International Women's Forum 2019 World Leadership Conference Toronto
Tuesday, November 12, 2019
9:00 am - 6:00 pmIWF Registration Desk

Frontenac Foyer

9:00 am - 3:30 pmIWF Board Meeting

Westin Harbour Castle

Closed Meeting (Board Members Only).

12:00 pm - 6:00 pmPop Up Shops

Frontenac Ballroom

6:30 pm - 9:00 pmGlobal Leaders Dinner & Reception

Westin Harbour Castle

Closed Event (For registered forum presidents and
IWF & LF Global Board Directors only)

Wednesday, November 13, 2019
8:30 am - 3:00 pmPresidents' Council Meeting

Westin Harbour Castle

Attendance at Presidents’ Council meetings limited to: Forum Presidents, Chapter Presidents, the chosen representative of Forum or Chapter President if she is unable to attend; and, as observers, Forum Executive Directors/Administrators and IWF and Leadership Foundation Global Board Directors.

9:00 am - 6:30 pmIWF Registration Desk

Frontenac Foyer

9:00 am - 6:00 pmPop Up Shops

Frontenac Ballroom

9:00 am - 3:00 pmLeadership Foundation Board Meeting

Westin Harbour Castle

Closed Meeting (Board Members Only).

3:30 pm - 4:30 pmIWF In Action - Town Hall Session

The Global Refugee Crisis: Acting with Compassion

The current torrent of refugees is unlike anything ever seen before. Worldwide an estimated 68.5 million people have been forced to leave their homes because of persecution, war and violence. The United Nations calls it a “global crisis.”

In Toronto, a vibrantly diverse city that has welcomed thousands of displaced people, we converse with IWF members who have been refugees, and with others who are involved in compassionate strategies to address this humanitarian crisis. We learn from one another about the issues, and the solutions that we can bring to our own communities.


  • The Honorable Reem Abu Hassan, Minister of Social Development for the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan and member of IWF Jordan
  • Charmaine Cintra Gandhi-Andrews, Chief Immigration Officer in the Ministry of National Security for Trinidad and Tobago, and member of IWF Trinidad and Tobago
  • Rebekah Steele, Principal, Diversity & Inclusion Breakthroughs, and sponsor of two families of Syrian refugees in Canada
  • Thuy Vu, journalist, anchor and reporter for KQED-TV, and a member of IWF Northern California


  • Mellissa Fung, freelance journalist and best-selling author 
6:15 pm - 6:45 pmOpening Reception Bus Launch

Westin Harbour Castle - Frontenac Ballroom

7:00 pmOpening Reception

Liberty Grand

Join us as we kick off the 2019 IWF World Leadership Conference at the Liberty Grand, a heritage complex built in 1926 overlooking Lake Ontario. We look forward to welcoming you with a celebration of Canadian cuisine and culture including a special performance by Red Sky, a leading company of contemporary Indigenous performance as well as other special entertainment surprises. This will be a full evening, so please plan to stay and enjoy the ample food, entertainment, and networking through the night.

Thursday, November 14, 2019
7:30 am - 6:30 pmIWF Registration Desk

Frontenac Foyer

7:30 am - 8:45 amSpecial Interest Group: Healthcare

Westin Harbour Castle

8:00 am - 6:00 pmPop Up Shops

Frontenac Ballroom

8:30 am - 9:00 amBreakfast

Seated breakfast inside Metropolitan Ballroom

9:00 am - 9:30 amOpening Remarks
  • Deborah Shannon Trudeau, President of the International Women’s Forum
  • Sharon London Liss, 2019 World Leadership Conference Co-chair
  • Lisa Borsook, 2019 World Leadership Conference Co-chair
9:30 am - 10:15 amA Brave New World: The AI Revolution

Your data is being collected every time you buy, search, travel and post. Put all the information about each of us together and you have a huge repository of data which machines sift through to find patterns and learn. The result: the revolution in artificial intelligence.

But do we have enough control over what data is collected and how it is used? And are the datasets undergirding artificial intelligence representative, or are gender, racial and other biases being baked in? What are the consequences?

We ask those questions here in Canada, a leader in the international artificial intelligence arms race, and explore why the competition in AI is so intense, what’s at stake, who will win and who will lose.


  • Terry Hickey, Chief Analytics Officer for CIBC
  • Tina Moen, Chief Pharmacy Officer and Senior Deputy Chief Health Officer for IBM Watson Health


  • Jeanne Meserve, award-winning journalist and former anchor and correspondent for CNN and ABC News
10:15 am - 10:40 amCoffee Break
10:40 am - 11:30 amCanada-Bis

In October of 2018 Canada became the second country in the world to legalize the use of recreational cannabis moving from the black market to the stock market.

