Délégation-Conférence d’étude du Commonwealth du duc d’Édimbourg 2023

12 June 2023

Sherbrooke Innopole Welcomes Delegation of Emerging Leaders from Several Commonwealth Nations

PRESS RELEASELast Friday, some 20 of the most promising young leaders from the Commonwealth of Nations visited Sherbrooke Innopole as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conference, taking place in Canada from June 3 to 18, 2023.

This international conference has been held since 1956 and gathers over 300 participants with the objective of exposing them to new experiences and diverse perspectives on global issues to strengthen their leadership capacity and improve future decision-making.

Following the Opening Plenary events in Banff under the theme of Engaged Leadership for Inclusive Change, the leaders were divided into study groups reflecting the multinational and multisectoral nature of the conference.

Forming one of these 15 study groups across Canada, the delegates who visited Sherbrooke are from businesses, governments, unions, and community sectors of Barbados, India, Kenya, Malaysia, Nigeria, New Zealand, Pakistan, the United Kingdom, Rwanda, Samoa, Tanzania, Zimbabwe, and Canada.

While visiting Sherbrooke Innopole’s offices, the group focused on learning more about the mission and actions of the paramunicipal economic development organization, which is dedicated to the industrial and technological sectors.

“We chose to visit Sherbrooke Innopole so the participants, who all come from Commonwealth countries, could further study the synergy between the municipality and the ecosystem that supports the development of local businesses and the region. We also wanted to understand the process that the organization uses to identify flagship sectors, as well as to draw inspiration from the concrete actions and successes in providing support in the field,” said Eric Labelle, Regional Co-Chair of Quebec, Duke of Edinburgh’s Commonwealth Study Conference.

“The meeting allowed us to forge new international ties, share our expertise, and discuss topics of common interest in economic development,” explained Sylvain Durocher, Executive Director of Sherbrooke Innopole. “We actually had the opportunity to retrace some of Sherbrooke’s manufacturing history and later its transition to a knowledge economy, with the support of our two universities, up to its recent designation of Quantum Innovation Zone. Moreover, we got to discuss the innovation and collaboration ecosystem that Sherbrooke has established to support entrepreneurship, attraction, and businesses growth.”

Deputy Mayor Raïs Kibonge also participated in welcoming the delegation stating, “Sherbrooke has become more open to the world than ever before. By hosting this delegation and presenting our economic strengths, we are ensuring that our city can expand its reach and forge international links.

After these eight days of immersive visits to the provinces and territories, the conference participants are soon to meet in Montreal for a Closing Plenary event, during which each group will present a report on what they have learned.

List of delegates hosted by Sherbrooke Innopole
(Québec 1 Study Group)

  • Asif Raza Dawar, Project Manager, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, Pakistan
  • Ankar Dhillon, GM – Energy and Utilities, Suncor, Canada
  • Srividhya Ganapathy, Co-chairperson, CRIB Foundation, Malaysia
  • Aaron Hape, Consulting Lead for Māori Economic Development, PwC New Zealand, New Zealand
  • Franco Sebastian Kiswaga, Resident Magistrate In charge at Kivukoni Resident Magistrate Court, Judiciary of Tanzania, Tanzania
  • Crystal Ann Klippenstein, Communications Coordinator, UFCW Local 832, Canada
  • Tonya Alicia Millar, Operations Officer (Analyst), Caribbean Development Bank, Barbados
  • Emmanuel Oduor Odhiambo, Program Manager, Simba Corporation Foundation Limited, Kenya
  • Iriho Ingrid Ruhindana, Executive Assistant to the High Commissioner, Rwanda High Commission in London, Rwanda
  • Nishant Sharma, Franchise Director – South Asia & ASEAN, Smith & Nephew Healthcare SDN BHD, India
  • Sizwile Sibindi, Head of Operations and Risk, Financing Alliance for Health, Zimbabwe
  • Nua Theresa Su’a Vaai, Ms, SAMOA PURE WATER, Samoa
  • Rose Thomson, Head of Performance & Delivery, UK Government Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), United Kingdom
  • Somani Tripti, CEO, KGS, India
  • Annika Van Roy, Director, Strategic Initiatives, Ministry of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation (BC), Canada
  • Lewis Wilson, Director, Essentially Human, United Kingdom


About Sherbrooke Innopole

Sherbrooke Innopole is the paramunicipal economic development organization for the industrial and high-value-added services sector. Its mission is to accelerate the development of companies from the five key sectors – Advanced Manufacturing, Information and Quantum Technologies, Cleantech, Life Sciences and Micro-Nanotechnologies – and ensure that Sherbrooke has an attractive and innovative business environment. It is mainly financed by the City of Sherbrooke through the Bureau de coordination du développement économique. 

Source: Sherbrooke Innopole

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Sherbrooke Innopole’s mandate ends on March 31, 2024. We invite you to contact Entreprendre Sherbrooke or the Service du développement économique of the Ville de Sherbrooke for further services.
Thank you to all Sherbrooke industrial and technological businesses, as well as to all our partners for the trust granted since 2009!