Member of the Canadian Parliament for Edmonton-Wetaskiwin
Day 2 | 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Keynote: Expect More – An Autism Adventure
Mike Lake is the Canadian Member of Parliament for Edmonton-Wetaskiwin, currently serving his fifth term. He has two children, a son Jaden, 25, and a daughter Jenae, 21. The Lakes have been active supporters of autism organizations, families, and individuals around the world while sharing their story of life with Jaden, who has autism. Mike’s mission is to challenge us to think differently, not only about people with autism but about everyone we connect with.
Mike will explore how we can mitigate challenges, including challenges in the traditional hiring process, to ensure that more individuals with autism are able to utilize their unique skills and abilities in meaningful employment. In the end, his goal is to use Jaden’s story to change the way we think about the people around us and the unique contributions that they can make to the great benefit of us all.
Over the years, and often with Jaden by his side, Mike has spoken to the spouses of world leaders at the United Nations, 60,000 people at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park, 15,000 high school students at WE Day, and tens of thousands of university students from around the world. He has done a TEDx Talk and traveled extensively, meeting with fellow elected officials from across the political spectrum and leaders in the global research community.
Mike’s presentation uses video from interviews and news stories centered around his son. Although Jaden is non-verbal, his story enlightens people in ways that mere words cannot. Mike takes us on a journey through eight years of Jaden’s life, demonstrating the power of inclusion as a key to unlocking otherwise undiscovered human potential.