Trinity Symposium

Location: The Westin Harbour Castle, 1 Harbour Square, Toronto, ON M5J 1A6
To secure your spot email:

The Canadian auto industry gets ready for the coming transformative changes.

Is the Canadian auto industry ready for the pending wave of transformative change, what is that change and are companies, academia, and the government already preparing or participating in what is to come? Those are several of the questions debated at the Future of Mobility – Automotive Tech Symposium held at the Westin Harbour Castle Hotel, on Nov. 1, 2017.

As one panelist noted, ‘we believe more change is coming in the next five years that has taken place over the past 50 years’. Hosted by Trinity Tech and the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC), the symposium brought together automotive manufacturers, suppliers, tech partners, policy-decision makers, academia, and investors to discuss how Canada can leverage the mobility revolution taking place in the automotive industry.

“Collectively, we need to leverage the change taking place to maintain our relevance and competitiveness in the market,” says Dunstan Peter, President, and CEO of Trinity Tech Inc.  “This symposium brought together innovators who can help everyone to understand the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead. Traditional auto plays must make strategic moves to get ahead of the disruption.”

The dialogue throughout the day was invigorating and a number of key questions were debated and analyzed:

  • Does China see this transformative change as an opportunity to leapfrog ahead in the automotive industry?
  • Will cars be manufactured in a fully automated plant with little to no human involvement in the assembly? What are the implications?
  • How far along are autonomous vehicles? How do they fit in with smart cities?
  • Is today’s workforce able to meet the need of the coming auto technology transformation?
  • How is artificial intelligence changing the industry and where do Canadian companies fit into that?
  • What are some countries doing to move away from fossil fuel powered cars?
  • Most people own a car today but will they end up renting the right to use them in the future?


One executive noted the auto industry is ripe for disruption. Another said that autonomous and electric vehicles are altering the public perception of the industry. One industry executive wondered if tier two and three companies are thinking about the change that is coming.


Cassandra Dorrington, President of CAMSC was the master of ceremonies and there was a wide range of speakers from government, industry, academia at the one-day symposium, including the Hon. Michael Chan, Minister of International Trade, Government of Ontario; Jeremy Depow, VP Policy & Research, Information, Communication, and Technology Council (ICTC); John Jullens, Partner, Strategy&, PWC’s strategy consulting group; Brian Kobus, Director, OMERS Ventures; Dr;. Saeid Habibi, Professor and former Chair of the Dept. of Mechanical Engineering, McMaster University and NSERC/Ford Canada Industrial Research Chair in Hybrid/Electric Vehicle; Ben Hoffman, CEO, Movimento; Keith Loo, Chief Revenue Officer, CTO Boost.

“We feel strongly that by working together, collectively we can go further,” says Peter. “Our intent was to start a dialogue within the industry that can continue in greater depth next year and, from what we can see, that dialogue has started.”

Plans already are underway for next year’s symposium, which is likely to last over two days and include an exhibition trade show component. If you are interested in speaking, sponsoring or would like further information – please feel free to contact Sumi Shan, our Program Director for the Symposium at

The Sessions

Technology-driven trends are driving transformational change within the automotive industry.  The shift to mobility as a service and entrance of players from the tech industry means that traditional automotive players must make strategic moves to get ahead of the disruption.


The “Future of Mobility” – Automotive Tech Symposium is an opportunity for OEMs, Suppliers, tech partners, policy-decision makers, academia and investors to come together to learn and engage with experts on how Canada can leverage and maintain its competitive advantage within the mobility revolution that is taking place in the automotive industry.


Future of Mobility


The shift to mobility as a service and the impact of technology – i.e. connected car platforms, impact of opensource, data analytics and more – how will we all be impacted? The Panel will discuss how disruptive technology-driven trends are revolutionizing the automotive industry.



