General Sessions


Opening General Session | November 2 | 9:00 - 10:30 AM
Authentic Human Connection - Building Extraordinary Relationships in a Changed World

Long before the era of ‘quiet quitting,’ loneliness was a pandemic in our society. In an age of polarization, disconnection, and shallow substitutes for real relationships, every leader needs to know how to build and maintain meaningful relationships. Meaningful human connection is the biggest opportunity for companies to drive engagement, retain talent and boost belonging. In this opening keynote, learn how to create conversations that lessen loneliness at work and create a more connected culture.
Riaz Meghji has committed his career to uncovering the key habits of human connection that build extraordinary relationships that move your business forward. Learn how to:

  • Build extraordinary relationships
  • Created connected cultures
  • Boost belonging at work


Jessica Pettit, Stand-up Comic & Educator

Riaz Meghji
Human Connection Expert

Riaz Meghji is a human connection expert and author of the book Every Conversation Counts: The 5 Habits of Human Connection That Build Extraordinary Relationships. His insights have been featured in Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, and Financial Post. After one conversation led him to take a dramatically different career path that changed his life for the better, he became dedicated to exploring the ways that authentic human connection can change lives and organizations.

Riaz has hosted for Citytv’s Breakfast Television, MTV Canada, TEDxVancouver, CTV News, and the Toronto International Film Festival. He is a natural storyteller with a proven ability to conduct engaging, in-depth conversations across various disciplines.

Off-camera, Riaz dedicates himself to philanthropy and causes he cares about including Canuck Place Children’s Hospice and Covenant House. He holds a degree in business from Simon Fraser University and studied leadership communication at Harvard Extension School and the Canadian Management Centre.


Opening General Session Sponsored By:

International Work Group Sponsor

Opening General Session Speakers Sponsored By:

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General Session | November 3 | 11:00 - 12:15 PM
Cultivating Human Connection: Art as a Catalyst for Positive Change

Liz Powers, Co-founder and CEO, ArtLifting

Liz Powers
Co-founder and CEO, ArtLifting

Join Liz Powers, CEO and co-founder of ArtLifting, as she explores the transformative power of art in corporate real estate. Discover how inclusive art strategies leverage the built environment to foster a lasting social impact while contributing to a culture of belonging. During the keynote, you will hear the stories of ArtLifting artists with disabilities, their innovative practices, and the transformational impacts of selling their work to corporate clients.

Learn how you can create vibrant and inclusive environments to engage teams, spark creativity, and reflect company values. Join us for a thought-provoking exploration of how embracing creativity in your spaces can transform both individuals and organizations alike. Liz will inspire CRE professionals to harness the power of art as a catalyst for positive change, not only within their organizations but also within the broader community.

Doug Manuel Speaker

Doug Manuel

Beats As One

Whether it be tired and disengaged virtual teams or reuniting fragmented teams in person to find meaning, belonging and purpose, Doug Manuel delivers a keynote that drives passion, and enhances active listening, communication, empathy, and ultimately – performance.

Break down silos, develop emotional connections, and feel at one with your team with this engaging, energetic musical experience. Learn how true collaboration builds foundations for high-performing teams.

Come away from this engaging session knowing:

  • How to re-connect with your colleagues and deepen empathy
  • How to fully connect your team, so they feel as one
  • The impact a team has when they are focused and are playing to the same rhythm
  • How to break down silos and enhance collaboration
  • How to enhance active listening
  • What a positive force a team aligned with a mission, vision and company values can be
  • The power of creating a positive culture through shared experience Doug Manuel, Speaker

Second General Session Sponsored By: