NSB Logo Dr. Chitra Anand Dr. Chitra Anand

Dr. Chitra Anand

Speaker Featured

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Intrapreneurship Tech Advisor to High-Growth Companies, former Head of Communications for Microsoft Canada

Dr. Chitra Anand is at the forefront of an important new movement in the business workplace: intrapreneurship. Intrapreneurs are the people within your organization who possess an entrepreneurial spirit and personal leadership approach — driving innovation, creative thinking, and new ideas. Her engaging talks reveal how to foster that spirit, and how to stay on the cutting edge of market trends, technology, and consumer behaviour.  In 2022, she was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Top 50 ‘Changemakers’ – an annual list of emerging leaders changing business today.

Keynote Speeches

Virtual Keynotes & Webinars
Contact us for more information about this speaker & their virtual presentations. Click here for some of the most popular formats for virtual events.
The Trust Trifecta | Humanity, Reciprocity, Practice

Over the past several decades, we have become a more untrustworthy society. 2020 accelerated this into 2022-23 with a set of implications that has exposed a set of flaws – This includes flaws in institutions, businesses, governments, and media. According to the Edelman Trust Barometer, we are in a “cycle of distrust.” This is a result of an epidemic of misinformation which has led to a wider spread of mistrust amongst societal institutions and leaders around the world. This has left many of us in existential crisis – distrust is now a default emotion.

Businesses have an opportunity to step up and intervene – in a new kind of leadership, where trust is at the core. Business partners who trust each other spend less time and energy focused on self preservation. When trust is present both sides achieve better economic outcomes. 

2022 recipient of The Globe and Mail’s Changemakers Award, Dr. Chitra Anand has hypothesized and tested a ‘Trust Trifecta’: Humanity, Reciprocity, and Practice.

During this session, Dr. Anand will share insights into the impact of the intersection of these notions and when met in this specific order – we can all benefit from the outcomes.

Dr Anand has designed this as an immersive, multi-sensory keynote, featuring music with M’ Michele, an electronic harpist with a masters in linguistics.

Intrapreneurship & Innovation | Developing a New Environment

With marketplaces being disrupted at a rate like never before, companies need to re-think how they operate. To succeed, modern businesses need to foster the creativity of their team by providing an environment that promotes constant innovation. In this talk, Dr. Anand explores how Intrapreneurship can be used as a gateway for organizations to achieve sustainable innovation. She will show audiences how to harnesses the entrepreneurial drive within an existing organization to foster new ideas, creative thinking which will provide companies the problem-solving mindset to succeed in an ever-changing world.

With over 20 years spent in the technology sector working for some industry-leading organizations including Open Text, TELUS, and Microsoft, Chitra has led disruptive projects and initiatives which have created new ways for organizations to operate and think about the way in which they do business. Her book The Greenhouse Approach (a mandatory read for the Forbes School of Business MBA Program) shows organizations how to reimagine current norms and structures and develop a culture of innovation.

Learning objectives:

  1. How leaders can practice intrapreneurship within their organizations, identify the true agents of change, and mobilize these agents to act.
  2. Practical ways to apply Greenhouse principles that will drive intentional innovation within your organization.
  3. Develop methods to best support the intrapreneurs that live inside your organization.
What is Mental Toughness and how do we harness this as a superpower?

Mental toughness is a term that is gaining more and more momentum both in the workplace and in our daily life.  Mental toughness is an umbrella term that entails positive psychological resources, which are crucial across a wide range of achievement contexts and in the domain of mental health and business.  

Mental toughness has been studied as an important individual difference factor that allows individuals to deal effectively with challenges and to persist under pressure.  High pressure and stress is a constant and has been for hundreds of years and mental toughness is the gateway to overcome and sustain a new paradigm of performance.  

Dr. Anand through her decades of research has uncovered some fundamentals of mental toughness – the core ingredients and ways we can start to turn this into a practice.  It is the process through which we do things on a more regular basis through the acknowledgment and dedication of this. 

Through this critical talk Dr. Anand will help us understand how high stress situations are in fact a stimulus for growth.  She will:

  • unpack how the journey and the process to an end goal no matter how challenging will enable us to uncover the fundamentals of mental fitness. 
  • help us train our brains and mindset in a way that will start us to reframe how we endure situations in the business world and life through ideas such as neuroplasticity;  As a broad concept, has emerged in the context of sports training.

These are a set of attributes that allow a person to become a better thinker and performer through the ability to cope with difficult training and difficult competitive situations and emerge without losing confidence.

ESG | The Future of the Environment & Climate

Dr. Chitra Anand outlines the biggest factors over the next three years in the industry, marketplace & culture, likely and unlikely, but possible scenarios, intersections and implications for all of us now.  In her previous roles, Chitra focused on advisory mandates in the Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) and Social Impact arenas, with particular emphasis on the Technology and Healthcare verticals.Over the past 5-7 years ESG has become a hot topic which is top of mind of many leaders. These areas of focus include how human activities will be shaped; from food consumption to buying behaviours, these patterns will be changed by new business creating business models -Big bold moves are required by businesses and ESG will create a new kind of asset class where old and new worlds will collide.   Dr. Anand will dive deep into this and look at the macro forces that are impacting this.

