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Wednesday, December 2, 2020
12:00 PM
 - 1:00 PM

The Future is Now

Pedro Barata (FSC), Julia Blackburn (NPower), Filsan Kulane (NPower & RBC) and Jenny Poulos (FSC & RBC)
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Building a Skills Playbook for the Recovery

With a potential vaccine for Covid on the horizon, Canada’s focus can now shift to rebuilding our economy. Of chief concern is how to avoid a K-shaped recovery: one that favours the highly skilled but leaves everyone else behind.

Join Canadian Club Toronto on December 2 for a discussion of what skills we’ll need for a balanced recovery and how best to deliver them. This panel will feature:

  • Pedro Barata – Executive Director, Future Skills Centre
  • Julia Blackburn – CEO, NPower Canada
  • Filsan Kulane – Chair, NPower Canada’s Youth Advisory Council & Business Systems Analyst, RBC
  • Jenny Poulos – SVP, Workforce Strategy & Employee Experience, RBC & Chair, Future Skills Centre

Pedro Barata
Executive Director, Future Skills Centre

Known for his strategic leadership, an active voice on social policy, and a commitment to community building, Pedro Barata’s career and extensive volunteer work in the non-profit sector spans two decades.

As the Executive Director of the Future Skills Centre, Barata works with the key project partners to realize the Centre’s mandate and objectives: to build a network of key partners and stakeholders, lead and invest in cutting-edge research, test and evaluate innovative projects, and ensure that knowledge is shared and acted on.

During his tenure as United Way Greater Toronto’s Senior Vice President of Community Impact & Strategy, he oversaw United Way’s $94M community investment and partnership strategy as well as communications, policy and public affairs, research and evaluation, and cross-organizational strategy. Prior to joining United Way, Barata held roles at the Atkinson Foundation, Family Service Toronto, Social Planning Toronto, and the City of Toronto. Barata holds a Bachelor of Arts from York University and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Toronto.

Julia Blackburn
CEO, NPower Canada

Julia has over 30 years of broad management experience working with small businesses and non-profit organizations, both in the performing arts and in social services. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of NPower Canada, a charitable organization which addresses youth unemployment through a comprehensive workforce development program. As the founding executive, Julia launched the US-based company in Canada in 2014 and is currently implementing a national scaling initiative.

Julia began her career as a management consultant with Booz, Allen & Hamilton. Her executive appointments include serving as executive director of the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and of BalletMet Columbus. She was also the founding director of Blackburn Management Resources, a consulting practice providing business and financial services for non-profits and small businesses.

Filsan Kulane
Chair, NPower Canada’s Youth Advisory Council & Business Systems Analyst, RBC

Filsan is an NPower Canada Class 3 alumni and currently working at RBC as a project control officer in the Payments and Technology space. In addition, Filsan sits on the NPower Canada board of directors as a Youth alumni and leads the Alumni Council.

Jenny Poulos
SVP, Workforce Strategy & Employee Experience, RBC & Chair, Future Skills Centre

As SVP Workforce Strategy & Employee Experience, Jenny leads a large global team of HR centers of expertise responsible for employee experience and employment brand, performance enablement, recruitment, learning & development, and people data & analytics.

Her mandate focuses on helping RBC maintain a high-performing and engaged workforce by building future-focused capabilities and delivering exceptional employee experiences that attract, inspire and retain talent.

Since 2010, Jenny has lead teams responsible for providing leadership, advice and support on all aspects of Human Resources for the businesses and geographic regions of Personal & Commercial Banking, Wealth Management and Insurance segments. Prior to that, Jenny held increasingly senior positions in the business, specifically in Sales, Sales & Market Management, and Strategy.

Jenny holds a Bachelor of Commerce with Honors from Queen’s University, and lives in Toronto with her husband and two children. Jenny is the Advisory Board Chair of Future Skills Centre, and is on the Board of Directors of Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada.