Conference program

All sessions take place at the Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel.

For the French program, please click here. To download the pdf version of the program, click on “Download program” from the drop down list of the Program menu tab.

November 20calendar-sunday

7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Welcome desk / registration

1 p.m.


1:15 p.m. to 2:15 p.m

Open heart, open mind

Featured speaker: Clara Hughes

The decorated Olympian shares the life-affirming story of her struggle with depression and her message of forgiveness.


2:15 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.


Better skills, better jobs, better lives – Raising the relevance and impact of  higher education for individuals and nations 

Featured speaker: Andreas Schleicher

The Director for Education and Skills at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development explains how higher education can promote economic growth and social progress.

3:15 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.

Refreshment break and exhibit hall

Book signing: Clara Hughes

Books are available for purchase on-site.

Location: Grand Ballroom East

3:45 p.m. to 4:45 p.m.

Knowledge marketplace roundtables

Short, simultaneous roundtable presentations on eight or nine subjects including the college funding formula, change management, indigenous education, and cyber security. Each presentation will be followed by active questions and discussion. Each roundtable lasts 30 minutes and will then be repeated, so delegates can attend two presentations. For details regarding each topic, click here.

Location: Dominion Ballroom, 2nd floor

4:45 p.m. to 5:15 p.m.

Annual general meeting

Location: City Hall room, 2nd floor

6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.

 Decades: The Start of Something Amazing celebration

Come celebrate with a look back at the food, fashion and music of the past decades. Drift into the days of peace and love, along with disco, glam rock and much more. Play to your heart’s content in the arcade or unleash your inner rock star with an air guitar battle. Get a tattoo, eat a corn dog, have your photo taken with your favourite sitcom stars, take part in a Twister game and fill your loot bags with retro candy! For more details, click here.

Featuring Toronto’s coolest dance band, The Digs.

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Location: Grand Ballroom and foyer

50_STICKER_Coloured Bar

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November 21calendar-monday

7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Welcome desk / registration

7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m.

Breakfast and exhibit hall

8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m.

Eaarth: Making a life on a tough new planet

Featured speaker: Bill McKibben

This internationally recognized climate-change activist says humans have created a new planet that might as well be called “Eaarth.” He says fundamental change is necessary for coping on this new planet that is suddenly and violently out of balance.

Location: Grand Ballroom

9:30 a.m. to 10:15 a.m.

Risk and reward 

Featured speaker: Will Gadd

Will Gadd, one of the world’s top outdoor adventure athletes, explains how taking risks can help everyone get ahead.

Location: Grand Ballroom

 10:15 a.m. to 10:45 a.m.

Refreshment break and exhibit hall

Book signing: Bill McKibben

Books are available for purchase on-site.

Location: Grand Ballroom East

10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.

Concurrent sessions 

Select one of the three sessions.


Session 1 – Released in the wild: Undergraduates and the problem of growing up 

While undeniably healthy, children in today’s adult-controlled society have fallen behind in their capacity to take on the world and to deal with life’s challenges. This session looks at how educators can facilitate students’ maturation and handle well-intentioned but interfering parents.

Speaker: Alex Russell, clinical psychologist, co-author of Drop the Worry Ball

Book Signing: Alex Russell will be at the Exhibit hall between 11:45 a.m. to noon.

Books are available for purchase on-site.



Session 2 – Technology, transformation and sustainability: The challenges for higher education

It’s not unusual for a technology-based learning initiative to be announced with great fanfare and then quickly disappear without a trace. This session will use two models – SAMR and EdTech Quintet – to develop successful processes for the long-term use of the technology.

Speaker: Ruben R. Puentedura, Founder and President, Hippasus (creator of the SAMR model)

Click here for the presentation slides.


Session 3 – How to pitch stories in today’s media landscape

Some of Canada’s top education journalists discuss the changes to today’s news media and how educators can effectively pitch story ideas to busy reporters.

Panelists: Simona Chiose, Education Reporter, Globe and Mail

                   Kim Honey, Special Issues Editor, Maclean’s magazine

Location: TBC

Noon to 1:15 p.m.


Presentation of the Minister’s Lifetime Achievement Award

Location: Grand Ballroom

1:15 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Keynote address:
The U.S. election and inequality

Featured speaker: Robert B. Reich

The former secretary of labor will discuss what this year’s U.S. election means for the United States and Canada and its effect on inequality. Reich, who was named one of the 20th century’s 10 most effective cabinet secretaries by Time magazine, is the author of several books. His latest — Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few — is about the breakdown of capitalism in America.

Location: Grand Ballroom

2:30 p.m. to 3 p.m.

Refreshment break and exhibit hall


Book signing: Robert B. Reich

Books are available for purchase on-site.

Location: Grand Ballroom East

3 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Concurrent sessions

Select one of the two sessions.


Session 4 – Successful integration of mobile learning initiatives

Mobile learning allows students to stay connected beyond the classroom, linking online experiences with face-to-face interactions, and workplace-integrated learning experiences to the classroom. In this session, learn how to successfully engage mobile learners — of all ages — where they live.

Moderator: Maya Castle, Higher Education Executive, Apple Canada

Speakers: Jason Dewling, Vice-President of Academic and Research, Olds College

                  Donna Church, Vice-President, Academic, Lambton College



Session 5 – Eight trends that are changing the digital landscape

Every year, there are new social networks, apps and trends that shape the way educators buy products and services, search online, and connect with the public, students and others. This session will highlight the larger digital trends to pay attention to — from the sharing economy to virtual reality — and provide advice on how to be ready for what’s next. Click here for the presentation deck.

Speaker: Erin Bury, Managing Director, 88 Creative

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Premier’s Awards gala eveningcalendar-monday

5 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Nominees reception

This is a private reception for Premier’s Awards nominees, college presidents and board chairs, ministers, deputy ministers and diamond and platinum sponsors of the event.

Music provided by: Seneca College

Location: Civic Ballroom, 2nd floor

5:15 p.m. to 6:15 p.m.

Gala reception – open to all

Music provided by: Mohawk College

Location: Grand Ballroom foyer

6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.


Location: Grand Ballroom

7:30 p.m. to 9 p.m.

2016 Premier’s Awards presentationJames_Cunningham_SK1_web

Comedian James Cunningham, the host of the TV show, Eat St., returns as the MC for the gala celebration.

Entertainment provided by: Centennial College, Durham College and St. Lawrence College

Florals arranged by: Seneca College

Location: Grand Ballroom

9 p.m. to 10 p.m.

Post-gala reception (cash bar)

Location: Grand Ballroom foyer

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