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NU instructor attends prestigious Governor General’s Leadership Conference

Nipissing’s Kevin Hutchison, instructor at the School of Business was one of 250 delegates to attend the prestigious Governor General's Canadian Leadership Conference.

Hutchison was selected for this once in a lifetime opportunity from a pool of 4000 applicants across Canada.  Applicants are selected from business, government and non-profit sectors, as well as from aboriginal and other groups.

The goal of the 2015 Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference is to broaden perspectives and strengthen relationships with the outcome being a stronger Canada.  

At the Conference, delegates examined the role that leaders play in stimulating, driving, managing and diffusing innovation in their organizations and communities.  They examined situations where organizations embraced innovation as a positive and necessary mindset essential to future success.

The 250 delegates were separated into smaller groups to explore a province or territory; Hutchinson’s group was assigned to British Columbia.  The group travelled 15,000 kilometers for meetings.  In a 36-hour period, Hutchison travelled to St. John’s in the afternoon, Ottawa in the evening.  Around midnight his group was in Edmonton, Alberta.  By sunrise they were in Kelowna, BC.  Hours later they were in Osoyoos, BC.  After a short rest in Kelowna, they arrived in Prince George after a quick visit to Vancouver. 

“On a typical day we met with a multitude of people—the CEO of a multinational firm to a chef working in a soup kitchen in BC’s poorest postal code,” said Hutchison.  “We got our hands dirty while directly exploring issues of national importance. We engaged with individuals and organizations on topics including education, literacy, poverty, accessibility, equality, the economy, etc.  We asked tough questions and received unabashed answers.  We became better leaders by experiencing uncomfortable situations.  It was an opportunity to challenge preconceptions and beliefs.”  

They met kind people in every community they visited.  The group experienced east coast hospitality while taking in a kitchen party in the fishing village of Brigus, Newfoundland and Labrador.  They enjoyed a traditional feast with locals on the shore of Haida Gwaii, BC.

“I learned much about myself by listening to others speak about their culture, values and passions,” said Hutchison.  “Our BC delegation was a microcosm of the people of Canada.  Despite our differences, we dedicated ourselves to a shared and common vision.”

Throughout the Conference, delegates met with Canadians from all sectors that are dedicated to engaging individuals to build organizations and communities where innovation is understood to be a pre-requisite to prosperity. 

“I gained a profound appreciation for the good that comes from serving others.  This experience further fuelled that passion and I cannot underscore enough how humbling it was to be selected for this journey," said Hutchison. "I extend a sincere thank you to His Excellency, David Johnston, and the countless folks nationally who made the 2015 tour a possibility.”​

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