Outcomes for this talk include understanding the tipping points that are driving these changes.

Tipping Point 1. Information Age: Information is more accessible than ever before. This has therefore created a generally more educated and informed population around these types of issues. This has driven the need for organizations to be more transparent and ESG focused – Understand the implications of this and how organizations can readjust their business practices.

Tipping Point 2. Global Pandemic: The Global Pandemic has been an accelerator of what was inevitable on my different fronts. It has helped rise in the surge of social issues in our society. Issues such as healthcare, gender equality, climate change and accessibility are front and centre.

Tipping Point 3. ESG: Investors need to think and understand this discourse and the priorities around these things in a post pandemic world. How does this change companies and organizations from an overall impact perceptive? With he world moving quickly, we need to spot its signals and get ahead of it to be effective as leaders, stakeholders, practitioners, customers and citizens.

Greenhouse Thinking | How Intrapreneurs are Changing the Face of Innovation

What is an intrapreneur? An intrapreneur is an entrepreneur within a large, complex organization: a startup within a company. These people spur innovation, creative thinking, and new ideas, driven by passion and genuine love for their work. But how to you identify these people within your company, and encourage their good work? Chitra Anand is a lifelong intrapreneur and top researcher in the field.

In this talk, she breaks down the traits of an intrapreneur—fearless; agile; “greenhouse” thinkers who sprout and germinate ideas, plans, and execution strategies; and can easily navigate an organization—and how to find and mine talent within your company.

She explains how to bridge the gap in organizations that are set up against intrapreneurship. And, she provides practical takeaways for your company, focusing on deliberate innovation that rapidly responds to market trends.

In today’s global market, consumers are more empowered than ever. Intrapreneurs know how to meet consumer demand quickly, and ensure your company doesn’t get left behind.

Creative Thinking | A Skill for the New World of Work

In the new world of work, creativity is one of the most coveted skills. It’s no longer seen as something exclusive to artists, musicians or designers, but rather, an essential skill for the modern workforce at large. Those who thrive are able to use creative thinking to look at things differently and bringing new ideas to the forefront.

Intrapreneurship is built on creative thinking. Having spent over 10 years researching Intrapreneurship through doctoral research, Dr. Anand has gained new insights on the application and impact of creative thinking within the most successful organizations.

She’s also lived a life of creative thinking in the corporate world, having guided projects in her senior roles at Microsoft and TELUS to award-winning success, having won such awards as the IABC Gold Quill Award, Canadian Public Relations Society Awards of Excellence, CMA Awards of Excellence, the Corporate IT Hero award by the Information Technology Association of Canada and the Business for the Arts Awards.

In this presentation, Dr. Anand combines the research with hands-on experience to equip audiences with the insights needed to reach new levels of success.

Learning Outcomes:
• The framework to create a culture instilled with imaginative thinking.
• Developing a lens where risk and failure are seen as a platform for learning and new ways of doing things.
• How to flex your creative muscle by framing and reframing concepts and ideas.

Women in Tech | Trends, Realities, Misconceptions, and How to Lead

Chitra Anand has worked in the tech space for over 20 years with some of the worlds most notable organizations. Women who want to study, work in, and lead businesses in science and technology have much to add and should be proactively empowered to do so.

Only 18 percent of undergraduate computer science degrees and 26 percent of computing jobs are held by women. It’s worse at the top of the corporate world — just 5 percent of leadership positions in the technology industry are held by women.

A better question might be, how can we collectively work to improve women’s participation in the tech industry at each key stage of their careers? The problem is far deeper than stats. They are embedded in our culture, language and unconscious biases that we all hold; both as men and women. How do we uncover what these are and how do we take those insights to drive real sustained change? How do we continue to trailblaze knowing these challenges in a hyper competitive market?

Platform Plus Presentations

Unique formats and ways to connect with audiences.
Workshop | The Greenhouse Approach
This workshop can be an extension of the talk or on its own; this is applied learning. During this workshop, we will explore the core ideas and mindset shift that need to take place to start to build your greenhouse.

This is the practical application covering how to:

Identify the core ideas that need to be in place and actively start to shift our mindset

Become an organization supportive of curiosity

Understand the benefits of First Principles Thinking and learn how to we apply it

Look at the dangers of consensus thinking and re-direct team members to feel confident about expressing their ideas…even if it is against the masses.

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Are you an Intrapreneur? Do you have intrapreneurs within your organization? Do you know how to identify this incredible talent and how to best support them?

We will explore the behaviours and attributes of this incredibly powerful and talented group of people. You will either self-identify and/or better understand how you and the organization can best support them.

