Speakers & Topics

Conference Speakers

Our annual global gathering is renowned for drawing hundreds upon hundreds of advocates for boys. Come join us in Vancouver where we will gather together as champions who share the mission and vision of the conference theme: Boys as Global Citizens.

Leading the way is our distinguished roster of speakers. In addition to plenary sessions featuring Joseph Boyden, Lisa Glithero, Rick Hansen, Richard Wagamese, Simon Jackson, Shimi Kang, Michael Kaufman, and Amanda Lindhout, the IBSC will showcase several workshop speakers (Aaron Bohnen, Aaron Freeman, Neil Piller and Alex Minard, Jake Locke, and Jenny Witterick) who will present relatable topics highly relevant to our conference theme.

Click or tap the bars below for detailed speaker information.

Plenary Session Speakers

Plenary Speakers

(in order of presentation date and time)

Amanda Lindhout

Freedom in Forgiveness
Sunday Conference Opening
26 June, 3:00 PM

Amanda Lindhout’s extraordinary experience being held hostage for 460 days by teenage militants in Somalia has given her an inside look at how international terrorist groups are recruiting and radicalizing young men in Africa. Her chilling discoveries about the structure and motivations of these groups, including the incredible power of the internet to disseminate terrorist propaganda, are a timely resource for educators seeking to understand the complicated world we live in and the threats that exist to today’s young men. Amanda shares her belief that poverty and oppression are contributing factors in the phenomenon of child soldiers and presents a powerful message about the important role that education plays in countering youth recruitment.

Shimi Kang

The Self-Motivated Leader
Monday Morning Plenary
27 July, 9:00 AM
Workshop Block 1
Monday, 27 July,10:45 AM

An award-winning medical doctor, researcher, and lecturer on human motivation, Dr. Shimi Kang offers the keys people of all ages need to succeed in the workplace, the classroom, and at home. With more than 15 years of clinical experience and extensive research in the science that lies behind motivation and wellness, Kang shows people how to cultivate the important 21st century skills needed to flourish both professionally and personally.

Kang authored the 2015 US News International Book Award winner, The Dolphin Parent: A Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Self-Motivated Kids and The Self-Motivated Kid: How to Raise a Healthy, Happy Child Who Knows What they Want and Goes After It (Without Being Told).

The Medical Director of Child and Youth Mental Health for Vancouver and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, she has received five national awards in the field of addictions and mental health. In 2012, Kang received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for her years of outstanding community service.

Simon Jackson

The Power of Youth Engagement
Monday Afternoon Plenary
27 June, 1:45 PM

If ever there is doubt that one person can make a difference, Simon Jackson—and his incredible story of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition—puts that doubt to rest. Simon’s quest, at the young age of 13, to save the white Kermode bear gave rise to the world’s first and biggest youth-run environmental movement and the largest land protection measure in North American history.

Now an expert at youth engagement, Simon encourages audiences to understand that youth are a fascinating--and largely misunderstood--demographic that can affect our world in a myriad of ways, from galvanizing support of environmental issues, to even having the power to swing the vote.

Simon will share his approach to youth mobilization, along with a series of critical strategies that can help make youth meaningful participants in any vision. By breaking down what works and what doesn’t work, he offers educators a step-by-step blueprint for increasing youth participation in any realm.

Joseph Boyden

Four Seasons and Four Directions in Education: Rising, Accepting, Creating, and Empowering
Monday Afternoon Plenary
27 June, 4:30 PM

Joseph Boyden is a national and international literary superstar. Shooting to fame with his first novel, the multi-awarding winning Three Day Road, Boyden has repeated his triumphs in his subsequent novels, Through Black Spruce and The Orenda. Exploring and delving into the experiences of Aboriginal peoples, while examining themes of history, race, alienation, culture, and diversity, Boyden’s engrossing talks deepen our understanding of today’s—and yesterday’s—complex world.

Boyden’s first novel, Three Day Road, was selected for the Today Show Book Club, won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the CBA Libris Fiction Book of the Year Award, the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award, the McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award, and was shortlisted for the Governor General’s Award for Fiction.

His second novel, Through Black Spruce, was awarded the Scotiabank Giller Prize and named the Canadian Booksellers’ Association Fiction Book of the Year; it also earned him the CBA’s Author of the Year Award.