  • Moderator by Rob Soja, Business Lead, EY Canada
  • Keith Loo, Chief Revenue Officer for CTO Boost
  • Jean-Christophe Petkovich, CTO for Acerta
  • Cara Clairman, President & CEO, Plug’n Drive
  • Mark Radhakrishnan, VP Strategy & Brand Economist, Strata Insights


Autonomous Vehicles & Smart Cities


Autonomous vehicles are a key example of a quickly developing technological innovation, with the ability to create profound impacts on economic development, labour market needs and productivity, alike. AVs and their role in our communities are quickly altering consumer perceptions, and reshaping public policy considerations and decisions. With reach ranging from topics like job creation, skill development and training initiatives, to city infrastructure demand, cybersecurity, and even future legislative changes, AVs are revamping, reshaping and redesigning societal needs. Remarks will focus on four key areas: an AV Market Overview, the Intersection of AVs and Smart Cities to generate societal solutions, Canadian Labour Market Insights related to AVs and Smart Cities, and Policy Recommendations to facilitate deployment and growth of AV technology in Canada.


Presentation by: Jeremy Depow, Vice-President of Policy & Research, Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC)


Global Perspectives


The panel on “Global Perspectives on the Automotive Industry” will discuss the impact of the disruption on their respective country markets and share how they are levering the large-scale transformation taking place within the automotive industry.



  • Moderator: Hon. Bryon Wilfert
  • Peter Fahrenholtz, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany
  • Erdeniz Şen, Consul General of the Republic of Turkey
  • Defeng, Commercial Consul for the People’s Republic of China
    • Saifullah Khan, Commercial Consul, India



Investing in the Future


The implications for investors on next generation vehicles is larger than just the automotive and tech sectors – as considerations need to be made in a broader context to the supply chain. What are the opportunities and challenges that exists for investors, car-makers and suppliers?  How are VCs approaching investments in automotive industry?


Presentation by: Brian Kobus, Director, OMERS Ventures


Future of Innovation


Typically, research and development in the automotive sector is strategic and a long-term process. However, as the pace and breadth of innovation continues to rapidly increase there is a need to ensure that we in Canada are at the forefront of R&D for the sector. The panel will discuss how partnerships between the industry, academic/research institutions, technology companies can help accelerate and revolutionize personal mobility by developing and commercializing the technology.



  • Moderated by: Daryl Van Moorsel, Sector Manager – Advanced Manufacturing, City of Brampton
  • Saeid Habibi, NSERC/Ford Canada Industrial Research Chair in Hybrid/Electric Vehicle
  • Sebastian Fischmeister, Executive Director, Waterloo Centre for Automotive Research


Future of Work & Retraining in the Automotive Industry


We need to understand the implications for a rapidly changing world.  How will the automation of jobs affect the skills required for tomorrow?


The Brookfield Institute identified robotics and automation as vital, transformational issues that will have a significant impact on jobs, workers and different regional economies over the next 10 to 20 years. The first of the institute’s three reports on these impacts, The Talented Mr. Robot, found that nearly 42 per cent of jobs in Canada are at high risk of being eliminated or significantly changed by robotics and automation. Here we will look into ‘Palette Inc’ – an industry-led rapid retraining firm that will support the growth of promising scale-up companies while providing a solution to the challenge of career transition for mid-career workers impacted by automation.


Presentation by: AJ Tibando, Project Lead, Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship


Smart Mobility Solutions – Industry Transformation


The complexity, mobility and the global reach of the automotive industry has the potential to lead other industries in terms of software and connectivity. In this session, Movimento (APTIV) – an industry partner will look at how smart mobility solutions are leading transformation within the industry.


Presentation by Ben Hoffman, President & CEO, Movimento (APTIV)


Shifting the Landscape


With technology-driven trends driving transformational change within the automotive industry, it is important that traditional automotive players make strategic moves to get ahead of the disruption. These changes in the automotive industry will also cause ripples through basic materials, energy, utilities, real estate, infrastructure and financial services. The panel will aim to look at how we as an industry can position ourselves to succeed in this rapidly evolving space.



