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Wilfrid Laurier University Human Resources
June 30, 2016
Canadian Excellence


Opening Keynote Speaker

Date: Wednesday June 22, 2016
Time: 8:45am-10:45am
Location: Senate and Board Chamber

Russ Schoen

Keynote Presentation: Upshift into your Creative Zone!

Have you ever felt stuck on a project or thought you were in a creative rut?

Have you ever wondered why some individuals and teams consistently produce creative results while others don’t?

Do you wish you had some tangible thinking tools and strategies to enhance your creative output on demand?

If so, then this highly interactive keynote is for you. During this session, you will be introduced to the mindset and a deliberate toolset that helps creativity and innovation thrive in the workplace.

Using a combination of interactive exercises and stories, you will be introduced to a simple common language and process that will help you think differently and generate fresh ideas quickly. In addition, you will have the opportunity to gain insights into your own unique creativity style and learn to “upshift” to produce more creative ideas on demand. Most importantly, you will walk away from this session armed with a couple of deliberate thinking strategies and tools, such as assumption reversal and POINt, that you can apply immediately to your context.


Russ Schoen works as a facilitator, speaker and trainer in the areas of deliberate creativity,
innovation, high performance and change leadership. He has facilitated innovation programs
worldwide including programs in Singapore, Italy, Australia, England, India, New Zealand,
South Africa and the US.

Russ is a contributing author to a number of creative leadership related materials including the
FourSight and Ingenious Thinking suite of materials. In addition, Russ is an adjunct faculty at the
International Center for Studies in Creativity ( where he teaches
graduate courses in facilitating creative process and an adjunct faculty at the Center for Creative
Leadership (

Russ holds a Master of Science in Creativity from the State University of New York at Buffalo
and is a graduate of the Second City Conservatory specializing in improvisation. He is a
specialist in the field of individual, team and organizational innovation and leadership and holds
certifications in a number of additional training programs including Polarity Management and
Emotional Intelligence. Russ also serves as a leader at the annual Creative Problem Solving
Institute, the annual Creativity European Association conference in Italy and the Mindcamp
Creativity Conference in Toronto.

In addition to his work with organizations, Russ is a co-founder of the Creative Youth
Leadership Academy ( which helps train young people to
adopt a mindset and apply a toolset to help them see more options in their lives and to make
healthier choices.