Red Deer Polytechnic (RDP) is excited to welcome former Canadian astronaut, Chris Hadfield, as its next speaker in the institution’s Perspectives: Canada in the World series.The event will be happening on January 18th at 7:00PM at Red Deer Polytechnic's Gary W. Harris Canada Games Centre. 

Preparing for the Unexpected: How to Manage Through Complexity and Change

A uniquely experienced leader who shares best practices and tactics on leading teams through complexity and change, Hadfield is known for sharing the marvels and wonders of science and space with everyone he encounters. Formerly NASA’s director of operations, Hadfield spent more than three decades working for NASA and the Canadian Space Agency. During his career, Colonel Hadfield flew in three space missions, was involved in building two space stations and performed two space walks. He also crewed and commanded the Shuttle and Soyuz. In 2013, Hadfield became the first Canadian to command the International Space Station, a role he held for six months.

“RDP is thrilled to welcome Chris Hadfield,” says Dr. Jonathon Penny, Dean of the School of Arts and Education. “Colonel Hadfield is a known supporter and sometime practitioner of the arts, an ardent humanist, and an exemplar of what it is to apply learning to human being, earth-bound or otherwise. We look forward to welcoming the community to hear and learn from Canada’s most beloved astronaut.”

Hadfield’s presentation will focus on Preparing for the Unexpected: How to Manage Through Complexity and Change. Being a commander of a spaceship means facing the highest of stakes: human lives, irreplaceable and expensive equipment and worldwide scrutiny. Hadfield will share his experiences in managing people, complexity and change under extreme circumstances. Surrounded by life-threatening risk, his daily routine as a leader and team-member was to prepare for and solve worst-case scenarios while cultivating an optimistic and positive work environment.

“Perspectives: Canada in the World provides us an opportunity to initiate dialogue within the community in relation to the current events and the world around us,” says Dr. Jeffrey Wigelsworth, History Instructor and Chair of RDP’s Perspectives: Canada in the World Organizing Committee. “We believe in the importance of dialogue and analysis when it comes to current events. Colonel Hadfield brings his diverse expertise that includes managing stress, leading under pressure, building resilient teams, encouraging collaboration, and how to be comfortable with ambiguity and approach it with curiosity and possibility.”

Perspectives: Canada in the World is a series of public lectures featuring internationally recognized speakers talking about issues that are important to our community and beyond.

“This speakers’ series is one of the many ways in which Red Deer Polytechnic provides dynamic opportunities for community members across Alberta to connect and visit our institution. We’re celebrating two important milestones with Colonel Hadfield’s presentation. He marks the 30th speaker of the Perspectives: Canada in the World series, as we begin our 60th anniversary as a post-secondaryinstitution, serving learners and communities across our province and abroad,” says Richard Longtin, Associate Vice President, External Relations.