  • Moderator: Cassandra Dorrington, President of CAMSC
  • Ben Hoffman, President & CEO of Movimento
  • John Jullens, Partner, PWC Strategy&
  • Peter Frise, Researcher, University of Windsor

Speakers Bio


Cara Clairman – President & CEO, Plug’n Drive

Cara Clairman is President and CEO of Plug’n Drive, a non-profit that is accelerating the deployment of EVs to maximize their environmental and economic benefits. In just over six years, Cara has taken Plug’n Drive from an idea to a thriving non-profit, recognized as a leader in the EV space.


Cara has more than 20 years of experience working in the environmental and sustainability fields, including 12 years working at Ontario Power Generation, initially as OPG’s environmental lawyer and later in the role Vice President of Sustainable Development. Prior to joining OPG, Cara spent five years practicing environmental law with the Torys law firm. She holds a Bachelor of Laws from Osgoode Hall and a Masters in Environmental Studies from York University, as well as an Honours Bachelor of Science degree from Queen’s University. Cara is currently driving the 100% electric Chevy Bolt!


Jeremy Depow, VP Policy & Research, ICTC


Jeremy Depow is Vice President of Policy and Research for the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), a not-for-profit national centre of expertise for the Canadian digital economy. Within this role, Jeremy works to support ICTC’s objectives of strengthening Canada’s digital advantage in a global economy with the aim of enabling a competitive and inclusive digital economy, an innovative and entrepreneurial society, and a trusted and secure digital landscape.  Prior to joining ICTC, Jeremy served as Executive Director of Canada’s Digital Policy Forum, a national think-tank, which he founded to intensify dialogue and collaboration on building digital policy in Ottawa. His approach is founded on the belief that the best public policy comes from dialogue and meaningful collaboration between governments, civil society, the private sector, academia, technical experts and other relevant stakeholders that ultimately leads to transparent and measurable outcomes. Throughout his career, he has advised numerous organizations, including Fortune 500 companies, start-ups and non-profits on effectively working with municipal, provincial and federal governments to strengthen innovation policy.


Jeremy has served in the corporate affairs offices of Pfizer Inc., Intuit, and BIOTECanada, and was an information and communications technology industry analyst for the Boston based Yankee Group. Jeremy began his career as a policy analyst in the Canadian House of Commons for former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Joe Clark, P.C. Jeremy received his education in Political Science from the University of New Brunswick.


Cassandra Dorrington, President, CAMSC


Cassandra Dorrington is currently the President of the Canadian Aboriginal and Minority Supplier Council (CAMSC), a non-profit organization dedicated to the economic empowerment of Aboriginal and visible minority communities through business development and employment.  Its mandate is to identify and certify Aboriginal and minority-owned businesses, and facilitate their access into the supply chain of major corporations in Canada. Ms. Dorrington was formerly the president (and owner) of Vale & Associates Human Resources Management and Consulting Inc., a company specializing in providing human resources management and consulting services to public and private clients, nationally and internationally.  From 2001-2004, she was a manager with Deloitte.


Ms. Dorrington also sits as the Chair for the Black Business Initiative, serves as Treasurer of Techsploration (an organization that works to promote young women in non-traditional roles in trades and technologies), and is an elected member (and currently chair) of the National Board of Directors for the Certified Management Accountants of Canada. She formerly served as a member on the Mount Saint Vincent University Board of Governors and as Treasurer of the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce. Ms. Dorrington completed a Bachelor of Commerce and an MBA from St. Mary’s University, and holds CMA, CHRP and CMC designations.




Dr. Sebastian Fischmeister, University of Waterloo

Sebastian Fischmeister received the Dipl.-Ing. degree in Computer Science at the Vienna University of Technology, Austria, in March 2000, and his Ph.D. degree in Computer Science at the University of Salzburg, Austria in December 2002. He continued working at the University of Salzburg as researcher and lecturer and was awarded the Austrian APART stipend in 2005. He subsequently worked at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, as Post Graduate Research Associate until 2008. Sebastian Fischmeister is currently Associate Professor at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Waterloo, Canada.


