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Leaders Forum 2009

Past Champions lead the way

On Thursday, 3 September, keynote speaker Don Tapscott took the stage at the WorldSkills Leader’s Forum, a lunch event included participants of the WorldSkills Premier Experience. The WorldSkills Premiere Experience is designed to give curious Executives a true insight into the WorldSkills Experience and the inspirational success of young people involved in the Movement.

After being welcomed by the Premier of Alberta, the Honourable Ed Stelmach, Tapscott’s lecture presentation encouraged the audience to think differently about the generation that is leading our workforce today- the Net Generation. He stressed that now is a time of big change in the global workforce. As a result, the WorldSkills Movement is critical to the world economy.

With almost 650 in attendance, Tapscott explained that in Canada alone there are 8 million people in the Net Generation and, “vocational work has become knowledge work”. There is a major focus on life-long learning now, and technology plays a big part in this: not only as a tool for research, diagnosis, education, and communication, but also as an innovative form of infrastructure.

Photos of the Leaders Forum are available on Flickr.

Keynote Speaker - Don Tapscott

Thought leader on the strategic value and impact of information technology and the Net Generation that has Grown Up Digital.

Consistently identifies the next business imperatives driven by technology and defines the business models and strategies required for success. Unique perspective on the global economic crisis; valuable insights on turning it into strategic advantage. Expert on the Net Generation and author of Grown Up Digital. Twelve other books, including the best-selling Wikinomics.

Don Tapscott is an internationally authority regarding the strategic impact of information technology on innova­tion, marketing and talent. Don consistently identifies and explains the next business imperatives and defines the business models and strategies required for success.

These imperatives include:

  • a bold and creative response for growth in the global economic crisis: how new media, the new econ­omy and a new generation of digital natives are driving change and opening opportunity, even in the face of the current recession;
  • the social and business impact of the Net Genera­tion: how the first generation to grow up with the Internet is transforming the workplace, the market­place, schools, family and government, and how busi­ness can turn the NetGeners’ talents and worldview into competitive advantage;
  • the strategic value of information technology: how wikinomics, mass collaboration and business 2.0 are the future for innovation and growth.

Don has authored or coauthored twelve widely read books on technology, business and the Net Genera­tion. His most recent book, Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing the World, explores how the Net Generation learns and works and what power and influence they hold. Based on in-depth research, Grown Up Digital builds on his earlier book Growing Up Digital.

Don’s previous book—Wikinomics: How Mass Collabo­ration Changes Everything—is an international best­seller, has appeared on the New York Times and Busi­nessWeek bestseller lists, and has been translated into 20 languages. 

He currently is heading up four multi-million dollar research programs. An enthralling and inspiring orator, Don is often described by customers as the most effective speaker they have ever had. 


Tap the full potential of the networked economy and its self-organized, mass-participatory communities.

Wikinomics is the first book to truly come to grips with the most profound change in corporate architecture, strategy and management in a century. The Web is being reinvented to provide the first global platform for collaboration in history. Firms that know how to engage this dynamic, self-organizing ecosystem of partners will exel in ways that their competitors will not be able to match. Based on one of the largest investigations of strategy and management to date, a new edition of the book was released in April 2008.

Grown Up Digital

How the Net Generation is changing business, society and democracy.

In this follow-up to his landmark bestseller, Growing Up Digital, Don Tapscott revisits the Net Generation as its eldest members turn 30, as they enter the workforce and marketplace and establish their roles. Based on a $4 million research project, he reveals how they learn, how they work, and how their power and influence will affect business and society.


Chairman, nGenera Insight Adjunct Professor of Management at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto Fellow, the World Economic Forum

More Information

Watch Don on YouTube.
Follow Don on Twitter.


Thursday, 3 September 2009

11.00 a.m. – 1.40 p.m., Calgary Regency Hyatt, Imperial Ballroom

WSLF 2009 Program

Opening Remarks

  • Laurent Thibault
    Board of Directors, Treasurer of WorldSkills International
    Watch this segment - 3:03

Welcome Address

Greetings from the City of Calgary

Introduction of Keynote Speaker

  • David Green
    Chair of the Global Industry Partners of WorldSkills International
    Watch this segment - 2:56

Keynote Address

Panel discussion - Moderated by Don Tapscott

The following five Champions* of the WorldSkills Competition participated in the panel discussion:

  • Adam Peirson from the United Kingdom
    2003 Competitor in Cooking
  • Anesha Simpson-Nembhard from Jamaica
    2005 Competitor in Software Application
  • Anthony Chong from Singapore
    2003 Competitor in Graphic Design
  • Nathan Banke from Canada
    2007 Competitor in Automobile Technology
  • Simon Buchanan from Australia
    2007 Competitor in Landscape Gardening
    Watch this segment - 47:18

* A Champion is anyone who has participated in the WorldSkills Competition regardless if they received a medal or not.

Thank You Message

  • The Honourable Kelly Lamrock
    Minister of Social Development for the Province of New Brunswick
    Immediate Past Chair of the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada   

    Watch this segment - 6:33