Skip to McMaster Navigation Skip to Site Navigation Skip to main content
McMaster logo

Arts & Science Program

2021 New World of Work Forum

The New World of Work Forum, founded in 2017 by Arts & Science grad Bruce Miyashita, is graciously funded by the Tom & Nancy Miyashita Arts & Science Program Enrichment Fund. The forum aims to support students in understanding and communicating their professional value to the dynamic world of work.

The theme for the 2021 New World of Work Forum is “Vectors of Change.” The 2021 Forum, which takes place virtually (via Microsoft Teams), consists of a series of shorter events spread over the course of a week. See the full schedule and registration details below.

Student project management team

Please contact a member of the team if you have any questions about this year’s Forum.
Nisha Gill (, Henry Challen (, Isabel Diavolitsis (, Katerina Simantirakis (

student Volunteer team members

Adan Amer (Level IV), Sarah De Buono (Level II), Serena Habib (Level I), Zara Khan (Level II), Arooba Muhammad (Level III), Rachel Murgel (Level III), Vanessa Natareno (Level III), Maia Poon (Level I), Derek Shen (Level II), Gillian Young (Level IV)

nwwf 2021 schedule

Sunday 17 January, 1-3:30pm

Opening Remarks – Introductions from the Student Project Management Team and Bruce Miyashita (Class of 1984)
Keynote Speaker – Presented by Ian Philp (Class of 2001)
“Speed Dating” with Professionals – Participants will be placed into small groups with one or more alumni. The alumni will give a brief introduction about themselves and their careers. Students are then welcome to ask their own questions. After 15 minutes, groups will be moved to a new table with different alumni. This event is a chance for networking and casual discussion in a small group. The intention of this event is to meet Arts and Science alumni working in a variety of fields. Career paths covered in the event will include: pursuing graduate studies and careers in Law, Healthcare,  Government, the Arts, and Economics/Finance.

Monday 18 January, 7-8pm

Teamwork and Leadership Workshop – Led by Heather Cohen (Class of 2009), Suzy Flader (Class of 2016), Larry Innes (Class of 1991)
This workshop will explore methods of teamwork and leadership and how they complement each other. The workshop will also answer questions of equity and inclusion (e.g. how do you ensure all voices are heard? How do you approach tackling unfounded beliefs or stereotypes from other group members?). Students will be broken up into groups where they will have to brainstorm possible solutions to different case studies. Students will then be brought back into a larger group and are welcome to share their experiences with the activities (specifically, what they found the most challenging, where they felt stuck, what solutions they felt would work the best etc.). The session will then conclude with the chance to ask the alumni questions about their career paths and life experiences.

Wednesday 20 January, 7-8pm

Working Outside Canada Panel and Q&A – Led by Laura Collinson (Class of 2006), Michelle Hudson (Class of 2001), Kristin Janson (Class of 2001), Prav Pillay (Class of 1987)
This event will be a guided discussion followed by a Q&A panel. The panelists are Arts and Science alumni who have experience working outside of Canada. This event will be examining the benefits and challenges of finding a meaningful career path abroad.

Saturday 23 January, 1-4pm

Introduction to Event
Digital Marketing Workshop
– Led by Ben Barrett-Forrest (Class of 2014), Louise Jessup (Class of 2000)
This workshop is a chance for students to gain insight into digital marketing from industry professionals. Questions addressed will include: what is digital marketing and why does it matter? How can digital marketing benefit my projects? How can I digitally market myself? What are the best methods for reaching the largest audience possible? This event will be a presentation followed by a brief case study, then a chance to ask the alumni hosting the workshop questions.
Sustainability Leadership and Change Management Workshop – Led by Alessandra Gage (Class of 2011), Anu Rao (Class of 1998)
Led by two alumni who have experience leading initiatives in the sustainability and environmental sectors, the focus of this workshop will be on work that has a positive impact on the environment. It will explore questions about sustainability in practice and how best to make a lasting  change. The workshop will include a guided case study followed by a short Q&A panel with the alumni, regarding their career paths and life experiences.
Closing Remarks

Keynote Speaker

Ian Philp (Artsci 2001)
Ian Philp is the Head of Energy & Environment at the Canadian Consulate in New York City, where he is responsible for helping Canadian cleantech & energy innovators succeed in the United States. He also manages the CTA Cleantech Program that helps high potential Canadian cleantech companies connect with customers, capital, and strategic partners. Previously, Ian was Director of Partnerships at MaRS, a public-private partnership in Toronto focused on helping Canadian cleantech companies secure international market opportunities. From 2005-07, Ian was part of the legal team at the UN Mission in Baghdad, where he advised the Iraqi and Kurdish governments on post-conflict reconstruction. In addition to his B.Arts Sc. (Hons), he holds a MBA with a specialization in energy finance, common & civil law degrees, and an honours degree in international relations.

Alumni workshop facilitators

Teamwork and Leadership Event

Heather Cohen (Artsci 2009)
Heather Cohen works as legal counsel in the market regulation branch of the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC). Prior to her role at the OSC, she worked for Legal Aid, non-profits, the United Nations, and a large international law firm. Heather obtained her JD from the University of Toronto with an exchange to the University of Amsterdam. She spends her free time volunteering on refugee rights and as a board member of Canadian Lawyers for International Human Rights (CLAIHR).

