Merger of the Century
Why Canada and America Should Become One Country
As an award-winning journalist, broadcaster, and author, Diane Francis has ready access to the corridors of power and titans of business. As a result, she uses her unique perspective and global platform to dismantle corruption, navigate disruptive technologies, and champion more effective innovation policies. With steely determination and robust pragmatism, she shows us how we can build a world-class venture capital infrastructure into the economy—and win, no matter how chaotic the market.
Diane Francis is an expert on Silicon Valley, future technology, geopolitics, the Ukraine-Russia conflict, Putin, energy, business, and white collar crime. Provocative, challenging, and no-holds-barred, she has earned an international reputation as an investigative journalist, trusted for writing about the personalities, trends, and finances shaping our future. Francis is the Editor-at-Large for The National Post and the author of ten bestselling books, including her latest, Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country. She writes for media such as The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Daily Beast, and Politico, and is a regular contributor to The New York Post, The Guardian and The Huffington Post. Today, her popular Twitter feed on tech and corruption has more than 200,000 followers around the world.
Francis is Adjunct Faculty at Singularity University, a Silicon Valley business incubator that offers educational programs, and a Distinguished Professor at Ted Rogers School of Management. A Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council in Washington, DC, Francis also sits on the boards of the Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative and the Canada-US Law Institute. She is a lifelong technology activist who has organized major conferences on biotech and business, and the impact of future technologies, even raising $1 million in corporate sponsorships for Singularity University’s first Canada Summit. Francis is also a member of Abundance360, an exclusive group of 250 entrepreneurs created by Silicon Valley influencer and space pioneer Peter Diamandis.
Previously, Francis was Editor of Canada’s Financial Post, where she was the first woman editor of a national daily newspaper in Canada. Today, in addition to her writing and various projects, she is completing a screenplay for a major motion picture with Hollywood producers—an original concept unlike other science fiction films in production. Her seventh book, Bre-X: The World’s Biggest Gold Swindle, is also being adapted as a film project.
“Your comments, insights, and perspectives on the electricity industry as well as the global economy were certainly thought provoking and enjoyed by all who attended. We have received a great deal of positive feedback from those who attended. We found your delivery to be very entertaining and your candor was appreciated.”Ontario Hydro
“Refreshing insightful and a delight to listen. I am honored to have the experience of listening and participating. Very dynamic speaker, great global perspective.”Canadian Marketing Association
“Your knowledge and perspective helped to make the conference informative, interactive and entertaining. With your help, we set a new standard of excellence for this major conference.”British Columbia Tourism Industry Conference
“Diane's speech was very well received by our management team. Her breadth of knowledge on many subjects was appreciated and her honest perspective was refreshing.”C-Mac Industries
“The anecdotal feedback we have received so far indicates that your speech was the highlight of the Convention. We appreciate all the effort that went into preparing and presenting your session.”Ontario Nursing Home Association
“Our membership thought you were the best!”Canadian Association of Insurance and Financial Ad
“I would like to extend our sincere thanks for the tremendous contribution that you made to our session. The feedback we’ve received to date suggests that this was one of our best seminars yet and your after luncheon speech was the highlight of the day.”Honeywell Limited
“Thank you very much for being our keynote speaker at our Halifax, Ottawa, and Calgary Financial Solutions Shows. You were an excellent draw and the crowd seemed very inspired by your educational outlook on the future of the markets.”National Event Management
We’re living in an era of dramatic deflation, says Diane Francis. Technologies have driven down the price of goods and services across every industry. A simple GPS system cost $150,000 20 years ago—now it’s a $10 chip in your $700 iPhone. Scores of other formerly expensive technologies have undergone similar price compression. Services are being made redundant—newspapers, libraries, schools, hotels, and taxis have all fallen prey to digital disruption. Now, algorithms write news stories; AI performs legal research; robots dominate manufacturing; driverless cars threaten to slash 12 percent of jobs. Meanwhile, governments haven’t caught on. They’re printing money to generate inflation, and failing. Corporations are hoarding cash, and interest rates are plummeting. In such a chaotic market, what company survives?
The answer? Yours. In this talk, Francis introduces us to the organizations that are thriving in the age of compression. They’re called ‘exponential organizations’ (a term coined by Singularity University co-founder Salim Ismail), and they’re leveraging new media in ways traditional industries cannot. To survive the digital economy, Francis says, corporations and workers must reinvent themselves. And this keynote, full of cautionary tales and pragmatic strategies, will not only help your company stay afloat, but prosper in the era of disruption and deflation.
The world’s now-globalized financial architecture is dangerously unregulated. Dirty capital flows through tax havens, secrecy havens, complicit banks, and money laundries, damaging nations both rich and poor. In developing nations, this “hot” money jumps offshore, markets crash, and mass emigration ensues; in developed countries, it clogs up real-estate markets (Toronto and Vancouver markets are up 14 and 30 percent, respectively, in the last year alone) and pushes locals out. Cybercrime, too, has taken off—email scams, identity theft, and online crime hubs like Silk Road are just the start.
Diane Francis is the author of three books on white collar crime, and specializes in fraud, money laundering, and the illicit transfer of funds worldwide. She is a Senior Fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Eurasian section, where she focuses on Putin, Russian oligarchs, and Ukraine’s struggles against corruption. In this eye-opening talk, Francis shines a light on corruption the world over, and calls for governments to “act in concert to bring about transparency, criminalization and information sharing.”
Canada and the United States are sibling nations and, along with Mexico, have been involved in NAFTA since 1994. The three form a symbiotic economic and social relationship that is frayed and uncertain. What does the short term future look like for Canada and the US, whose socio-economic interdependence is among the most intense in the world? What is the future of NAFTA, based on who controls the Presidency and Congress? Moreover, what is the impact of technology, harmful global trade, illicit financial flows, real estate bubbles caused by foreign money laundering, employment, educational systems, deflation, Putin, the EU's challenges, Brexit, China's slowdown and the pushback toward global trade in general?
Diane Francis draws upon her knowledge, writings and relationships concerning geopolitics, business, white collar crime and technology to present the scenarios, warnings, trends and solutions for corporate and individual audiences.