For the first event in our new series in partnership with Greybrook, Canadian business and Toronto Life Insiders gathered at the Royal Ontario Museum for an insightful thought leadership panel on April 27. Co-presented by CB, the panel addressed Canada’s appeal on the global stage after two years of turmoil caused by the pandemic. The million-dollar question of the night: What needs to be done for Canada to remain among the most attractive countries for those looking to expand business and investment?
Presented by Sasha Cucuz, CEO of Greybrook Securities Inc. and Partner at Greybrook Capital, the panel hosted three experts covering the areas of finance, business development and advertising from national and international perspectives.
Jon Love, Founder and CEO of KingSett Capital, began the timely discussion by addressing Canada’s current business environment, as well as the importance of harmonizing the public and private sectors to achieve the progress we seek. “We [Canada] we have an unbelievable opportunity in at least two areas,” Love said, pointing to housing and energy. “The Canadian frontier to develop ethical energy for the world is unprecedented – all it takes is permission; I would like us to come together as a society and give bold thought to taking our rightful place in these matters.” Needless to say, when talking about the country’s current geopolitical climate, the evening’s discussions were not lacking in passionate and thought-provoking opinions.
Joining Love on stage, Sabrina Geremia, vice president and country manager for Google Canada, raised the question of how well (or not) Canada compares internationally in the business arena. “We are seeing many transitions underway in the global economy, one of the biggest being technology,” Geremia shared. “From the wide range of technological advancements we’ve seen over the last couple of years, Canada is catching up with many global countries that are further ahead in this.” Geremia added that the trick to doing this is twofold: creating a workforce of digitally-skilled Canadians and using innovation and infrastructure to position us as a global technology leader.
From machine learning to automation, the group shared their thoughts on the specific areas of importance and how we are prepared for this technological shift. Geremia even made a point of noting the links between this change and what many call “the great resignation”.
Goldy Hyder, President and CEO of the Business Council of Canada and third speaker of the evening, brought special awareness to the role of public policy and immigration in improving Canada’s status as an investment-worthy nation. “We have to look in the mirror and think about how we Canadians control our own destiny,” Hyder said. “We need to address the fundamentals of our economy that will improve our competition for capital – it’s not good enough to just follow the American tail,” he said. Adding that “I see the climate crisis as an opportunity to do that, to lead the world in the transition that will take place on the climate agenda”.
Other hot topics of the night included housework, political inertia and urban transport. With wine and hors d’oeuvres, the crowd had the opportunity to participate in a live Q&A as well as a curated networking program in the museum’s private lounge. The next thought leadership panel will take place in June – courtesy to Canadian business and TL Internal members.
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