What Went Down at CB x TL Insider’s Thought Leadership Panel at the ROM

In partnership with Greybrook, the panel painted a picture of Canada’s future as a global investment destination
(photography: George Pimentel Photography)

For the first event of our new series in partnership with Greybrook Realty, Canadian Business and Toronto Life Insiders gathered at the Royal Ontario Museum for an insightful thought leadership panel on April 27. Co-presented by CB, the panel tackled Canada’s appeal on the global stage after two years of turbulence caused by the pandemic. The night’s million-dollar question: what needs to be done for Canada to remain among the most attractive countries for those looking to grow businesses and investments?

Hosted by Sasha Cucuz, CEO of Greybrook Securities Inc. and Partner at Greybrook Capital, the panel welcomed three experts addressing areas of finance, business development and advertising from both domestic and international points-of-view.  

Jon Love, founder and CEO of KingSett Capital, kicked off the timely discussion by touching on Canada’s current business environment as well as the importance of harmonizing the public and private sectors in order to achieve the progress we’re looking for. “We [Canada] have an unbelievable opportunity in at least two areas,” said Love, pinpointing housing and energy. “The Canadian frontier to develop ethical energy to the globe is unprecedented—all that’s needed is permission; I wish we would unite as a society and give some bold thinking to take our rightful place on these issues.” Needless to say, in speaking to the country’s current geopolitical climate, the evening’s discussions were not short of passionate and thought-provoking opinions.

Joining Love on stage, Sabrina Geremia, vice president and country manager for Google Canada, raised the question of how well (or not) Canada compares internationally in the business arena. “We’re seeing a lot of transitions under play within the global economy, one of the biggest ones being technology,” shared Geremia. “Since the big sweep of tech advancements that we’ve seen over the last two years, Canada is catching up to a lot of global countries that are further ahead on this.” Geremia added that the trick in doing so is two-fold: Creating a workforce of digitally-skilled Canadians and using innovation and infrastructure to position ourselves as a global leader in tech.

From machine learning to automation, the group shared their thoughts on the specific areas of importance, and how prepared we are for this technological shift. Geremia even made a point to note this shift’s ties to what many have referred to as “the great resignation.”

Goldy Hyder, president and CEO of the Business Council of Canada and the evening’s third panelist, brought special awareness to the role of public policy and immigration to improve Canada’s status as an invest-worthy nation. “We have to look in the mirror and think about how we as Canadians control our own destiny,” said Hyder. “We need to address the fundamentals of our economy that will improve our competition for capital—it’s not good enough to just ride the American coattails,” he said. Adding that “I see the climate crisis as an opportunity for this, to lead the world in the transition that is going to be taking place in the climate agenda.”

Other hot topics of the night included domestic labour, political inertia and urban transportation. Over wine and canapes, the crowd had the opportunity to participate in a live Q&A, as well as a curated network program in the museum’s private lounge. The next thought leadership panel will take place in June—complimentary for Canadian Business and TL Insider members. 

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CB Staff