CATALYST 2022: Day 3 Highlights

Day 3 of CATALYST 2022 received rave reviews from those in attendance for the variety of speakers selected and the vast amount of practical takeaways offered by some top quality presenters.

In a quick recap of some of the day 2 conference insights, Keynote Amber Mac added her perspective on the Workplaces of the Future discussion: “This week, Elon Musk said that if you can’t be in the office 40 hours/week, then don’t bother coming back - this is not nurturing diversity and inclusion.”

Session 1: Shane Saunderson – Tomorrow’s Workforce, Cyborgs and Centaurs
“Technology is neither good nor bad; nor is it neutral” - Kranzberg’s First Law of Technology

How will the workforce change? Technology has been around us forever – and it can be good or bad. Some key messages from Saunderson’s presentation:

1.We adapt to technology – new forms of technology can cause disruptions. Example: The weavers, the original Luddites, were impacted by mechanized looms, which threatened their purpose. Today, like then we fear disruptions to our purpose.

2. We struggle with social change. He cited how introducing a computer to a workplace resulted in staff feeling threatened, and their social network being challenged.

3. We mourn the loss of our autonomy. Technology is dangerous when it dehumanizes us: when technology (e.g., robots) becomes the leader, we become the follower.

4. Stop scapegoating machines. We, as leaders, choose to take jobs away … not the machines. Alternatives:

  • We control the future: if and how we leverage automation
  • Replacement is one of many options.
  • Consider: what parts of your job would you give up – automate repetitive, dirty tasks
  • Beware of the reverse Centaur. Amazon: computers do the thinking; humans are controlled by the computer.

5. What if we humanized technology? Sophia – the dark future of robots.

6. What if we merge with technology? Cyborgs become extensions of our brain. How will this change human capabilities?

7. How do we empower tomorrow’s workplace?

  • Have an automation strategy
  • Be transparent with your plans and tech
  • Make technology humane
  • Always keep the red button close (kidding, sort of).

During the Q&A portion of his presentation, Saunderson provided some great advice:

1. Why is Canada a laggard in tech adoption? Canada wants to get it right: we need to demonstrate the technology is reliable and effective before adoption Estonia provides a great example as a small company leading in technology adoption.

2. How are countries thinking about technology that causes social change? How to manage it (e.g., lost jobs, disruptions)? EU: considering taxing technologies that are replacing people.


Session 2: Luke Brodie – Design Thinking in Consulting

Managing Design Thinking:

  • It can be an end-to-end process or it can be a mindset​
  • Models can guide us ​
  • Methods can help

Design Thinking - Definition and History​

  • Where did design thinking come from? Design thinking began in WWII (strategic thinking; industrial design) and has evolved since then, resulting in Design Model
  • What are two key design models? The Stanford Model and the IDEO model.

Method Practice: How Might We (HMW)
1. An approach to phrasing problem statements that invites broad exploration​

2. Defining the question: Start by rightsizing the question to be solved for the client (not too broad, too narrow – JUST RIGHT). Go through a number of questions to get right question.

3. Resulting question example: HMW help (users) frontline workers (benefit) keep their loved ones healthy?

4. Note: ‘WE’ refers to ‘team’ not ‘I’ (ego)

5. Start with Extreme Users

6. Consider ANALOGOUS Users (What other situations share emotions and characteristics with what we are designing?​)

Observations / Insights​:
1. Observations: fact base upon which we can build future steps

2. Insights: Write down insights (what is the behaviour; what is the reason for the behaviour)

Ideation​: “The best way to have a good idea is to have lots of ideas.”- Linus Pauling

You need a structure for an Ideation session that works. Rules to help make this happen:

  • Rule 1: Defer Judgment
  • Rule 2: Encourage wild ideas
  • Rule 3: Build on the ideas of others (YES, AND …)
  • Rule 4: Stay focussed on the topic
  • Rule 5: Headlining: 1 idea at a time
  • Rule 6: Be visual (simple)
  • Rule 7: Go for quantity.

