Sarah Baldeo

Sarah Baldeo

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Neuroscientist, Technologist, Corporate Strategist, and Entrepreneur

Sarah Baldeo is an experienced neuroscientist, technologist, corporate strategist and entrepreneur, closing in on 20 years of leadership experience. She has successfully founded and exited two consulting firms, while helping three companies IPO.

Most recently a Partner at CGI, specializing in Innovation Technology, Sarah worked as part of the leadership team to consult with clients on innovation, technology and specializing in digital and cloud transformation. CGI is among the largest IT and business consulting services firms in the world, recognized by Forbes in 2022 as one of the World’s Best Consulting Firms. A winner of the 2023 Global Business Elites Top 40 Under 40 Awards, Sarah is committed to sharing her knowledge and inspiring leaders to practice integrity and accountability.

Sarah is currently CEO at IDQ Advisory Group, a boutique IT firm founded in 2010, and has held senior executive roles at Canada News Wire, Ceridian, FinancialForce, TransparentBusiness, Insurance Search Bureau, and Deloitte Canada. Sarah holds an Executive MBA via University of Toronto, a neuroscience degree from York University, and certifications from Princeton, Ryerson, and University of Illinois.

Sarah served as Chair for the Professional Background Screening Association and was an anchor member for the Canadian Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She also worked with the RBC Initiative, Women in Identity as a member was part of the University of California Advisory Board for Leadership. Presently Sarah is a mentor via Women’s Infrastructure Network, on the CivicAction ELN Executive Committee, on the Advisory Board for Napice, a learning platform for engineers, and most recently was appointed to the Cyber Security Global Alliance Board of Directors and Senior Advisory Council.

You can find Sarah speaking at events like TED Conferences, ELEVATE Festival, CBC News, Build a Dream, Gaming Security Professionals of Canada, FEM for STEM, GirlStrong, Powerful Women in Cyber, WomenTech Global, Women in Cyber, Women Enterprise Organizations of Canada, Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, University of Calgary Haskayne Business School and guest lecturing at University of Toronto Rotman Business School. With a strong creative side, Sarah has acted on Netflix, Amazon Prime, Fox, and appeared in national tv commercials for Autotrader and other large brands like BNN Bloomberg. A born and raised Torontonian, she is devoted to helping improve accessibility and equity within the global economy, and was nominated for the 2023 WXN Canadian DEI Awards, a winner of the 2021 University of Toronto Rotman Social Impact Award and is a 2021 WomenTech Global Award Finalist. Most recently, Sarah was nominated for the DMZ 2024 Woman of the Year.

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Speaking topics

AI 101: Neural networks, machine learning, generative, neuromorphic engineering

An overview of AI – neural networks, machine learning, generative AI, neuromorphic engineering – what does it all mean, how does it work? And most important, what does it mean for your industry. This talk focuses on demystifying AI and the complex lexicon for any audience, whether they have a tech background or not.

Outcomes:

  • Understanding AI
  • AI and applications in the client industry
  • Resources and learning tools to practice AI in real time

Key Takeaways:

  1. AI is not new, it’s been around since 1956
  2. AI lexicon can feel confusing but there is a 4-pronged approach to understanding how it works and how it can work to make your life easier and more productive
  3. Tools to use and practice AI with for anyone with any background

Business transformation and the impact of change on your brain

The 5th Industrial revolution is here – RPA, digitalization, and AI are driving the pace of change forward at rates previously unseen. Across industry lines business transformation has taken hold and within the workforce definitive lines have formed – those who can adapt and those who are struggling with adjustment. The best digital transformation plans have a structure that encapsulates Business Structure,
Processes, Operations, IT, Security, and People – unfortunately most DX plans evaluate decisions segregated from the workforce impact. This presentation will focus on the neuroscience of change and how understanding these impacts can help you form a better Business Transformation Plan.

Outcomes:

  • Effective Change Management Practices
  • Understanding the physiology of change on the brain
  • How to bring your team on the transformation journey

Key Takeaways

  1. The 5 th industrial revolution: AI, Blockchain, Robotics – what this means for the workforce
  2. The neuroscience of change – the prefrontal cortex, the hippocampus, the amygdala all work together to tie decision making, memory and emotion together
  3. We are wired to experience change as negative as a result of how new neural synapses formulate – make change a part of your process consistently and your teams will react positively
  4. Positive reinforcement and behavioural conditioning can minimize negative impacts to your teams

Ageism and AI: How technology can drive inclusivity for all ages

Modernization and transformation are two key buzz words that have been en vogue long before Covid-19. As we consider artificial intelligence, neural networks, robotic process automation and deep learning – how do the approaches, methodologies, applications and solutions that we design created and launched in an inclusive way? Technology is often designed to automate – but user experiences can sometimes fall short of being accessible to users of all age groups. Beyond ageism in applications – we can also reflect upon how to adjust our organizational change management strategies to avoid using exclusionary jargon, or leverages lexicons that make it even more difficult for all age groups to participate in change.

Outcomes:

  • How to structure your organizational change in a way that includes users of all ages
  • Terms in AI and digital transformation that may be unfamiliar
  • Approaches to creating solutions that are accessible for all age groups

Key Takeaways:

  1. Accessibility and inclusive strategies to ensure digital transformation includes age groups across the board
  2. Different archetypes we can use in the framework for change that are designed for Gen X
  3. How Gen Z, Gen Y, Gen X all have similarities in processing change
  4. Generative design and advanced personalization – what do these concepts mean in UX Design and why do they matter in battling ageism

Investing in Digital Transformation on any budget

Most businesses consider AI an expense that will be far too exorbitant for them to actually implement unless they have a $100k plus budget. The perception of AI and Machine Learning are that often they are cost prohibitive for small to medium businesses – and beyond this, that the ROI for non-tech businesses is quite low. Once entrepreneurs have made the commitment to invest in AI and ML they often seek guidance on where to invest their funds, the timing of the investment, and what pricing models exist in the market.

