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Robert is the President of The Renewal Consulting Group Inc. which was founded in 1994. The motto of our firm is "Looking Beneath the Surface". We provide our clients with the deep insight and broad context that they often need to find solutions to novel situations.

For instance we developed a contextual picture, for Veterans Affairs, of all the issues related to the aging of Canada that provided VAC with the policy background to launch a strategy for seniors in Canada. We did the same type of deep context for the web and the digital divide enabling Industry Canada to launch its web strategy for Schools in Canada.

Every part of both the public and private sector is being transformed by the power of Social Media. We help leaders see this new landscape and discover how to both survive and thrive within it.

Clients include NPR and the entire public radio system in the US; Public Television stations across America - the new business model and the new relationship with the viewer/listener; the military - intelligence and media; ; Food Services organizations - internal and external communications; Universities - the student experience; Universities - connecting research to the public and private sector; NGO's - connecting the physical work to the online work; Governments - assessing the new strategic landscape such as why is education not delivering the results or what will happen when most people are over 60 or why is our food system failing both the public and the farmers?

We are long term players in the social media realm with leading blogs in the field.

We are what we know.

We work as teacher/coaches to help entire organizations become engaged in the new reality of the personal and community world created by social media.

We help people see the meaning of Social Media and how it will affect the world and them

Previous Work:

Senior Advisor to the President
Canadian Institute for Advanced Reserach

January 1995 – March 1996 (1 year 3 months)

Advised Dr Fraser Mustard on how best to outreach to the wider community. In particular in the field of The Early Years in human development. This work has lead to a major shift in public policy in Canada


September 1990 – December 1994 (4 years 4 months)

Was responsible for the $2.0 billion compensation system at CIBC - base, performance and all benefits - shifted the emphasis to the front line and to how individuals in teams did the work.

Also responsible for seeing key human trends early and applying this knowledge to the HR Systems and how the bank worked

SVP Marketing, Investment Bank

1986 – 1990 (4 years)

Responsible for the strategic marketing of the Investment Bank at CIBC - key player in the project to integrate Wood Gundy into CIBC after the purchase in 1988. Worked with directly John Hunkin in the challenging work of the early years of the merger as we sorted out how this might work - where I cut my teeth on the issue of culture!

AD and then ED New Issues
CIBC Limited

1981 – 1986 (5 years)

Was responsible for building the Euro New Issue business from scratch for CIBC in London. In 3 years we ranked equal first in the Canadian Dollar sector from a zero start

AD Sales Middle East & Africa
Wood Gundy Limited

1977 – 1981 (4 years)

Responsible for sales in Saudi Arabia, the Gulf and in Nigeria - in 2 years was the largest institutional producer in the firm. Taught me so much about culture and being patient. Great days when the Middle East was full of promise and literally shifting from desert/bedouin life to the modern world

Variety of sales & trading roles
Wood Gundy Limited

1972 – 1977 (5 years)

My apprenticeship in the securities business, worked in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver - covered Quebec, parts of the US and Caribbean, Ontario and BC - money market, sales and trading, conventional securities and portfolio management - strong later bias in business development - where I still feel most comfortable

Field Officer
De Beers

1969 – 1969 (less than a year)

I spent 9 amazing months as an 18 year old "running" a team in the bush in the Kalahari desert in Botwsana looking for diamonds. It was the life of a "2nd LT" with a great foreman Joseph and a great "Captain" our geologist Jeff Lerwick who kept me from killing myself and the men. All of this time under canvas in the breathtaking big shy country that was that part of Botswana.

Taught me about what a man should be and how powerful nature is

University of Oxford
MA History

1969 – 1972

Where my life-long love and feeling for history and how its study can inform the present was born


my dogs, history and science, blogging, my children, science fiction and fantasy