Our Founder and CEO, Dr. Sherry Shannon-Vanstone, joined Sean Weisbrot, host of the We Live to Build podcast, to talk about her previous career in cryptography, her new role encouraging women in business, and the power of female investors.
How to Effectively Communicate and Match Research Funding Opportunities – February 22, 2022 12:00 noon
Missed the event? You can listen to the recording of this webinar as well as view previous Profound Insights events by visiting us at demo.profoundimpact.com/profound-insights.
Join special guests Jonathan Newman, Vice President of Research, and Shawna Reibling, Knowledge Mobilization Officer at Wilfrid Laurier University, along with Rob Darling, Strategic Advisor at Profound Impact for insights on research matching and communication challenges between universities, research organizations and funding bodies.
Profound Impact, in partnership with Wilfrid Laurier University’s Office of Research Services unit, recently set out to better understand how Research Services Offices (RSO) across Canada communicate funding opportunities, partnership opportunities, and research policies to faculty members and other university/research institute stakeholders. Profound Impact and Laurier partnered on a national survey in the 4th quarter of 2021 to gain a deeper understanding of how research service units and staff communicate funding opportunities and received 40 responses from over 23 universities and research institutions across Canada.
Led by moderator Sherryl Petricevic from Profound Impact, this Profound Insights webinar will discuss the findings of the survey and how to effectively communicate and match research funding opportunities, highlighting:
- How the survey was conducted, participation and methodology
- A discussion of the problems facing RSO staff to match funding opportunities with researchers and communicate with internal and external stakeholders
- Findings from the report and key takeaways
Webinar attendees will be provided with a copy of the final survey report.
Don’t forget to add this event to your calendar and visit https://demo.profoundimpact.com/#/profound-insights on the day of to access the webinar!
Forthlane Fridays Webinar – Canadian Contributions to a Cashless Society – October 29, 2021
Profound Impact’s Sherry Shannon-Vanstone joined panelists Alfred Menezes of the University of Waterloo and John Loeprich of 3iQ Corp to discuss Canadian contributions to a cashless society from both the macro and micro level that consumers do not often appreciate the importance of, including the technical side, energy and environmental implications.
If you missed the webinar, you can watch the recording here.
Here are the Key Takeaways from the webinar by Forthlane Partners.
The Cryptocurrency Landscape
- Regulators in Canada are playing an important role in helping Canada become a leader in transitioning to a cashless society.
- Since 3iQ Corp is the first company worldwide to receive regulatory approval for a prospectus product (the Bitcoin Fund) listed on a major stock exchange, it has made individuals a lot more comfortable. This has resulted in greater adoption in Canada.
- There has been significant portfolio adoption in the U.S., despite cryptocurrency being unregulated.
- Although cashless products are not a core-holding of any portfolios yet, we are seeing more comfort among a lot of institutional investors and hedge fund managers.
- Canada’s research and education organizations have enabled the commercialization of science. As a result, Canada has been a major contributor of information to the cryptocurrency industry.
- As a professor at Waterloo, Alfred Menezes has seen an increase in student interest in cryptography. As an example, a course Alfred teaches about cryptocurrency used to have enrollment of approximately 100 students but has now risen to over 275 students.
- The US government and MIT have partnered around digital currency. In Canada, this partnership would most likely be seen between the government and University of Waterloo.
- Waterloo has the largest research group in cryptography security. Waterloo has already launched the “Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute” with dozens of faculty members who are conducting research in this sector.
Cryptocurrency as the Reserve Currency of the World
- The early developers of Bitcoin and Ethereum comprised of a few anarchists and many strong libertarians. Overall, the founders tend to be very idealistic people. However, this idealistic perspective does not always align with the perspective of banks and nations.
- In principle, it would be wonderful if the world adopted one cryptocurrency, but in practice it is not realistic.
- On September 7, 2021, El Salvador adopted Bitcoin as a legal tender and was the first country to do so. It is not clear why and whether it will be a success. It will be interesting to see what comes of this decision over the next few months and if Canada should follow.
- Many countries are very against Bitcoin becoming the new world’s reserve currency. Since the U.S. dollar is the current world’s reserve currency, the U.S. does not want Bitcoin to replace it.
- Cryptography helps address big problems, including democratization of access, cost of financial services, a hedge on government, and physical mobility (during WW2, Gold was heavy and immobile, so diamonds were viewed as the “more mobile” product).
