Conference Host


Keita Demming

Executive Director, The Agency

Keita is a social entrepreneur and PHD from OISE, University of Toronto. His thesis draws on the midwifery movement as case study for exploring the conditions for social innovation.

He hosts a community of practice, called the SIDELab, where they explore System Thinking, Integrative Thinking, Design Thinking and Evaluative Thinking.

Keita has previously worked at:

  • The Project Catalyst for Social Innovation Generation @ the University of Waterloo
  • He has been an organizational consultant both in Canada and internationally.
  • Coordinator for the Social Economy Centre, University of Toronto


Welcome Session

aaeaaqaaaaaaaakeaaaajddhmzy2mzhklwi3ndutngvjyi1imtuwltq5njyyzmvmognlna-1John Monahan

Warden, Hart House

John is a two-time graduate of the University of Toronto having received his BA in International Relations from Trinity and his JD degree from U of T Faculty of Law.

John will be introducing some of our best student social innovators.

Morning Keynote

Ilse Treurnicht


A recognized champion of innovation, Ilse Treurnicht, CEO MaRS Discovery District, a leading innovation hub in Toronto which supports entrepreneurs building young high growth firms and works with partners to catalyze, scale and adopt innovation. Most recently Ilse Treurnicht was a member of the Science, Technology and Innovation Council (STIC) advising the Government of Canada on innovation and its related policy issues.

Mid Day Keynote

Zahra Ebrahim  


This urbanist trailblazer with a background in architecture and design, is an under-30 civic rockstar focused on city building. A self made career path from social entrepreneur to her current role at Deloitte as a global changemaker. Come hear her story of resilience and passion, with advice for you on your journey of social innovation.

Being Bold: Student Social Innovators

We are starting the day with some of our best social innovators. These students will share their adventures in social change and inspire you on this day of exploration.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaawmaaaajgqxn2nmnjbklwrknmutndk2mc04ztmwlwq1ndhkotiwnjyznqLissette Rosado Ferrari

Med candidate, Social Justice Education and International, Comparative and Development Education | University of Toronto

Lissette has worked for numerous international and social justice related organizations, such as U of T's Students for International Development, Centre for Social Innovation and Latin American Studies program at U of T. She recently returned from serving for the UN in UNICEF Peru as an intern and consultant in Water, Sanitation and Environmental Sustainability. She is currently pursuing her Masters in Social Justice Education at OISE.

aaeaaqaaaaaaaausaaaajgnhzgniowfjltgwmdetndblms1iotc0lwu1nmu4zgy5nwe1ngTricia Jose

MASc candidate, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering | University of Toronto

Tricia is the co-founder and CEO of Vicis Labs, a Canadian FinTech startup focused on financial empowerment. Previously, she co-wrote and directed “Right Here, Write Now!,” an original non-profit musical that has raised over $200,000 for international  and local community development, and founded a social good e-commerce clothing store.

132530eKourosh Houshmand
Kourosh, is a recipient of Canada’s Top 20 Under 20 Award for his work in education entrepreneurship, journalism, and development efforts in sub-saharan Africa. He has also been named a 'Climate Hero' by Canadian Geographic and Shell Canada and is a recipient of Canada’s Top 30 Under 30 Sustainability Leaders in 2015.
Being Bold: Great Personal Stories

We're closing the conference with stories of impact. These wonderfully inspiring social innovators will share a pivotal experience that will make you believe that you too can make a difference.

Conference TEAM

Conference Leads: Keita Demming and Cindy Ross-Pedersen

Project Manager: Igor Samardzic

Logistics Coordinator: Paula Paunic

Marketing & Communications: Yara Hudra, Jesse Han

Surveys & Reporting: Nikki Sigurdson

Lead Coordinator: Cristina Goncalves

Session Coordinators: Aditya Patel, Quinn Underwood, Julia Smeed

Manage Invitations: Zainab Abbasi

Press and Media: Claudia McKoy