top of page


Founder & Director, ILIA Connect

Increasing the Effectiveness of our Messages in a Post-Pandemic World: Speaking up Selectively, Skillfully, Strategically

In our post-pandemic environment, speaking up seems to be an increasingly global trend - driven by health and safety concerns, social and justice movements, rapid change of the world of works, and the opportunities of virtual working environments in message amplification.

The speed of change in our environment on many things led us to reflect on the need to stand up for what matters for personal and collective responsibilities. These create urges on us, including those who played longstanding roles of bystanders, to express our dissatisfactions on issues not only impacting ourselves but also on behalf of those who lack abilities to do so.

As we continue to navigate the complexities of the post-pandemic world, the act of speaking up remains an essential tool to facilitate positive change while building inclusive and just environments. Advocating and encouraging ourselves and others on speaking up takes mindfulness, skills, and considerate thoughts on our approaches while also developing courage to keep going.

Cecilia will share her own journey of Speaking Up from her international and multicultural background, as well her observations in our current diverse and complex global environment and reflect how we can better show up, step up, and strategically plan our speak-up tactics.

Cecilia will also provide insights into the role cultural and personality differences play in our strategy and approaches to our Speaking Up mission and the need for the right environment for successful missions.

Audience will have the following takeaways from this session:

  • Learn to assess and identify the worthy battles to speak up on

  • Learn to adapt and adjust our skills for effective and impactful messaging

  • Learn to strategically map opportunities for message delivery.

Speaker Bio

Cecilia brings 3 decades of cross-sector, international and multidisciplinary experience across industries from Canada and the Asia Pacific.  During her near 20 years of Communications career in

Asia and the journey of reconnecting with her roots, she gained tremendous insights into the role cultural understanding plays in many communication, leadership and relationship challenges within teams across many organizations.

Cecilia’s current work involves the intersectionality of People, Culture and Communication. Her East-West upbringing and international, multidisciplinary background allow her to apply her cultural perspectives on all disciplines of her work in consulting, coaching, training, teaching and mentoring, supporting others in bridging the gaps of understanding to navigate across differences for professional, personal and organizational success.

As a trainer and conference presenter, she has taken her work to Taiwan, Macau, China, Malaysia,

Japan, Canada, US, UK, Spain and virtually to France, Africa, India and the Middle-East. She is

also a lecturer on Intercultural Competence for McMaster University, Canada; a global ambassador

of the Social Development Goals (connecting communication to health and well-being through

education and global partnerships). Cecilia also plays an active role in different Canadian healthcare advisory groups.

Cecilia brings extensive mentoring experience as a mentor, program founder, leadership, speaker, and consultant across sectors in both Canada, US and Asia. In 2003, Cecilia co-founded a mentoring program for a global businesswomen network that earned the initiative two international awards for empowerment work during her 5-year leadership leading the program.

Cecilia returned to Canada during the global pandemic and has brought her international experience to the current North American landscape of Diversity and Inclusion to organizations, professionals, and communities. She is also part of the National Association for Asian American Professionals Speaker Bureau in the US and presented at its 2023 Leadership Conference, as well supports many ERGs (Employee Resource Groups) providing consultancy and staff development specific for the Asian American demographics.

bottom of page