Sales are brisk. Canada’s marijuana businesses are expected to generate 7 billion dollars in revenue this year.

Edibles, extracts, topicals and cannabis infused beverages are being introduced into the market. As they are, regulators are weighing a range of issues including THC content, labelling, advertising and licensing. We look at opportunities and possible obstacles in this new economic sector.


  • Hilary Black, Chief Advocacy Officer of Canopy Growth and Founder of the BC Compassion Club Society, Canada’s first medical cannabis dispensary
  • Mary Pryor, Co-founder of Cannaclusive and entrepreneur
  • Joachim Helms, Co-owner of Green House Coffeeshops and chairman of the Dutch Cannabis Retailers Association


  • Kristine Boyden, President of the Western US Region for Edelman
11:30 am - 12:30 pmNetworking Break

Frontenac Ballroom

11:30 am - 12:30 pmLeadership Foundation Coffee Meet Up

For current LF Fellows and alumnae, and current WABN Mentees alumnae

12:30 pm - 1:45 pmMonopoly or Market Improvement?

Behemoths like Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook dominate much of the business world. They are admired for their success, impact and innovation. In this virtual world of commerce, these and other companies seek to increase profit and market share by using algorithms that suggest products and services to consumers, increasing convenience but limiting their choices. But as they expand their market share, a growing chorus of voices is asking whether they are doing more harm than good for consumers and whether this constitutes monopolistic behavior.


  • Lina Khan, Senior Fellow and former Director of Legal Policy at the Open Markets Institute, and Legal Fellow at the Federal Trade Commission
2:00 pmBehind the Scenes Launch

Frontenac Ballroom

3:00 pm - 5:00 pmBehind the Scenes

Scheduled to return by 5:00 pm

In Good Hands: Women Politicians

IWF member Stephanie MacKendrick’s book, “IN GOOD HANDS: Remarkable Female Politicians from Around the World Who Showed Up, Spoke Out, and Made Change,” is meant to inspire young women to run for public office and includes a “playbook.” It features women from around the world, including New Zealand's Jacinda Ardern and former IWF Global President and former Canadian Prime Minister Kim Campbell, who will join us for a special conversation moderated by award-winning journalist and Global TV News Toronto anchor Farah Nasser at Corus, the parent company of Kids Can Press, with Stephanie and Corus' President, IWF member Lisa Lyons Johnston. This venue is a short walk from the conference hotel.

Hockey Hall of Fame

Experience an international sports landmark, Toronto's Hockey Hall of Fame, and learn about world-renowned female hockey players. IWF attendees will experience a special tour of the Hockey Hall of Fame, home of the Stanley Cup, and the finest collection of hockey artifacts in the world. Much more than a sports museum, the Hockey Hall of Fame is a vibrant, immersive and interactive celebration of hockey. Meet five-time Olympian and four-time gold medalist Jayna Hefford, who scored 439 goals in 418 competitive games, including a Canadian Women’s Hockey League record of 44 goals in one season. Over a stellar 20-year career, Hefford has represented Canada and collected seven gold and five silver medals in international championships.

Canada's National Ballet School

Canada's National Ballet School is one of the world’s top three centers of dance education. It has trained and shaped the careers of international stars such as Karen Kain, Guillaume Côté and Veronica Tennant. Artistic Director and CEO Mavis Staines will speak about the beautiful facility, created through a modern integration of state-of-the-art studios and learning facilities with a heritage boarding school building and former CBC Radio studios. Ms. Staines is a world authority and leader in the movement to help young dancers build healthy bodies and minds in one of the world’s most demanding performing arts. The school will be celebrating its 60th anniversary at the time of the IWF conference. Members can tour the facilities, meet the leadership, talk to students and watch a class.


Join Stacey Spiegel, Managing Director, for a look into the emerging world of 3D. T2T is at the nexus of emerging hardware hubs designed to train and offer entrepreneur companions to software developers who might otherwise leave for Singapore, Korea or China due to a lack of hardware platforms for their software. T2T is shaping a hardware hub that will make Southern Ontario a leader in connecting software and hardware entrepreneurs to take fully realized products to market. This event features a demo of 3D scanning of a person, which will then be processed into a 3D object, turning the person’s image into a virtual model that can be output in various forms: high-speed, museum-quality digitization and augmented reality.

