14 2014

Business, education, government and student leaders discuss school-to-work transition issues

April 14th 2014

Event Co-Chair and Former President & CEO of Scotiabank, Rick Waugh O.C.; President of Cisco Systems Canada, Nitin Kawale and President & CEO of Colleges Ontario, Linda Franklin at The Partnership Summit on April 10, 2014

“Do today’s students need to know the date this country was founded and its first Prime Minister? Or, is it good enough that they know how to find this information?” These seemingly simple questions were posed during The Partnership Summit in Toronto on April 10, 2014, which generated much-spirited discussion for over 100 leaders and influencers from business, education, government and student communities.
In this digital, information-rich world, students need to know how to think creatively, learn continually and work effectively with others, but do they need to memorize information that can be easily accessed? The discussion set the stage for a day of collaborative, constructive conversation. Hosted by The Learning Partnership and co-chaired by the organization’s Corporate Advisory Board leader Rick Waugh O.C., Scotiabank’s former President and CEO, this one-day summit facilitated cross-sector dialogue on education and employment at the highest levels. An impressive group of leaders and global experts deeply invested in education attended this event to share their views on Canada’s future.
We were also pleased to have Steve Paikin, Host and Producer of TVO’s The Agenda, moderate the morning panel discussions regarding challenges and opportunities to move students successfully from education to employment, and Carol Stevenson O.C., Former Dean, Ivey Business School, moderate the afternoon panel discussions involving student perspectives and solution-focused initiatives for the future.

Participants and Panellists included:


  • The Honourable Liz Sandals, Ontario Minister of Education who referenced the Ministry’s newly released renewed vision for education in Ontario
  • Author and professor Michael Fullan O.C., who contributed his world-renowned expertise on education reform
  • James Politeski, President, Samsung Canada and Nitin Kawale, President, Cisco Systems Canada who offered insights from two of the world's largest information and technology companies
  • Acting Director for Education and Skills at the OECD, Andreas Schleicher, who joined remotely from France with international perspectives
  • Alberta’s Deputy Minister of Education, Greg Bass, who presented the Inspiring Education initiative for his province
  • Director General, Andrew Parkin, representing the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada
  • George Zegarac, Deputy Minister who also represented Ontario’s Ministry of Education
  • Leadership in the education sector, including: Linda Franklin, CEO of Colleges Ontario; Chris Whitaker, President and CEO for Humber College Institute of Technology and Advance Learning; Bruce Rodrigues, CEO of Education Quality and Accountability Office; and Frank Kelly, Executive Director for the Council of Directors of Education
  • Additional senior leadership representing both private and not-for-profit sectors, including: Glenn Laverty, President and CEO of Ricoh Canada Inc.; Patrick Nangle, CEO of Purolator Inc.; Medhat Mahdy, President and CEO of YMCA; Julia Deans, CEO of Canadian Youth Business Foundation; and Lisa de Wilde, CEO of TVO
  • School Board Directors and Principals representing Toronto District School Board, Toronto Catholic District School Board, Peel District School Board and Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board.


Information from roundtable discussions was gathered at the end of the session, which The Learning Partnership will use to develop a report on school-to-work transition strategies for distribution to key decision makers. The Learning Partnership is also committed to ACTION – we are enthusiastically assessing how we can better support Canadian students moving more effectively from education to employment, based on results gathered from the event.

Immediately following the Summit, a number of Presidents and CEOs met to discuss the issues presented during the day to identify potential partnership and collaboration opportunities.


Download the Partnership Summit program (PDF)

The Partnership Summit was made possible through the generous support of Scotiabank, Samsung Electronics Canada, Torys LLP, EY and Deloitte LLP.