In addition to his numerous literary prizes, Boyden has received honorary degrees from Nipissing University, Algoma University, and Trent University, and was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Lisa Glithero

Education For Change, a Vision for a Sustainable 21st Century
Tuesday Morning Plenary
28 June, 9:00 AM
Workshop Block 3
Tuesday, 28 June, 11:00 AM

What does sustainability mean? What is education for sustainable development (ESD), and what does ESD look like in the classroom? Environmental educator, youth advocate, and community innovator Lisa Glithero will address how to make sustainability education real in your teaching practice and school culture, in order to meet the emergent needs and realities of 21st century education.

Glithero teaches at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. She also continues to serve as the director of the EYES Project, as well as chair of the Education Advisory Committee for Students on Ice, a non-profit that takes high school and university-aged students on expeditions to the Polar Regions.

A recipient of the “Women of the Earth Award” from the Yves Rocher Foundation for her work in environmental education, Glithero was also named as one of Chatelaine magazine’s “Amazing Canadian Women to Watch.”

Michael Kaufman

Global Citizens, Global Partners: Transforming the Lives of Boys and Men
Tuesday Afternoon Plenary
28 June, 1:45 PM

Michael Kaufman, Ph.D., is an educator and writer focused on engaging men and boys to promote gender equality and end violence against women. Over the past three-and-half decades, he has worked in almost fifty countries, including extensively with the United Nations, numerous governments, NGOs, businesses, trade unions, and universities.

He is the co-founder of the White Ribbon Campaign, the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women. He is the author or editor of eight books and his articles have been translated into sixteen languages. He is the co-author of the recent State of the World’s Fathers report and is a leader of MenCare, an international network with the goal of men doing half the care work on the planet.

His latest book, The Afghan Vampires Book Club, (co-written with Gary Barker) is an anti-war novel.

Married with two grown children, he lives in Toronto, Canada.

Richard Wagamese

Rekindling the Fire

Wednesday Morning Plenary
29 June: 9:00 AM

Richard Wagamese will replace Calvin Helin as the 9:00 AM plenary speaker on Wednesday, 29 June.

Born in Northwestern Ontario to Ojibway parents whose own horrific residential school experiences left them unable to care for their son, Wagamese grew up in foster homes before being adopted into an abusive household. He left at 16 and spent many years homeless, consumed by drugs and alcohol. Language and libraries provided his only escape. He carried a notebook and diligently wrote out passages by Thomas Wolfe, William Faulkner, and Eudora Welty, studying how those masters constructed each sentence.

Today, Wagamese is recognized as one of Canada's foremost Native authors and story tellers. His impressive body of work includes six novels, a book of poetry, and five nonfiction titles, including two memoirs and an anthology of his newspaper columns.

Wagamese has garnered numerous awards in a variety of fields over the course of his career. In 1991, he became the first Native Canadian to win a National Newspaper Award for column writing. His debut novel, Keeper 'n Me, published in 1994, won the Alberta Writers Guild's Best Novel Award. Twice he has won the Native American Press Association Award for his journalism, and he earned the George Ryga Award for Social Awareness in Literature for his 2011 memoir One Story, One Song. He also won the Canadian Authors Association Award for fiction in 2007 for his third novel, Dream Wheels. Most recently, Wagamese was honored with the 2012 Aboriginal Achievement Award for Media and Communications.

In 2010, he received an honorary doctor of letters degree from Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, in recognition of his lifetime of achievement in writing and publishing. A second honorary doctor of letters degree followed in 2014 from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay. In 2011, Wagamese served as the Harvey Stevenson Southam Guest Lecturer in journalism at the University of Victoria.

Rick Hansen

Difference Makers: Educating the Next Generation
Wednesday Closing Plenary
29 June, 11:30 AM

Rick Hansen is CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation and a passionate advocate for people with disabilities in Canada and around the world. As well as being a celebrated Paralympic athlete, Rick is best known as the "Man In Motion," for his epic two-year wheelchair trip around the world to prove the potential of people with disabilities.

Since the Man In Motion World Tour, Rick has dedicated his life to creating a world that is accessible and inclusive for all by removing barriers for people with disabilities. Rick and his team at the Foundation are working hard to change attitudes, create accessible spaces and liberate the amazing potential of people with disabilities.

Rick and his wife of 27 years, Amanda, live in Steveston, B.C. and have three beautiful daughters, Rebecca, Alana and Emma.

Featured Workshop Speakers

Featured Workshop Speakers

(in order of presentation date and time)

Shimi Kang

Guiding Towards Self-Motivation and 21st Century Leadership
Monday Morning Plenary
27 June, 9:00 AM
Workshop Block 1
Monday 27 June, 10:45 AM

An award-winning medical doctor, researcher, and lecturer on human motivation, Dr. Shimi Kang offers the keys people of all ages need to succeed in the workplace, the classroom, and at home. With more than 15 years of clinical experience and extensive research in the science that lies behind motivation and wellness, Kang shows people how to cultivate the important 21st century skills needed to flourish both professionally and personally.

