Guest Keynotes

Chris Hadfield


Astronaut/First Canadian Commander of the International Space Station

The Sky is NOT the Limit


There's an astronaut saying: In space, “there is no problem so bad that you can’t make it worse.” So how do you deal with the complexity, the sheer pressure, of dealing with dangerous and scary situations? Retired colonel Chris Hadfield paints a vivid portrait of how to be prepared for the worst in space (and life). Although CIOs aren’t operating in a vacuum, there are clear to parallels as to how they manage the ultra complex situations they find themselves in and how they manage the limited resources at their disposal. Be prepared for an out-of-this-world ride and to come away with a better vision as to how to adapt to your own ever changing universe.

More about Chris:

Good morning, Earth! That is how Colonel Chris Hadfield writing on Twitter woke up the world every day while living for five months aboard the International Space Station. Through his 21-years as an astronaut, three spaceflights and 2600 orbits of Earth, Colonel Hadfield has become a worldwide sensation, harnessing the power of social media to make outer space accessible to millions and infusing a sense of wonder into our collective consciousness not felt since humanity first walked on the Moon. Called the most famous astronaut since Neil Armstrong, Colonel Hadfield continues to bring the marvels of science and space travel to everyone he encounters.


Colonel Hadfield is a pioneer of many historic firsts. In 1992, he was selected by the Canadian Space Agency as a NASA Mission Specialist Canadas first fully-qualified Space Shuttle crew member. Three years later, aboard Shuttle Atlantis, he was the first Canadian to operate the Canadarm in space, and the first Canadian to board a Russian spacecraft as he helped build space station Mir. In 2001, aboard Shuttle Endeavour, Colonel Hadfield performed two space walks the first Canadian to do so and, in 2013, he was Commander of the International Space Stationthe first and only Canadian to ever command a spaceship so far.


During his multi-faceted career Hadfield has intercepted Soviet bombers in Canadian airspace, lived on the ocean floor, been NASAs Director of Operations in Russia, and recorded science and music videos seen by hundreds of millions.


A heavily decorated astronaut, engineer, and pilot, Colonel Hadfields many awards include receiving the Order of Canada, the Meritorious Service Cross, and the NASA Exceptional Service Medal. He was named the Top Test Pilot in both the US Air Force and the US Navy, and has been inducted into Canadas Aviation Hall of Fame. He is the author of two internationally bestselling books, An Astronauts Guide to Life on Earth and You Are Here, and has been commemorated on Canadian postage stamps, Royal Canadian Mint coins, and on Canadas newest five dollar bill (along with fellow astronauts Steve MacLean and Dave Williams).

Diane Wilkinson


Senior Partner
The Wow Factor

Influencing your Stakeholders


You need to influence a wide range of stakeholders: executives, peers, your team and vendors. But how do you get them to listen to you? How do you boost your authority and credibility? This keynote will show you practical steps to help boost your standing with the people you need to influence. The techniques that we’ll share in this keynote as based on thousands of hours of coaching executives to deliver messages with more impact. Armed with these tools, you’ll become far more influential with your stakeholders and ensure that you are viewed as a trusted partner.

More about Diane:

Diane Wilkinson is a Senior Partner at The Wow Factor. As an Executive Coach and expert in influencing and presenting, Diane helps you to deliver your message in a way that will inspire your audience. Diane has worked with Audi, Blenheim Palace and Medtronic; coaching senior business people in how to communicate with passion and authenticity. Whether you are presenting to your Board, pitching for investment or addressing an industry conference, Diane gives you the confidence to stand up and impress your audience.

Deborah Lee James


23rd Secretary
United States Air Force

Changing Cyber Culture - Agreeing on the Problem is Key to Solving It


Although many focus on the underlying technology of the digital revolution, some fail to focus on people and culture. Business leaders and cyber professionals speak different languages and review different metrics when measuring progress and success. Frequently, these two groups do not understand one another and talk past one another, putting at risk growth, speed, agility and resilience within the enterprise. Deborah Lee James, the 23rd Secretary of the Air Force and current independent director on multiple public and private boards, shares the business factors that drive the cyber conversation at the Board of Director and senior government level. She’ll offer perspectives on what IT leaders need to know to communicate more effectively, become better business partners for growth and mission accomplishment, and change culture for the good.

More about Deborah:

Deborah Lee James has a three-decade track record of leading, transforming, and driving lasting results in the Legislative and Executive branches of Government (U.S. Air Force, Department of Defense) and private industry (SAIC, United Technologies Corporation, Business Executives for National Security).  Deborah served on a number of non-profit Boards of Directors including the Atlantic Council, USO, and PenFed Foundation, where she chaired the Advisory Board. She also worked extensively with the SAIC Board of Directors, particularly on matters of reputational risk management.

Through January 2017, Deborah served as the 23rd Secretary of the United States Air Force with responsibility for 660,000 military and civilian personnel and a budget of nearly $140 billion. Prior to this role, she served as President of SAIC's Technical and Engineering sector, a $2 billion, 8,700-person enterprise. Deborah has deep expertise in strategic planning, risk management, public policy, cyber security, logistics and innovation.

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