Brock Dickinson

Adjunct Professor and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, University of Waterloo

Brock Dickinson is an Adjunct Professor and Entrepreneur-in-Residence with the University of Waterloo, where he works with students and faculty to help launch new green entrepreneurial ventures. He is also Director of the University’s Economic Development Program, which provides the training for professional certification as an economic developer in Canada, and is the Chief Economic Development Officer with Blue Cardinal Capital, a private equity fund in New York that develops innovation parks.

It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine): we have grown up in a world of steady economic growth, predictable demographic cycles, and a stable international system. But this world – the only one we’ve ever known – is about to be forever altered, and the old rule books are out the window!

From increasing workforce shortages to global pandemics, and from rampant inflation to the collapse of our supply chains, Brock Dickinson looks at the sometimes-frightening world of tomorrow, and what this means for the tourism industry.

How can we position our businesses and our communities for success in this frightening new reality? This session will surprise, alarm, and enlighten – but as always, Brock also promises a few laughs along the way!

Julie Angus

Molecular Biologist, Adventurer, Writer, and Filmmaker

Julie Angus is an accomplished adventurer, scientist and bestselling author of Rowboat in a Hurricane, Rowed Trip and Olive Odyssey. She is the first woman to row across the Atlantic Ocean from mainland to mainland and a recipient of the National Geographic Adventurer of the Year award. She has also cycled across continents, rowed thousands of kilometers of coastlines and rivers, and organized a National Geographic expedition that sailed the ancient Phoenician trading routes to research the olive.

Julie has been lauded for her work on environmental awareness and has written for publications including The Globe & Mail, National Post and enRoute. Her photography has appeared in Outside Magazine, Explore Magazine, Reader’s Digest, National Geographic Adventure and The Guardian, among others. 

Rowing Across the Atlantic – Strategies to Reach Your Goals: Rowing across the Atlantic Ocean seemed impossible at times, yet through goal setting, managing risk, perseverance and dealing with the unexpected, Julie crossed 10,000 km of open ocean. By juxtaposing the difficulties they faced with the challenges in our business and personal lives, Julie offers an insightful and entertaining perspective on how to overcome our fears, learn more about ourselves, and set goals that help us reach our ambitions.

Stéphane Picard

CEO, Cliff Valley Astronomy

In late 2021, about two full years into the Covid pandemic, Stéphane Picard, by now an avid and proficient astronomer and astrophotographer, saw an opportunity and potential niche market for providing stargazing events and Private Star Parties and giving people a chance to see the night sky as a well-seasoned astronomer can.

Astrotourism: The night sky is your most underutilized asset: Astrotourism is one of the fastest growing segment trend of travel and tourism. Learn how it can be ‘The Great Equalizer’ for tourism in rural communities. Understand the numerous activities and opportunities for tourism operators of all sizes and budgets.

Nik Mills

Director, Policy and Government Affairs, TIAC

Nik Mills has 15 years of experience helping national organizations, government departments, charities and startup companies to solve problems, think strategically, and produce impactful research and advocacy initiatives.

As Director, Policy and Government Affairs with the Tourism Industry Association of Canada, Nik develops policy, research and government relations initiatives that support TIAC’s vision to lead the Canadian tourism industry to be the most competitive in the world.

Tourism Advocacy at the National Level: An overview of the advocacy process, its principles, and strategy; and, why it matters to the tourism sector as TIAC and its industry partners chart a path for growth during a period of prolonged recovery.