2017 NSBest Speaker Profile | Dr. Shawna Pandya

Our annual Engage Speaker Talks (NSBest) is right around the corner. Once again, we’re hosting events at three locations across Canada: Calgary (Sept. 8), Vancouver (Sept. 13), and Toronto (Oct. 4).

Image Courtesy of Cooper and O’Hara photography

Today, our featured speaker is Physician, Scientist-Astronaut Candidate “Doctor Cosmonaut”, Dr. Shawna Pandya. She is passionate about the two extremes of humanity – surviving and thriving. Shawna’s interested in furthering technological innovation and human knowledge, and tackling humanity’s grandest challenges to affect positive social change. 

At NSBest 2017, Shawna will be speaking on Resilience, Learning & Leadership.  Here’s our NSBest profile featuring a sneak peak at the insights she will bring to her talk:


A Profile on Shawna:

We asked Shawna: 

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Learn to be a doer. When I was starting out as an entrepreneur in Silicon Valley,  the best advice I ever got was from a friend who was CEO of her own start-up. “Don’t ask, ‘how can I help,’ rather, ask ‘what needs to be done,’  and then go out and do it.” She was right. If you want to be a problem-solver, you have to learn to be a doer. Learn to be active, not passive. If you want to learn more about a particular issue, read, Google things, attend meetings, ask questions, write letters.

Don’t be afraid of hard work. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty, do hard work or menial tasks. Whether you realize it or not, everything you do has value. Maybe you have a part-time job working in retail. And maybe someday you want to be a CEO. Everything you learn about customer relations, inventory, operations, and organization will help you in this endeavor. Every experience you have will shape you. Learning discipline and hard work are hands down the most important things you can do for yourself, and if you can master these skills, you will go far in this life.

How do you deal with self-doubt?

For every detractor that you have, you will have supporters, even if they aren’t immediately apparent. So find those supporters, whether they are friends, family, academic advisers or work colleagues, and build that support base. It’s important. If you have a dream, don’t let yourself be deterred by ‘what-ifs’ or ‘I can’ts’. Build your dreams and create a roadmap for getting there. Just go ahead and do it, and you’ll find the people who can help you along the way.

What’s your advice on personal development?

Learn to love learning. Learning to learn – and learning to love it – is probably the most important skill you can develop. We live in a world that is changing exponentially, and becoming a ‘lifelong learner’ is no a longer a choice, but a necessity. We also live in a world where knowledge is at our fingertips, be it through internet searches, massive online open courses (MOOC’s), online videos, hackerspaces, DIY movements, podcasts, e-books – the list is endless. Know yourself, figure out how you learn best, and then take advantage of the resources out there to help seek mastery in your chosen field.


What Audiences Are Saying:

“She is deeply insightful, engaging, entertaining, and an outstanding presenter. Her workshop interaction skills are amazing! I recommend her very highly.”
-Course Coordinator, Technology and the Future of Medicine Course at the University of Alberta

Shawna’s Recent News & Media:

  NSB-Divider You can catch Shawna at NSBest Calgary on September 8th:

RSVP to NSBest Calgary here: