Jackie Chi Kit Cheung is an associate professor at McGill University’s School of Computer Science, where he co-directs the Reasoning and Learning Lab.
He is a Canada CIFAR AI Chair and an Associate Scientific Co-Director at the Mila Quebec AI Institute. His research focuses on topics in natural language generation such as automatic summarization, and on integrating diverse knowledge sources into NLP systems for pragmatic and common-sense reasoning. He also works on applications of NLP to domains such as education, health, and language revitalization. He is motivated in particular by how the structure of the world can be reflected in the structure of language processing systems. He is a consulting researcher at Microsoft Research Montreal. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed publications, including many at the top venues in NLP. He won a best paper award at ACL 2018. He has served as a Senior Area Chair and a Workshop Chair for top NLP conferences, and was a Program Chair of Canadian AI 2018. Alumni from his research group have taken faculty positions in academia and research positions in top industry labs.
Jayne Engle is an urbanist, strategist and adjunct professor, and co-authored the book Sacred Civics: Building Seven Generation Cities. She is co-lead with Tanya Chung-Tiam-Fook of 7GenCities, a new collaborative for future-fit city building and Earth stewardship and is mission co-holder of Dark Matter Labs.
Jayne previously led the Cities portfolio at the McConnell Foundation and earlier worked in diverse contexts–from economic transition in Eastern Europe; to post-disaster community research in Haiti; to civic change work in Canada, the US and across Europe. She’s passionate about futures of cities, philanthropy and institutions and committed to decolonizing systems and opening possibilities for what that means. She holds a PhD in Urban Planning, Policy & Design from McGill University, is a Positive Deviant with Wolf Willow Institute, and is a Future Fellow with the Future of Canada Project of McMaster University.
Positionality: I’m a descendant of settlers from Europe born on traditional unceded homelands of the Susquehannock Peoples and currently live on the island of Tiohtià:ke/Montréal. Frequent experience living and interacting with people seeking refuge from conflict zones and crisis home environments shaped my worldview and life pathways and contribute to a commitment to system transformations for the long term that are radically inclusive and extend beyond borders.
Cherilyn Jolly-Nagel along with her husband David and family, are farming in Mossbank, Sk and grow durum wheat, chickpeas, canola and lentils. They are proud parents of 2 young farm girls. Cherilyn is an Energetic Speaker and Emcee and has stepped in front of hundreds of audiences. She enjoys speaking on agriculture related topics to a wide array of audiences and spends her winters on the speaking circuit. In 2020, she was recognized as one of the Top 50 Most Influential People in Canadian Agriculture.
In 2004, Cherilyn was elected as President of the Western Canadian Wheat Growers Association and has recently stepped down after 20 years serving on the board. She considers signing the first durum contract on the open market to be one of her career highlights as a farm policy advocate.
For nearly a decade, Cherilyn served on the Agriculture Development Fund through the Sk. Ministry of Agriculture. From 2008-2017, Cherilyn was appointed by the Ministry of Agriculture as Chair of the Sask Agri Value Initiative (SAVI) which enables the development and expansion of small to medium sized enterprises or producer/processor organizations in their efforts to add value to Saskatchewan grown crops and products.
In 2011, Cherilyn was featured in SaskBusiness Magazine as one of Saskatchewan’s Most Influential Women. In 2012, she was awarded the Agricultural IMPACT award at the Grow Canada Conference for her efforts and passion for making positive changes in the agriculture sector. In 2014, Cherilyn was awarded the Queen’s Bench Diamond Jubilee Medal and in 2023, was awarded the Queen Elizabeth Platinum Jubilee Medal for her work advancing agricultural policy.
Cherilyn holds her ICD.D designation through the Rotman School of Management and the Institute of Corporate Directors. Cherilyn was appointed to the board of the Saskatchewan Bus Company (STC) in 2016 and has served on the board of SaskPower since 2017.
Julius Lindsay is a leader in the environmental field with 15 years of experience in the areas of sustainability, climate change, and leading policy and strategy development and implementation.
He is the Director of Sustainable Communities at the David Suzuki Foundation. He leads the Foundation’s work to accelerate and raise the ambition of climate action in cities across the place now known as Canada. He is also a co-founder of the Black Environmentalist Alliance, an organization that seeks to champion Black people in the environmental profession, provide a safe space for peer-to-peer engagement to have real conversations and share experiences, and to advocate for environmental justice for Black Canadians now and in the future.
Prior to these two roles, Julius has been the catalyst for and led the development of climate change plans, programs, and policies at two of the biggest cities, Mississauga and Richmond Hill, in Ontario, Canada’s Largest Province. Julius is also a 2022 Next generation Foresight Practitioner Fellow and received their Inaugural Existential Risk award to support the Prismatic project as well.
Samantha is an accomplished academic, published researcher, and foresight strategist.
Sam carries both Métis and mixed settler ancestry. On her Métis side, Sam is of the Ross, Collins, Grant and Ouellette families who have roots in the Meadow Lake region of Saskatchewan. Her settler family came to what is currently known as Alberta from Scotland and England three generations ago.
She is one of the Founding Directors of Future Ancestors Services and a Next Generation Foresight Practitioner Fellow. Drawing on her experience from both the public and non-profit sectors, Sam’s futures work explores possible futures through the lens of Indigenous futurism, ancestry, and equity.
