Trending Speakers – Toronto Engage 2018 Highlights

The 2018 edition of our Engage Speaker Talks series had its grand finale in Toronto. This morning of inspiration featured 6 keynote speakers who delivered a unique mix of presentations focused on your most requested topics in the events industry. Want to hear from our thought-leaders? We’ve pulled together a snapshot of key takeaways & highlights from each speaker:

Douglas Coupland
Douglas Coupland at Engage Toronto 2018

World-renowned artist Douglas Coupland took the audience on a behind-the-scenes journey of his creative process. In his Engage Toronto 2018 presentation, Coupland on Creativity, Coupland examined the unexpected sources of inspiration that resulted in some of his most infamous commissioned works all around the world.

Some of the creative fuel Doug shared:

• Pay attention to the seemingly small sources of inspiration & allow them to take on new forms – A pencil box was the spark to some of Doug’s most acclaimed pieces of work. 

• Explore new interests. You can have multiple-careers taking place in tandem with each other, and the only way to discover them is to go deeper into your surface level interest. You never know, one may turn out to be your accidental career.

• No idea is ‘too dumb.’ Far-out-there ideas can often have the most impact, like Coupland’s iconic Gumhead work.


Farrah Khan


Consent Culture Speaker Farrah Khan

Consent Culture Educator Farrah Khan‘s presentation broke down what cultivating consent in the workplace means. In her presentation she addressed the very important question: Would you know what to do if a staff member disclosed they had been sexually assaulted? She addressed what everyone needs to do to be a part of a harm-free work environment:

• Acknowledge: 3 in 10 Canadians say they’ve been harassed at work, but few have reported to their employers. We have to be ready if someone discloses to us – because they likely will.

• Understand: What is Consent? It’s simple, think – F.R.I.E.S: ·Freely Given ·Reversible ·Informed ·Enthusiastic ·Specific

• Support: building a community where employees feel safe and supported is vital to creating a workforce that is happy, healthy, & productive.

David Allison


 Target Marketing Speaker David Allison


David Allison‘s powerful presentation on his revolutionary new target marketing framework, Valuegraphics, proved that age-based demographics are not an accurate way to segment audiences effectively. This consumer behavior expert used big data to prove stereotypical groupings like age, gender, annual income, and ethnicity do not predict what people think, do or buy, their values do.

Did You Know:

Age-based segmentations such as Baby Boomers/Millennials/Gen X-Y-Z agree only 15% of the time (at most). Why are we still using it to make decisions?

• Demographics describe. Psychographics record. Value graphics predict.

Focusing in on what audiences value (Valuegraphics) has a 75-90% success rate. 

Valuegraphics can turn $1 in budget into $8 worth of impact.


Ryan McMahon


Indigenous Speaker Ryan McMahon


Digital Media Maker & Community Activator Ryan McMahon‘s presentation was an effective balance of heavy truths and humorous quips about the indigenous experience in Canada. Drawing from his background as a comedian, he addressed issues around reconciliation in an accessible and sincere manner, blending Canada’s painful history of exploiting Indigenous people, and his own humorous reflections on the current reconciliation movement in Canada.

It’s time to talk about decolonization rather than reconciliation. How?

Bring indigenous voices to the table when looking at big decisions, especially when land is involved.

It isn’t a singular way forward. There are many valid approaches to reconciliation.

What happens to our land happens to us. We need to live in good spirit, connected to the land, and in a lawful way.

Jill Hewlett


Brain Fitness Speaker Jill Hewlett


Jill Hewlett‘s presentation ‘Change your Mind, Change Your Results’ was all about Brain Fitness. She got the audience better acquainted with their brains – the most complex & clever technology on the planet.  Jill delivered an energy-filled presentation that had the audience up moving and communicating, while learning quick activities they could use to rebalance their stressed or tired brains. 

Jill shared some quick and powerful strategies in her interactive session:

• To activate your neuroplasticity, use the 3M’s: Movement. Mind. Mouth.

Become focused on breathing and sensations and change them.

A “can’t” mindset can come about through dehydration, fatigue & stressUse awareness to get back into the present moment and create change.


Andre Picard


Healthcare Speaker André Picard


André Picard’s acclaimed tenure as a national health writer has given him a wealth of information regarding Critical Care: What’s Happening in our Health Care System. He addresses the importance of moving from a sickness care system to a preventative care system.

He raised some tough questions and shared real insights on the state of Canada’s healthcare system today:

Genetics determine only 25% of our health, we can work on the rest.

• Canada has one of the least accessible healthcare systems in the developed world. We can be spending our money better.

• The problems in Canada are administrative & structural, more than healthcare problems. They can be easily fixed with a willingness to act.


Andrea Bain

Television Host & Podcaster Andrea Bain

Our host Andrea Bain kept the day running smoothly and professionally, with her trademark relatable and engaging personality. She injected energy to wake up our early morning attendees and provided our audience with some of the takeaways that resonated with her personally after each presentation. 


Television Host & Podcaster Andrea Bain


What our audience had to say:

“The event was excellent. I could have listened to speakers all day!
— Global Marketing and Branding Executive

“I thought the event was fantastic! Thank you very much for the invitation, it was great 🙂
— Manager, Corporate Communications & Events, B2B Bank


Engage Toronto was made possible with the help of our valued event partners:

Proudly Canadian, Cineplex is the #1 theatre exhibition company in Canada, serving more than 77 million guests annually. For over 15 years, Cineplex has been hosting groups and business events at its theatres across the country. From corporate meetings and town halls to client appreciation events and private screenings, Cineplex is positioned to offer an exceptional event experience for corporate clients, schools, and social groups from coast to coast. Learn more about Cineplex for your events here. 


AV-CANADA provide creative and turn-key solutions that help you customize your event, your way. Our solutions are cost-effective and deliver on value for our clients. More than simply audio-visual support, we also offer a variety of leading-edge presentation technologies, large inventories of in-house equipment and highly committed personnel. We are proud to invest in a team of highly skilled, experienced professionals that work closely with you from inception to execution, to help your event exceed your expectations. Learn more about their services here. 


With the most comprehensive Event Management Platform on the market, Eventmobi’s integrated platform brings together technology tools that cover the entire event lifecycle. From registration and event apps to polls and surveys and digital signage, we empower you to create the best event experience possible. Learn more about their services here. 


Q Media Solutions is a Toronto-based video production company. From creative to content to campaigns we dig deep to connect with your audience. Q is an inviting place, a boutique creative agency and full-service production company filled with a team of thinkers, do’ers and creators. Learn more about their services here. 

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