Caribbean-Canada Emerging Leaders’ Dialogue 2015 (CCELD)

Canada and the Caribbean region

September 20 - October 4, 2015


The Caribbean-Canada Emerging Leaders' Dialogue (CCELD) 2015 was the second Dialogue that partnered Canada with the Caribbean region and Bermuda to bring together communities and provide a diverse leadership learning experience. 59 high-calibre men and men from business, labour, government and civil society representing 13 Caribbean countries and four Canadian provinces completed 14 days of learning on October 4, 2015.

Under the theme, Leading Through Innovation and Transformation the participants explored important strategic areas of social inclusion, globalization vs. localization, ethics and good governance, integrating technology, collaborative leadership and embracing the lessons of failure.

In groups of 12, they then took part in two weeks of intense study tours to communities and workplaces in a total of five Canadian regions and five Caribbean countries. The Dialogue provided participants with a shared experience and interest in shaping the development of their sectors, nations and the region, as well as providing them with contact with experienced leaders and mentors from a variety of backgrounds. It gave them a significant and personal exposure to many people they are otherwise unlikely to connect with in ordinary circumstances.

Participants spent the last days of their experience in Kingston, Jamaica sharing the highlights of their learning with each other and CCELD President, Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, Princess Anne.

In their final presentations, participants highlighted the many complex issues facing the regions and countries they visited as well as the hard work being done by leaders and organizations to overcome those challenges.

Each study tour group remarked on the inspiration they came away with from all of their visits. An inspiration, they say, that will guide them as they strive to make a difference in their own workplaces and communities, into the future.

The Dialogue had the support of many private, public and not-for-profit organizations at the community, national and global level, including the support of Presenting Sponsor, Scotiabank.

Over 140 alumni volunteers working in 26 locations across two regions played significant roles to make this experience possible.

The pedigree of the CCELD is from its predecessor, the Duke of Edinburgh's Commonwealth Study Conference.The inaugural Commonwealth Study Conference was launched in 1956 with the purpose of providing an opportunity for up and coming leaders to examine the relationship between industry and community in real life setting and to be challenged on their assumptions and preconceived notions of what it takes to be a leader.

During the program participants received:

  • Strengthened leadership capacity enabling more sustainable companies, institutions and communities in Canada and the Caribbean.
  • Shared insights into governance, innovation, trade and economic development, health, education and social inclusion.
  • An expanded and enduring peer network that created bonds between Canada and the Caribbean which strengthened the economic, social and political spheres.
  • Participants developed peer-to-peer critical leadership competencies, including abilities to collaborate, integrate and think critically.
  • A profound personal experience which expanded the participants' knowledge of fundamental global and local issues and gave insight into the thinking of top leaders throughout both regions.

Theme: Leading Through Innovation and Transformation

Discussion Imperatives


Leadership abilities to be effective across various cultural contexts including national, ethnic, organisational, generational, ideological, etc.


A clear understanding of both international and local economies and cultures is essential to leadership in an increasingly interconnected and fast-changing world. How do leaders balance broad global thinking and local autonomy? How can local interests protect against the negative effects of globalisation and cultural homogenisation?


In an era of self-regulation and transparency, ethics and good governance are more vital than ever. Values drive successful people, organizations and communities. What are the values and beliefs that influence how you lead, your behaviour and your attitude? Do you hold yourself accountable to live your values every day? Does your organisation?


With the unstoppable pace of technological change, what do leaders and organisations need to become active and resilient contributors to our knowledge-based society? How can organisations avoid common pitfalls associated with integrating technology?


Regardless of how savvy a leader may be, he or she cannot transform an organisation or a team without the intelligence, resourcefulness and commitment of others through a shared vision and purpose. Collaborative leadership energises teams and unleashes creativity.


Moving away from a mindset of avoiding failure to one of acceptance and accountability brings breakthrough results. This topic includes the dual aspects of embracing failure: innovation comes from a willingness to take risks and accept the resulting failures; credibility and accountability require taking ownership of and responsibility for mistakes.

Steering Committee

Lisa Bell - National Export Import Bank of Jamaica, Jamaica
Cynthia Blackman - Sagicor Life Inc., Barbados
Stephanie Butt-Thibodeau - EDC, Canada
Anouk Colette - UFCW Canada, Quebec
Tara Cooper - Higgs & Johnson, Bahamas
Janet Johnson - Bahamas Ministry of Tourism, Bahamas
Dalia King - Firstline Securities Ltd., Trinidad & Tobago
Sandra MacDonald-Clahane - Nova Scotia Community College, Canada
Sandra Massiah - Public Services International, Barbados
Monique Mata - Columbus Communications, Trinidad and Tobago
Amada Mendez - Human Resources Professional, Dominican Republic
Duane Noel - National Insurance Scheme, Grenada
Kapil Uppal - Ontario Nurses' Association, Canada
Peter Xavier - Glencore, Canada

Management Team