After a week filled with learning, fun, and uniting people from across Canada, we wanted to share some of the incredible lessons learned and key take-aways from this year's CACEE National Conference. The challenges and solutions related to the conference's 5 themes were discussed by industry experts, career professionals and even the students who are currently 'living' them. From inspiring keynotes and panels; to insightful workshops and presentations, from happy reunions and facilitated networking, to engaged communities of practice, the 2021 national conference provided participants a great variety of opportunities to learn and connect with each other.
The hardest part about writing this article is trying to pick which of the many highlights to mention, but here are a few!
Day 1: Campus Engagement started the conference off with a bang by diving right in with one of our biggest common challenges amongst Canadian post-secondary institutions and many employers.
Dylan and Jeff shared during their double keynote, a variety of ideas including what sounds like music to my ears… we need to change our KPI’s! The number of students at an event is not the measure of success; it's the quality of connections is the goal we should give more value. Fewer students might mean that we are saving everyone’s time by having better matches. We need to continue to be more empathetic and dare to be creative!
Day 2: Equity, Diversity and Equity was an eye-opening day where we had the chance to listen to Branden Grimmett’s inspiring keynote where he defined our reality and motivated everyone to take action. His Dual Systems Theory really resonated with the audience.
Keenan Jeppesen from Onyx Initiative shared a successful solution to the growing challenge of diversity hiring. The stories from Chris Bos of PwC who connected with amazing talent because of this partnership. Many attendees also confirmed by sharing some of their success stories with the Onyx Initiative.
Day 3: Experiential Learning was my personal favourite, the past president panel was an honest conversation that gave a positive outlook for the future. One takeaway that really resonated with me, is that some business skills should be added in the learning journey of non-business professionals because of the impact it can have in the career growth rate.
Day 4: Adapting to our Virtual Reality
Matt Burns shared how VR could be used to increase engagement. Matt explained how he did a 100% virtual event using VR headsets to replicate human interactions. This made the future look a lot closer!
Prepped, LMIC and 12Twenty also shared about how their game changing technology can improve the lives of students, employers and educators! They each had different use and results to show the infinite benefits potential they currently have and who it’s for.
Day 5: Investing in your Talent Equity reminded us the continuous learning journey we have ahead of us. Erin, Larry and Kerri spoke about the upcoming professional development opportunities at CACEE. The day ended with a keynote address from Kirk Hill calling everyone to action and asking to join their new DIAL’s consortium of partners!
What did I miss? I suspect a lot, as there were many sessions each day and too many takeaways for each session. I would love to hear your top tips from the event or what you heard from your peers? Interested to continue the conversation, you can still join some communities of practice for the next sessions by filling up this form. We look forward to sharing more about this year's conference in the weeks to come and remind attendees that content will be available to registrants for 6 months.
We are looking forward to hearing what you have to say and are dedicated to offering what our community needs. The National Board, the regional advisory board, and all the committees will be working hard to make 2022 a great year! Please fill out this survey!