Ottawa, Jan. 16, 2019 – There is a new work order and 1,200 career development professionals from across the country will converge in Ottawa from Jan. 28-30 to tackle how to help Canadians navigate it. The largest conference of its kind in Canada, Cannexus 2019 will explore the disruption that is changing how we define work, find jobs, develop skills and succeed in the labour market.

What: Cannexus National Career Development Conference

When: January 28-30, 2019, 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Where: Shaw Centre, 55 Colonel By Dr., Ottawa

John Horn, chair of the board of directors of CERIC, the organizer of Cannexus (who also leads organizational development and learning at Vancity Credit Union) will be at the conference and available –  along with other career development experts –  to discuss workforce trends:

  • Studies predict that by 2020 nearly half of Canadians will be self-employed in the gig economy. So, how can we help people avoid underemployment and precarious work?
  • Despite some missteps, there are hopes that artificial intelligence can overcome bias in hiring and help traditionally marginalized groups in the labour market avoid discrimination
  • Combatting ageism in the workforce, as Statistics Canada shows more Canadians than ever aged 55 and over delaying retirement
  • At a time when 80% of resumes are rejected in fewer than 11 seconds, jobseekers are adopting creative job search and personal branding strategies to stand out
  • With employers like Shopify valuing abilities over academic credentials, there is a move toward just-in-time, self-directed, one-size-fits-one micro training to build skills and stay relevant
  • The growing role of work-integrated learning (e.g., co-ops, internships, entrepreneurship) in preparing post-secondary graduates to be career-ready and not “generation jobless”
  • How the opportunity to work is increasingly being recognized as a significant factor in positive mental health, and what career management skills can do to increase overall well-being (the final day of the conference, Jan. 30, coincides with Bell Let’s Talk Day)

Keynotes at Cannexus kick off with Deborah Saucier, President of Edmonton-based MacEwan University. Saucier contends that though public anxiety is high over so-called “useless” degrees – those that don’t lead directly to jobs but lead to the devaluation of arts degrees in favour of STEM – the “soft” skills that are developed during any degree stand remarkably strong against disruption.

The final keynote features former Governor General the Right Honourable David Johnston in conversation with one of his five daughters, Alex Johnston, about the role of trust in building a better Canada for all.

Among the more than 200 presenters at the conference are:

  • Wendy Cukier, Academic Director and Professor, Diversity, Ryerson University
  • Jake Hirsch-Allen, Learning Solutions for Higher Education Lead, LinkedIn
  • Steven Tobin, Executive Director, Labour Market Information Council
  • Nancy Wilson, CEO, Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce
  • Lauren Shanahan, Director of Talent Attraction, SSENSE
  • Madeleine Barker, Senior Director, Strategic Workforce Initiatives, RBC
  • Jocelyne Voisin, Director General of Youth and Skills Innovation, Employment and Social Development Canada
  • Shaun Thorson, CEO, Skills Canada
  • Jan Basso, Assistant Vice-President, Experiential Learning & Career Development, Wilfrid Laurier University
  • Kofi Hope, Founding Executive Director, CEE Centre for Young Black Professionals

The full agenda for the conference is available at: Follow the Cannexus National Career Development Conference on Twitter at @cannexus or with the hashtag: #Cannexus19.


CERIC is a charitable organization that advances education and research in career counselling and career development, in order to increase the economic and social well-being of Canadians. It funds projects to develop innovative resources that build the knowledge and skills of diverse career professionals; annually hosts Cannexus, Canada’s largest bilingual career development conference; and publishes the country’s only peer-reviewed academic journal, Canadian Journal of Career Development.

To obtain a media pass, to arrange interviews or for further information:

Sharon Ferriss
Director, Marketing, CERIC | 647.466.0564