Session 3: Sushila Nair – The Fifth Domain

What is the Fifth Domain? In 2010, The Economist declared that ‘warfare has entered the fifth domain: cyberspace’. A quote from Nair worth remembering: “We need to be guardians of our community and of our government.

She covered four key topics on the impact of digitization:

1. Cyber War: The Changing Face of War
Digital transformation is changing the world! And Digital can become our Achilles heel. Nair’s presentation woke us up to the gravity, prevalence, and impact of cyber warfare that is real: cyber attacks that took place in Ukraine between 2014 and 2017.

2, Cyber Crime: The Changing Face of Crime
Crime will change because technology will be used to attack us. ‘Ransomware as a Service’ is real, being offered, inexpensively, and it’s simple to use.  An example most of us remember: The Colonial Pipeline Attack. This was the tip of the iceberg. Here is what security looked like in 2021:

3. Misinformation is real
Manipulation is happening. The purpose is to confuse and distract others and to manipulate the truth. ​For example, social media finds your interest and your weak spots – and you are sent messages that manipulate you, restrict and colour what you see, what you read.

4. Shields Up! How to protect ourselves.

  • Think like the bad guys
  • Understand the enemy
  • Avoid being collateral
  • Architect for Resilience

Free Tools from CISA exist to help can be accessed here.

Additional resources are available. Examples:


Session 4: Joseph Duperreault – The Reconciliation Economy: Obligations and Opportunities

The Context for Reconciliation
The current state is one of disparity: Social, Economic, and Political. The gap between Indigenous and non-indigenous is very significant.

The Past State was positive. Before contact with European communities and colonization, Indigenous communities were sovereign​, interdependent​, healthy/"wellthy"​, with sustainable economies​. The Indian Act led to the Current State of affairs.

The Future State: What is wanted is a return to characteristics in the Past State. Indigenous communities need to be sovereign​, interdependent​, healthy/"wellthy"​,​, with sustainable economies​.

How do we get there? There are 6 ‘Calls to Action’ categories:

1. Education / Health
2. Language / Culture
3. Economic / Business
4. Media Sport
5. Justice / Legal
6. Church / Missing Children

Economic Reconciliation requirements
Duperreault’s presentation focussed on Economic / Business Reconciliation. How do we get to Economic Reconciliation? It will take shared and sustained effort to get there, recognizing that Indigenous Communities build businesses differently. What are key categories exist that will help us move towards Economic Reconciliation?

  • Principles have been identified
  • Tools – many exist
  • Relationship Agreements: a number of agreements can be used. Leave the lawyers out until the end, when agreements exist.

Accountability Framework.
Without an Accountability Framework, Reconciliation won’t happen. The model exists, the four key elements are: Awareness, Commitment, Impacts and Outcomes.

  • Awareness and Commitment: Companies co-define what's important to them and their stakeholders, in the form of a commitment document (RAP / PAR), which creates observable/measurable outputs that demonstrate a real change in corporate consciousness and behaviours.
  • Impacts and Outcomes: Indigenous communities define the industry relationship impacts important to them and convert the value of these impacts into priority outcomes as determined by the community.

Obligations and Opportunities that need to be understood and accepted


  • “Know thyself”: what you believe, what you know, and what you don’t know​
  • Educate thyself: history of colonialism and subjugation of Indigenous Peoples ​
  • Approach with humility and allyship intention​
  • Only work with two types of clients: those that are already making a positive impact and those that want to but don’t know how to. ​


  • To do meaningful work that makes reconciliation real for ourselves and our clients​
  • To grow the Reconciliation practice area ​
  • Have an impact on Indigenous Peoples and communities​
    Have a strategic impact on our clients ​

Finally – a Call to Action
Take the first step and start with yourself.


CMC-Canada would like to extend our gratitude to all the attendees, sponsors, presenters, volunteers, and staff for helping make CATALYST 2022 Conference such a great success!

Additional Recap Posts

CATALYST 2022 Day 1 Highlights

CATALYST 2022 Day 2 Highlights


Dorothy Milburn-Smith FCMC contributed to this article