As the labor market goes through an evolution that started long before the pandemic, our communities are being transformed as well. In many cases that means good things, as when successful companies hire and prosperity increases. Other times there are less-positive spin-offs, with some people being left out of the economic party. In the best cases, business works together with educational institutions and community partners to shape the communities they operate in, and in the process hopefully develop the workers they will want in the future.
An excellent example of a private- public innovation partnership comes from Kitchener-Waterloo, Ontario, an area best known as one of Canada’s tech hotspots. As in other communities, such as Silicon Valley, companies there have the usual concerns about how to raise money and the find talent to grow. However, more so than in many other places, there has been a focus on the long view, and on creating a community that will work for all stakeholders.
Simon Chan is Vice-President, Talent, Academy and the Future of Work at Communitech, which is a private-public innovation hub in Kitchener Waterloo, while Kathryn Kitchen is the Head of HR for Manulife Canada. They join us on this episode for a lively panel discussion on communities and the future of work, both for their community and for all others.
Vice President, Talent, Academy, and Future of Work, Communitech
Simon is currently the Vice President, Talent, Academy and Future of Work at Communitech which is a private-public innovation hub in Kitchener Waterloo that supports a community of 1500 companies from startups, to scale-ups to large global players. He is responsible for the leadership of the Talent and Communitech Academy teams who support talent attraction and learning and development programs & events for our member companies. He is also leading the development of a Future of Work & Learning strategy for a coalition of multi-stakeholder partners in Waterloo region to build a community of practice to help future proof organizations.
Prior to this role, Simon was Head of Corporate Innovation Thought Leadership where he worked with enterprise executive teams on their innovation strategy and building out their company wide innovation system. He also represented Communitech as a speaker and advisory board member at industry and innovation conferences. Prior to joining Communitech, Simon worked in the financial services industry for 20 years and has a diverse background in banking, investment management, and group pension/benefits where he has held a variety of senior positions in strategy, product, business development, operations, and project management.
Head of HR, Manulife Canada
As a member of Manulife Canada’s Executive leadership team, Kathryn oversees a portfolio ofstrategic HR initiatives including the Future of Work and Learning partnership. She’s worked across many industries from public to private sector, including Deloitte Consulting and BlackBerry where she has held roles across many HR portfolios including M&A, HR strategy, HR partnering, leadership and organizational development, and team interventions.
Kathryn joined Manulife in 2014 and has held a number of senior positions. Today, she’s leading Manulife’s HR team in Canada, this includes supporting a diverse and inclusive culture that advances the talent and capabilities of Manulife’s Canadian workforce so that we can deliver on our bold ambitions to our customers and shareholders.
Kathryn joined Manulife in 2014 and has held a number of senior positions. Today, she’s leading Manulife’s HR team in Canada, this includes supporting a diverse and inclusive culture that advances the talent and capabilities of Manulife’s Canadian workforce so that we can deliver on our bold ambitions to our customer