Sebastian Fischmeister performs systems research at the intersection of software technology, distributed systems, and formal methods. His preferred application area includes distributed real-time embedded systems in the domain of automotive systems, avionics, and medical devices. Key highlights of his research include a framework for scalable location-based pervasive computing systems and tree communication schedules for verifiable but flexible real-time communication. A slightly modified version of his real-time communication framework has been used for the plug-and-play demonstration of medical devices and to promote the ASTM F29.21 standard. He is now working on (a) information extraction of time-sensitive systems, (b) using data analytics of extracted information for system validation and security, (c) runtime monitoring of safety-critical systems, and (d) reliable and robust performance evaluation of embedded systems


Dr. Peter Frise, University of Windsor

Dr. Peter Frise is affiliated to Mechanical, Automotive & Materials Engineering, University of Windsor. Dr. Frise’s research interests include mechanical design & packaging studies, plastic molding technologies & machinery troubleshooting, fatigue of large welded structures, development, management and governance of R&D programs.


Dr. Peter Frise was previously the Scientific Director and Chief Executive Officer of AUTO21, a federal Network of Centres of Excellence, and the Executive Director of Automotive Research and Studies at the University of Windsor. Prior to this, Dr. Frise was a professor in mechanical design as well as the Daimler Chrysler Canada/NSERC Senior Industrial Research Chair in Mechanical Design at the University of Windsor. He has also held the position of Associate Professor in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University, in Ottawa. Dr. Frise has also served on the Council for Professional Engineers Ontario and was appointed to the NRC Council in 2006.

Dr. Saeid Habibi, McMaster University

Professor Saeid Habibi is a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at McMaster University. Dr. Habibi joined the university in 2006 and previously worked at the University of Saskatchewan. He obtained his PhD in Control Engineering from the University of Cambridge in the United Kingdom.


Dr. Habibi’s academic background includes research in intelligent control, state and parameter estimation, fault diagnosis and prediction, variable structure systems, actuation systems, mechatronics and fluid power. Application areas for his research have included automotive, aerospace, water distribution and robotics. He has developed his own strategy related to estimation and fault detection referred to as the Variable Structure Filter.


Dr. Habibi is also the Industrial Research Chair in Hybrid/Electric Vehicle program – a collaboration between Ford Canada and NSERC.

Ben Hoffman, CEO of Movimento (APTIV)


Ben Hoffman stands at the forefront of one of the fastest moving technology trends in automotive: vehicle software management, connectivity and automated driving. A customer-focused business leader with deep technical expertise, Ben has championed connected car technology for over a decade, growing Movimento from an entrepreneurial start-up to a successful global automotive supplier that was acquired by Delphi in January 2017.  Today Ben is responsible for setting the Movimento vision and strategic direction. He has a solid reputation for creating customer value by empowering people at all levels of the organization and is respected for his intrinsic understanding of the complex market dynamics of cutting-edge vehicle technology.

Ben holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from Kettering University (General Motors Institute) and has 20+ years of varied experience at companies throughout the automotive value chain including Roush and Bosch.


John Jullens, Partner, PwC Strategy&


John Jullens is a Partner at PwC Strategy& with more than twenty-five years of management consulting and automotive industry experience in North America, Europe, and Asia.  He specializes in developing growth strategies, including brand management, customer strategies, globalization, and M&A.  He led the firm’s automotive practice in Greater China from 2010 to 2015 and is currently the firm’s automotive sector leader in the U.S. as well as a member of the leadership team of PwC’s Growth Markets Centre in Singapore.


John blogs at and is a columnist for Strategy & Business (“Global Perspective”).  In addition, he is a regular contributor to such leading business publications as CEIBS Business Review, China Daily, Financial Times, Forbes, Harvard Business Review, and the Wall Street Journal.


