December 7 - 9, 2021

Dessalen Wood

Chief People Officer Thoughtexchange

Dessalen Wood, CHRP, is an innovative HR executive, seasoned speaker, and coach. She specializes in passionately leading Learning and Development and Human Resources teams at some of North America’s most-respected organizations. Dessalen has over 20 years of experience in national corporations such as Reitman’s Canada, Hudson’s Bay Company, The Children’s Place and The Disney Stores. In 2019 she left her role as Vice President, Talent Development at Cineplex Entertainment to join Thoughtexchange in the newly created role of Chief People Officer.


Throughout her career, Dessalen has coached senior leaders and built teams from the ground up, in addition to designing and delivering multiple original programs. The results have been engaging corporate cultures and high performing leaders at all levels.

Day One

Tuesday, December 8th, 2020

12:00 PM Shift Happens

No matter how prepared you think you are, or how many off sites and meetings your organization spends curating well thought out strategies - in the end - s**t that you didn’t plan for becomes a reality. The year 2020 was a year of the unexpected, the dreaded, and the surprising. The result of this much disruption in such a short period of time was the rise of several key shifts in the way we approach work, shifts that would likely, in any other time period, take years to take hold. Some of these shifts include:

  • From Certain to Uncertain
  • From Company centric to Employee centric
  • From Sick days to Wellness
  • From Equal to Equitable
  • From Control to Trust
  • From Experts to Crowds

These shifts have a momentum of their own, a forward motion that is powerful enough to induce lasting change. 

Join Dessalen Wood, Chief People Officer at Thoughtexchange, to discuss how these shifts are impacting how we approach the workplace of the future. We will dig into the implications of these shifts, and how leaning into these new work paradigms can turn these outdated caterpillars of our past into the butterflies of our future.