All of this will be guided through a set of activities and exercises that will help you become more intrapreneurial in spirit.

Audience reviews:

  • I´m thrilled to have experienced this unique approach and a powerful message on trust - such a relevant topic - at the #WNORTH Conference. This keynote is absolutely beyond expectations. Applause for Dr. Chitra Anand and M.Michele. - Mariana Freitas, Founder/CEO Sirius App
  • Thank you Dr. Chitra Anand ...for enlightening us with all your positive and eloquent contributions! The core of trust is on how well we trust ourselves. That has to be the beginning for building a solid foundation for healthy prosperous relationships! - Trusted Advisor - CXO and VIP clients
  • She completely enthralled the audience with her enthusiasm, her confidence, her unique presenting style including a musical backbeat, her humour, and her engagement. Chitra’s message of intrapreneurship truly resonated with the room as they learned how to encourage and get the most out of their colleagues and themselves. Our challenge as organizers is to find presenters who can appeal to a wide variety of attendees and Chitra certainly filled the bill, giving everyone some food for thought to take back with them to their communities and organizations.

    - Marketing & Communications, Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce
  • We loved your energy, ability to inspire and motivate the crowd while setting the tone for the second day of the summit, and found your topics engaging and insightful. There were so many nuggets of knowledge to be taken away from your speech and I am certain that each attendee walked away with something.

    - 2019 Innovation Summit Chairs, Cenovus Energy
  • The positive reaction was overwhelming. Chitra’s experience and research were presented in the best possible way to open our eyes on what it will take in the coming years to be successful both as an organization and as an individual. An absolute must-see presentation! - CEO, MTY Group
  • Her passion to see businesses rise to the top, shines through in her presentation, with her knowledge and wisdom leaving you with an impacting message that will encourage you to look for ways to embrace change and strive for success.

    - Association of Alberta Registry Agents
  • Chitra is a dynamic and passionate speaker who helped us think about our industry in a different kind of way. After her talk, she conducted a workshop where we had an opportunity to apply some of the key insights from the morning; it was very engaging and very useful.

    - Random House of Canada
  • Chitra Anand was a dynamic and impactful keynote speaker. The combination of her expertise in intrapreneurship, her enthusiasm, and her engaging presentation was a perfect finale for our audience.

    - Cincinnati USA Regional Chamber
  • Intrapreneurship was a topic that had only been briefly introduced to us before the conference. Chitra is very passionate about her work on this topic. She has a unique but realistic insight into the term of Intrapreneurship that is really refreshing….If you have an opportunity to learn from Chitra I highly recommend it. I would take the opportunity again. She is inspiring, motivational and sincere in all she does.

    - GPRC Business Admin Management Student

Speaker Biography

In 2022, Chitra Anand was named one of The Globe and Mail’s Top 50 ‘Changemakers’ – an annual list of emerging leaders changing business today. Dr. Anand is an award-winning communications & marketing executive passionate about innovation and intrapreneurship. With over 20 years  of leadership in the technology industry her roles have included head of Communications for Microsoft Canada, Director of Marketing at TELUS Corporation and Director of Operations at Open Text. 

She has keynoted several events, AGM’s and conferences where her talks reveal how to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship within organizations – aka Intrapreneurship, how to stay on the cutting edge of market trends, technology, and consumer behavior.  Dr. Anand is an innovation & culture change keynote speaker, professor, author and advisor to tech companies like SAP, Google and Facebook, & high growth companies like The Social Architects; a leadership Peer to Peer community, and, Nurosene – a recently IPO’d health tech company that provides solutions that empower people to take control of your mental wellness for a brighter future.

Her roles have also included that as Managing Director, Clariti Strategic Advisors, with a focus on advisory mandates in the Environmental, Social, Governance (ESG) and Social Impact arenas, with particular emphasis on the Technology and Healthcare verticals.

In 2020, she was named by the Forbes School of Business & Technology (FSBT) a member of their new Masters of Business Administration (MBA) advisory committee and her book The Greenhouse Approach, How to Cultivate Deliberate Innovation in Organizations became a required read for students in the Forbes School of Business & Technology’s MBA program.

She was involved in the launch as a founding member of Maverix Private Equity, a growth private equity firm dedicated to transforming industries focused on tech-enabled disruption.  She helped shape the brand and marketing strategy through overseeing all digital marketing, branding, research, insights and thought leadership functions. She is pioneering a community of disruptors, focused on building a dynamic partnership of entrepreneurs to create transformative and sustaining impact.  

She is currently a Professor at Centennial College in the Communications and Media Program focusing on marketing, communications and public relations with The Story Arts Centre.  

Dr. Anand has been named as a “bridge builder” for women in tech by the A-list; a yearly publication that features 50 prominent Indo-Canadians who through various career and community efforts have helped foster relations between Canada and India.

She has an MBA from The Kellogg School of Management and earned her PhD at Bradford University in the UK and her Associates Degree in Organizational Leadership at Harvard. 

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