Kang authored the 2015 US News International Book Award winner, The Dolphin Parent: A Guide to Raising Healthy, Happy, and Self-Motivated Kids and The Self-Motivated Kid: How to Raise a Healthy, Happy Child Who Knows What they Want and Goes After It (Without Being Told).

The Medical Director of Child and Youth Mental Health for Vancouver and a Clinical Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, she has received five national awards in the field of addictions and mental health. In 2012, Kang received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for her years of outstanding community service.

Jake Locke

Mindfulness Training in the Classroom
Workshop Block 1
Monday 27 June, 10:45 AM

Jake Locke is a UBC Clinical Professor on Active Staff at BC Children's Hospital for the past 20 years. He graduated from St. George's School in 1973 before attending UBC for his undergraduate degree and Medical School education. He then worked as a Family Physician for 8 years in Kelowna before returning to specialize in Child Psychiatry.

Locke currently works in the Outpatient Clinic at BCCH in the Urgent Assessment Clinic and Mood & Anxiety Clinic. He provides Outreach service to Vernon, Merritt, Kamloops and Quesnel. He teaches Medical students & Residents, and is currently involved in 4 Mindfulness Based Research studies at BCCH (1. Mindfulness for Adolescents in Distress 2. Incorporating Mindfulness into a Behavioural Program for Parents who have children with ADHD 3. Mindfulness for Male Partners of Women with Peri-Partum Mental Health Issues and 4. Mindfulness for Medical Students). Recently he has taken a position at Physician Health Program seeing Physicians. He also works at the St. Paul's Hospital Inner City Youth Program for homeless youth and this includes a Mindfulness Based Relapse Prevention group.

Aaron Freeman

Building Environmental Leadership
Workshop Block 2
Monday 27 June, 3:15 PM

For over 25 years, Aaron Freeman has played a leadership role on environmental policy in Canada. He has worked on the inside as a senior advisor to the Premier of Ontario, as an advocate who has headed a number of national environmental campaigns, and as a legal expert in public governance and electoral law. He now heads GreenPAC, Canada’s non-partisan organization to build environmental leadership in politics.

Aaron will discuss what it will take to turn Canada back into an environmental leader on the global stage, including the elements of leadership that we need, and a game plan for building that leadership.

Simon Jackson

Fostering Environmental Leadership
Workshop Block 2
Monday 27 June, 3:15 PM

If ever there is doubt that one person can make a difference, Simon Jackson—and his incredible story of the Spirit Bear Youth Coalition—puts that doubt to rest. Simon’s quest, at the young age of 13, to save the white Kermode bear gave rise to the world’s first and biggest youth-run environmental movement and the largest land protection measure in North American history.

Now an expert at youth engagement, Simon encourages audiences to understand that youth are a fascinating--and largely misunderstood--demographic that can affect our world in a myriad of ways, from galvanizing support of environmental issues, to even having the power to swing the vote.

Simon will share his approach to youth mobilization, along with a series of critical strategies that can help make youth meaningful participants in any vision. By breaking down what works and what doesn’t work, he offers educators a step-by-step blueprint for increasing youth participation in any realm.

Aaron Bohnen

Using Technology to Make the Teacher's Life Better
Workshop Block 3
Tuesday 28 June, 11:00 AM

Aaron Bohnen is a senior science teacher at West Point Grey Academy in Vancouver, BC. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of British Columbia. Mr. Bohnen is a National Science and Engineering Research Council Post-Graduate Scholar and recipient of a University of British Columbia Teaching Award. Aaron is an early adopter of technology in education, and loves to invent and experiment and bring the applications of science, mathematics and engineering to life for students.

Mr. Bohnen is also an author and conference speaker, and continues to work in engineering and as an educational publishing consultant.

Lisa Glithero

Good Stewards/Citizens or Change Agents?
Tuesday Morning Plenary
28 June, 9:00 AM
Workshop Block 3
Tuesday 28 June, 11:00 AM

What does sustainability mean? What is education for sustainable development (ESD), and what does ESD look like in the classroom? Environmental educator, youth advocate, and community innovator Lisa Glithero will address how to make sustainability education real in your teaching practice and school culture, in order to meet the emergent needs and realities of 21st century education.

