We’re excited to announce our first speakers for IMPACT AI 2019! Our 2018 conference saw over 30 speakers and we’re releasing this year’s lineup as they’re confirmed. Follow us on social media and sign up for our newsletter for updates as we announce new speakers and sessions.

Ailish Campbell, Chief Trade Commissioner of Canada & Assistant Deputy Minister, Global Affairs Canada

Ailish joined Global Affairs Canada as the Chief Trade Commissioner of Canada in March 2017. She leads a cross-Canada team of 400 and an international team of 900 Trade Commissioners in 160 offices that serve Canadian business interests to help firms sell, grow, and go global. Previously she was General Director at Finance Canada where she was responsible for the federal budget in policy areas including innovation and defence policy, and Vice President, Policy – International and Fiscal Issues, at the Business Council of Canada where she led CEO engagement in China, Japan, and India.

She began her career in the Canadian federal public service as a trade negotiator on the Doha Round of WTO negotiations. She serves on the advisory board of the Banff Forum, a national non-partisan not-for-profit organization promoting leadership and public policy engagement. Ailish holds a Master of Science (Economics) from the London School of Economics and a Doctorate in International Relations from the University of Oxford and is designated as a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Trade Commissioner Service

Karla Congson, CEO, collectiveIQ

Karla is CEO and co-founder of collectiveIQ, an open agency comprised of over 200 of the top freelance professionals in Canada rooted in the disciplines of strategy, design, data and marketing. Karla brings over two decades of marketing and strategy experience and her work has included business leadership and general management of top global and domestic brands, customer insights & analytics, brand strategy, client experience design and integrated marketing. She has held roles as CMO at Dundee Corporation, Executive Strategy Director & Managing Director at Mirum Agency, Executive Vice President at WPP/Young & Rubicam Canada, and Vice-President Marketing at AIM Trimark.

Karla has also been responsible for the brand strategy and identity development of other significant Canadian brands including Canada Post, CIBC Wood Gundy, Empire Life, and Homemakers Magazine.


Craig Dowden, Ph.D., Executive Coach & Keynote Speaker

Craig, a Certified Positive Psychology Coach, has a Doctorate in Psychology, with a concentration in Business. An engaging and inspiring coach, Craig partners with leaders and executives from diverse industries and sectors to work on their most important challenges. In his role as a trusted advisor, Craig integrates the latest findings in the science of leadership, team, and organizational excellence into his coaching and consulting work.

Craig is a dynamic speaker who connects with his audience through his passion and knowledge. Participants have described his presentations as inspiring, and highlight how energized they feel after his sessions, as they come away empowered with strategies they can implement immediately within their workplaces. Audience members also respect the scientific foundation of his ideas.

Craig has been asked to share his thought leadership in leading HR and business publications, including the Huffington Post (U.S.), the Financial Post, the Financial Times, as well as Psychology Today.

Craig’s Website

Peggy Van de Plassche, Managing Partner, Roar Ventures

Peggy is the managing partner of Roar ventures; the firm provides investment advisory services and investment solutions to family offices and institutional investors. Peggy has spent close to 20 years in the IT and financial services industries as an entrepreneur, executive, investor, advisor, and board member to leading investment firms, software and IT services companies, as well as financial institutions.

Over the last few years she advised top investment organizations like Omers VC, HOOPP PE, Portag3 Ventures, and BMO Asset Management on multiple aspects such as deal sourcing, investment due diligence, large B2B sales for portfolio companies, portfolio management, investment strategy LP engagement model, data strategy, and technology roadmap.

Spearheading transformation is her “secret sauce,” having had the opportunity to manage a transformation program for a PE-backed organization in Europe in the early 2000’s. Since then she has leveraged a systematic and deliberate “people, process, and tools” approach to increase top and bottom lines.

Roar Ventures