About the Keynote Speakers

Monica Pohlmann

Monica is passionate about building the collaborative intelligence of diverse teams to spark co-creation of practical and transformative responses to complex challenges.

She has been designing and leading collaborative initiatives focused on sustainability and systems change for over 25 years. She is driven by the vision that it is possible to make our societies and organizations better by bringing together diverse people and perspectives to recreate our systems and ourselves. As Principal with Reos Partners, a social impact company, her work is focused on systemic, collaborative, and creative approaches to meet the challenges of our time.  As a leading expert in Social Labs, a collaborative social innovation method, she has led numerous labs including the Engineering Change Lab and the Emergency Aid Lab. Monica is a Registered Professional Planner and a member of the Canadian Institute of Planners.

Previously, Monica ran her own sustainability and strategy consultancy and prior to that she worked in municipal government as an urban planner. She has also enjoyed serving on the boards of multiple sustainability and system change focused not for profits.

An avid traveler to sacred places, nature lover, and devoted parent, Monica is grateful to live by the sea on Vancouver Island on the traditional territory of the WSANEC and Lekwungen peoples.

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Paul Wells


Nobody knows Ottawa better than Paul Wells. One of Canada’s leading political journalists, he has spent more than 25 years on the Hill, covering eight federal elections, four prime ministers, and a big piece of Canada’s history. Fresh, funny, and authoritative, Wells speaks in both official languages on all matters of the day, from the nation’s position in the global economy, to the inside scoop on what’s really happening inside the Parliament buildings and beyond.

For 19 years, Wells was the lead political columnist at Maclean’s magazine. Prior to this, he was the national affairs columnist at The Toronto Star and has also written for the Globe and Mail and The National Post. Wells has won three gold National Magazine Awards and a National Newspaper Award, and has filed stories from 17 countries around the world covering the war in Afghanistan, the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris, and three US presidential election campaigns.

Today, Wells is a regular political commentator on both the French- and English-language CBC networks. He has also launched a subscription newsletter, which is already one of the most widely read political newsletters in Canada. In fall 2022, Wells will launch his podcast, The Paul Wells Show, in partnership with the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at the University of Toronto. He is also their inaugural journalist fellow-in-residence for the 2022-23 academic year.

A bestselling author, The New Yorker magazine called Wells “Canada’s foremost Harperologist” with the release of his book on Stephen Harper, The Longer I’m Prime Minister. It is the only book to have ever won three major non-fiction book awards: The Shaughnessy Cohen Prize, the John W. Dafoe Book Prize, and the Ottawa Book Award.

Wells studied at the University of Western Ontario and the Institut d’Etudes politiques de Paris. He also sits on the Advisory Committee of the Glendon School of Public and International Affairs.

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