Main Content

22nd Annual Rotman Lifelong Learning Conference for Leaders: Creative Minds and Inspiring Ideas: New Approaches to Unlocking Business Opportunities - Session 1

9:00am sharp to 10:00am EDT livestream

Event Details


Date: Friday May 28, 2021 | 09:00 AM - 10:00 AM
Speaker(s): Natalie Nixon, Creativity Strategist & President, Figure 8 Thinking, LLC; Author

In Conversation with: Erica Ehm, CEO & Founder, Ehm & Co and

Opening and Closing Remarks: Kenneth S. Corts, Interim Dean; Academic Director, Lee-Chin Institute, Marcel Desautels Chair in Entrepreneurship; Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy, Rotman School of Management
Topic: "The Creativity Leap: Unleash Curiosity, Improvisation, and Intuition at Work" (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, June 23 2020)

Online. Links to all three livestreams are included in your confirmation email and recordings will be accessible until June 25.

Location: Online
Cost: $99 + HST per person. Includes 3 livestream links and 3 books from the 3 conference sessions, shipped to customers after the June 11th session. Plus a 1 year digital subscription to "Rotman Management" magazine ($49 value).
Register Now

Please note: The stated registration fee for this event only applies to customers residing in Canada and the U.S.A. If you are registering for this livestream from outside of these countries, please contact regarding your registration as shipping fees vary depending on your location. 


The Annual Rotman Lifelong Learning Conference for Leaders returns with a three-part event series that will highlight how creativity, curiosity and passion can provide transformative professional insights. What habits can we develop to grow our creative muscles? What can the music industry teach us about reinvention and experimentation? Why are the world’s greatest minds often considered misfits and rebels?

Ideal for business, government and academic leaders, this series will combine real world case studies and practical advice from experts to explore how anyone can use their imagination to advance their career goals. 

Please note: This event is part of a three-part conference/event series. You must register for all 3 sessions. We will leave all 3 livestream links accessible until June 25. 

Information on the other 2 sessions:

June 4, 2021,  9-10am EDT


Speaker: Craig Wright, Henry L. and Lucy G. Moses Professor Emeritus of Music, Yale University; Guggenheim Fellow; Author


Topic: The Hidden Habits of Genius: Beyond Talent, IQ, and Grit—Unlocking the Secrets of Greatness (Dey Street Books, October 6, 2020)

More Info

June 11, 2021, 9-10am EDT

Speakers: R. Michael Hendrix, Partner & Global Design Director, IDEO; Co-Author

Panos A. Panay, Senior Vice President for Global Strategy & Innovation, Berklee College of Music; Fellow, MIT Connection Science; Founder, Sonicbids; Author 

Topic: Two Beats Ahead: What Musical Minds Teach us about Innovation (PublicAffairs, April 6 2021) More Info

For more information on the other two events in this conference, please visit their individual event pages. You can register for all three by clicking the “Register Now” button on any of the event pages.


More about this session with Natalie Nixon on her book The Creativity Leap: Unleash Curiosity, Improvisation, and Intuition at Work (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, June 23 2020):

Book Synopsis:
Too many people associate creativity solely with the arts, even though to be an incredible scientist, engineer, or entrepreneur requires immense creativity. And it's the key to developing breakthrough products and services. Natalie Nixon, a creativity strategist with a background in cultural anthropology, fashion, and service design, says that in the fourth industrial revolution a creativity leap is needed to bridge the gap that exists between the churn of work and the highly sought-after prize called innovation.

Nixon says that since humans are hardwired to be creative, it is a competency anyone can develop. She shows that it balances wonder (awe, audacity, and curiosity) with rigor (discipline, skill-building, and attention to detail), and that inquiry, improvisation, and intuition are the key practices that increase those capacities. Drawing on interviews with fifty-six people from diverse backgrounds--farming, law, plumbing, architecture, perfumery, medicine, education, technology, and more--she offers illuminating examples of how creativity manifests in every kind of work.

Combining creativity tools and techniques with real-world stories of innovative people and businesses, this book is a provocation, an inspiration, and an invitation to unleash the innate creativity that lies within each of us. It offers a more dynamic and integrative way to adapt and innovate, one that allows us the freedom to access our full human selves.

About Our Speakers:

Natalie Nixon is a creativity strategist and president of Figure 8 Thinking. She advises and emboldens leaders to transform their businesses through creativity and foresight. She is a regular contributor to Inc. and the editor of Strategic Design Thinking. She is a global speaker whose roster includes TEDxPhiladelphia, Cusp conference, the Business Innovation Factory, SEB Group, 360 Possibles, CreativeMornings, the Copenhagen Institute of Interactive Design, the European Innovation Academy, and the Mayo Clinic's Transform conference. Nixon holds a PhD in design management, an MS in global textile marketing, and a BA (cum laude) in anthropology and Africana studies.

Erica Ehm: Drawing on fifteen years of experience as CEO, and decades as an iconic television personality, Erica has earned a reputation as a trailblazer, innovator and creator. 
As founder and CEO of and Ehm & Co, Erica has extensive experience creating content and community. Under her leadership, Ehm & Co has partnered with some of the world’s top brands to create memorable digital marketing campaigns. Her collaborations with research scientists to mobilize knowledge earned her a Governor General’s Innovation nomination.

Under Erica’s leadership, both companies together have earned a dozen prestigious marketing and publishing awards

Reinvention of the VJ, a new podcast hosted and produced by Erica, is consistently a Top 10 Performing Arts podcast. 

Questions:, Megan Murphy

Never miss an event
Sign up for upcoming events notifications ยป

Cancellation Policy

Cancellations received in writing to 24 hours prior to the event will receive a refund less a $10 administration fee per person. If we do not receive written notice of your cancellation, you will be charged the full amount for this session. Substitutions are always welcome.

Rotman's Event Privacy Policy

We adhere to both FIPPA and CASL. Read our Event Privacy Statement for details.