Reach Every Learner

“Transforming the future of education”

Disrupting the age-old Education system through a customized online and on-demand learning experience. Learn from Desire2Learn CEO, John Baker, on how the education system is changing and the ways it will benefit you.
 
John founded Desire2Learn in 1999, at the age of twenty-two, while attending the University of Waterloo as a Systems Design Engineering student. His company now employs more than 800 people, with headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario, and has raised more than $160 million of venture capital.

About John Baker

John founded D2L in 1999, at the age of twenty-two, while attending the University of Waterloo as a Systems Design Engineering student.

He saw that online digital tools could open the door to entirely new and more effective models, and create learning experiences that are more personal, engaging and inspiring. The company is on the journey of transforming the way the world learns.

A strong believer in community involvement, John devotes both his personal and business efforts to supporting young entrepreneurs who are developing and applying technology to improve society worldwide.

He was recognized in 2013 as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year within Ontario, received the Young Alumni Achievement Medal from the University of Waterloo, and inducted into the Waterloo Region Hall of Fame as an Intrepid Entrepreneur.

He was appointed to the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, is Chair of the Board of Communitech, and is a board member of Canada’s National Ballet School and other organizations.

John graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.A.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering, with First Class Honours and an option in Management Sciences.

 

Founder

John founded D2L in 1999, at the age of twenty-two, while attending the University of Waterloo as a Systems Design Engineering student.

Entrepreneur with A Vision

He saw that online digital tools could open the door to entirely new and more effective models, and create learning experiences that are more personal, engaging and inspiring. The company is on the journey of transforming the way the world learns.

A strong believer in community involvement, John devotes both his personal and business efforts to supporting young entrepreneurs who are developing and applying technology to improve society worldwide.

Education

A strong believer in Education, John uses his own education and knowledge to further that of others.

Degrees and Honors

John graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours B.A.Sc. in Systems Design Engineering, with First Class Honours and an option in Management Sciences.

Awards

John has one a multitude of awards due to his innovativeness, drive and skill set as an entrepreneur and business owner.

Receiving Recognition

He was recognized in 2013 as an EY Entrepreneur of the Year within Ontario, received the Young Alumni Achievement Medal from the University of Waterloo, and inducted into the Waterloo Region Hall of Fame as an Intrepid Entrepreneur.

He was appointed to the Governing Council of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, is Chair of the Board of Communitech, and is a board member of Canada’s National Ballet School and other organizations.

What is the Mercier Lecture?

In an effort to inspire and empower future generations of chemistry students at York with a sense of the possible, Mr. Mercier’s wife, Dr. Eileen Mercier, a York graduate (MBA ’77), established the lecture series in her late husband’s name. Bridging the worlds of business and commerce with the intensive research world of chemistry, the series will present an entrepreneur and renowned scientist who has used his/her own science education as a springboard to other enterprises.
“Ernest believed that the benefits of discipline and analytical thinking, which his engineering education provided, were basic to understanding the cause-and-effect laws of business.” says Ms. Mercier. “This lectureship will hopefully inspire others to use their education in similarly unique ways.”

Past Mercier Lectures

2015 Mercier Lecture: Suneet Singh Tuli Interview

2015 Mercier Lecture: Connecting the Forgotten Billions

2012 Mercier Lecture: Me, Myself and My Network

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