(photo credit: NASA)
Our Keynote Speaker is always memorable, provocative, and inspiring. This year, we feature (Retired) Colonel Chris Hadfield, first Canadian to walk in space and a leading motivational speaker, Internet sensation, musician, and author.
The modern public garden can be a very complicated organization to lead and to manage. Financial objectives need to be achieved, plant collections need to be nurtured and strong connections with the many diverse audiences need to be fostered through education and partnerships.
Commanding a spaceship takes superb leadership. The vehicle is complex, the team is international, the crew is on their own and the stakes are the very highest – huge financial consequence, and perpetual life or death.
Only one Canadian has ever held that command – Colonel Chris Hadfield. Through 25 years in the Royal Canadian Air Force and 21 years with the Canadian Space Agency and NASA, Chris has developed and honed leadership theories and practices that have taken him to the very top.
In addition to being skilled in leading organizations in complex and changing environments, Chris is also a gifted educator and has worked with countless students and teachers, from pre-school to post-doctoral, for decades. Speaking in schools and at education conferences throughout his 35-year-career as an engineer, pilot, and astronaut, his rare mixture of personal experience, memorable ideas, and a warm, fun, interactive style has influenced a generation. Most recently, his extensive teachings from Earth orbit, recorded on-board the International Space Station, continue to be seen by millions via YouTube.
Chris, who grew up on a farm in Southern Ontario, strongly believes in the necessity to give every student the tools and the inspiration to succeed. His face and accomplishments are in Canadian science textbooks, as both a role model and clear example of where STEM education can lead.
In his presentation, Chris will outline fundamental theories of leadership, scientific education and provide original insights, interspersed with examples from his own experience.