Cross-sector Leadership

(Multipurpose Room 0140 | 9:00am - 12:00pm)

Some of the most complex challenges facing Canadians today – like sustainable resource extraction, financial system stability, and extreme weather resiliency – can only be addressed by civil society working in partnership with government and business to develop sustainable solutions. Why? Because no single individual, organization, or sector has the capacity to resolve these issues on its own. Successful collaboration requires that we have the right type of leaders – leaders with broad perspectives to bridge and leverage the unique strengths of each sector’s culture, incentives, and resources.

In this session, Matthew Thomas and Connor Lyons will help students explore their cross-sector motivations and skillsets to enhance their ability solve problems, lead teams and achieve impact on cross-sector issues. In the process, students will determine how they can build a thoughtful career across sectors that enables them to address complex challenges and lead more innovatively.

By the end of this workshop, participants will have:

  • Developed an increased awareness of the concept of cross-sector leadership so they can identify when the practice should be applied;
  • Clarified their personal career motivations and explored the general purpose and trajectory of their cross-sector careers; and
  • Evaluated which transferable skills are their relative strengths and weaknesses, and determined the best path forward to develop priority skills. 


Founder and Managing Director, Prospect Madison

Matthew Thomas is the founder and managing director of Prospect Madison, a cross-sector leadership advisory firm aimed at enhancing collaboration across the business, government and non-profit sectors to address society’s most pressing issues. He is also a co-founder and faculty member of the flagship Presidio Institute Cross Sector Leadership Fellows program, which develops the capacity of high potential leaders in the United States each year.

Matthew chairs the boards of Young Canadians in Finance, Young Diplomats of Canada, and CanLeads – which are aimed at developing Canada’s next generation of leaders in finance, international affairs, and politics, respectively. He serves as a David Rockefeller Fellow of the Trilateral Commission, and is a member of the World Economic Forum and Banff Forum communities.

Matthew has published his work in the Harvard Business Review (“Triple Strength Leadership”), delivered remarks on to audiences at the White House, World Economic Forum, Corporate Executive Board and Maytree Foundation. Previously, Matthew served as the co-founder and executive director of the Intersector Project, a consultant with McKinsey & Company, an economist with the Department of Finance Canada, and an analyst with Morgan Stanley. He graduated with distinction from the Schulich School of Business at York University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration. You can reach him at @talktomatthew.


Associate, Prospect Madison

Connor Lyons is an Associate with Prospect Madison, where he is responsible for content creation, business development, and operational initiatives. Previously, Connor worked for an elected member of the Senate of Canada on policies related to the Banking, Trade, and Commerce Committee, Accenture Management Consulting in the financial services and utilities industries, and at the Commercial Trade Policy desk at Canada’s Embassy to the USA.

Connor is a Director of Young Diplomats of Canada, and has represented Canadian business and federal political interests in Indonesia, Malaysia, and at the APEC CEO and Leader’s Summit. Over the past few years, he was a Researcher for the InterSector Project, and developed delivered academic courses in Ethiopia, Ghana, and Haiti for the LEADER Project. Connor completed his senior thesis on the topic of cross-sector leadership while studying for concurrent Honours BA degrees in Business Administration from Ivey Business School and in Political Science from Western University, where he was Editor-in-Chief of the Ivey Business Review and President of the Ivey HBA Association.

View the Maytree Article "Five Good Ideas about Cross-Sector Leadership"