In 2014 Sam received the Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award for her work exploring the Indigenous histories and traditional ecological knowledge of the Beaver Hills, Alberta. In 2020 her graduate research which explored the use of strategic foresight practices within Métis communities won the Association of Professional Futurists Student Recognition Award and OCAD University’s Presidential Medal.
Raïsa is a systemic designer and researcher who seeks to embed empathy and care into systems, services and organisations. She is an immigrant to Turtle Island/Canada and has lived experience navigating herself and others through immigration processes, working class poverty and institutional racism. She has lived in 4 provinces and 9 countries. She has worked across Canada and internationally in over 20 countries for impact in education, water and sanitation, reproductive health and conservation with a focus on small, remote and rural communities and ecosystems. She acts as coach and guide for changemakers co-creating experiential educational and leadership journeys that catalyze further transformations.
Using participatory co-design, arts and land-based practices and other trauma aware methodologies, she seeks to build programs that foster a sense of agency in those she interacts with to shift power and build accountability towards self, community and planet. She also seeks to understand how narratives and storytelling can further amplify lessons learned and be used to further scale policy and systems changes.
She is the founder of the Rural Design Network and of WabiSabiJetty, a rural design innovation & foresight consultancy. She is currently supporting youth-centered innovation and systems transformation through the Communities Building Youth Futures network at the Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement and as Head of Social Impact Initiatives at UWC Atlantic College, in rural Wales in the UK. She is a proud Board member of MakeWay Foundation and the Community Sector Council Newfoundland and Labrador and is an affiliate of the Open Lunar Foundation.
She is a graduate of McGill University (International Development & Environment) and has completed graduate coursework at Memorial University (Geography). In 2021, she was chosen as one of 20 ‘Positive Deviants’ in Canada completing a year-long fellowship with the Wolf Willow Institute for Systems Change. She has certifications in Strategic Foresight through the Futures School and in Innovation Governance through the Council of Canadian Innovations.
Michael Morden is the Director of the Legislative Research branch of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario, where he works with an interdisciplinary team of researchers who produce confidential, non-partisan research for parliamentarians.
Previously, Michael was the Research Director and interim Executive Director of the Samara Centre for Democracy, a non-profit democracy think tank that worked to strengthen civic leadership, democratic institutions, and public participation. Michael has held policy and research roles within government and with several think tanks in civil society. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the University of Toronto, and was a SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow at Western University.
Autumn Peltier is an Indigenous Rights & Water activist whose journey for justice has made waves around the globe. She is 19 years old.
Peltier captivated the world’s attention at the age of 12 when she admonished Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, at an Assembly of First Nations event, for the choices he had made for her people. At 13, Peltier first spoke at the United Nations General Assembly.
Amongst many accolade’s she’s received the Sovereign Medal of Exceptional Volunteerism from the Governor-General of Canada and Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Invited back in 2018 & 2019, she spoke at the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Action Summit in New York and continues to travel the international stage speaking about Indigenous rights, inclusion, representation and collaboration all while inspiring the next generation of voice.
She’s been a featured speaker at The World Economic Forum sharing the stage with Greta Thundberg, is a regular guest speaker at The United Nations, has been shortlisted for the International Children’s Peace Prize 3 times and in 2022 was runner-up for International Children’s Peace Prize with the Nobel Peace Prize committee.
Further; in 2022 The Canadian Museum of History in Ottawa Canada built an Autumn Peltier showcase display highlighting her work and contributions as part of Canada’s history She has been featured on the front cover of Maclean’s and included in Maclean’s Top 50 Canadian Power List. In 2022; Peltier was an Honorary Doctorate Inductee from Royal Roads University, received the Daniel G Hill Award from Ontario Human Rights Commission as well as the Emerging Canadian Leader Award from Public Policy Forum.
Autumn’s movie “The Water Walker” documentary was released on HBO Canada in 2021 and has been accepted across many of Canada’s school boards.
Vasiliki “Vass” Bednar is the founding Executive Director of McMaster University’s MPP in Digital Society Program (currently on leave).
As an enthusiastic contributor to Canada’s policy community, she is a Public Policy Forum (PPF) Fellow, a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance and Innovation (CIGI) and writes the newsletter “regs to riches.” She provides commentary on CBC News, and through opinion editorials in the Globe and Mail and the Financial Post.
In 2023, Vass was recognized as one of the Globe and Mail’s Report on Business “Changemakers,” for her work describing Cineplex’s monopolisation and calling out shady apps in Shopify’s app store. She lives in Toronto with her husband and their son.
Jesse Wente is a husband and father, as well as an award-winning writer and speaker. Born and raised in Toronto, his family comes from Chicago and Genaabaajing Anishinaabek and he is an off-reserve member of the Serpent River First Nation.
Jesse is best known for more than two decades spent as a columnist for CBC Radio’s Metro Morning. Jesse spent a decade with the Toronto International Film Festival as a curator, including leading the film programming at the Tiff Bell Lightbox. In 2018, Jesse was named the founding director of the Indigenous Screen Office and in summer 2020 he was appointed Chair of the Canada Council for the Arts.
Jesse received the Arbor Award from the University of Toronto in 2021 for his volunteer contributions and was recently appointed a Senior Fellow of Massey College. His first book “Unreconciled: Family, Truth and Indigenous Resistance” is a national bestseller and was picked as one of best books of 2021 by Chapters-Indigo, Apple Books and The Globe and Mail. Last year, Jesse won the Kobo Emerging Writers Prize in Non-Fiction and most recently, he has been named the Communicator of the Year for 2022 by the International Association of Business Communicators.