs. During her time with the school she was also selected to represent her peers at the Dental Clinic Grand Re-Opening where she shared about her experiences as a student completing her program in the midst of a pandemic. Terrace worked alongside members of her program to organize the dental programs annual Health and Wellness Day which was hosted on April 1, 2023. She is also employed as a casual instructor aide in the dental assisting program where she works one-on-one with students to further develop their skills. Terrace is excited to share about her experiences as a Saskatchewan Polytechnic student who has returned to the school to advance her education after joining the workforce as a dental assistant. She brings a unique and well-rounded perspective as a Saskatchewan Polytechnic student and employee.


Future of Technology – How AI Will Transform Everything Q&A Panellists

Dr. Varunkumar Bathini

Dr. Varunkumar Bathini graduated from the College of Medicine at the University of Saskatchewan and completed his urological fellowship training at the University of Western Ontario (London). Varun is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery at the University of Saskatchewan. His clinical areas of expertise are minimally invasive surgery and surgical oncology.


Dr. Terry Peckham

Dr. Terry Peckham has his PhD in Computer Science specializing in data analysis and AI. He has been working at Sask Polytech more than 15 years. He is currently involved in designing and building business and industrial applications of machine learning and artificial intelligence. “I have the privilege of working with both small and large organizations helping them to move their R&D projects forward”. The Sask Polytech DICE Centre continues to grow as more companies from across Canada are finding out what we have to offer.


This not-to-be-missed program includes Keynote Speakers who will address the Future of Work, the Future of Technology, and the Future of Learning, and a riveting Round Table discussion featuring insights from Sask Polytech Students and Alumni.


Event Opening Welcome & Introductions

Greetings on behalf of the Province and Advanced Education - Honourable Minister Gordon Wyant, KC

Greetings from Sask Polytech - President & CEO, Dr. Larry Rosia


Keynote Address:  Long Life Learning by Dr. Michelle Weise
With Q&A Panellists: Kelly Lendsay and Steve Wilson


Student & Alumni Round Table: Envisioning Work and the Workplace of the Future
Facilitator: Jesse White




Keynote Address:  The Future of Work - Great Leadership Beyond Digital by Paul Leinwand (Virtual presenter)


Keynote Address:  The Future of Technology – How AI Will Transform Everything by Martin Ford
With Q&A Panellists: Dr. Varunkumar Bathini and Dr. Terry Peckham


Event Closing Remarks and Adjournment


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