- Bitcoin and Ethereum have been wonderful experiments to explore what is envisioned, but there is a lot more to blockchain, with many applications outside of cryptocurrency.
- To push cryptography forward, more commercialization opportunities and conversations are needed.
- We need to continue to encourage research and start-ups, which encourage collaboration. The government is helping to support this as well as the private industry. Monetary investments are also important to support research.
Real World Applications of Cryptography
- Finance companies are implementing security tools, prediction markets, and smart contracts which can all be implemented very quickly.
- The Top 5 banks in Canada have not felt the need to innovate over the last several years. A simple example here is still needing to pay $40 for a wire transfer.
- De-centralized finance can put pressure on the banks to innovate. For example, this could help reduce wire transfer costs and reduce overnight wait time for wire transfers to clear. Transactions could be instant.
- In theory, de-centralization is nice, but in reality, it is quite hard to achieve.
- Bitcoin was intended to be de-centralized, but decisions are ultimately made by the miners, so are quite centralized.
There are only a handful of miners in the world, and most of these miners were all in China, until a few months ago. Over the last few months, there has been a crack-down on miners in China.
Celebrating Profound Impact Day 2021 – September 14, 2021
Profound Impact Day 2021 featured special guest speaker Dr. Feridun Hamdullahpur, former president at the University of Waterloo. A self-proclaimed lifelong learner, Feridun Hamdullahpur has been a powerful force in building the University of Waterloo’s reputation as a leader in innovation and academic excellence.
The May webinar’s discussion was about the future of work—lifelong learning and talent resilience—and showcased how the Profound Impact platform and digital communities can be used 1) by employees to connect and network with each other throughout their careers and 2) by employers to not only retain employees but also to increase their branding as a good place to be from.
Creating Community During a Pandemic
The second episode of Profound Insights, Realtime Pivot – Connecting the Dots for Multi-Faceted, Engaging Virtual Events at Scale presented a compelling case study on how the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo employed the Profound Impact platform to significantly increase interaction between the faculty and alumni, students and partners – all in the midst of a global pandemic.
The Faculty of Mathematics had developed key goals for engaging with alumni in 2020:
• Build a sense of community and connection amongst global alumni, faculty, students, and partners;
• Regain lost alumni;
• Build a community of support and encouragement among female-identifying alumni, current/future students, faculty and researchers.
Two strategic initiatives were planned to achieve those goals:
Waterloo Math Digital Community, with a planned launch date of September 14, 2020
WWIN – the Waterloo Women’s Impact Network, with a planned launch date of May 12, 2020.
In March, 2020, COVID-19 hit the world and the Faculty of Mathematics pivoted to achieve those goals by working with Profound Impact.
In the space of two weeks, the planned Waterloo-local launch activities scheduled for the May launch of WWIN was transformed to a day-long online event hosted on the beta version of the Waterloo Math Digital Community platform. This allowed for an expanded program to include speakers and attendees from around the world and hundreds of users engaging in a real-time trial of the platform.
Instead of attracting the anticipated 100 attendees for a locally-based, in-person WWIN event, use of the Waterloo Math Digital Community allowed over 400 alumni from around the world to participate in the day’s activities, with fewer than 1% experiencing technical issues with the platform.
This inaugural use of the Waterloo Math Digital Community allowed UW Math to understand how users were engaging and interacting with the system and provided feedback by 87% of respondents that they would be likely or very likely to use the platform over time to discover relationships and network with alumni, students, and faculty members.
The successful launch of WWIN in May inspired UW Math to employ the Waterloo Math Digital Community platform in June for a celebration of the Class of 2020. Adjustments were made and additional features were added based on the previous user experience. As a result, over 600 participants were able to safely celebrate their graduation in a year when all in-person convocations were cancelled.
UW Math has continued to successfully employ the Waterloo Math Digital Community to engage with alumni, faculty and partners with events on Profound Impact Day on September 14 and Black and Gold alumni day on September 26.
The community maintains engagement with global alumni through webinars and alumni events and has grown to include over 800 participants from around the world.
The Profound Impact platform has provided the Faculty of Mathematics with a branded hub for engagement with alumni from around the world, real time access to data and visualization maps, integration with YouTube/Twitter and Zoom, the ability to develop groups within the hub to build communities of interest and unparalleled privacy and security features. Most importantly, UW Math has created a global community of alumni who continue to engage with their alma mater and each other.