Outcomes: This presentation will focus on devising a budget plan to effectively utilize a realistic budget for AI for entrepreneurs. Subscription models and implementation costs for AI tools will be reviewed, as well as key questions to ask service providers during the pricing discussion. Often AI service providers do not disclose the long-term costs of AI tools – the session will also provide an overview of key questions to ask before signing a contract. Lastly, we will go through the exercise of which investments have the highest ROI for small businesses, the fastest.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Review the 7 elements of a business that are most impacted by AI
  2. Talk about Return on Investment and reasonable timelines for AI to start generating profit
  3. Allocation of a theoretical $1000 budget

Introducing Agile Methodology into any organization

Many companies make a decision to pivot from one technology framework to another without understanding that Agile is not one size fit’s all. This presentation will focus on providing insights around Kanban, scrum, agile, waterfall, ITIL and illustrate that organizational structures need to be matched and aligned with the right technology approaches. The presentation will provide use cases, examples and specific tools for:

  1. Determining your organization’s culture and tech alignment
  2. Introducing tools across the organization to ensure successful and lasting tech evolution

Outcomes: Public versus private sector organizations have different regulatory compliance needs. These requirements directly influence selecting a tech protocol that aligns with Operations, HR, Delivery, and IT. C-suite executives need to be aligned across the value chain in order to ensure effective implementation of ANY restructuring to a tech stack approach.

Key Takeaways:

  1. Agile works perfectly for companies with a bias for action and a low need for stringent documentation
  2. ITIL often suits public sector organizations best as moving to quickly between iterations of a technology makes documentation and compliance difficult

Mindful DEI: Why humans are naturally biased

This presentation will share crucial insights on understanding why human beings are inherently biased based on the neuroscience and engineering of our minds. The focus will be on providing tactical strategies for creating diversity in a mindful and meaningful manner in an executive network. Sarah Baldeo will cover power and influence theory, attribution bias, and themes centralized around both science and psychology of how we can program ourselves to build new neural networks in our minds that help us to be more successful in any project.

Outcomes:

  • Understanding power dynamics in a network and how to build diversity in a deliberate manner
  • Teaching the audience how to create a “network map” and identifying areas for inclusion
  • Illustrating life examples from Sarah’s own experience pivoting from being a neuroscientist to a corporate technologist

Key Takeaways:

  1. Survival mechanisms engineered human beings to consider anything different from ourselves as a “threat”
  2. There are specific tools we can leverage today to evaluate our decision making as it pertains to network building

The Metaverse: Understanding augmented reality and virtual reality for any environment

The Metaverse is a big audacious and fascinating topic for manner. This presentation will unpack the topic of metaverse and explain in relatable terms how augmented reality and virtual reality can change any element of our lives, how metaverse will impact how we work and entertain ourselves and lastly how society can be positively impacted by metaverse experiences. Most of the fears around metaverse include concerns about people limiting real life interaction or the threats of surveillance/lack of controls on identity authentication behind avatars. Sarah Baldeo will walk the audience through a down-to-earth explanation of where metaverse tech stands today, how it’s changing lives through psychology and accessibility use cases, and where metaverse is headed.

Outcomes:

  • The audience will understand how the metaverse is built, where it is built and how people can interact with the metaverse and each other
  • Explanation of key terms: blockchain, interoperability, ZKPs
  • Overview of current and future use cases for metaverse

Video clips

Sarah Baldeo - Keynote Speaker Reel

TED Talk

Sarah Baldeo - The Next Frontier of Human Connection Keynote

Sarah Baldeo - Keynote Speaker | So what is the Metaverse?

Speaker testimonials

Sarah was committed to delivering an informative and engaging presentation. She made AI accessible for our audience, equipped them with practical knowledge, and brought humor to her inspiring keynote. Engaging & Fun!

Chamber of Commerce

For any organization seeking a dynamic and engaging speaker, Sarah Baldeo is a perfect option. The energy and enthusiasm Sarah has for her subjects is palpable.

Prophix Software

Sarah’s expertise and ability to grab the attention of her audience ensured that her keynote was valuable and relatable for our team. We’ll be using her insights in our work for the future!

CIHI

Sarah was an incredible keynote speaker and she set the perfect tone for us to launch our new initiatives! There was lots of buzz around the office on using the tools she talked about.

Fullscript

Sarah’s values and her authentic connection with our team, shone through in the e-learning videos we created. Sarah not only related to the script but also shared her own real-life experiences

Sunil Dial

Sarah has been a phenomenal speaker and facilitator for AWE. Over the past 3 years she’s worked with us to developed our Learning and Development tools on Artificial Intelligence

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs

Sarah provided us with valuable data resulting from a thorough tech and digital audit service, resulting in enhanced systems performance and increased team synergy!

Vantage Enterprises

Sarah has been an exceptional speaker at two Precise Park Link events over 2022 and 2023. Her intelligence shines through in her insightful presentations, keeping the audience engaged and eager to learn

Precise Park Link

Sarah’s presentation at our Parents & Caregivers as Partners Conference was informative, simplified, and clear. It was a pleasure to work with her!

Toronto District School Board

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