George Brown College Soulpepper Theatre

Visit and meet the leaders of the Young Centre, a unique environment supporting future creative talent, a joint venture between one of Canada’s leading professional theatre companies, Soulpepper, and one of its leading theatre schools, George Brown College. Tour the beautifully restored space in Toronto’s famous Distillery District and enjoy a conversation with George Brown College President Anne Sado, Soulpepper Artistic Director Weyni Mengeshae and Executive Director Emma Stenning, who are renewing the company following a challenging #MeToo situation.

Crow's Theatre

Crow’s Theatre is a unique venue developed to create an employment and revenue ecosystem that supports daring, innovative new works. The theatre showcases trailblazing artists such as documentary theatre producer Annabel Soutar, whose latest work deals head on with the polarization of politics in North America. Meet Annabel, Artistic Director Chris Abraham and Executive Director Sherrie Johnston in Crow's stunning new space, the Streetcar Crowsnest.

CBC Broadcast Centre

Catherine Tait, the first female president of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, one of the world’s great public broadcasters, welcomes you to CBC's Broadcast Centre for a behind-the-scenes tour of its global news operation, state-of-the-art interactive Studio K, origination point of CBC Kids programming, and a panel discussion with women leaders from a number of areas at CBC. The CBC is more than 80 years old, but it’s cutting edge when it comes to fulfilling its mandate of informing, enlightening and entertaining Canadians of all origins and walks of life, in both official languages and multiple indigenous languages.


Founded in 2006 as a mobile app, today Wattpad is a global entertainment company used by 70 million people worldwide. Wattpad is truly disrupting the way entertainment is created and consumed through innovative partnerships and data and machine learning, including predictive analytics to determine what will be a “hit”. Wattpad’s hyper-engaged community of users collectively spends 22 billion minutes per month on original “stories” in more than a thousand genres. Nearly a thousand Wattpad stories have been published as books and bestsellers or turned into TV shows, films and digital media projects through working with partners like Netflix, Hulu, Sony, Universal Cable and more. The majority (56%) of Wattpad employees are women, who make up 50% of the leadership team, 50% of the User Experience and Design team, and 100% of the Product team. Wattpad is an excellent representative of Toronto’s burgeoning tech scene. The tour will conclude with a panel discussion and Q&A with business leaders.

Citizen Lab and Digital Public Square

Meet the principals behind some of today’s bravest and most intrepid cyberwork. Based at the University of Toronto’s Munk School for Global Affairs, Citizen Lab uncovers and helps foil online criminals, from pedophile stalkers to viral infections in power grids and attempts to destabilize entire societies. Digital Public Square, also based at the Munk School, builds new platforms and creates innovative tools to increase digital spaces for free expression, open political dialogue and engagement where citizen participation and civil society are threatened. It seeks to enable agoras where the largest possible number of active participants can debate, share and form opinions.

Women's College Hospital

For more than 100 years, Women’s College Hospital (WCH) has been developing revolutionary healthcare. The hospital's culture is shaped by leaders, healthcare providers and community members working to break down barriers and push the boundaries of traditional healthcare in pursuit of equity and excellence. This tour provides a behind-the-scenes look at the award-winning building. With an expansion completed in 2016, the “hospital of the future” was built to revolutionize the way women received healthcare and reframe the understanding of “hospital,” such as allowing people to recover from surgery in their own homes. A new clinical delivery model centralizes care, turning WHC into a one-stop healthcare shop. See how the voices of women have been integrated into a system that supports their needs.

Sidewalk Labs

Sidewalk Labs, in partnership with tri-level government agency Waterfront Toronto, is designing a new waterfront district to tackle the challenges of urban growth. The project is putting Toronto at the forefront of urban innovation. Our visit to Sidewalk Labs’ experimental workspace, 307, is an opportunity to learn about and experience the ideas for mobility, sustainability, economic opportunity and affordability that will transform Toronto and cities around the world. Members will also meet with some of the visionary leaders behind this ambitious effort (possibly Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff) to explore the opportunities and challenges in bringing it to life, including digital transparency in the public realm, public-private collaboration and community engagement.

Anishnawbe Health Centre

Half of Ontario’s indigenous people live in the Toronto area. Anishnawbe Health Toronto (AHT) seeks to meet their needs by combining the best of Western medicine and traditional practices and approaches. AHT promotes traditional indigenous practices and places them at its core. Its work with the homeless has evolved from early directions of crisis intervention to training programs that offer community members the opportunity to learn and grow in a culture-based setting. Meet the professionals and spiritual elders who make this unique place a true healing center for the indigenous community of Toronto.

