Holding the Future to a Higher Standard – 2019 CSA Group Annual Conference and Committee Week

EIN CS 29 CSA100 400

July 11, 2019

This year’s CSA Group Annual Conference and Committee Week took place in Ottawa from June 17 – 21 and welcomed more than 800 of CSA’s Standards members to celebrate their centennial, reflect on their outstanding accomplishments, look ahead to the future and participate in numerous committee meetings. As always, the conference also gave CSA Group the opportunity to honour and thank their volunteer members for their dedication and contributions in helping CSA Group make the world a safer and more sustainable place.

The week kicked off on Monday evening with Master of Ceremonies, Peter Brown sharing a few fun facts about Ottawa. He then introduced Mary Cianchetti, President, Standards who took the opportunity to thank our members and recognize two of their longest standing members who have each contributed more than 50 years to standards development – Roy Bartholomew and Ed Power. Mary then welcomed the event’s keynote speaker, Rick Mercer who lit up the room with entertaining stories. Rick brought members and guests on a journey through laughs and the cross-Canada adventures he experienced while filming the Rick Mercer Report.

Tuesday morning began with the official business of the conference – thier Annual General Meeting for members. At this meeting, members received the Annual Report and elected new members to the Board of Directors, including Jane Peverett, new board chair (replacing Greg Weeres who stepped down from the Board) and new Directors Ian Giffen and Karl Smith who replace Dr. Roland Hosein and David MacKinnon (who have also stepped down).

The remainder of the conference and committee week was filled with many meetings and activities, including these inspiring moments shared with our members:

Holding the Future to a Higher Standard

This was one of CSA Group’s impactful sessions held during the Annual Conference and Committee Week which was presented by David Weinstein, President & CEO and Mary Cianchetti, President, Standards.

David began this session with a video showcasing CSA Group’s history and the role Standards have played in people’s lives and the environment. He also shared historical highlights and the continuous improvements CSA has embarked on through operational excellence, health & safety initiatives, and training and development.

Mary amazed attendees with a hologram version of herself before appearing on stage as the “real” Mary. She shared CSA Group’s key achievements in Standards, the impact of Standards research, and the digital transformation we will undergo to improve the experience for Standards users. This was the perfect segue to Anand Inbasekaran, Chief Enterprise Architect who presented CSA’s digital transformation story.

Anand engaged the audience through an interactive display of the personalization of standards, and the artificial intelligence and augmented reality solutions Standards will be rolling out in the future, demonstrating CSA’s commitment to innovation.

CSA Group Academic Challenge

CSA Group is a proud supporter and advocate for connecting students to the world of Standards and welcoming them to the stage for the CSA Group Academic Challenge. Every year, a number students submit their project proposals, and only a select few are chosen by a panel of judges to present at the CSA Group Academic Challenge to compete for the win. All audience members have the chance to vote for their favourite challenge finalist.

This year’s challenge finalists, who addressed a challenge in the workplace or everyday life, presented on the following:

Kayla McLaren and Andrew Forgeron, representing the University of Guelph presented their project, “Providing Quality Service Dogs: A Mission in Need of Standards”. Kayla and Andrew gave insight on the need for a Standard for the training, management and rights of service dogs to improve the service dog industry in Canada.

The project, “Residential Construction Standard Safety Management Safety” was developed by Aida Tleel, James Yin, Runzhe Hu, Xin Huang and Yingtong Zhou, representing the University of Toronto. James and Xin were there to present their findings and proposal for a Standard Safety Management System that could improve safety performance for small companies to reduce workplace injuries and raise safety awareness.

The winner of this year’s CSA Group Academic Challenge – Jake Staples, representing Carleton University – presented “Standards for the Introduction of Accessible DC Power in Buildings”, which covered the need for updates to the Canadian Electrical Code to allow for the use of DC power in buildings.

Perspectives for the Future

A panel of speakers, which included Susan Hunt, Chief Technology Officer of Canada’s Ocean Supercluster, Chantal Guay, Chief Executive Officer of the Standards Council of Canada, John Walter, President of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), and Joe Bhatia, President and CEO of the American National Standards Institute inspired attendees with their interesting perspectives on international collaboration on standards and creating a system of openness. Each speaker also addressed the need for standards to keep up with innovation without compromising integrity and safety, and the need to regulate a data-driven world and the use of personal data.

Member Appreciation Night – Ahead by a Century

Master of Ceremonies, Peter Brown returned to the stage at the Canadian Museum of History to recognize John Jenkins Award recipients from the last 20 years and welcome this year’s member recipients of the John Jenkins Award, Award of Merit, and Young Professionals Award. All award recipients were recognized for their years of service, achievements, and contributions in the standards space. All members were then treated to dinner and entertainment to close the evening.

Next year’s CSA Group Annual Conference and Committee Week will take place in St. John’s, Newfoundland.


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