Leonard Brody - Keynote Speaker
Business and Technology Visionary

Leonard Brody has been called “a controversial leader of the new world order” by BC Business magazine. He is an award-winning entrepreneur, venture capitalist, bestselling author, and a two-time Emmy nominated media visionary who is consistently ranked as the #1 speaker on conference programs. In his compelling, customized talks–for clients ranging from the United Nations to Visa and Pepsi–Leonard addresses the rapid pace of change, innovation, and disruption facing us all, and what to do about it.
Leonard has helped in raising millions of dollars for start-up companies; been through one of the largest internet IPOs in history; and has been involved in the building, financing, and/or sale of five companies to date. He is currently the President of the Innovation and Digital Group for the Anschutz Company, one of the largest live sport and entertainment businesses on the planet, which owns assets such as the O2 Arena in London and the Staples Center in LA; sports teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Galaxy, and the Los Angeles Kings; and is one of the premier concert promotion businesses in the world, seating hundreds of millions of people a year.
Leonard also acts as principal in several venture capital funds throughout the world; is behind the financing and creation of 20-30 companies a year; and is one of the proud owners of Coventry City Football Club in England. If that wasn’t enough, Leonard was asked to run for Mayor of Vancouver in their last election.
A highly sought-after speaker, Leonard has lectured at institutions such as Stanford, the G8 and the United Nations. His insight has been requested by companies such as The Financial Times, Warner Music, Dell, Visa and Pepsi, as well as, the governments of countries such as India, Israel, Ireland, Russia and South Africa. His work has been featured in such publications as Fortune, The Wall Street Journal, the BBC and The New York Times.
Leonard is co-author of the bestselling books, Innovation Nation: Canadian Leadership from Jurassic Park to Java and Everything I Needed to Know About Business…I Learned from a Canadian. Currently, he is authoring a new book in partnership with Forbes magazine, entitled, The Great Re:Write. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts from Queens University, a law degree from Osgoode Hall and is a graduate of the Private Equity Program at the Harvard Business School.

Bonnie Brooks - Keynote Speaker
Vice Chairman
Hudson’s Bay Company

In February 2014, Brooks was appointed Vice Chairman of Hudson’s Bay Company, the world’s oldest continuously operating company, which owns and operates Saks Fifth Avenue, Lord and Taylor in the USA, and, of course, Hudson’s Bay department stores in Canada. Prior to her current role, Brooks was President and CEO of HBC; and before she oversaw the company’s successful turnaround, Brooks was based in Hong Kong, where she revitalized another iconic retailer, Asia’s Lane Crawford, helming 500 stores across nine Asian countries.
Brooks has also served as Editor-in-Chief of Flare, Canada’s largest fashion magazine, and Executive VP of Holt Renfrew, where she brought many major American and European designer brands to Canada. She is one of Monocle’s Top 25 Retailers worldwide and one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business. She has received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal for philanthropy, and is a member of the American Marketing Association Marketing Hall of Legends. In October 2014, she became the first woman to receive the prestigious Ivey Business Leader of the Year Award.
Brooks is Chaiman of the Board of Trustees of the ROM, appointed by the Premier of Ontario, a member of the Board of Directors for Empire Company Limited, Rogers Communications, and Abercrombie & Fitch. Brooks holds an MBA from the University of Western Ontario and was the Parsons School of Design Honoree in 2013.

Chris Barth - Keynote Speaker

Chris Barth is a senior strategist for Contagious Insider, the consultancy division of Contagious that helps make brands braver by helping them understand and adapt to shifts in marketing, consumer culture, technology, and creativity. Working out of the Midwest, Chris oversees a wide variety of Contagious projects in North America, from trend briefings and innovation workshops to in-depth reports and collaborative research projects. He also contributes to the award-winning Contagious Magazine and online research and intelligence tool, Contagious I/O. Prior to joining Contagious, Chris covered business and investing at Forbes, where he also produced Steve Forbes’ Intelligent Investing interview series, which featured conversations with global leaders in economics, technology and business. In past lives, Chris has worked as an editorial producer at Major League Baseball Advanced Media, a freelance writer at RollingStone.com, and a consultant at Arcadia Solutions.

