Speaker Series

What Will Workforce Opportunities Look Like in 5 Years?

From Shifting Occupations to New Skills Demands - Are You Ready?


PANEL SESSION 1: What will workforce opportunities look like in 5 years?

Everyone has been impacted from shifting occupations to new skill demands.  In  our GENXYZ THRIVES Panel Session 1, our panelists focus on two key questions on the minds of employers today:

  • How has COVID, and Remote Work disrupted industry sectors?
  • How has COVID and Global Geopolitics on supply chains impact job security and company viability?

Moderating this panel is Elan McDonald, Senior Vice President, National Client Development for Global Public Affairs. Our panel includes three key influencers from different industry sectors – who share their insights on the current impact on industry sectors, and the impact on future emerging sectors:

Sam Pillar, the CEO of Jobber enables thousands of small and medium sized companies in the trades and non-professional workforce to transition into the digital world of with the use of online tools. Sam shares the trends he has observed in current industries and what the future trends emerging in these sectors.

Asifa Samji, the SVP & Acting HR officer of Stantec, shares her perspective on the new skills in demand on the future horizon. Asifa also discusses how remote work has shifted the types of training and skills needed now, and by 2023.  Asifa also touches on how has this transition impacts the professional services sector and clients

Dr. Edy Wong, a professor in International business at the University of Alberta, works with various Alberta government departments to promote Alberta businesses to Asia.  Edy shares insights on how logistics of supply chains have and will continue to impact job security and company viability on markets in Alberta, and globally.

Sam, Asifa and Dr. Wong, share takeaways for our viewing audience to apply to their own situations in looking to thrive beyond COVID19 in an era of remote work, and in the midst of a shifting global supply chain.

See Podcast of Panel Session 1 at the end of this article!

About Elan MacDonald

Image Credit: Global Public Affairs

Elan McDonald is the Senior Vice President, National Client Development for Global Public Affairs. She joined Global Public Affairs after building and running her own public affairs firm for close to a decade.   Elan offers a unique perspective among public affairs professionals that is firmly grounded in the Alberta experience, and the result of 25 years of working as an executive and advisor in both government and private sector.  Elan is a Director on the board of Edmonton Global and is the Vice Chair of the Chamber of Commerce.  She is also a director on the board of Atlas Biotechnologies and Alberta Ballet.

About Sam Pillar

Image Credit: Jobber

Sam Pillar is the CEO and co-founder of Jobber, a venture-backed home services software company that helps people in small businesses be more successful. In 2011, Pillar and Forrest Zeisler launched Jobber, growing it to over 100 employees today with tens of thousands of users in over 45 countries.



About Asifa Samji

Image Credit: Stantec

As Stantec’s acting chief human resources officer (CHRO), Asifa is accountable for all the human resources functions within Stantec .Prior to moving into the acting CHRO role, Asifa was the business leader for revenue growth in Stantec’s Environmental Services business.Asifa serves on Stantec’s Diversity and Inclusion Council where she chaired the Women’s Leadership Development committee for North America. Outside of Stantec, she has been a mentor for the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade’s Leaders of Tomorrow, a Board member for the Association of Consulting Engineering Companies for British Columbia, and a Governor for the British Columbia Institute of Technology (BCIT). She is currently on the Executive Committee for the Business Council for British Columbia, a mentor for the WXN’s Wisdom Mentoring Program, and a member of BCIT’s Inspire Campaign. Proudly, Asifa was recognized with the Women’s Executive Network’s 2015 Canada’s Most Powerful Women Top 100 Award.

About Dr Edy Wong

Image Credit: FutureCite Inc

A recipient of a Governor General’s Medallion (as a bridge builder between Canada and China) and the Chongqing Friendship Award in 2013, Dr. Edy Wong is a researcher and practitioner of international business. In 2012, Dr. Wong was awarded a Fellow’s Award by Supply Chain Management Association of Canada and the Garner–Thémoin Award by IFPSCM (International Federation of Purchasing and Supply Chain Management)




GENXYZ THRIVES is a virtual series on the next generation workforce talent who will help to transform the current industrial landscape towards a future global world that includes artificial intelligence, remote work and remote learning.  This 2020 virtual conference was made possible by presenting partners FutureCite Inc, the Canada / Alberta Partnership Grant Fund, and our in-kind partners, the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce, MacEwan University and NAIT.  Participating organizations included Deloitte Canada, Transpod, Stantec, E&Y, RBC, Global Public Affairs, Edmonton Global, Jobber, Improbable, Chandos Construction,  University of Alberta, Manpower, Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, and ZAG Creatives

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