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Day 1 – November 29

Dr. Brynn Winegard, Director of the Schulich Executive Education Centre of Excellence in Agri-food Business, York University

Keynote: Unleashing Canada’s agri-food growth potential: the brain science of engagement and influence

Dr. Brynn Winegard, Director of the Schulich Executive Education Centre of Excellence in Agri-food Business, York University


Canada is a global agricultural superpower – oil and gas and lumber combined don’t equal our annual GDP outputs of food production, processing and agriculture. Many factors contribute to Canada’s trajectory in becoming an undeniable force in feeding the world of tomorrow, but the challenge will be to organize ourselves and others in order to capitalize on this trajectory. Dr. Brynn Winegard will combine her three areas of research – business, brain science, and factors of success for Canadian agri-food – to describe why it is so important that we advocate for ourselves as a global food superpower, how we should go about doing that, what we need to know about how consumers make decisions, the importance of mobilizing millennials and younger generations in service of our growth potential, and how to change our consumers from users to advocates, using brain science.

Sponsored by Bayer  

Predicting China’s future from its astounding, brilliant, lucky recent past

Ted C. Fishman, journalist and author of China Inc., How the Rise of the Next Superpower Challenges American and the World


Bestselling author Ted C. Fishman (China, Inc.) traces China’s growth and political development since its early market reforms in the 1980s and explains through story and data how they bring China’s present and future into clearer view. He will also cover recent developments in China’s economy, its future as a global producer and consumer, as an innovator and “borrower” of technology and as a world power.




Working with China: How Canadian agriculture can succeed

The Hon. Stockwell Day, former leader of the Canadian Alliance Party

China’s emerging middle class and rapid economic growth have it poised to be the world’s largest agricultural importer by 2020. Already, China is the number one market for Canada’s canola exports, and will be critical to the growth of Canadian agricultural exports for decades to come. Still, this market is a source of frustration at times with non-tariff trade barriers and lack of transparent trade rules. These barriers are hurting growth in Canada and limiting the access of Canadian farmers to the newest seed innovations, thus hurting productivity at home as well.

How is China today different from China of years past, and where is it heading economically, socially and politically? How can Canada best position itself to be part of China’s growth and future, and how much growth and progress can we expect to make? This session will help answer these questions and provide a better understanding of how to achieve success working with China.

Sponsored by Syngenta

Matthew Corrin, CEO & founder of Freshii

Freshii: a global health food movement

Matthew Corrin, CEO & founder of Freshii


Matthew shares the inspirational story behind Freshii – his bet on the healthy fast food market. Freshii’s non-traditional business model and five guiding principles has helped lead its rapid growth. The story of Freshii and its success in changing the face of the fast-casual food market will inspire audiences interested in growth, leadership, company culture, and embracing opportunity.

Sponsored by BASF Canada

Robb Fraley, Executive vice-president and chief technology officer, Monsanto Company

Innovation lost and innovation opportunities

Robb Fraley, Executive vice-president and chief technology officer, Monsanto Company


Dr. Robert Fraley, chief technology officer at Monsanto and a World Food Prize Laureate, will discuss the valuable role of innovation for farmers as well as innovation’s role in supporting food security and agriculture sustainability around the globe. What is the human and economic impact of blocking agricultural innovations? And how will the incredible advances being made in the biological and data science fields disrupt the ag-food chain and change the way we farm in the future? From new tools and techniques like gene editing to artificial intelligence, today’s innovation opportunities make it a very exciting time to work in agriculture.

Graham Sherman, Owner, Tool Shed Brewery

Banquet: Unleashing your disruptive behaviour

Graham Sherman, Owner, Tool Shed Brewery


Too often we find ourselves victims of our specific industry’s “regulatory risk.” Laws and regulations change and unfortunately it’s not always in our favour. The story of Tool Shed is one of trying to start a business that current provincial laws and regulations did not allow, and surprisingly, changing the government’s mind is not always as easy as it may seem.

Enter the world of Tool Shed’s “Disruptive Behaviour.” Maybe you’re trying to start up in a tough economy. Perhaps you’re trying to market your business against monster-sized competition. Or could it be that you’re trying to affect governmental regulatory change? All these scenarios require the use of part of our brains that we’ve been taught to suppress since childhood, the DISRUPTIVE part of our brain.

The term “Disruptive Marketing” has become so buzz-wordy that we often mistake innovation with being disruptive. These are not the same. The examples and stories of this concept you’ll hear from Sherman will even disrupt the way you think about all of those challenges that seem impossible to overcome. It’s time to harness your disruptive behaviour.

 Sponsored by Dow AgroSciences and DuPont Crop Protection