Michael Bricker
Founder + Chief Innovator
People for Urban Progress

Michael is Founder and Chief Innovator of People for Urban Progress, an Indianapolis-based non-profit and urban design do-tank. PUP focuses on projects that advance connectivity, environmental responsibility, and good design. Through PUP, Michael recently served for four years as the Co-Chair for the Steering Committee of Indy Rezone, the city’s first significant zoning ordinance update since 1969.
Michael also works as a production designer in the film industry. In addition to designing commercials for AT&T and Gatorade, Michael’s film work has been featured at the Sundance Film Festival, the Toronto International Film Festival, and SXSW, among others. Michael earned his Master in Architecture from the University of Texas in Austin, and has served as a Visiting Professor at Wabash College. He splits his time between Indianapolis and Los Angeles.

Paul Cowan
Chief Marketing Officer

Paul is CMO at a food tech startup called Feast, where he is building a completely revolutionary food experience that is healthy, fresh, and sustainable in all aspects of its brand experience. He is no stranger to the startup life as he helped launch several tech startups like Syncapse and Dive Networks where he contributed to the conceptualization and the commercialization of the products from the ground up. Paul has also done his time on the corporate side, running marketing communications at Rogers Wireless and Spin Master Toys. He’s won some awards that sit on a shelf somewhere and he has written things for various publications that his mother is extremely proud of.

Steve Levy
Chief Operating Officer
Ipsos Canada

Steve started his career in the UK where he spent two years in sales at Xerox and then after completing his undergraduate degree, he moved into brand management at Mars Food. Since 1986, he has been involved in the marketing research and information business in the UK, South East Asia and Canada. In his current role, he leads a number of Ipsos’s Canadian commercial businesses and is responsible for a staff of over 200 Marketers and Researchers, local product development and R&D, and numerous white papers and public releases. Steve is also a frequent public speaker and media commentator.
Most Influential Brand Global Initiative – Steve leads this initiative that takes place in 21 countries around the world and unveils/presents it each year at Adweek (Toronto) with a roadshow that follows.
In addition to his management role, Steve continues to act as team leader for a number of accounts mostly in the technology sector.
Steve loves GREAT hamburgers – his current favourite is Holly Chucks at the corner of Yonge and St. Clair.

Les Mandelbaum
President + Co-founder

Les was born in Toronto, Canada in 1951. He attended Antioch College in Ohio, majoring in music and sociology. Eventually he moved to Boston to pursue a career in music, a hobby he continues to enjoy today. In 1976, he returned to Toronto and started Trans-Canada Hardware (TCH), a company that supplied parts for the construction of heavy-duty custom “road” cases and speaker cabinet protection used by rock musicians. While on tour in 1978, Les connected with Paul Rowan, a boyhood friend working as a graphic artist. Unable to find an acceptable alternative to the mundane selection of window shades then available, Paul created his own on printed paper and approached Les. They turned the solution into an innovative and imaginative product. In 1980, the two discovered that there was enough positive response from the design community and from Canadian retailers to create a new company “Umbra”, which is the Latin word for shade or shadow. They expanded from Canada at the National Housewares Association Show (now the International Housewares Association Show) in Chicago back in 1981, and unexpectedly created one of the most successful original and contemporary home accessories and housewares design and manufacturers in the world today. Umbra factories, warehouses and offices can be found in the U.S., Holland, China and Brazil.
Les is also an active investor in two current start-ups, one of which is in the UK.
His community work involves two local hospitals and advisory boards of two local colleges. He still resides in Toronto with his wife Wendy, a textile designer, and two teenage boys.

Alex Palacios
Art Director

Art Director Alex Palacios leads the global brand identity and design strategy at Blurb, the creative self-publishing platform for books and magazines based in San Francisco. Alex also worked at Fluid, Inc., creating award-winning work for clients such as Calvin Klein, The North Face, Oakley, Clorox, and Levi’s. She is a vice president and co-founder of Pictoclik, a company that breaches emerging and established talent in the Bay Area film business. Puerto Rican raised and a fervent defender of storytelling, Alex thinks that no matter what the medium, no matter how beautiful the experience, a real story is at the core of meaningful work.

Ray Philipose
Head of Growth
Twitter Canada

As Head of Growth for Twitter Canada, Ray is responsible for user growth and engagement. He is a digital media veteran in Canada, with 15 years industry experience, having held senior leadership roles at Olive Media, Reader’s Digest, Canwest, and Sympatico / MSN. Ray has a degree in Computer Engineering from Queen’s University, and gets a strange kick out of writing about himself in the third person.

