TBLP017 | Julia Deans: Build Your Network

Julia Deans is the CEO of Futurpreneur Canada, a national non-profit organization that has helped almost 10,000 Canadians aged 18-39 launch start-ups with business coaching, financing, mentoring and other resources.

Julia started her career as a lawyer with Torys LLP in Toronto and Hong Kong, before creating a successful legal recruitment business in Singapore.

From 2005 to 2012, she was CEO of CivicAction, a cross-sector leadership coalition that has successfully tackled major social, economic and environmental challenges in the Toronto region. In 2012, she chaired Ontario’s Expert Roundtable on Immigration, helping develop the province’s first-ever immigration strategy.

Julia is a director of George Brown College and of Investeco, and a trustee of the Canada Post Community Foundation. She is past Chair of IWF Canada’s Toronto Chapter, a former board member of Luminato and the Living City Foundation, and a past advisor to organizations including Artscape, the Mowat Centre for Policy Innovation and the Hague Process on Refugees and Migration. She has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women (2014) and as a Woman of Influence Canadian Diversity Champion (2012), and has received the University of Toronto’s Arbor Award.

Julia is a graduate of Queen’s University, Columbia University and Osgoode Hall Law School, and has received executive education at Harvard Business School. She is qualified to practice law in Ontario, the United Kingdom and Hong Kong.

What You Will Learn From This Episode

  • What she learned starting a business in Singapore
  • Leading not-for-profit organisations CivicAction and Ontario’s Expert Roundtable for Immigration
  • How she recruited John Tory to be the chair for CivicActionand recruiting John Tory to be on the board
  • How to diversify your board and get more women on it
  • Learn to build your network to help you become a great leader


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