Conference Chair

Brad Volkman

Program Development and Program Inquiries

Peter Barron

Website, Social Media and General Media Inquiries​

Kyle Nichols

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Education Minister Adriana LaGrange

Minister LaGrange was elected to the Legislative Assembly of Alberta on April 16, 2019, as the MLA for Red Deer North.

A wife, mother of seven, and proud grandmother of three, LaGrange understands the importance of the role that parents play in the development of children. She has an extensive career in helping those Albertans who face physical and mental disabilities, earning her Diploma in Rehabilitative Studies from Humber College in 1981.

LaGrange also has a pedigree as an entrepreneur, owning a trucking company, as well as running a family farm.

Adriana LaGrange was appointed as Alberta’s Education Minister on April 30, 2019. Serving as a Trustee of the Red Deer Catholic Regional School Division for more than 11 years, LaGrange is well positioned to understand the unique needs of the education system. She is committed to the development of a modern curriculum to prepare Alberta’s next generation with the skills they need to succeed


Ken Coates

Ken Coates is Canada Research Chair in Regional Innovation at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan.  His work focuses on the development of strategies to promote 21st century well-being in small town, rural, Indigenous and remote Canada. Ken's major project examines the potential contributions -- and negative impacts -- of emerging technologies on rural and remote communities.  He has a long-standing interest in rural education and post secondary education.


Lee Crockett

Lee Watanabe-Crockett is an optimist. He believes in a bright future and our ability to build it together through connection and compassion.


Lee works with governments, education systems, international agencies and corporations to help people and organisations connect to their highest purpose and realise their wish for the future.


Lee believes in creating balance in the reality of a digital present and future. As such, living in Japan, he studies Buddhism as a member of Tao Sangha Wada Ji Temple, as well as Aikido, and the Shakuhachi, a traditional Japanese bamboo flute.


Joyful curiosity is the foundation of his approach to creating vital learning environments for groups around the world through the two organisations he as founded, the Global Digital Citizen Foundation, and Wabisabi Learning.


His several best-selling books including Growing Global Digital Citizens, Mindful Assessment and Future-Focused Learning, have garnered many awards and are used in schools and universities around the world.


Dr. Lars Hallstrom

Dr. Lars K. Hallstrom is the Director of the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities, and an award-winning professor in 2 departments at the University of Alberta. Dr. Hallstrom’s work focuses on comparative public policy, and particularly on environmental policy, natural resource management (forestry and fisheries), community and rural development, and the social determinants of health. He is the editor or author of 3 different books on environmental health, rural sustainability and boom/bust communities, has written dozens of peer-reviewed articles and book chapters on topics ranging from environmental policy to GMOs to the political humour of The Simpsons, has been awarded over 90 research grants, and is currently a McCalla Professor of Teaching and Research at the University of Alberta.  


Dr. Bonnie L. Stelmach

A graduate of Andrew High School in Andrew, Alberta, Bonnie Stelmach is now a Professor in the Department of Educational Policy Studies at the University of Alberta.  Her signature on the research landscape has been on the topic of parents' roles in schooling with a particular focus on rural, northern, and secondary schools. She has also been active with Ministry commissioned educational research in Alberta as well as Saskatchewan, where she began her academic career. Bonnie taught in rural and northern Alberta, and internationally.


Julie Stern

Julie Stern is a best-selling author and facilitator of professional learning for educators. Her passion is synthesizing the best of education research into practical tools that support schools in breaking free of the industrial model of schooling and moving toward teaching and learning that fosters informed, compassionate citizens who can solve complex, real-world problems.


Dr. Greg Wells

In high performance business situations, the human mind and body have to work together for ultimate results. Dr. Greg Wells is a health and high performance expert who, as a scientist and physiologist, has dedicated his career to making the science of human limits understandable and actionable. In his informative and engaging keynotes, Wells draws parallels between elite athletes and top executives to help business leaders perform at the highest level, even when under the most extreme circumstances.


For more than 25 years, Wells has worked with some of the highest-performing individuals on the planet, including Olympic and World champions, as well as organizations ranging from General Electric to BMO, Deloitte, KPMG, BMW, Audi, Sysco Foods, YPO, and Air Canada. He is also committed to inspiring children and young adults through his close working relationship with several school boards and independent schools.


A veteran endurance athlete himself, Wells has participated in the grueling Nanisivik Marathon 600 miles north of the Arctic Circle; Ironman Canada; and the Tour D’Afrique, an 11,000 km cycling race that is the longest in the world. He is also a travel and expedition adventurer who has journeyed through every imaginable terrain and conditions in more than 50 countries. 


Wells is the author of three bestselling books: Superbodies, The Ripple Effect, and The Focus Effect. He also hosted the award-winning Superbodies series, which aired on Olympic broadcasts worldwide in 2010 and 2012. As a speaker, Wells has travelled the world speaking at events such as TEDx and The Titan Summit, and has shared the stage with Robin Sharma, Richard Branson, Steve Wozniak, and Deepak Chopra.


Wells has a PhD in Physiology, served as an Associate Professor of Kinesiology at the University of Toronto, and is currently a senior scientist at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto. He is also the CEO and founder of Wells Performance, a global consulting firm committed to achieving the moonshot of helping teams, schools, and businesses become places where people get healthy, perform optimally, and reach their potential.