SCAET building at Sheridan's Trafalgar Road Campus

Academic leaders ‘Create the Future’ through an innovative conference that reimagines postsecondary education in Canada

May 1, 2014

Sheridan and OISE (the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education)/ University of Toronto are co-hosting “Creating the Future Today”, an interactive conference bringing together thought leaders in academia and government to share ideas on what the future of postsecondary education should look like in Canada.  The two-day event takes place on May 1 and 2, 2014 at the Toronto Marriott Bloor Yorkville Hotel located at 90 Bloor Street East.


On May 1, current and past Presidents from the University of The Fraser Valley, Vancouver Island University and Mount Royal University will kick off the discussion together with co-hosts Dr. Glen Jones from OISE and Dr. Jeff Zabudsky from Sheridan. Following a talk about the importance of creativity in the 21st century by Dr. Gerard Puccio from Buffalo State, delegates will participate in break-out discussions using the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) method that is being introduced at Sheridan through its partnership with Buffalo State’s International Center for Studies in Creativity. The ideas that come forward will also be captured in real-time by students in Sheridan’s Bachelor of Illustration program.  Day one ends with the formal signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Sheridan and Buffalo State recognizing the partnership between the two institutions which is resulting in both curriculum development and the appointment of Dr. Gerard Puccio as a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at Sheridan.


On May 2, the conference will highlight the role that undergraduate research and creative activities play in contributing to innovation and Canada’s competitiveness and prosperity.  Following a keynote address by Economist Todd Hirsch, delegates will explore best practices for integrating undergraduate research activities into the curriculum and developing people with the skills and knowledge needed to drive Canada’s economy and enrich our communities.



“While always keeping postsecondary students at the core of our discussion, this conference seeks to develop ways to balance the shifting educational landscape and established traditions, in order to develop the highly qualified personnel needed to drive Canada into a prosperous future. Sheridan welcomes this partnership with OISE and Buffalo State, as well as the connections with other people representing some of the most innovative institutions across the country.  We’re proud to present this first-of-its-kind event and we look forward to capturing the many creative solutions that will result from this conference. ”

Dr. Jeff Zabudsky

President and CEO, Sheridan  


“OISE is extremely excited to be working with Sheridan in the development of this stimulating discussion of undergraduate education and non-traditional universities.  The conference is a wonderful opportunity to consider the possibilities associated with finding a new balance between historical approaches and innovative perspectives. This conference is helping us think about the future of higher education, and about creating new options and experiences for our students!”

Dr. Glen A. Jones

Ontario Research Chair in Postsecondary Education Policy and Measurement, OISE / University of Toronto     


“I am pleased to be included in this important conversation about the future of postsecondary education.  There are many barriers to rebuilding our postsecondary system, including current funding models, academic inertia and a general enthrallment with (and often misunderstanding of) the models of the past.  Surely we can find a way to draw on the best of our educational foundations while exploring new approaches.  New institutions, and those in the midst of changes in mandate and scope, have an opportunity to cut new paths for us all.”

Dr. Mark Evered

President and Vice Chancellor, University of the Fraser Valley


“My own experience with bringing two new universities to life is that the tweaking of tradition is certainly necessary, but the abandonment of all tradition is neither necessary nor appropriate. Conferences like this are critical to keep momentum in the dialogue about university undergraduate education in Canada today. It is only through the dialogue at conferences like this one that we understand and consider responses to this changing context.”

Dr. Dave Marshall

Educator and Speaker, Past President of Mount Royal University


“Post-secondary education across Canada is in a time of transition and institutions must look for new models and creative solutions to meet the needs of their students, support faculty and engage with their communities. Conferences such as this allow us to pool our collective knowledge and expertise to chart a new and progressive course to meet the future challenges of our sector.”

Dr. Ralph Nilson

President and Vice-Chancellor, Vancouver Island University


“It’s exciting to have an opportunity to bring my research in creativity to a conference that is considering how to shape the very direction of Canadian higher education. Our creativity students at Buffalo State, who come from all over the world, have already realized that traditional higher education must be combined with new skills to address the change that is occurring at unprecedented levels—changes in technology, in global connectedness, in climate, in energy sources—and at a pace that is unprecedented in human history. I am convinced that creativity is a critical tool that can be learned and applied, enabling individuals to adapt traditional knowledge to problems we have not yet even imagined.”

Dr. Gerard Puccio

Department Chair, Buffalo State International Center for Studies in Creativity


About Creating the Future Today

Please visit:; on Twitter: #futurePSE.


About Sheridan
Sheridan is one of Canada’s leading postsecondary institutions, offering over 100 diploma, certificate, and bachelor degree programs in an environment that fosters innovation and creativity. Its aim is to become Ontario’s first university exclusively dedicated to undergraduate professional education – one that will be based on applied learning. The model also focuses on meeting university accreditation requirements so that Sheridan graduates have more pathways to the continued learning that will underscore their personal, career, and industry success.


About OISE

The Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto (OISE) is recognized as a global leader in initial and continuing teacher education, graduate programs in education and education research. OISE is the largest and most research-intensive faculty of education in Canada, and one of the largest in North America, ranking among the top 10 Faculties of Education in the world. Its faculty are committed to partnering with schools, communities, the non-profit sector and governments to understand what works in education and human development across the lifespan.


For more information, please contact:

Dayo Kefentse, Sheridan Communications and Government Relations Officer

T: 905 815-4182 or E:


Steve Robinson, OISE Director of Strategic Communications

T: 416-978-0008 or E:  

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