Eric Geddes Lectures

The Geddes Lecture Series brings together leaders from the community with Alberta's world-class researchers to inspire and promote awareness and discussion on impactful and relevant business topics. 

Upcoming LectureS

Blissful City: A Data Discourse on Urban Happiness


What makes a city happy? And why does it matter? 

Urban happiness not only leads to an improved quality of life for its residents, but it also generates economic prosperity; a more dynamic and innovative workforce; an increase in attracting and retaining talent; and improves the reputation of the city, leading to an boost in cultural and social vibrancy, as well as an increase in tourism. 

Join the Alberta School of Business on Tuesday, February 13 at the Art Gallery of Alberta to hear from an eminent panel of guests, who will examine what a happy city looks like, why it matters, and how we can improve the cities that we call home. Tickets for the in-person event are $10, and include a reception following the panel discussion. This event will also be live streamed as a webinar. 

Dean Vikas Mehrotra will provide opening remarks and Janelle Janis, Executive Director of Event & Business Development at Explore Edmonton, will be moderating the discussion around urban happiness. She will be joined by Murtaza Haider, Toronto Metropolitan University Professor of Data Science and Real Estate Management; alumna Kalen Anderson, CEO of Urban Development Institute – Edmonton Metro; and David Dale Johnson, executive professor and the Stan Melton Chair in Real Estate at the Alberta School of Business

CPA Alberta proudly sponsors this event. 

In-person Program
6:30 p.m. Doors Open
7:00 p.m. Panel Discussion
8:15 p.m. Reception

Online Program
7:00 p.m. Webinar Starts
8:15 p.m. Webinar Ends

Register Today!




Murtaza Haider

Murtaza Haider is a professor of Data Science and Real Estate Management at Toronto Metropolitan University. He also serves as the research director of the Urban Analytics Institute. Professor Haider holds an adjunct professorship of Engineering at McGill University. In addition, he is a Director of Regionomics Inc., a boutique consulting firm specializing in the economics of cities and regions.

Dr. Haider is the author of Real Estate Markets: An Introduction (2020) and Getting Started with Data Science: Making Sense of Data with Analytics (2016).

Professor Haider’s research interests include business analytics, data science, housing market dynamics, transport/infrastructure/urban planning, and human development in Canada and South Asia.

Professor Haider is a syndicated columnist with Post Media. His weekly column on real estate markets appears nationally in The Financial Post and local newspapers including Ottawa Citizen, Vancouver Sun, Calgary Herald, Edmonton Sun, and Montreal Gazette. He also writes occasionally for The Globe and Mail and The Toronto Star.

Murtaza Haider holds a Masters in transport engineering and a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Toronto.


Janelle Janis, ‘10 BCom, ‘21 MBA

Janelle Janis is the Executive Director of Events & Business Development at Explore Edmonton, spearheading the attraction of major sport, culture, and business events to the city. A proud Edmontonian, Janelle's career is dedicated to shaping a prosperous future for the region and its people. Her love for Edmonton is the reason she attracts major events to the city - events that showcase Edmonton’s story to the world, strengthen its social fabric, and enhance its economic resilience. It is her mission to help transform Edmonton for the better - one event at a time.

Janelle's contributions to her city were acknowledged in Edify's Top 40 Under 40 Class of 2021, and as a strong believer in paying it forward, she actively serves on community and professional boards. She currently chairs the Norquest College 1000 Women Committee and holds a position on Sport Tourism Canada's board. Janelle holds a Bachelor of Commerce as an Academic All-Canadian while playing on the University of Alberta Varsity Soccer team and completed her MBA from the University of Alberta in 2021, underscoring her commitment to continuous learning. Beyond her role as a passionate city builder, Janelle finds her greatest joy as a mother to two young boys.



David Dale-Johnson

David Dale-Johnson is the Stan Melton Executive Professor in Real Estate and Director of the Centre for Cities and Communities at the Alberta School of Business. He has taught in degree and executive programs at USC’s Marshall School of Business and Sol Price School of Public Policy, UBC’s Sauder School of Business, Cal Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland and Peking
University’s Guanghua School of Management. He has also taught executive Programs for BOMA, NAIOP, RealPac and numerous governments and NGOs. At the Alberta School of Business, he built the Real Estate Program and is planning a new Master’s Degree, an MRED+ focused on ‘city building’.

David completed a BA and an MSc in Business Administration at UBC and a PhD at the Haas School at Cal Berkeley and is the author of numerous academic articles in real estate and urban economics. He has volunteered expertise regarding real estate issues with local governments and non-profits and is committed to building collaboration in the business of city building. He has also had stints as a real estate consultant and executive in the real estate business. He enjoys spending his downtime in the mountains and by the ocean. 


Kalen Anderson, ‘02 BA, ‘04 MA

Kalen Anderson is a registered professional planner with a personal and professional commitment to building sustainable partnerships, communities, cities and city-regions.

She is the CEO of the Urban Development Institute – Edmonton Metro and previously served as Vice President of Capital Planning and Chief Planner with the National Capital Commission in Ottawa as well as a Planning Director and senior leader at the City of Edmonton for over a decade. Collaborative decision-making, successful relationship building, and strategic communications are at the heart of her practice. A passionate and dedicated city-builder, Kalen’s leadership is founded on a broad understanding of urban and regional policy, economic development, and community engagement to support growth and change.

Past Lectures

From artificial intelligence to innovations in health, the Geddes Lecture Series has covered several timely topics in business today. Check out some of our past lectures:

Courage to fail: A conversation with Kevin Lowe

The Digital Transformation

The Future of Work

Artificial Intelligence: Using AI in Your Business (Podcast)

Cannabis & the Retail Market: Six Months Later (Podcast)

Building a New Economic Future for Alberta: Innovation in Health, Technology and Delivery (Video)


What if I have to cancel due to illness?

We are happy to refund your ticket if you are unable to attend. Please contact Vi Warkentin at for further information.

Will there be vegetarian options or dietary alternatives?

Please indicate any food allergies or dietary restrictions during registration. We will do our best to accommodate you.

Does the room allow for physical distancing?

The Wayne Gretzky Ballroom Salons B & C can comfortably host more than 200 guests. Attendance has been limited to 150 people and tables are limited to six guests.

Do I have to wear a mask during the event?

Masks are mandatory in all indoor public spaces based on current public health restrictions. Guests can remove their masks once they are seated at their table and when eating and drinking.

Upcoming Lectures

Geddes Lecture on Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial Intelligence: Using AI in Your Business

Date: Thursday, October 3, 2019
Time: 11:30 AM - 1:30 PM
Location: Royal Alberta Museum, 9810 103 A Ave NW, Edmonton


  • Cory Janssen, '04 BCom
    Co-founder and CEO of AltaML Inc.
  • Anna Koop
    Senior Scientific Advisor, Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute
  • Patrick Pilarski
    Canada Research Chair in Machine Intelligence for Rehabilitation, Associate Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Alberta and Alberta Machine Intelligence Institute Fellow
  • Curtis Stange
    President and CEO, ATB

The panel discussion was moderated by Kyle Murray, Vice Dean & Professor of Marketing, University of Alberta School of Business.


Breakfast Lectures: $45 per person

Lunch Lectures: $60 per person

Event Format

  • Welcome
  • Panelist Introductions - 20 min
  • Panel Discussion - 20 min
  • Q&A - 15 min
  • Conclusion / Wrap-up

Recent Lecture Topics

Interested in what other topics the lecture series has previously covered? Check out some of our recent lectures:

Listing of Past Lectures


Sarah Kowalevsky

Assistant Dean, Development
Phone: 780-492-0147


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