2021 World's Challenge Challenge Emcee & Judges

More judge profiles for World's Challenge Challenge 2022 coming soon!

Rick Konrad

Rick Konrad

A science graduate of Western (1975), Rick earned his MSF from Northeastern University and completed the Harvard Business School Executive Program on behavioral investing. He earned his CFA charter in 1988 and his CFP® designation in 2004. A member of Western’s investment committee since 2008, Rick has served on the Board of Governors since 2014 and is currently the Chair.

After beginning his investment career as a portfolio manager, Rick becoming director at Sceptre Investment Counsel and a partner at Lincluden Management. In 2002, he founded Value Architects Asset Management which merged into Roosevelt Investments, now a business of CI Private Wealth Management US.

Rick has a long-standing interest in education as an adjunct instructor in retirement planning and investments at New York University, and has been actively involved in education programs in CFA Societies both in New York and Toronto. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee to The Center for Corporate Reputation Management at Drexel University.

Oana Branzei 


Oana Branzei is the Donald F. Hunter Professor of International Business and full professor of Strategy and Sustainability at the Ivey Business School. Oana is also the founding director of the Ivey Sustainability Certificate Program, the founder, convener and host of PhD Sustainability Academy, an annual event of the Alliance for Research on Corporate Sustainability, and the co-founder of the Spring Institute on Abilities.

She serves on Western’s Senate, University Research Board, the Steering Committee for Carbon Solutions at Western, the Interdisciplinary Development Initiatives, and the Advisory Board of the Africa Institute. Ivey’s champion for the United Nation’s Principles for Responsible Education during the past decade, Oana has recently pioneered the ESG and SDG platform for Ivey Publishing.

Oana heads her global Resilience lab, originally formed with funding from her Early Researcher Award, and currently featuring collaborations with rapid-response research teams tackling grand challenges on five continents.

Joel Faflak (Emcee)

Joel Faflak

Joel is a Professor in the Department of English and Writing Studies at Western University, where he was inaugural Director of the School for Advanced Studies in the Arts and Humanities (2012-17).

He is author Romantic Psychoanalysis, co-author of Revelation and Knowledge, editor of De Quincey’s Confessions of An English Opium-Eater, co-editor of Palgrave Studies in Affect Theory and Literary Criticism, and editor of 13 essay collections.

He is the recipient of a Faculty Scholar Award, the John Charles Polanyi Prize for Literature, and the Edward G. Pleva Award for Excellence in Teaching. He was twice Chair of the Literature panel for the Undergraduate Awards, where he was twice keynote speaker at the UA Global Summit in Dublin.