Virtual Symposium: The Power of Ecosystems - April 7 & 8 (half days)

The premier industry event for insurance professionals

Featuring inspiring keynote speakers, insightful seminars and our ever-popular leadership panel, Symposium is the premier industry event for insurance professionals.

This annual event brings together bright minds who provoke engaging discussion about the future of our industry. As a virtual event, you can join us from wherever you can connect to the internet! 

CE Credits will be available for this event (breakdown TBC). Can't attend the full event? Recordings will be made available to registrants.


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Symposium 2021: The Power of Ecosystems

2020 was the year we all stayed home. Despite this, our connectedness revealed itself to us—from how we interact with others, how we work, and how we conduct business.
This year’s Symposium theme—The Power of Ecosystems—offers a different lens with which we can view the technological, market and climate forces on our industry. Like an ecosystem in the natural world, our business environment creates opportunities to coexist and coevolve with other organizations.

From auto manufacturing, to banking, to regulation, to technology—join us to explore the intersection of insurance with other industries in formal and informal ways. You will also look at how our own workforce could evolve and be reshaped by partnerships, and what this means as you hire, train and manage personnel.

Session A: Opening Speaker

Headshot: Alister Campbell

Alister Campbell 
President & CEO
Property and Casualty Insurance Compensation Corporation

Session B: The Decentralized Workforce

In the natural world, ecosystems create opportunities for each participant to draw from their unique strengths, which benefits the wider environment. This session puts the focus on one of our biggest strengths: our workforce. The pandemic dramatically forced the shift to remote working and an alternative workday, while also drastically impacting work/life balance. Some people have thrived, others have found it challenging to navigate.

In this session, you’ll hear from experts as they share their views on what changes are here to stay long-term. You will also explore how our partnerships with other organizations and industries could influence who we recruit and train. For example, as we develop partnerships with technology providers, our need for this in-house expertise may evolve as well. You’ll gain a lens into the in-demand competences of tomorrow, as well as the skills, knowledge and experience within our own organizations that may be sought by our external business partners.



Headshot of Sonia Boyle     Stephanie Fitzgerald Headshot     Headshot of Jan LeRoy 

Sonia Boyle
Chief Human Resources Officer   
Gore Mutual Insurance

Dr. Stephanie Fitzgerald 
Senior Business Partner         
- Mental Health   


Jan LeRoy
Vice President, Human Resources
Marsh Canada Limited

Session C: Making the Case for Ecosystems

Originally imagined by James S. Moore in the early 1990s, a business ecosystem is “an interconnected set of services [or products] that allow users to fulfill a variety of needs in one seamless experience.”

Ecosystems are built around customer needs; they go beyond simple partnerships across industry boundaries and bring together digitally accessible services or products, providing consumers with an end-to-end experience. In this session, we’ll discuss the development of ecosystems from an insurer’s point of view, how carriers have taken their first steps, and what it takes to succeed.




Bayard Gennert Headshot Justine Habkirk Headshot 

Bayard Gennert
Senior Expert
McKinsey & Company           

Justine Habkirk
Associate Partner
McKinsey & Company

Session D: Big Impact: Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in the Industry

Artificial intelligence and big data will play an important role in the ecosystems of tomorrow. Whether it’s analyzing data to improve customer support, automating processes to quickly resolve claims, or collecting information to underwrite new risks, AI & big data will help us make decisions more easily and faster. It’s also expected to free up resources that will allow us to concentrate on the more human and interpersonal elements of our work.

In this session, you will explore how big data and AI is currently being used in the design and delivery of products and services in the insurance industry. Our panel of experts will bring the latest industry research on big data and AI to life with examples and case studies, and share the impact on their businesses, employees and customers.


John McCelland Headshot Adam Mitchell Headshot 

John McClelland, CAIB
Founder, miBroker
Broker & Director of Digital, McClelland Insurance          

Adam Mitchell
Mitchell & Whale

 Alex Plentis Headshot  Greg Smith Headshot

Alex Plenits
Business Innovation Analyst,
Innovation Advisor & Insurance Institute Ambassador

Greg Smith, FCIP
Chief Operating Officer
Crawford & Company (Canada) Inc.

Session E: Leadership Panel

Our popular leadership session brings you into the boardroom and offers a glimpse into how organizations rose to the challenges of the pandemic, lessons learned and an outlook for the future.



Headshot: Tony Chapman

Tony Chapman
Host, Chatter that Matters



Headshot of Philomena Comerford Carol Jardine Headshot 

Philomena Comerford, CIP, CCIC
President & CEO
Baird MacGregor Insurance Brokers LP    
Hargraft Schofield LP

Carol Jardine
President, Canadian P&C Operations
The Wawanesa Mutual Insurance Company

 Headshot of Brian Parsons  Headshot: Monica Ningen

Brian Parsons
Head of Canada
Willis Towers Watson

Monica Ningen
President & CEO
Swiss Re Canada & English Caribbean

Session F: Climate Change and the Disrupted Ecosystem

Climate change continues to be a focus for our industry. We all have a meaningful role to play in helping the industry address the financial impacts of extreme weather, which is expected to double over the next 10 years, increasing from $2.1 billion a year to $5 billion.

In this session, you will learn what the industry is doing to remain resilient and how we can individually make an impact. You’ll also learn about external partnerships and collaborations that could help us prepare for the long-term impacts of climate change.




Phil Gibson Headshot  Caleb White Headshot

Phil Gibson
Managing Director, Personal Insurance    
& Data Science 
Aviva Canada

Caleb White
President & COO
Climate Engine

 Anne Wilson Headshot  Laura Zizzo Headshot

Anne Wilson
Senior Vice President & Property Expert
Swiss Re America

Laura Zizzo, JD, BES
Manifest Climate



Agenda (EST)


Day 1: April 7, 2021


10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.

Session A: Opening Speaker

11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.    


11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. 

Session B: The Decentralized Workforce

12:30 p.m. - 1:00 p.m.


1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.

Session C: Making the Case for Ecosystems



Day 2: April 8, 2021


10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m.   

Session D: Big Impact: Artificial Intelligence and Big Data in the Industry

11:00 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. 


11:30 a.m. - 12:45 p.m. 

Session E: Leadership Panel

12:45 p.m. - 1:15 p.m.


1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m.

Session F: Climate Change and the Disrupted Ecosystem

 2:15 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. 

Optional networking 


Thank you to our sponsors



Logo: Canadian Underwriter


Event Sponsors:

Aviva Logo Logo: Axis  Logo: Crawford Canada 
 Logo: Informco  Logo: RSA  

Session Sponsor:

 Logo: Pro-demnity      Strigberger Brown Armstrong LLB Logo         Markel Logo