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United around the globe to foster international trade and the advancement of women in business.

Covid-19: A Call for Digital Transformation

  • Thursday, September 17, 2020
  • 1:00 PM
  • 16


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Join OWIT-Toronto on September 17, 2020 at 1 pm EST in this complimentary virtual event which will bring together industry thought leaders and technology subject-matter experts for sharing knowledge, delivering expert insights and exhilarating discussions on innovative solutions to embrace digital transition. 

There is no proven road map available for dealing with a global humanitarian crisis the scale of COVID-19. However, globally, technology decision makers in every organization have already made significant choices to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis with speed to maximize the safety of employees and ensuring continuity of business.

Gradually, as the pandemic begins to evolve, they will have to transition into the next two phases: Recover – during which an organization learns and emerges stronger from its response; and Thrive – in which the organization prepares for and shapes the “next normal.”

Jumpstart the recovery to ensure scalability

Given the complexity of the pandemic, there is reason to believe that the recovery phase for COVID-19 will require unprecedented levels of orchestration, communication, and changing of existing configurations during what promises to be a challenging and potentially protracted period across the globe. 

Stabilize business operations for future readiness and resilience

The world will ultimately reopen for business. When that happens, the quick fixes and patchwork solutions adopted during the response phase may not stand up to rigorous testing. The focus at this stage will be on stabilizing and strengthening many of the solutions and processes rushed into place, by being more thoughtful and strategic about their deployment, developing the support infrastructure around them, and fully understanding the impact they will have across their organizations and partner networks.

Specifically, entrepreneurs will need to:

  • Enhance digital innovations and presence
  • Post-modernize customer support operations
  • Build a trusted technology ecosystem
  • Scale automation pilots
  • Create a resilient IT architecture
  • Keep an eye on their assets
  • Get to know their people, inside and out

Speakers and the Moderator


Karima-Catherine (KC) Goundiam is the founder and CEO of, a membership-based business matchmaking platform launched in 2020 where small and medium enterprises can connect in order to outsource, scale, network and find clients. KC is also the founder and CEO of Red Dot Digital, which she launched in 2014 to bring her forward- thinking, data-driven approach to the world of digital strategy and management consulting. KC has 20 years of international integrated campaign and project management experience. Before starting her businesses, she managed digital and social media for Deloitte Canada and its global team. She also directed social media for Ford. In spring 2020, KC was invited to join Ontario’s Comité de travail de relance économique, a working group that aims to advise Ontario and federal ministers on economic relaunch in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2019, KC founded Tech Advocates Canada, part of the Global Tech Advocates network. In 2018, KC became VP of the British Canadian Chamber of Trade and Commerce. That same year, she received the JoAnna Townsend Excellence Award from the Organization of Women in International Trade (OWIT).


Charlotta’s industry focus is technology, finance, healthcare and Cyber Security companies with insights on growing their businesses by improving the inventory of diverse resources with focus on profitability, casting a wider net, ensuring the best and brightest talent to give a company the best options. Her team provides diverse industry experience in supporting, deploying, launching and integrating solutions for both small-scale to large-scale global programs. As evaluated by Boardwise, Charlotta is considered an Advisory Expert, allowing her to bring deep domain expertise to any board and apply creative problem solving to get things done. Charlotta’s extensive background in consulting for Fortune 500 companies and government agencies provides her a platform to advise companies on hiring the appropriate resources to move the company forward. Charlotta earned a B.S. in Computer Science from Southern University. She has recently been recognized by the Silicon Valley Business Journal as a Women of Influence and by both the San Francisco Business Times and Silicon Valley Business Journal as a Top Minority Owned Business and Top Woman Owned Business.


CEO of the multi-award-winning Canadian jewellery manufacturing company, Best Bargains, and recipient of OWIT's 2012 Woman Exporter of the Year award. Using her wide skill set, Anita has worked with over 50 not-for-profit organizations in her capacity as a consultant to the Canada Council for the Arts and Cultural Pluralism in the Arts Movement Ontario. Anita's passion for community engagement led her to run as both a provincial and a federal candidate in 2007 and 2008, respectively, for the New Democratic Party of Canada. Anita is a B.Sc. in human biology from the University of Toronto, a post graduate diploma in E-commerce from Centennial College and an MA in social anthropology from Carleton University in Ottawa. In May 2014, Anita was a Canadian delegate as part of a delegation to Italy by invitation of the Italian Trade Commission.


Named Entrepreneur of the Year by Technically DC and acknowledged as A Rising Brand Star by Adweek, Shelly is a ‘’A Whole New Mind’’- a Serial Entrepreneur & Computer Scientist with a background in performance poetry, K-12 Education and IP Strategy. Her organization, Black Girl Ventures (BGV) is a social enterprise that creates access to social and financial capital for Black/Brown women founders. BGV travels the country with a disruptive pitch competition that shifts the power dynamics in funding by combining crowdfunding and pitching. A cultural translator, she connects entrepreneurs, investors, and corporations in order to diversify their talent pipeline, increase equity and grow their brands. has been featured in Forbes, Politico Live, The Washington Business Journal, NewsOne, The Afro, and People of Color in Tech. Shelly has trained over 5,000 entrepreneurs, held over 300 events for empowering leaders, managed multi- million-dollar contracts, and scaled over 100 businesses. She has been awarded ‘Entrepreneur of the Year, Technically DC Minority Female Professional of the Year, U.S. Minority Chamber of Commerce’ and ‘The Spectrum Circle Award for Innovative Women in Business, Spectrum Circle’.

Moderator: Stephanie Dei – National Coordinator – Canada, WE EMPOWER

Stephanie works for UN Women as the National Coordinator in Canada for the WE EMPOWER programme encouraging deeper action in the private and public sector to advance women’s economic empowerment in Canada. She is the Non-Executive Director at global frontier markets risk firm DaMina Advisors and Vice President, Finance for the Board of Organization of Women in International Trade - Toronto Chapter. Stephanie holds a BA Honors in Political Science and Law from Carleton University, Canada, and a MA in International Studies and Diplomacy from SOAS, University of London.


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