Suzy Flader (Artsci 2016)
Suzy just graduated from the joint JD/Master of Public Administration program at the University of Victoria and is currently articling at Allen/McMillan Litigation Counsel in Vancouver. This summer, she will begin a judicial clerkship at the Federal Court of Canada. Suzy enjoys writing on topics such access to justice, equality law, administrative fairness, and sexual assault trial reform.

Larry Innes (Artsci 1991)
After Arts & Science and a few years working for NGOs in Ghana, Larry returned to Canada and pursued a Master in Environmental Studies at York, focused on Indigenous land and resource issues. After a decade as an environmental advisor to the Innu Nation in Labrador, he ‘took a break’ to attend law school at UVic. Twenty years later, Larry practices from Yellowknife, advising Indigenous governments  and organizations negotiating modern treaties, implementing Indigenous laws, and contending with the rapid pace of change across the North.

Working Outside Canada Panel and Q&A

Laura Collinson (Artsci 2006)
Laura leads the Fintech business at Jobber, based in Edmonton & Toronto, which builds software to help people in small home service businesses be successful. Home service businesses use Jobber to stay organized and grow by accepting online bookings, sending quotes, scheduling their crews, and getting paid. Previously, Laura worked at a small business lender in the UK (Funding Circle), in management consulting in Canada (with a short stint in Brazil), and in international development, focusing on trade policy, in Rwanda, Zambia and the UK. She loves cross-country skiing (badly) and canoe tripping, often with Artscis!

Michelle Hudson (Artsci 2001)
Michelle is a creative freelancer, performance artist and immersive games producer. Prior to a career in the arts, she worked internationally on development and biodiversity conservation projects, and also spent seven years as a management consultant supporting governments in the UK and Canada to meet their economic development goals. She lives in London, England.

Kristin Janson (Artsci 2001)
Kristin Janson is currently a Counsellor for Political Affairs at Canada’s Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York City. She graduated from ArtSci in 2001 and received an MSc in Human Rights from the London School of Economics and a JD from the Faculty of Law at the University of Toronto. Kristin joined what is now Global Affairs Canada in 2007 as a new Foreign Service Officer and has served at the Canadian Embassies in Kabul, Afghanistan and Tel Aviv, Israel. In Ottawa she has worked in a variety of positions, most recent as the Middle East analyst for the Privy Council Office. Yoga and lots and lots of books are getting her through pandemic life in New York.    

Prav Pillay (Artsci 1987)
After graduating from Arts & Science in 1987, Prav went on to earn academic credentials including an MBA, MFA, and a permaculture certification. Prav has given key-note talks on a range of subjects and appeared on expert panels across several disciplines. Currently, Prav is a founding partner and managing director of Humanitas Smart Planet Systems. Prav lives locally and works globally from his home near the ocean in the temperate rainforest of Salt Spring Island, BC.

Digital Marketing Workshop

Ben Barrett-Forrest (Artsci 2014)
Ben Barrett-Forrest is a graphic designer and musician from Whitehorse, Yukon who currently lives in Victoria, BC. He has a passion for typography and sculpting information into beautiful and approachable pieces. Ben has worked as an art director for The Globe and Mail, as a magazine designer, and currently works as a user interface designer for a tech startup. On the side, Ben has released five educational decks of playing cards that have sold more than 12,000 copies in 90+ countries. 

Louise Jessup (Artsci 2000)
Louise graduated from Artsci in 2000 and has been working in Corporate Communications ever since. She started her career at the Campbell Soup Company in Toronto, moved to the K-W YMCA, then the University of Guelph and, for the past 10 years, has been in Strategic Communications with the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. She launched her second Etsy shop (All Over the Map Studios) in 2016. Through Etsy, retail partners and maker shows, she now sells around 1500 maps annually, her side hustle adding a nice chunk of change to the family income. It has also taught her a multitude of skills that only small business ownership can.

Sustainability Leadership and Change Management Workshop

Alessandra Gage (Artsci 2011)
Alessandra Gage is currently working with the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) as an Environment Officer. Prior to working with FAO, Alessandra worked at the United Nations University Institute for Water, Environment and Health (UNU-INWEH). Outside of the UN, she has worked with Hamilton-based NGOs Environment Hamilton and the Social Planning and Research Council. Alessandra holds a B.Arts Sc. (Hons) from McMaster and a distinguished MSc. in Nature, Society, and Environmental Policy from the University of Oxford, UK.

Anu Rao (Artsci 1998)
Anuradha Rao is a Registered Professional Biologist, writer and facilitator with a focus on coastal and marine ecosystems. She has worked on research, conservation, mapping, planning, policy, restoration and stewardship projects across Canada and in 12 other countries. She is the author of One Earth: People of Color Protecting Our Planet (Orca, 2020) and more than two dozen other publications in academic and popular media.

Registration Details

Please register for the events you wish to attend by completing the online or PDF form. Registration will close 10 January 2021. Additionally, please note that registration will be done on a first-come, first-served basis, but there will also be a waiting list if events fill up quickly. Once you have registered, the Student Project Management Team will be in touch with further details, including the link to Microsoft Teams. The expectation is that you will be present at the events you register for, so in the case that you can no longer make it to a certain event, please let the Student Project Management Team (see above for contact information) know as soon as possible so that your spot can be offered to another student on the waiting list.


Follow us for further updates on Instagram at @nwwf2021and on Facebook!