What We Do
The Foresight Lab is a learning and networking hub dedicated to helping working professionals and students develop the futures thinking and leadership skills needed to manage our complex and rapidly changing world. Through our interdisciplinary programming, events, networking and research activities, we explore the critical long-term issues and forces shaping the future of Canada and the world at large. Our aim is to prepare forward-thinking change agents who seek to imagine and achieve positive future outcomes for themselves, their organizations and society at large.
Leonard Waverman – Acting Director
Leonard Waverman has served as dean of the DeGroote School of Business since 2013. He is a world-renowned expert in international telecommunications and global resources management and specializes in microeconomics and industrial organization, the economics of telecommunications, energy and resource economics, international trade, public utility and public enterprise economics. He has authored the influential Connectivity Scorecard, an annual index that ranks countries according to how advanced their communications networks are in promoting productivity and growth. Dr. Waverman earned his BCom and MA from the University of Toronto and his Ph.D. in economics from MIT. Previously, he was a professor of economics at the University of Toronto and the London Business School, and Dean of the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary.
Gordon Pitts – Special Advisor
Gordon Pitts is a contributor and former staff writer for The Globe and Mail. He is an author, public speaker and business journalist, with a focus on management, strategy, and leadership. In 2009, he won Canada’s National Business Book Award for his fifth book, Stampede: The Rise of the West and Canada’s New Power Elite, which followed his national best-seller, The Codfathers, Lessons from the Atlantic Business Elite, published in 2005. A veteran of 36 years as a business journalist, he is formerly a senior writer in the Report on Business section. He also served a former editor and writer in the Report on Business’s feature pages that have focused on strategic management and the professions. In 2006, he was the distinguished writer in residence at the University of Alberta Business School and the Alberta Business Family Institute. His most recent book, Unicorn in the Woods, was published in 2020 and profiles “how East Coast dreamers are changing the game.”
Peter Padbury is one of Canada’s most experienced strategic foresight practitioners having most recently served as Chief Futurist at Policy Horizons Canada, the federal government’s futures thinking institute that he helped establish in 2008. Over his career, Peter has led hundreds of foresight projects that developed vision, policy and strategy on behalf of federal government departments, NGOs, businesses and UN agencies across a wide range of themes. He has also led extended work assignments in Costa Rica, Brazil, Indonesia, Thailand, Holland, New York and Geneva and has engaged in work-related travel in over 50 countries. Peter has a MSc in Future Studies from the University of Houston (with a focus on participatory foresight methods). He has served on the board of directors for a number of organizations and is a founding member of the Association of Professional Futurists.
Dr. Peter Bishop is the founder and Executive Director of Teach the Future, a global organization introducing futures thinking into various school curricula around the world. Previously, for 30 years, he led the Master’s in Foresight program at the University of Houston, one of the world’s leading graduate futures thinking degrees. With his co-author, Andy Hines, he wrote Teaching About the Future, a widely used ‘go to’ manual for experienced and aspiring foresight practitioners seeking to expand their toolkits. Dr. Bishop has earned a Bachelor’s degree in philosophy from St. Louis University as well as an MA and Ph.D. in Sociology from Michigan State University.
Marysia Czarski is the Managing Director of Velocity Partnership, a consultancy based in Toronto that works at the intersection of creativity, culture and leadership. For over 18 years, across Canada, the U.S, the U.K and China, Marysia has helped her clients solve persistent complex challenges and unlock opportunities for growth. Prior to breaking out on her own, she worked in a variety of marketing roles for Ralston Purina, Cadbury, and Lavalife.
Marysia has served as adjunct faculty at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at State University of New York (SUNY) where she graduated with a Master of Science in Creativity and Change Leadership. She previously earned an H.B.A degree with Dean’s Honour’s from Ivey Business School at Western University. She is a master trainer in Creative Thinking & Problem Solving, and is a business coach to entrepreneurs. Her keynote, The Corporate Athlete, highlights her insights of sport and creativity for a corporate environment and she just published an insights paper, The Surprising Impact of the Pandemic on Creativity and Five Ways to Sustain It. Outside of business, she is a busy mom, active athlete and is an engaged community member and inclusiveness advocate.
Major-General (retired) David Fraser is one of Canada’s most accomplished leaders in both the public and private sectors. David served for over 30 years with the Canadian Armed Forces in a career that saw numerous operational tours around the world as well as commands at every rank from lieutenant to major-general. He is one of the most decorated officers Canada has ever produced and has also been twice recognized for his leadership by the United States (Legion of Merit and Bronze Star), NATO, the Netherlands, Poland, and the Atlantic Council. He has also received numerous Canadian commendations, including the Order of Military Merit.
David was the first Canadian general to have United States troops under his command, first as Commander Regional Command South in Afghanistan under the United States Coalition before leading the transition from US Operation Enduring Freedom to the NATO ISAF coalition. Upon returning from Afghanistan, he served as Commandant of the Canadian Armed Forces College.
After retiring from the Canadian Armed Forces, David joined the private sector, where he serves as President of AEGIS Six Corporation as well as a member on several boards, including Open Text. He is a graduate of the Canadian Armed Forces Command and Staff College in Toronto, holds a Master’s of Management and Policy, and is a graduate of the United States Capstone Program (the Executive School for generals).
Eva Klein is a corporate and clinical psychologist. Since January 2013, she has been a Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences in the Faculty of Health Sciences at McMaster University. In addition to teachings courses in the business school and health sciences program at Mac, Dr. Klein also leads workshops for residents, faculty members and corporations on leadership, emotional intelligence and conducting difficult conversations. She has also served an executive coach to senior leaders in a variety of Canadian and international corporations. Prior to McMaster, Dr. Klein was a Professor of Human Resources and Organizational Dynamics at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary, and a Teaching Fellow at the London Business School. She has also been an associate of the Center of Creative Leadership and consulted with the Niagara Institute. Her academic background includes a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Rutgers University, an MA in psycholinguistics from Stanford University, and both a BSc and MSc in mathematics from McGill University.
Laura Barbero Switalski
Laura Barbero Switalski is an adjunct lecturer at the International Center for Studies in Creativity at State University of New York (SUNY). She is also a partner of Darwin Associates, a consulting firm in Buffalo, that specializes in organizational growth, creativity and change leadership. She works with organizations across North America, Central America, and Europe to facilitate creativity and innovation, help manage change and transitions, and enhance teamwork and leadership. Laura is also a faculty member of the annual Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI), a founding member and organizer of CREA Conference, a global community of creativity professionals, and is President of CREA Italia. She holds a Master of Science in Creativity and Change Leadership from the State University of New York (SUNY, Buffalo). Born and raised in Italy, Laura lives now in Buffalo.