Will not attend
Bata Shoe Museum

Shoes are an indication of personal taste and style, yet they also tell us about global technological developments and shifts in society’s attitudes and values. Discover the treasures of North America’s inspiring, charming and surprising Bata Shoe Museum. The BSM celebrates the style, development and function of footwear across four impressive galleries, with displays ranging from Chinese bound-foot shoes and ancient Egyptian sandals, to chestnut-crushing clogs and glamorous platforms. Enjoy a rare, behind-the-scenes look at the museum’s unique and vast inventory, spanning over 4,500 years of history. Meet the passionate women behind this jewel in an iconic setting by Raymond Moriyama, including Chair of the Board and IWF member Christine Bata Schmidt and Senior Curator Elizabeth Semmelhack.

Royal Ontario Museum

Join us at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), for a truly exclusive, memorable and thought-provoking experience. Your are warmly invited to explore two unique areas of the Louise Hawley Stone Curatorial Centre, where you will engage with world-renowned ROM experts. Go behind-the scenes to learn about their newest field research, lab work and discoveries. Do not miss the cange to see part of the collection that has never been displayed to the public.

Art Gallery of Ontario

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is one of North America’s largest museums. With a breathtaking Frank Gehry-designed architectural transformation, the AGO possesses the world’s second-largest Henry Moore collection, the world-class Canadian and European collections of late billionaire Ken Thompson, and more. Join Heidi Reitmaier, AGO Deputy Director and Chief of Public Programming and Learning, for a personal tour of two exhibitions: Early Rubens and Hito Steyerl. Steyerl, a female German filmmaker and visual artist, has been featured at leading art world venues. Heidi is an alumna of the Getty Leadership Institute Program and winner of the 2018 Education and Innovation Award from the American Alliance of Museums. After the exhibitions, IWF members can visit Shop AGO, featuring a beautiful and witty Canadiana section.

Gardiner Museum

The late Helen Gardiner, a long-time IWF member, followed her passion for ceramics to co-found one of the world’s premier specialty museums with her husband George. Its 4,000 treasures range from Chinese porcelain and ancient American ceramics to contemporary pieces. Collections Manager Christina MacDonald will guide members through the storage vault for an intimate view of the collection’s depth. The Gardiner’s current exhibition, “Savour: Food Culture in the Age of Enlightenment,” will captivate devotees of fine dining, social history and rare tableware. Before the French Revolution there was a gastronomic revolution that continues to influence modern cooks and diners. Travel with the Gardiner’s docents from the kitchen gardens of Versailles to the steamy kitchens of the original champions for light eating.

TIFF Bell Lightbox

TIFF Bell Lightbox is home to the Toronto International Film Festival and many other film and cultural exhibits and events year-round. The Lightbox is one of the very few such centers around the world. TIFF is one of the world’s top three film festivals, attended by approximately 500,000 fans and the cream of the crop of the worldwide industry every year. Enjoy behind-the-scenes access to TIFF’s famous Film Reference Library and the Lightbox’s state-of-the-art Master Control. Meet the cultural leaders who make it happen. IWF’s visit will contribute to Share Her Journey, TIFF’s ongoing support of current and emerging women directors from around the world.

6:30 pmDine Around and Guest Dinner Launch

Frontenac Ballroom

The Dine Around event creates personal and memorable environments for IWF members attending the Conference where everyone can get to know one another better and develop their circle of friendships and networks. Dine Arounds are for members only. Hosts are local members of the IWF.

7:00 pm - 9:00 pmFellow Alumnae Dine-Around Hosted by CIBC

Fellow Alumnae and IWF Members who are Fellow Alumnae are invited to attend an intimate dinner held on the 56th floor of the CIBC building.

Friday, November 15, 2019
7:30 am - 4:00 pmIWF REGISTRATION DESK

Frontenac Foyer

7:30 am - 8:45 amIWF Canada Hosted Breakfast

Frontenac Foyer

9:00 am - 9:25 amIdeas Remaking the World: Showcase I

IWF members from around the world take center stage to introduce their cutting-edge concepts for building a better and more prosperous world. IWF’s innovators, instigators and disruptors present their transformational ideas, business propositions and technologies.


  • Priscilla H. Douglas, PhD, Founder and Principal of PHDouglas & Associates, IWF Global Board Director and member of IWF Massachusetts
9:25 am - 10:05 amInside Jokes

We all love a good joke. Scientists say laughing leads to a longer and healthier lives. Business leaders say humor can be a valuable asset in the workplace.