Keith Loo, Chief Revenue Officer, CTO Boost


Keith Loo’s passion is to empower businesses to reach their full potential. Keith has over 20 years of sales and marketing experience ranging from startups to global enterprises with a focus on business transformation. For the past 6 years, he was the Open Source Lead for Microsoft Canada, where he built and led Microsoft’s Open Source business.


In his current role, as Chief Revenue Officer at CTO Boost, Keith continues to do what he loves: stimulating companies and industry leaders to excel with data-driven innovation. He also an Entrepreneur in Residence at Haltech Regional Innovation Center and works with Startup Grind Toronto advising high potential tech startups on business strategy and go-to-market plans.

Previously, he has also served MDS Sciex, IBM, Palm, Apple, Genesis Microchip, Logitech, GTAA, STMicroelectronics, and other reputable firms. Keith has a background in Engineering, an English degree from the University of Waterloo, and a MBA in Marketing and Strategy from the Schulich School of Business.

Dunstan Peter

Dunstan Peter is an energetic and determined entrepreneur who is the founder and CEO of several companies, including his first – Trinity Tech Inc.  He founded Trinity in 2009 to provide quality management, light assembly and software support to the automotive sector.  Since its establishment, Trinity has become best known as the automotive industry SWAT team on quality assurance issues related to software and electronics engineering, recent technology testing, Launch & GP12 support, and more. With Dunstan’s leadership, Trinity currently services more than 225 automotive companies across North America, including international heavy weights such as Ford, GM, Continental, and Johnson Controls from its Canadian, US and Mexican offices.

Dunstan has an electrical engineering degree from Western University, coupled with an applied degree from Fanshawe College in process control, robotics and electronics and an MBA from Queens University.

Jean-Christophe Petkovich, CTO, Acerta


Jean-Christophe Petkovich is the CTO and co-founder of Acerta Analytics Solutions. He is a Ph.D. in computer engineering at the real-time embedded software group at the University of Waterloo. He has over 8 years of experience in data analysis, pattern recognition, statistical modeling, and machine learning. His extensive experience includes working for leaders in the transportation industry, including QNX and Bombardier, where he wrote software for safety-critical systems.

Mark Radhakrishnan, President, Strata Insights

Mark is a brand and business strategist who combines behavioural science, econometrics, and finance to formulate transformational strategies. He holds an MBA, a Masters of Marketing, and a Bachelor of Commerce. He has guided numerous companies through start-up, growth, restructuring, and divestiture phases across nearly a dozen sectors. Previously, Mark was the North American Director of Strategy at Brand Finance and was instrumental in exceeding organizational growth objectives by 250%. Making the North American division, the fastest growing and most valuable in the company.


As a co-founder of Strata Insights, Mark has co-developed the Strata Insights Brand Economics model. He used this model successfully to develop positioning and partnership strategies to accelerate a 120-year- old Fortune 500 business, shifting their business model to leverage the digital economy. He was instrumental in redefining Cirque du Soleil’s strategic partnership program; identifying how Cirque could protect and grow its brand while investing in the right partnerships. Mark’s work was used to identify the points of leverage for future negotiations for the Cirque brand.  Mark has also co-led the update of the Global Commerce Strategy (GCS) for Global Affairs Canada (formerly Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada and DFAIT) on how to position Canada as a global leader in business and innovation.


Rob Soja, Business Development Lead, EY Canada


For the past 15 years, Rob has lead Business Development functions across some of Canada’s most iconic companies.  At Brookfield, Rob was responsible for leading the growth of a global real estate services business that digitally transformed the property valuation industry.  At SAP Canada, Rob covered some of Canada’s global leaders in contract manufacturing and energy services.  At EY, Rob covers a global tier one automotive supplier, a major telecommunications operator and a large Canadian retailer.


AJ Tibando, Project Lead, Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship


AJ Tibando, is a Fellow and Project Lead at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship. She was most recently the co-founder and CEO of SoJo, a social enterprise that delivers entrepreneurship training and skills development to youth, and has served in senior leadership positions with the Government of Ontario.