Keynote speakers announced for 21st TCI Network Global Conference (TCI 2018) in Toronto

Released May 17th, 2018

Toronto, ON – The Institute for Competitiveness and Prosperity is delighted to announce the first line-up of speakers for TCI2018 - the 21st TCI Network Global Conference, which will be held in Toronto, Ontario on October 16-18, 2018.

Roger Martin, Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute and #1 Management Thinker in the World according to Thinkers50, will be delivering the opening keynote address on Day 2 “Engage” (October 17), which will feature a series of keynotes and panels of experts sharing best practices, stories, and experiences along the conference theme, Collaborating to Compete: Clusters in Action.

Zabeen Hirji, Global Advisor, Future of Work at Deloitte Canada will be delivering a keynote exploring the conference’s sub-theme of Mobilizing Talent and Diversity, and Mercedes Delgado, Assistant Professor, Senior Lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management and Research Director and Research Scientist of the MIT Innovation Initiative Lab for Innovation Science and Policy will be delivering a keynote exploring cluster-based strategies for innovation and growth in regions.

Additional confirmed speakers include:

  • Pia Kinhult, Head of Host States Relations at European Spallation Source in Sweden
  • Susan Windham-Bannister, former President of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Centre
  • JP Gladu, Executive Director of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
  • Lidia Divry, Chief Executive Director, TechnoMontréal, Montréal
  • Ryan Combs, Executive Director, Research Triangle Region, North Carolina
  • Jeremy Dabor, Head of Product Development, Essity; Co-Founder & CPO, Sensassure
  • Werner Pamminger, CEO, Business Upper Austria
  • Christine Neuy, Manager, microTEC Südwest eV, Germany

Day 2 will also feature a panel discussion on the international lessons learned and best practices that can be applied to superclusters in Canada.

The 21st TCI Network Global Conference is the leading global clusters event for government, business, and academic leaders to make unexpected connections for economic growth and shared prosperity. It is hosted by the Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity, a Canadian-based think tank and presented by the TCI Network, a global network of leading global cluster experts and practitioners. It will be a forum for knowledge exchange and partnership development between local and international cluster experts and leaders. The theme, Collaborating to Compete: Cluster Policy in Action, will lend itself to the conferences four sub-themes of Designing collaborative networks for innovation, Regional economic development and inclusive prosperity, Mobilizing talent and diversity, and Scaling up within cluster ecosystems.

Day 1 “Experience” (October 16) will provide delegates with the opportunity to immerse themselves in one of 11 active clusters in the Toronto region. Attendees will visit up to three sites that illustrate the story of the cluster and then participate in a mini-charrette that uses design thinking to brainstorm challenges faced by the cluster. The cluster immersion experiences are: advanced manufacturing, design, emerging technology, energy, financial services, food, green buildings, health, innovation ecosystems, transportation and logistics, and water. Further details will be released later this month.

Day 3 “Exchange,” which will feature interactive breakout sessions led by speakers from over 20 countries on each of the conference sub-themes. A list of the breakout sessions will be released later this month with panelist names and moderators listed in the summer.

To learn more about the conference, please visit

About the host

The Institute for Competitiveness & Prosperity is an independent, not-for-profit organization that deepens public understanding of macro and microeconomic factors behind Ontario’s economic progress. It is funded by the Government of Ontario and are mandated to share our research findings directly with the public. 

For nearly 17 years, the Institute has advocated for the development of strong clusters in the province of Ontario to close the prosperity gap between the province and its peer jurisdictions. It remains the only source for Canadian cluster data and is recognized for its focused work on clusters.

More information can be found on the Institute’s website:

TCI Global Conferences

For two decades, the annual TCI Global Conference brings together experts in the field from around the globe and aim to be a forum to create progress in the practice of cluster development, regional competitiveness, and innovation support. The conferences are the meeting point for the TCI community and are open to members and non-members of TCI.

Since 1998, TCI has been received in outstanding cities and regions from the five continents, renowned for building competitiveness strategies from the strengths of their clusters and people: Barcelona (Spain), Varese (Italy), Glasgow (UK), Tucson (USA), Cairns (Australia), Gothenburg (Sweden), Ottawa (Canada), Hong Kong (China), Lyon (France), Portland (USA), Cape Town (South Africa), Jyväskylä (Finland), Delhi (India), Auckland (New Zealand), Basque Country (Spain), Kolding (Denmark), Monterrey (Mexico), Daegu (South Korea), Eindhoven (Netherlands), and Bogotá (Colombia).

For more information on the TCI Network’s conferences, please visit

About TCI Network

TCI Network is the leading global network of more than 9,000+ main organizations and practitioners with deep expertise in clusters and competitiveness, who collaborate in a unique open, flexible and practical context to advance in the practice of competitiveness, innovation and cluster development. For more information on the TCI Network, please visit

For more information contact: Dorinda So, Conference Director, TCI2018