Glithero teaches at the Faculty of Education at the University of Ottawa. She also continues to serve as the director of the EYES Project, as well as chair of the Education Advisory Committee for Students on Ice, a non-profit that takes high school and university-aged students on expeditions to the Polar Regions.

A recipient of the “Women of the Earth Award” from the Yves Rocher Foundation for her work in environmental education, Glithero was also named as one of Chatelaine magazine’s “Amazing Canadian Women to Watch.”

Good Stewards/Citizens or Change Agents?
Lisa Glithero's interactive workshop will build on Glithero’s morning keynote, further exploring key learning strategies that support educators and administrators in engaging today’s youth in developing the knowledge, skills and capacity to effect positive socio-ecological change.

Michael Kaufman

Nurturing Respectful Relationships and Ensuring Consent
Workshop Block 4
Tuesday 28 June, 3:00 PM

Michael Kaufman, Ph.D., is an educator and writer focused on engaging men and boys to promote gender equality and end violence against women. Over the past three-and-half decades, he has worked in almost fifty countries, including extensively with the United Nations, numerous governments, NGOs, businesses, trade unions, and universities.

He is the co-founder of the White Ribbon Campaign, the largest effort in the world of men working to end violence against women. He is the author or editor of eight books and his articles have been translated into sixteen languages. He is the co-author of the recent State of the World’s Fathers report and is a leader of MenCare, an international network with the goal of men doing half the care work on the planet.

His latest book, The Afghan Vampires Book Club, (co-written with Gary Barker) is an anti-war novel.

Married with two grown children, he lives in Toronto, Canada.

Jenny Witterick

Who We Become is a Choice
Workshop Block 4
Tuesday 28 June, 3:00 PM

You don't have to be extraordinary to make a difference, you can become extraordinary by making a difference. International best-selling author J.L. Witterick discusses how it is our everyday decisions which determine our character and ultimately our destiny. Her novel "My Mother's Secret", based on a true holocaust story and told from the narratives of four young people, examines how our choices determine who we become. Published in nine languages, the book is used as an education tool in schools across North America and Europe. Ms. Witterick has provided a copy of the book as a gift for the participants of this conference.

Mark Lowry

Sustainability, STEM, and Spatial Skills – Connecting the “What” with the “Where”
Workshop Block 5
Wednesday 29 June, 10:15 AM

Mark Lowry is a nationally and Internationally known Geography and Geospatial Technologies Educator. As a Geography consultant with the Toronto District School Board and President of “the Ontario Association for Geographic and Environmental Education” Mark has more than 25 years’ experience infusing Geotechnologies and spatial literacy into Ontario’s and other curricula worldwide. His Major foci have been on the infusion of specific 21st century skills and technologies into Geography, Science, and Social studies curricula to inspire critical thinking.

Beside his major task of Training Teachers, Mark has been involved in the creation of a range of curricula and competencies worldwide. These include curriculum design for Ontario, Canada (Geography Standards) and work in specific countries such as Jordan and Hong Kong. As a Fellow in the Royal Canadian Geography Society, Mark has a passion for connecting spatial parameters “the where” with other facets of the educational process. This is especially true when we bring the concepts of Sustainability, Stem, and Inquiry into the mainstream of Educational philosophy. Students need to bring practical skills into their ability to decipher the complexities of their everyday world.

Neil Piller and Alex Minard

Build It and They Will Learn: What We Know about Boys’ Learning Environments

NEIL PILLER
Workshop Block 5
Wednesday 29 June, 10:15 AM

Neil had a first career in in construction and property development before becoming a secondary school teacher. He has Master’s degree (MA) in Curriculum Studies and is uniquely positioned to bridge the gap between facilities and teaching and learning. Neil has been at St. George’s for the past 16 years, with the last six as Director of Operations. Neil has been involved in major Campus Master Planning initiatives, facility renewal projects and furniture replacement projects. His goal is to ensure that every project strives to improve student outcomes.

ALEX MINARD
Workshop Block 5
Wednesday 29 June, 10:15 AM

Alex is an architect and a Senior Associate with Perkins+Will. Since joining the firm’s Vancouver office a decade ago, he has contributed to a wide variety of building scales and types, locally and internationally. He has drawn upon this breadth of experience to enrich his focus on education projects ranging from modular pre-fabricated pre-schools to post-secondary research facilities. His Pitt River Middle School in Port Coquitlam, British Columbia, was awarded a 2015 Architectural Institute of British Columbia Lieutenant-Governor’s Award of Merit.

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