Conversations with Power
Experience lectures from our archive.
Established in 1903, as a response to Canadian political unrest, the Empire Club ofCanada (ECC) quickly became a leading speakers’ forum. Beginning with speeches to address Canada’s relationships with the British Empire and the United States, the ECCcontinues to tackle issues that affect the lives of Canadians.
The club invites speakers to present various perspectives—including those that may not be popular but should be heard. Since its inception, the ECC has hosted 3500prominent Canadian and international leaders, including Prince Edward, the Prince ofWales (later Edward VIII), Winston Churchill, Ronald Reagan, Audrey Hepburn,Margaret Mead, Christopher Plumber, Roberta Bondar, Maureen Forrester, AdrienneClarkson, Margaret Thatcher, Vladamir Putin and Bill Gates, to name but a few. Topics encompass business, politics, education, trade, labour, culture, international issues, as well as, other relevant topics that emerge.
Get up close and personal to the most relevant issues of the day and network with other like minded members.
Getting the Recipe Right: Making Canada the Best Place in the World for the Financial Companies of the Future
Michael Katchen is the CEO and co-founder of Wealthsimple, a leading financial technology company operating in Canada, the U.S., and the U.K. Wealthsimple launched in September 2014 and quickly established itself as a leader in Canada, and in under three years, it has grown to manage $3 billion for more than 100,000 clients. Prior to founding Wealthsimple, he led product and marketing at 1000memories, a Y Combinator startup that was acquired by Ancestry.com in 2012. Michael started his career at McKinsey & Company where he advised clients in finance and technology.
Michael has been called an Industry Mover by the Financial Post, a Change Agent by Canadian Business magazine, and one of Toronto’s 50 most influential people by Toronto Life. He won Entrepreneur of the Year at the Canadian Startup Awards in 2017, is a winner of a EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award, was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 by Caldwell Partners International, and is a member of the Canadian Business Council.
Amber Kanwar is an expert when it comes to financial markets and disruptive technologies. As the successful host of Business News Network’s flagship morning show, Business Day AM, and co-host of CTV’s The Disruptors, she has interviewed everyone from CEOs of major companies, to start-up technology entrepreneurs, fund managers, politicians, and thought leaders.
Amber is a relentless digger, always looking for ways to break down complex topics and ideas and making them accessible to anyone who is interested. Amber has a Master of Journalism degree from Ryerson University and a Bachelor of Management & Organizational Studies degree from University of Western Ontario.
With Introductory Remarks from:
MPP Doug Downey Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance
Doug Downey was elected as the Member of Provincial Parliament for Barrie–Springwater–Oro-Medonte in 2018 and subsequently named the Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Finance, the Honourable Victor Fedeli.
Doug was raised in Bond Head, and has spent much of his life working and living throughout Simcoe County. He obtained his Hons. B.A. from Wilfrid Laurier University; M.A. specializing in Judicial Administration from Brock University; a Law Degree from Dalhousie University at Halifax; and a Master of Laws in Municipal and Development Law through Osgoode Hall Law School. He has served as a Professor for Laurentian University at Georgian College, taught for the Real Estate Bar Admission Course, and occasionally lectured when asked.
He is a founding partner at Downey, Tornosky, Lassaline & Timpano Law Professional Corporation and has earned professional recognition including the Lawyer of the Year award from the Simcoe County Law Association, the Business Leader of the Year by the Orillia Business Association, and as one of Canada’s Leading Lawyers by Lexpert magazine. He has extensive experience in politics from working as a city councillor, to chairing the Independent Panel on the Future of the Trent-Severn Waterway, the largest federal asset in Ontario. The panel’s work has resulted in over $625 million in investments into upgrading the Waterway’s infrastructure.
Doug has also been active in numerous community organizations, including the Orillia and District Chamber of Commerce, the Orillia Kiwanis Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Orillia and District, the Orillia Area Community Development Corporation and hosted Politically Speaking on Rogers television for 8 years. His volunteer work has earned him the Order of Orillia, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Topic: The Business of Blockchain
Please note: All attendees will receive a copy of the latest version of Don and Alex Tapscott’s critically acclaimed non-fiction best-seller, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World,
Ana Badour co-leads McCarthy Tétrault LLP’s Fintech Group. She is a partner in their Financial Services Group, a Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialist and a Certified Bitcoin Professional. She advises financial services entities, including financial institutions and Fintech entities, on regulatory compliance matters. She holds a LLM in Banking and Financial Law from Boston University, a LLB from Osgoode Hall Law School, and a BMath (Operations Research) from the University of Waterloo.
Fatema Pirone joined CIBC one of 5 largest banks in Canada in 2003; she is currently Senior Director Enterprise Innovation. In this role Fatema provides leadership in 3 key areas of driving Innovation awareness and education, quick test and learn for ideas, and champion complex innovation initiatives.
Last 15 year of contributions in banking spans over variety of areas from Frontline Operations, Cards Technology, Product Management, New Business Development and Innovation. She has provided leadership in delivery and launch of numerous high scale projects and continue to pave the way to make CIBC the bank of the future.
Fatema holds an eMBA from Kellogg School of Management and Schulich along with a Honour Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from York University.
Matthew Spoke is the founder of Aion, a world-leading blockchain protocol designed to solve the most prevalent challenges limiting blockchains mainstream adoption: scalability, interoperability and governance. Matt serves as CEO of the Aion Foundation. Prior to his current role, Matt founded Deloitte’s first blockchain team, Rubix.
Matt is an active and founding board member of the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance and a founding director of the Blockchain Technology Coalition of Canada.
Since the earliest days of blockchain, Matt has been a leading advocate for the potential social benefits of decentralized technologies and is working actively to establish fair and responsible rules and principles for the future governance of this important new industry. Matt believes blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has the potential to solve some of the world’s greatest online challenges.
Alex Tapscott is a globally-recognized writer, speaker, investor and advisor focused on the impact of emerging technologies, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, on business, society and government. He is the co-author (with Don Tapscott) of the critically acclaimed non-fiction best-seller, Blockchain Revolution: How the Technology Behind Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrencies is Changing the World, which has been translated into more than 15 languages.
In 2017, Alex co-founded (with Don Tapscott) the Blockchain Research Institute, a multi-million-dollar think-tank that is investigating blockchain strategies, opportunities and use-cases. In November of 2017, Alex and Don Tapscott were recognized with the Digital Thinking Award from Thinkers50, as part of their Distinguished Achievement Awards