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Business Revolution or Peaceful Evolution? Rethinking Activities and Models with AI While Balancing Stakeholder Interests


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Roundtable Luncheon with Benjamin Alarie, Adam Blinick, Andrew Hanff and Iliana Oris Valiente
Monday, March 26, 2018 - 12:00 to 13:30
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Toronto ON, C.D. Howe Institute, 67 Yonge Street, Suite 300
  • Business Revolution or Peaceful Evolution? Rethinking Activities and Models with AI While Balancing Stakeholder Interests

C.D. Howe Institute events are open to members and their guests. Members can register online by signing in here, or contacting cdhoweevents@cdhowe.org.

While in the past AI-fueled tech start-ups have challenged business-as-usual postures across traditional industries, incumbent players are becoming increasingly active in this space. Regulators and governments are also increasingly taking note.  What is the art of the possible? How should managers across the spectrum think about their next steps?  When will actors be working with vs. against each other? Come hear from speakers from the front-line of these intersections for a discussion on how the path forward can be more cooperative than conflicting.


Benjamin Alarie, Osler Chair in Business Law, Faculty of Law, University of Toronto; Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Blue J Legal

Benjamin Alarie is the Osler Chair in Business Law at the University of Toronto Faculty of Law and co-founder and CEO of Blue J Legal. Professor Alarie holds an MA and a JD from the University of Toronto, and a Master of Laws from the Yale Law School. Before joining the University of Toronto, Professor Alarie was a law clerk for Madam Justice Louise Arbour at the Supreme Court of Canada (2003-2004). Over the years his publications have appeared in numerous academic journals, including the American Business Law Journal, the British Tax Review, the Canadian Business Law Journal, the Canadian Tax Journal, the Osgoode Hall Law Journal and the University of Toronto Law Journal. His research has been funded by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canadian Foundation for Innovation, and the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation. He is coauthor of several editions of Canadian Income Tax Law (LexisNexis) and was awarded the Alan Mewett QC Prize for excellence in teaching by the graduating class of 2009. Professor Alarie's most recent book is on the institutional dimensions of Supreme Court decision-making, jointly authored with Prof. Andrew Green (Oxford University Press, 2017).


Adam Blinick, Director of Public Policy and Communications, Uber

Adam Blinick is the Director of Public Affairs for Uber Canada. From August 2014 to December 2015, Adam was Senior Public Policy Manager for Canada, the Midwest and Texas, headquartered in Chicago. Prior to joining Uber, Adam held many senior roles in the Canadian government, including Deputy Chief of Staff to the Minister of Public Safety, Director of Policy to the Minister of Transport, and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister. Adam holds a Masters in International Affairs from the George Washington University.


Andrew Hanff, Partner, Roland Berger

Andrew Hanff joined the global management consultancy Roland Berger in 2016 as a Partner in the firm's financial services practice.  He focuses primarily on serving retail, commercial and cooperative banks, pension plans, asset managers, fintechs and other financial services players. In serving clients, Andrew brings functional expertise in the areas of strategy formulation, business design, growth initiatives, private equity target asset portfolio valuation and optimization, disruptive technology/IT strategy, cost reduction and enterprise transformation.

Prior to joining Roland Berger, Andrew worked for 8 years at another international consultancy serving major clients principally across a broad spectrum of financial services. Earlier, he held progressively senior managerial positions within the B2B space.  Andrew's exposure to AI and machine learning started at the beginning of his career in the engineering field, during which time he programmed machine learning and other complex applications.

Besides an MBA (Honors) from INSEAD (France), Andrew holds a B.Sc. (Honors) in Electrical Engineering from Queen's University.  He is a licensed professional engineer in Ontario and fluent in English, French, Spanish and Danish.


Iliana Oris Valiente, Managing Director and Global Blockchain Innovation Lead​, Accenture Canada

Iliana Oris Valiente, CPA, CA, CBP (Certified Bitcoin Professional) is widely credited for being a trailblazer in the blockchain space, having been among the first to recognize the tremendous impact of this traditionally "hacker" technology on the enterprise world. Her focus has been on exponential technology, entrepreneurship and bridging the gap between the corporate world and the start-up communities. In her current role as a Managing Director and Global Blockchain Innovation Lead at Accenture, Iliana is responsible for strategy initiatives and overseeing projects to conceptualize and build blockchain solutions across industries, with a focus on FSI, supply chain, healthcare and the public sector.  Iliana is also the founder and Chair of ColliderX, the world's first non-profit, open sourced, and crowdsourced R&D hub for blockchain and related technologies. Previously, Iliana was the catalyst in getting Deloitte actively involved with blockchain innovation, and founded the Rubix by Deloitte practice in 2014 where she led teams providing advisory services and building decentralized applications across multiple technology platforms. Iliana has strong views on how the network effects of this technology will impact multiple verticals, and how it will radically change many status quo business models. Iliana is an author and sought after speaker, regularly presenting at conferences and events around the world.

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