Events: Event Registration Form


Re-positioning Alberta’s Leadership and Myth-busting

Event Date: Tuesday, Dec 5, 2017
Event Time: 7:00 AM to 9:30 AM
Venue(s): SAIT - MacDonald Hall (located in the Heritage Hall building)
Presenter(s): AL Duerr
Agenda: 7:00 - 7:30 AM: Registration/Networking
7:30 - 9:00 AM: Session
Corporate Sponsors:


As business leaders, we are in a time of sweeping change. Albertans are facing fundamental questions about our ability to sustain the quality of life we have come to expect. Leaders at all levels and from all walks are faced with seemingly insurmountable and often contradictory challenges. The barrage of economic, environmental, and regulatory changes facing both our core industries and small businesses have elevated risk, increased uncertainty, and added costs, all challenging the sustainability of operating in the same way as we always have. In many ways, the very essence of the Alberta Advantage is being called into question.

Do these challenges call for a retrenchment in leadership, regurgitating the old and familiar, or do they demand highly disruptive thinking around who we are as Albertans, what we stand for, and what we are prepared to do to forge a destiny built on hope, ambition, and promise? Businessman and former Mayor Al Duerr will help to frame the challenge facing Alberta, the need for a new narrative defining Alberta around which we can both better understand our situation and plan for the future, and the leadership challenge all of this presents.

Alberta business is at a crossroads. Over the past 50 years we have lived with a highly volatile economy, delivering both lofty highs and despairing lows. We have built our province and its institutions on what appeared to be well grounded principles that have become, in generally accepted nomenclature, the Alberta Advantage. Was the Alberta Advantage ever real, or just a comfortable myth? Through history myths have helped societies deal with complex existential issues. Business, government and our social and cultural institutions have all been shaped by myths. Myths support what people want to believe, shielding them from uncomfortable truths or unexplainable phenomena.

Al Duerr will set the stage by challenging the myth of the Alberta Advantage. He will explore how our acceptance of the myth of the Alberta Advantage has kept us from developing cogent, meaningful paths to sustained business prosperity. What do we need to do as Albertans to chart a new sustainable direction for our province’s businesses? Al Duerr will share insights on myths, and the lessons for leadership to create a compelling future. Challenging the Alberta Advantage or any myth involves highly disruptive thinking. In this session we will explore several key questions from a business perspective including:
  • What are the potential paths forward for Alberta business leaders?
  • How can we frame the issues and potentially challenge the status quo?
  • How can we help inform future leaders of the issues related to the Alberta Advantage and galvanize them into action if required?
  • Create constructive conversation around the notion of the Alberta Advantage?Please enter a description of the event.



Al Duerr is founder and CEO of General Magnetic International Inc., developing and manufacturing energy efficient and GHG reducing permanent magnet motor products for the energy industry. Prior to General Magnetic, Al was the CEO of a Swiss based international finance company.

Al also served as the Mayor of Calgary from 1989 to 2001, obtaining the highest public support in successive elections of any Mayor in Calgary’s history. His accomplishments included significant debt reduction, economic diversification, and securing new long term revenue sharing with the province. He championed the Mayor’s Task Force on Community and Family Violence, a community engagement that has evolved and continues to this day. He positioned Calgary as a dynamic and important center for innovation, trade and commerce.

Mr. Duerr also served two terms as Alderman for the City of Calgary while at the same time founding and leading a Canadian water and wastewater treatment company in Malaysia. Prior to serving on Council, he was a city planner for the City of Calgary and a district manager of an Alberta based land development company.

Mr. Duerr earned a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Urban Geography from the University of Saskatchewan and a Masters of Business Administration (Beta Gamma Sigma) from the Haskayne Business School at the University of Calgary. He holds an ICD.D, the professional director designation of the Institute of Corporate Directors. Mr. Duerr has been the recipient of numerous awards and recognitions including Rotary International’s Paul Harris Fellowship and the Chief David Crowchild Memorial Award for his work in building bridges between aboriginal and non-aboriginal cultures. He is married to wife Kit Chan and they have a son and daughter who are both engineers in the energy industry.


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SCHEDULE OF RATES - Today through to December 4, 2017

Registration Type Rate
Member Registration $0.00 CDN + NO TAX
Member Guest Registration $0.00 CDN + NO TAX
Corporate Sponsor Registration $0.00 CDN + NO TAX
Corporate Sponsor Guest Registration $0.00 CDN + NO TAX
Non-Member Registration $45.00 CDN + GST 5%