Below is a list of our plenary speakers for the upcoming academic year. Plenary lectures take place on Wednesdays at 4 p.m. We will continue to add new speakers as details become available so please visit this page frequently to learn about our exciting lineup for the 2021-2022 year!
Jan. 12, 2022 | Jill Heinerth
The Exploration Mindset
Date: Jan. 12, 2022
Speaker: Jill Heinerth
Jill Heinerth is an underwater explorer, writer, photographer, speaker, and filmmaker. A pioneer of technical rebreather diving, she has led expeditions into icebergs in Antarctica, volcanic lava tubes, and submerged caves worldwide. Jill is the first Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Her memoir, INTO THE PLANET, has been lauded by the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Magazine, and the New York Times. Her children’s book THE AQUANAUT is a Blue Ribbon Selection for Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library. Jill is a Fellow of the International Scuba Diving Hall of Fame, Underwater Academy of Arts and Sciences, Women Divers Hall of Fame, and the Explorers Club, which awarded her with the William Beebe Award for ocean exploration.
Jan. 19, 2022 | Judy LaMarsh Lecture Celebrating Women in Leadership
Judy LaMarsh Lecture Celebrating Women in Leadership
Date: Jan. 19, 2022
Speaker: Jill Andrew
Feb. 2, 2022 | Malcom Cecil-Cockwell
The Business & Ethics of Sustainable Forest Management in Central Ontario
Date: Feb. 2, 2022
Speaker: Malcom Cecil-Cockwell
Malcolm Cockwell is the Managing Director of Haliburton Forest, a multi-use private land stewardship company, which owns more than 100,000 acres of timberland in central Ontario, manages 500,000 acres more, and was the first company in Canada to be certified as sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council. Through Haliburton Forest, Malcolm oversees diverse land operations, including an integrated Forest Products division and a diverse Tourism & Recreation division. In addition to his work at Haliburton Forest, he is a Registered Professional Forester (RPF), represents Haliburton Forest at the Ontario Forest Industries Association, and serves as the Chairman of Acadian Timber Corp, a leading supplier of primary forest products in eastern North America. He holds a B.Sc. in Forest Conservation from the University of Toronto, and is a PhD candidate at the same institution’s Faculty of Forestry.
Feb. 23, 2022 | Program Advising
Date: Feb. 23, 2022
Mar. 2, 2022 | Sunil Johal
Date: Mar. 2, 2022
Speaker: Sunil Johal
Mar. 9, 2022 | Angus McQuibban
Date: Mar. 9, 2022
Speaker: Angus McQuibban
Mar. 16, 2022 | The Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Date: Mar. 16, 2022
Speaker: The Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Mar. 23, 2022 | Rebecca Harrison
Date: Mar. 23, 2022
Speaker: Rebecca Harrison
Mar. 30, 2022 | Year End Dinner
Date: Mar. 30, 2022
Sep. 15, 2021 | Welcome Session/Orientation
Date: Sep. 15, 2021
Sep. 22, 2021 | Post-Election Plenary
Date: Sep. 22, 2021
Speakers: Sunil Johal, Ira Wells, David Wright, the Hon. Kathleen Wynne
Sep. 29, 2021 | Bob Phillips
Date: Sep. 29, 201
Speaker: Bob Phillips
Bob Phillips (Great Bear) is a non-Status Urban Mi’kmaq.
Although a traditional Pipe Carrier, Bob is also very contemporary and holds a PhD in Indigenous Studies from Trent University. He also holds an MA in Fine Art History from York University. Bob Phillips also spent ten years as host of the Aboriginal Voices Radio Arts Review show discussing art, culture and contemporary issues with community members from across Canada and the Far North.
Oct. 6, 2021 | Mary Scourboutakos
Date: Oct. 6, 2021
Speaker: Mary Scourboutakos
Dr. Mary Scourboutakos completed her HBSc at Victoria College followed by a PhD in Nutritional Sciences, and MD at the University of Toronto. Mary is a former Vanier Scholar whose research has informed policy debates at Queen’s Park and Toronto’s City Hall. In addition, she is an avid science communicator who is devoted to spreading the word about the importance of eating-well as a means to live optimally. Mary is currently a resident at Women’s College Hospital and she plans to become a family doctor focused on nutrition and disease prevention.
Oct. 20, 2021 | Keith Davey Forum on Public Affairs
Revitalizing Democracy: How Can We Address Declining Confidence in Liberal Democratic Institutions?
