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Symposium: Quebec's economic prosperity

HEC Montréal

Monday 28 May 2018
From 8AM To 1PM

Event organized in collaboration with



This symposium was designed to stimulate reflection on Quebec's prosperity with an emphasis on some key themes: human capital, business, and the labour market.

Pierre Cléroux

Pierre Cléroux was appointed Vice President, Research and Chief Economist at BDC in 2012.

Pierre leads a team of experts who analyze economic data to identify business and sector trends impacting Canadian entrepreneurs. A seasoned speaker, he regularly travels across the country to help business owners understand the risks and opportunities presented by the economic environment.

Mr. Cléroux is also responsible for providing economic analysis and advice to the Bank’s senior management team, and supervises all marketing and industry research activities.

Over his 25-year career as an economist, he has held several influential positions that had a direct impact on entrepreneurs in Canada and abroad.

Before joining BDC, Pierre worked for the Government of Saudi Arabia as Vice President, Business Analysis in the National Industry Clusters Development Program. His role was to create program strategies, define sector policies and conduct financial and economic analyses of industrial projects.

Previously, Mr. Cléroux was the Quebec Assistant Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Innovation and Export Trade, responsible for the implementation of economic policies and programs to support small and medium-sized businesses and encourage entrepreneurship. He was also a strategic advisor for Montreal International, where he was responsible for attracting foreign investment from India and the Middle East, and developing international relationships and partnerships. He worked for 12 years at the Canadian Federation of Independent Business in various roles, including economist and Quebec Vice President.

He holds a Bachelor of Arts and a master’s degree in Economics from Laval University, as well as an MBA from the MIT Sloan School of Management.

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Guy Cormier

Guy Cormier has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Desjardins Group since April 2016. He is a graduate of École des Hautes Études commerciales (HEC), where he earned both a Bachelor of Business Administration and an MBA, as well as teaching finance for eight years. Mr. Cormier has been with Desjardins since 1992, and was General Manager of several caisses in the network. He was Vice-President of Cooperative Network Finance from 2009 to 2012, before being appointed Vice-President of Cooperative Network, in 2012, and then Senior Vice-President of Cooperative Network and Personal Services in 2013.

Mr. Cormier has always encouraged audacity, agility and innovation to improve the experience of members and clients. Under his leadership, new innovative technology-focused service centres were launched, earning several awards internationally.

He is actively involved in a number of community organizations.

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Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin

A CIRANO Researcher and Fellow since 2003, Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin has been President and Chief Executive Officer of CIRANO since 2016, has been leading the Baromètre CIRANO project on risk perception in Quebec, which annually collects data on Quebecers' concerns on 47 social issues since 2011, is responsible of the CIRANO Pole on the Socio-economic Impacts of Digital Intelligence and Main Researcher of the theme Innovation and Digital Transformation. Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin is Full Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Industrial Engineering at Polytechnique Montréal. She is also a Visiting Scientist at Harvard T. Chan School of Public Health and an associate researcher at the Institute for Data Valorization (IVADO).

Holding a Ph.D. in Management Science (in risks and insurance management) from École normale supérieure de Cachan, her research interests focus on risk management and decision-making in different risks and uncertainty contexts as well as public policies. Her research combines economic analysis, cost-benefit analysis, survey data analysis, and more recently massive unstructured data analysis.

In 2008 she created the RISQH network to raise awareness and share experiences on risks management, and patient safety and quality of care in health care facilities.

She participated in the creation of the Montreal Declaration for a Responsible Development of AI.

She is also co-PI of the "Monitoring and Surveys" function at the International Observatory on the Societal Impacts of AI and Digital Technology.

She has published numerous scientific articles, several books and more than 30 reports for government and other organizations. She has given more than a hundred conferences and is regularly solicited to speak in the media.

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François Delorme

François teaches in the Department of Economics at the University of Sherbrooke and is CEO of François Delorme Consultation Inc. His areas of interest are macroeconomics, public finance and environmental economics. As a consultant, he works with many industrial clusters in Quebec as well as with several community groups, providing economic analysis and strategic advice.

He is also a research professional at the University of Sherbrooke's Chair in Taxation where he works with Professor Luc Godbout on public finance issues for Quebec and Canada. He is particularly interested in the economic conditions of the middle class and inequalities.