The COVID-19 pandemic has required event and meeting planners to shift from planning traditional in-person events to online virtual events. We have learned that virtual events are effective in presenting information and engaging with larger, geographically dispersed audiences and provide opportunities for follow-up communication to participants.
This webinar discusses how the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo is using the Profound Impact platform to strategically pivot from hosting in-person events to offering meaningful online experiences.
|Episode 1 — Connecting Forward: Leveraging your Institution’s Strategic Objectives to Drive Alumni Engagement|
Part One: November 24th, 2020
Part Two: December 15th, 2020
Profound Impact launched its new webinar series, Profound Insights, in November 2020 with a two-part case study on how Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics is working to successfully align its alumni engagement strategy with the overall institutional strategic plan using the Profound Impact platform. Perimeter Institute is a leading centre for scientific research, training, and educational outreach in foundational theoretical physics. Perimeter also trains the next generation of physicists through innovative programs and has a worldwide base of alumni and friends. Perimeter Institute is working to strategically engage those alumni and to explore Profound Impact as an effective tool to help them measure the collective impact of alumni on physics research.
The inaugural two episodes of Profound Insights featured participation by Perimeter Institute advancement, alumni and marketing staff and Profound Impact’s fundraising and alumni strategist, Barney Ellis-Perry. The Perimeter team worked with Barney through the process to draft goals and objectives with the institute’s Alumni Taskforce in order to align a new alumni and friends strategy with their overall strategic plan, to draft a strategy execution roadmap, and to map that roadmap against technology platforms.
Key to the success of Perimeter’s work was the institute’s use of Profound Impact’s Self-Assessment Tool, which enables organizations to evaluate and implement strategic drivers for constituent engagement. Identification of those drivers, combined with follow-up work with Barney Ellis-Perry, resulted in a strategy implementation road map and timeline. An integral element of that road map is use of the Profound Impact platform to engage with alumni and friends via targeted communications, connections and affinity groups, reunions, lifelong learning and events, and career support and mentoring.
Do your strategies for engaging with alumni align with your institution’s strategic plan? Do you have an implementation plan in place to effectively communicate with your alumni and provide new ways of digital engagement? You can access Profound Impact’s Self-Assessment tool at no charge and watch the two-part episode Connecting Forward: Leveraging your Institution’s Strategic Objectives to Drive Alumni Engagement.
And be sure to follow the Profound Insights webinar series for monthly episodes on topics of importance to academic, research and technology focused organizations.Webinar topics cover a wide range of subjects, all relating to practical tips and information about making connections with your stakeholders and facilitating engagement including proven methods to facilitate alumni and faculty engagement, how to share information while addressing privacy concerns, and success stories that show the impact of individuals and organizations on each other and on the world.
found Insights webinars are offered monthly on the last Tuesday of the month at 12 noon EST. Our next webinar on January 27th, 2021 will be a discussion and demonstration of how the Faculty of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo is using the Profound Impact platform to strategically pivot from hosting in-person events to offering meaningful online experiences. Please join us for Realtime Pivot and Connecting the Dots for Multifaceted, Engaging Virtual Events at Scale: A University of Waterloo Faculty of Mathematics Case Study, featuring Candace Harrington, Director of Advancement, Faculty of Mathematics, University of Waterloo.
In the second half of this two-part webinar series, learn how Perimeter Institute has worked with the Profound Impact team to refine their full strategy and create a vision for the path forward — by using the four key steps identified in Part One to align a new alumni and friends strategy with their overall strategic plan.
In the first episode of this two-part webinar series, learn how Perimeter Institute is strategically working to engage alumni, and explore a new tool to help them measure collective impact.
Profound Impact’s™ new webinar series, Profound Insights, offers interesting and timely information on topics of interest to academic, research and technology-focused organizations.
The platform provides a unique digital community that connects people to bring awareness of undiscovered relationships and to demonstrate their individual and collective profound impact.
Webinar topics cover a wide range of subjects, all relating to practical tips and information about making connections with your stakeholders and facilitating engagement. In particular, the webinars will cover topics such as proven methods to facilitate alumni and faculty engagement and how to share information while addressing privacy concerns, as well as real-life success stories that show the impact of individuals and organizations on each other and on the world.