Date: Oct. 20, 2021
Speakers: Suzanne Cowan, the Hon. Jim Cowan, Bhutila Karpoche, moderated by Kofi Hope
Oct. 27, 2021 | Michael Winter
The Unusual Thing in the Room
Date: Oct. 27, 2021
Speaker: Michael Winter
Michael Winter has published two collections of stories, five novels, and one work of non-fiction. He has won the CBC short story contest and the Engel/Findley award. His novel, Minister Without Portfolio, was a Canada Reads finalist and he’s been twice nominated for the Giller Prize. His most recent book, Into the Blizzard, sets out to retrace the steps of the Newfoundland Regiment during the first world war. He divides his time between Toronto and Newfoundland.
Nov. 3, 2021 | Kang Lee
How children’s lies led to the invention of a new technology for artificial intelligence
Date: Nov. 3, 2021
Speaker: Kang Lee
Dr. Kang Lee is a professor & Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in developmental neuroscience at OISE, University of Toronto. For over two decades, he has used behavioral and neuroscience methods (e.g., EEG, fMRI, fNIRS) to examine the emergence and development of social cognition and social behavior and the underlying neural mechanisms. More specifically, he has focused on the seemingly maladaptive behaviors such as lying, cheating, and racial bias as children reach different developmental milestones. Dr. Lee has published over 300 peer-reviewed papers that have been cited over 18,000 times with a H-index of 70 and i10-index of 258. His research has been funded by funding agencies such as NIH and NSF in the US, NSERC and SSHRC in Canada, and NSFC in China. He was also a TED speaker with his talk receiving over 11 million views on TED.com and 8 million views on YouTube. Dr. Lee’s work has contributed to the law reforms in Canada. Since 2006, criminal courts in Canada must use a procedure based on his research to qualify children as witnesses to testify. Dr. Lee’s work has been widely reported in news outlets such as New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, and BBC. His work has been featured in several major science documentaries including Nature of Things: Born to be Good (CBC), Babies (Netflix), and Through the Wormhole (Morgan Freeman Productions). He even received the Ig Noble Prize in Neuroscience in 2014. Dr. Lee is also a co-inventor of Transdermal Optical Imaging, a novel contactless technology that uses advanced biosignal processing and machine learning to decode facial blood flow from videos captured by conventional digital cameras. Using this technology, he has developed computational models that are capable of decoding physiological and psychological activities. He holds several patents that use this technology to detect heart rate, stress, blood pressure, and other physiological activities and biomarkers.
Nov. 17, 2021 | Shaftesbury Creative Writer-in-Residence
25 Knocks In The Clock
Date: Nov. 17, 2021
Speaker: Canisia Lubrin
Canisia Lubrin is a writer, editor, critic and teacher. Her books include the awards-nominated debut Voodoo Hypothesis (Wolsak & Wynn, ‘17), Code Noir (Knopf, ’23). Her sophomore poetry collection, The Dyzgraphxst (M&S, ‘20), was listed for nine book prizes, including winner of the 2021 OCM Bocas Prize for Caribbean Literature, the Griffin Poetry Prize, Derek Walcott Prize, and finalist for the Governor General’s Award and Trillium Book Award for Poetry. Lubrin is the inaugural Shaftesbury Writer in Residence at Victoria College, University of Toronto. Poetry editor at McClelland & Stewart, Lubrin studied at York University and the University of Guelph, where she is the incoming MFA in Creative Writing Coordinator and an Assistant Professor in the School of English & Theatre Studies. In 2021 Lubrin was awarded a Windham-Campbell prize in Poetry from Yale University.
Nov. 24, 2021 | Pelham Edgar Distinguished Visitor in the Humanities
Pelham Edgar Distinguished Visitor in the Humanities
Date: Nov. 24, 2021
Speaker: Eleanor Wachtel
Eleanor Wachtel has earned a reputation as one of the world’s best literary interviewers during her more than 30 years as host of Writers & Company on CBC Radio. Five books of her interviews have been published, including Random Illuminations, a collection of reflections, correspondence and conversations with Carol Shields which won the Independent Publisher Book Award; Original Minds, inspired by a series devoted to extraordinary writers from the fields of art, science, economics, anthropology and social policy who have made a difference to the way we understand the world; and most recently, The Best of Writers & Company. She also co-founded and hosted Wachtel on the Arts, featuring conversations with filmmakers, composers, architects, artists, etc. And she's the host of TIFF's popular Books on Film series, now in its second decade. Wachtel has earned numerous accolades for her contributions to Canadian cultural life: nine honorary degrees and Officer of the Order of Canada.
Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro has called Wachtel "one of the very finest interviewers of authors I've come across anywhere in the world."
And John le Carre told her, at the end of one of their conversations: "You do it better than anyone I know."