He was Chief Economist at Industry Canada and was a senior public servant for some twenty years at the federal Department of Finance. François has also served as a senior economist at the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. He was also a researcher at the Economic Council of Canada while teaching economics at the University of Ottawa.

He has published numerous scientific and popular articles. He was President of the Association des économistes québécois in 2011. He was a permanent member of the Public Policy Committee of this association until August 2017.  Since October 2015, he has been a member of the first Scientific Committee of Experts set up by PricewaterhouseCoopers.

François is a frequent contributor to the print media as well as to RDI Économie. In 2013 and 2014, he held a weekly economic popularization column on Radio- Canada radio.  In February 2014, he published, along with economic journalist Gérald Fillion (Radio-Canada), an economic popularization book entitled "Vos questions sur l'économie : 75 questions, 75 réponses" published by Éditions La Presse.

In December 2015, he signed with Professor Marina Adshade of the University of British Columbia a French adaptation of the book "Dollars and sex: How Economics Influences Sex and Love" at Presses de l'Université Laval (PUL).

In April 2016, he published again with the economic journalist Gérald Fillion (Radio- Canada), a book entitled "L'économie, c'est pas compliqué" with Éditions La Presse.

In May 2016, he contributed to PUL's collective work "Maximizing Quebec's Economic Potential", which brings together the thoughts of many other Quebec economists including Jean-Pierre Aubry, Jean-Michel Cousineau, Pierre Fortin and Luc Godbout.

In May 2017, he joined the Dialogues for a Green Canada scientific coalition, led by Professor Catherine Potvin of McGill University, a national network of more than 80 academics who volunteer their time to identify positive solutions to mitigate climate change.

In July 2017, he was recruited as an expert by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) under the auspices of the United Nations to participate in the assessment and analysis of modeling strategies that serve as the basis for the annual report of the comprehensive assessments of the state of scientific, technical, and socio-economic knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts, and mitigation strategies.

In October 2017, he joined the World Wealth and Income Database (WID.world) team of researchers, led by Thomas Piketty.  The WID.world is the global database on wealth and income and aims to provide open and convenient access to the largest database currently available on the historical evolution of the global distribution of wealth, both within and across countries.

He is also a member of the Social Economy Initiative Leadership Council at McGill University and serves on the Board of Directors of the Society for Arts and Technology (SAT).

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Benoit Dostie

A CIRANO Researcher and Fellow since 2001, responsible of the CIRANO Pole on the Socio-economic Impacts of Digital Intelligence and Main Researcher of the theme Innovation and Digital Transformation, Benoit Dostie is Full Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at HEC Montréal and Academic Director of the Centre interuniversitaire québécois de statistiques sociales (CIQSS).

He also holds the Power Corporation of Canada Chair in Labour Relations, Compensation and Benefits.

Holding a Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University, his research interests are labour economics and applied econometrics.

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François Dupuis

François Dupuis holds a master's degree in economics and an honours degree in economics from the Université de Montréal. In the fall of 2010, Mr. Dupuis was honoured as a graduate emeritus.

Mr. Dupuis began his career at Desjardins in 1988. Since 2006, he has been Vice President and Chief Economist of Desjardins Group's Economic Studies. He has also worked as an economic journalist and as an economic advisor in the cooperation office of the Canadian Embassy in Niger. Mr. Dupuis was the President of the Association des économistes québécois for the years 2011-2012. Mr. Dupuis is also a member of the Bank of Canada's Quebec Panel, an advisory committee, and of the National Statistics Council of Canada. In this capacity, he advises Statistics Canada's senior management on the directions and strategies of this organization.
Mr. Dupuis plans the work program of Economic Studies. He directs the research, analysis and forecasting work. He supervises the production of economic periodicals for the Desjardins network and its target clientele, as well as for the media. His duties also include sitting on several financial committees. Finally, he is responsible for defining and defending Desjardins' positions on economic matters, and he acts as Desjardins' spokesperson on economic news and major issues affecting the economy and financial markets.

Mr. Dupuis developed the Desjardins Leading Index (DLI), a composite indicator that forecasts the evolution of the Quebec economy three to six months in advance. His work on coins and banknotes in Canada helped guide the federal government towards the need to stop issuing the penny in Canada.