Ryan Pulliam
Co-Founder +
Chief Marketing Officer
Specular Theory

Ryan Pulliam spearheads business development and marketing for Specular Theory, a Venice, Calif.-based award winning studio that creates virtual reality content and develops immersive technologies to drive the next generation of storytelling. She brings over 15 years of agency and client-side experience in digital marketing and brand strategy. Her ability to tell stories and integrate across multiple platforms has been a valuable asset to her clients, ranging from startups to Fortune 100 brands, celebrities and musicians. As a next-generation thought leader on digital media strategy and the convergence of entertainment, technology and advertising, Pulliam is consistently creating opportunities for long-term growth and creative exploration for Specular Theory in the VR industry.
Pulliam is a published expert in the Seven Pearls of Financial Wisdom, which was named Top Business Book in 2012 by the Library Journal. Passionate about expanding the presence of women in the VR and tech industries, she has been a frequent speaker on numerous industry panels, including at Digital LA’s “Women in VR” event as well as events hosted by Singularity University, CES and TEDx. She has also been a guest on industry podcast shows including The Voices of VR and Your Hollywood Pro.

Jennifer Turliuk
Chief Executive Officer

Jennifer Turliuk is the CEO of MakerKids, the first and largest makerspace for kids in the world. MakerKids offers programs, camps and parties on topics such as 3D Printing, Robotic Inventions, Videogame Making, and Electronics. She studied exponential technologies and how to apply them to education as part of the Singularity University Graduate Studies Program (based at NASA Ames). Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Forbes, Huffington Post, Fast Company, CBS national TV, and more. Jennifer has spoken at MakerCon Norway, Maker Faire Rome, MakerCon New York, Maker Faire Bay Area, TEDxSantiago and more.

Her career highlights include helping build a 3D printer for a music video, launching an SMS-based disaster relief project during Hurricane Sandy, being selected as a Startup Chile entrepreneur (as part of a program run by the Government of Chile to foster entrepreneurship locally), creating her own self-education program which involved being 1 of the top 6 finalists in a competition to shadow Dave McClure of 500 Startups, leading the Canadian launch of Tide Pods (P&G’s biggest launch in 27 years), running Canada’s largest business plan competition (the Queen’s Entrepreneurs’ Competition), writing one of Forbes’ Greatest Hits articles, speaking on a panel discussion with Peter Thiel (founder of Paypal), doing a TEDx talk in Spanish, being invited to join MaiTai (a group of pro kiteboarders and entrepreneurs), and DJing for Red Bull. She attended business school at Queen’s University. In her spare time, she enjoys salsa dancing, kiteboarding, improv, 3D printing, and building electronic creations.

Wahn Yoon
Principal and Co-Founder
L'Institut Idée

Raised in New York City, Wahn’s career spans nearly 20 years as an instigator and catalyst in multiple sectors. As senior strategist at J. Walter Thompson, he became an expert in brand positioning and was instrumental in developing and launching Ethos JWT, a WPP-owned global consultancy specializing in corporate responsibility and sustainability communications.
During that time, he was responsible for bringing in and leading some of the agency’s largest accounts, including Magna International, Harvard University, UNESCO, UNEP, and The Hospital for Sick Children, for which Wahn led the “Believe” campaign, raising a record-breaking $500 MM for the organization. Wahn also developed the strategy and led creative development for Plan International’s “Because I am a Girl” campaign, which won multiple Golds at the Cassies awards for outstanding business results achieved through advertising.
Wahn then became co-founder and principal in L’Institut Idee, a laboratory and think tank for “Great Ideas”, and Wunderkind, a global advertising and design guild based in Toronto. Wahn’s North American and global strategy clients have included Audi, Abbott Laboratories, AIMIA, Amgen, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bombardier, Cadillac Fairview, The Canadian Red Cross, Rogers, Molson Coors, Wendy’s, Humana, Live Nation and many more.
Wahn studied Social Anthropology at Harvard College and received his executive MBA at Columbia University Business School. He is active on numerous boards and associations serving the interests of artists and youth. He is also a poet whose work has been published in literary journals such as The Paris Review.