We're about Trust

The key word that comes up again and again at CESSE is trust.  Our community members meet through our hallmark events, and continue the conversations well beyond.  Whether you are looking for a sounding board to help you work through a challenge, tips and advice on industry practices, or referrals to other people who have a solution you can use, CESSE is here to be, or become, your professional network of choice.

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SEEKER Session Thought Leaders

SEEKER Session - What is it?

SEEK stands for Science, Engineering, Excellence and Knowledge. CESSE is bringing thought leaders (in some cases nationally recognized speakers) with BIG ideas that have BROAD implications to challenge, energize and inspire you during ACCESSE17.

SEEKER Session - One Step at a Time 
Jeff Adams, Paralympian, World-Champion and Entrepreneur

Wednesday, July 26th - QCC Room 200A
8:30 am - 10:00 am
Jeff Adams, a five-time Paralympian and six-time World Champion in wheelchair sports is living proof that focus, determination and spirit are the keys to achieving “gold medal” dreams. Transitioning from sport to business, Jeff founded Marvel Wheelchairs and Icon Wheelchairs, and is now the Executive Director of ArtsGames Foundation. Combining his understanding of life’s challenges with his experience as a world-class athlete, Jeff synthesizes his experiences that show us how the path to success is often the same, regardless of the goal that is pursued.

SEEKER Session - From Video Games to the Willy Wonka of Quebec City

Brown, owner and CEO, Chocolats Favoris 

Wednesday, July 26th - Palais Montcalm
1:30 pm - 3:00 pm
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What do video games and chocolate have to do with reinvention? And better yet, how do they relate to managing engineering and scientific associations? SEEKER Session speaker, Dominique Brown will take us on his journey of developing a successful video game company, his leap to a completely different industry and path to take an established chocolatier into a new direction.

Dominique Brown
owner and CEO of Chocolats Favoris, always believed in Québec City’s strong business potential. Over the years, Dominique accumulated numerous awards and in 2011, he acquired Chocolaterie de l’Île d’Orléans and discovered a new-found passion: chocolate. With grand ambitions, he acquired Chocolats Favoris in 2012—with the goal of becoming the global leader in chocolate. Over the years, he has consistently communicated this bold vision and is focused on developing Chocolats Favoris, already a success story in Québec, through innovation and constant growth. His ultimate goal? Conquering the world!

SEEKER Session - Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, Scientist and STEM evangelist

Thursday, July 27th - QCC Room 200A
8:30 am 

Imagine the world without science and engineering. No cell phones, no refrigerators, no cars, no electricity, no antibiotics and many other everyday technologies we take for granted would not exist. These advances would not be our reality if it weren't for the efforts of scientists and engineers who were curious enough to experiment and willing to take risks to invent and create. 

At the root of all scientific and engineering societies is the desire to discover and advance the world we live in. Science and engineering have shaped our past and will become even more important to our future. How can we as leaders of scientific and engineering associations help attract, better prepare, support and inspire STEM professionals? Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, research scientist and STEM evangelist, will share her insights and challenge us to reinvent our organizations.

Ainissa G. Ramirez, Ph.D. is a science evangelist who is passionate about getting the general public excited about science. She focuses her energies on making science 
fun, and gave an impassioned called to action at TED on the importance of understanding science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM), which generated widespread enthusiasm. 

Before taking on the call to improve the public’s understanding of science, she was an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science at Yale University.  Technology Review, the magazine of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), named her as one of the world’s 100 Top Young Innovators for her contributions to transforming technology.  
Dr. Ramirez received her training in materials science and engineering from Brown University (Sc.B.) and Stanford University (Ph.D.). Prior to being on the faculty at Yale, she was a research scientist at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, in Murray Hill, New Jersey where she did award-winning research. She has authored more than 50 technical papers, holds six patents, and has presented her work worldwide. 


SEEKER Session - Creating More Meadows Through People-Powered Innovation

Robin Chase, Founder and Former CEO of Zipcar, Buzzcar and GoLoco; Executive Chairman, Veniam Works and Author

Thursday, July 27th - QCC Room 200A
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
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How does the global reinvention surrounding us impact our organizations? In her SEEKER Session, Creating More Meadows through People-Powered Innovation, Robin Chase will make that connection and show that by enabling creative thinking and knowledge sharing—inspiring a culture of intrapreneurship; fostering experimentation; and reducing the costs to innovate—leaders empower their
teams to achieve the seemingly impossible.

Robin Chase is a transportation entrepreneur. She is co-founder and former CEO of Zipcar, the largest carsharing
company in the world; as well as co-founder and board member of
Veniam, a vehicle communications company building the networking fabric for the Internet of Moving Things. Her recent book is Peers Inc: How People and Platforms are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism. Her current passion is working with cities to maximize the transformation possible with the introduction of self-driving cars.

She sits on the Boards of Veniam, the World Resources Institute, and Tucows, and serves on the USDOT’s Advisory
Committee on Automated Transportation, the Dutch multinational DSM’s Sustainability Advisory Board, as well as advisor to the French National Digital Agency. In the past, she served on the board of the Massachusetts Department of
Transportation, the National Advisory Council for Innovation & Entrepreneurship for the US Department of Commerce, the
Intelligent Transportations Systems Program Advisory Committee for the US Department of Transportation, the OECD’s International Transport Forum Advisory Board, the Massachusetts Governor’s Transportation Transition Working Group, and Boston Mayor’s Wireless Task Force.

Robin lectures widely, has been frequently featured in the major media, and has received many awards in the areas of
innovation, design, and environment, including Time 100 Most Influential People, Fast Company Fast 50 Innovators, and BusinessWeek Top 10 Designers. Robin graduated from Wellesley College and MIT's Sloan School of Management, was a Harvard University Loeb Fellow,
and received an honorary Doctorate of Design from the Illinois Institute of Technology.