In 2014, his team topped the international rankings compiled by the financial news agency Bloomberg by making the most accurate forecasts for a basket of ten different currencies.

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Pierre Fortin

Pierre Fortin is Professor Emeritus of Economics at the École des sciences de la gestion of the Université du Québec à Montréal, a Fellow of the C.D. Howe Institute, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and former President of the Canadian Economics Association.

His research interests include economic growth and fluctuations, monetary and fiscal policy, social policy and public finance.

He was a member of the Committee of Economic Advisors to the Minister of Finance of Canada and Senior Economic Advisor to the Premier of Quebec. He has chaired government working groups on business investment, income security and the agri-food industry.

He has received the Governor General's Gold Medal, the Association canadienne-française pour l'avancement des sciences award, the Douglas Purvis Memorial Award (for best publication in the field of economic policy in Canada), and four times the National Magazine Awards Foundation Gold Medal (for best regular column in a Canadian magazine). He is Commander of the Order of Montreal and Knight of the Order of Quebec.

He holds an M.Sc. in Mathematics from the Université de Montréal and a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Michel Patry

A CIRANO Researcher and Fellow since 1994, Michel Patry is Emeritus Professor at HEC Montréal. He is also President and CEO of the HEC Montréal Foundation.

Holding a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of British Columbia, he is an expert in the economics of organizations and regulation.

Previously, he was Director of HEC Montréal (from September 2006 to June 2019) and Full Professor in the Department of Applied Economics at HEC Montréal. He has also held various administrative positions at HEC Montréal, including Associate Director – Academic Affairs and Strategic Planning, Director of the Doctoral Program and Director of Research. He was also President and CEO of CIRANO.

He has served as an administrator for a large number of Canadian and international organizations, including HEC Montréal, the Université de Montréal, the Bureau de coopération interuniversitaire, the Conseil du Patronat du Québec, the Conseil des relations internationales de Montréal, the Revue Gestion, the European Foundation for Management Development, the Global Foundation for Management Education, and the Canadian Federation of Business School Deans. He currently chairs the Advisory Committee of the École des dirigeants de HEC Montréal and sits on the advisory boards of the EFMD North American Advisory Board and AUDENCIA (Nantes and Paris).

He was also a member of the Campaign Cabinet of Centraide of Greater Montreal in 2011 and 2012, as well as a member of the Quebec Advisory Board of TALISMAN (2011-2013) and of the Association of MBAs (2008-2014); and a member of the Boards of Directors of Collège André-Grasset (2009-2014), Finance Montréal (2010-2013), Cirano (2001-2006), AACSB International (2009-2015), CEFRIO (2007-2009) and ACFAS (2002-2005).

He has published over a hundred research papers of a scientific and professional nature.

He has also acted as a consultant to numerous private and public organizations.

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Alain Robichaud

Alain Robichaud is a partner in the Consulting group of PwC working in the Montréal office. He specializes in strategic management, with a focus on organizational and cultural transformation, strategic planning, organizational design and change management in IT reorganization. He advises clients from various industries, including information technology and telecommunications, media and communications, financial services, public and semi-public, on organizational change, human potential evolution and strategic planning.

Alain has more than 20 years of experience in the management consulting field. He holds a Master’s degree in Management from HEC Montréal and a Bachelor’s degree in Finance, and is also pursuing a PhD in Human Sciences from Université de Montréal. He taught management at HEC Montréal, Université Laval and Université de Sherbrooke for more than seven years.

Alain is the vice president of the board of directors of the International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA).

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8:00 - 8:30
Welcome, registration and networking coffee
8:30 - 8:40
Opening remarks
8:40 - 9:00
Nathalie de Marcellis-Warin, Alain Robichaud
9:00 - 9:45
From yesterday to tomorrow: reflections on Quebec and prosperity
Guy Cormier
9:45 - 10:30
Employment in the context of digital transformation
10:30 - 10:45
10:45 - 11:30
The contribution of SMEs to economic growth
Pierre Cléroux
11:30 - 12:15
In education, it's time to try something big
Pierre Fortin
12:15 - 13:00
François Dupuis, François Delorme
13:00 - 13:00
Closing remarks
Alain Robichaud


3000 Chemin de la Côte-Sainte-Catherine, Montréal, QC H3T 2A7, Canada