But what is funny to one person can be offensive to another. Here in Toronto, a home of the groundbreaking The Second City comedy troupe, birthplace of famed comics John Candy and Samantha Bee, we go beyond the easy punch lines to examine the uses, boundaries, and limits of humor.


  • Tumi Morake, comedian, television personality and author of the book And Then Mama Said
  • Saskia Schuster, ITV Comedy Controller
10:05 am - 10:25 amCoffee Break
10:25 am - 10:45 amIdeas Remaking the World: Showcase II
10:45 am - 11:40 amA Nonbinary World - Panel

The understanding of sexual identity has grown and deepened in the 45 years since IWF was founded. Today sex and sexuality are much more widely studied and discussed.

Though societal attitudes towards gender-related issues have evolved, they vary widely. Transgender individuals, those whose gender identity is different from the sex they were assigned at birth, still face violence, discrimination, and family issues.

But when transgender people share their stories, understanding can grow. We will hear from the former mayor of a small Texas town, who transitioned from man to woman while in office, and have a conversation with comedian and actor Colin Mochrie, his wife, and their transgender daughter about their family’s experience.


  • Jess Herbst, former Mayor of New Hope, TX and human rights advocate


  • Colin Mochrie*, actor and comedian known for his appearances on improvisation show Whose Line Is It Anyway?
  • Kinley Mochrie, transgender daughter of Colin Mochrie
  • Debra McGrath, actress and comedian
11:40 am - 12:00 pmBreak to move to Breakout Sessions
12:00 pm - 12:45 pmBreakout Sessions - Discover, Explore
Calm Brings Clarity

Can we train our brains to increase our happiness, and improve our social and business interactions? Due Quach says yes. A Vietnamese refugee who attended Harvard and Wharton and went on to a successful career in finance, Quach conquered her own anxieties by blending her knowledge of neuroscience with meditative techniques. She conducts a workshop showing us how to change we think and how we feel.


  • Due Quach, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Calm Clarity
The First Entrepreneurs

Historically, there have been obstacles for Indigenous people as they pursue economic development and job creation for their communities.

In this session, we consider some of the strategies that are creating change and improving lives.


  • Jenn Harper, Founder of Cheekbone Beauty Cosmetics INC and First Nations Education advocate
  • Melanie Goodchild, PhD, Anishinaabe Senior Indigenous Research Fellow, Ambassador and Suncor Fellow at The Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience, and IWF Leadership Foundation Fellow Alumna
  • Heather Dawn Thompson, American Indian attorney at GreenbergTraurig, Indian Country economic development expert, and former Director of Government Affairs for the National Congress of American Indians
Becoming a Dangerous Woman

IWF member Pat Mitchell has led a life full of reinvention. She started out in a small town in Georgia, became a powerhouse in television as President of PBS and CNN Productions, and is now Editorial Director of TEDWoman. Her new book, Becoming a Dangerous Woman: Embracing Risk to Change the World, is described as a memoir and call to action.

Pat shares her experience and advice on transforming your life at any and every age, and shows us that by doing so you can have a profound impact on those around you.


  • Pat Mitchell, Editorial Director of TEDWomen, journalist, former business executive and member IWF Georgia
12:45 pm - 1:30 pmLunch Served

Metropolitan Ballroom

1:30 pm - 1:50 pmIdeas Remaking the World: Showcase III
1:50 pm - 2:45 pmWaste Not

Sometimes, a pressing global problem is an opportunity for creative solutions from unexpected places. Our planet is drowning in waste. Every minute nearly a million plastic beverage bottles are sold around the world, and two million plastic bags are distributed.

However, the trends can be reversed.

Entrepreneurs are putting their skills to good use creating products that are a win/win, helping combat climate change while creating jobs. Global corporations, including financial institutions, are taking up the fight, proposing solutions and guiding their clients to best practices. Technologies and investments can be deployed to steer the world towards a circular economy and a sustainable future. We hear from two women who are in the business of using business to solve one of the most vexing and pressing environmental challenges of our time.


  • Audrey Choi, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer of Morgan Stanley
  • Sarah Kauss, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of S’well and member of the Women’s Forum of New York
3:00 pm - 4:00 pmSpecial Interest Group: Philanthropy

Westin Harbour Castle

6:30 pm - 7:30 pm
6:30 pm - 7:30 pmPre-Gala Reception

Frontenac Ballroom

7:30 pm - 10:00 pmIWF & LF 2019 International Hall of Fame Awards

Metropolitan Ballroom

10:00 pm - 11:59 pmPost Gala Party

Metropolitan Ballroom