2017 Speakers

Tom Gee

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Tom Gee is the manager of the Neuroinformatics Group at the Rotman Research Institute, and the manager of Software Development at Indoc Research. He has 30 years of experience in systems development for research, starting his career with the Defence Research & Defense Canada creating real-time, safety-critical, distributed embedded data acquisition and control systems for high altitude and acceleration protection.

Most recently over the last seven years, Tom has been helping design, implement, deploy and maintain informatics systems for large scale collaborative projects involving multiple imaging modalities, clinical and molecular data flows, and significant amounts of sensitive health information from research and clinical domains.

The Brain-CODE platform of the Ontario Brain Institute is one such key project, which supports five major programs with hundreds of researchers across 35 different institutions across Ontario and beyond. Tom is also involved in the deployment of the Toronto Dementia Research Alliance database, a "research embedded in clinical care" system with novel privacy and security elements to be installed at five major research hospitals across Toronto.

Tom on Twitter: @twgee

David Rotenberg

David Rotenberg

David Rotenberg is the Manager of Scientific Computing / Research Informatics at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH).

With a background in medical physics, David’s research focuses on the development of novel MRI acquisition methods and the exploration of metrics and biomarkers of neuropsychiatric disorders.

In his role as Manager of Scientific Computing, David leads a team of informatics specialists with inter-disciplinary and cross-platform expertise, dedicated to supporting CAMH Research programs. The Research Informatics team administers CAMH’s high performance computing and storage environments, including the CAMH Neuroinformatics Platform, a secure managed database infrastructure to store, organize and analyze multi-modal research data. These platforms support advanced neuropsychiatric research analytics across multiple research domains, including imaging (MRI / PET / EEG), ‘omics (genetics, epigenetics, proteomics, transcriptomics) and clinical data.

Carl Virtanen

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Carl is the Associate Director and co-founder of HPC4Health, a high-performance computing (HPC) centre focused on healthcare, and the Manager of the Bioinformatics and HPC Core at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. He has more than 20 years of experience researching and managing data in the “omics” field and has worked in the pharmaceutical sector, software development, consulting and systems administration.

At the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, Carl built and currently manages the Princess Margaret’s computational and bioinformatics core, which is a platform that researchers from across the hospital can access for their scientific work. His team is also responsible for overseeing the development and validation of data processing pipelines associated with clinical genetic testing within the hospitals Molecular Pathology Lab.

At the HPC4Health, Carl works with the Scientific Director to support the strategic direction and vision of the HPC4Health operation, which is to make secure access to HPC resources available for research hospitals within Ontario and to spearhead new initiatives in sharing health related data. The HPC4Health works closely with its partners within Compute Ontario and Compute Canada to achieve its aims.

Find Carl on Twitter @HPC4Health

Patrick McCurdy

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Patrick McCurdy (PhD, LSE) is Associate Professor in the Department Communication at the University of Ottawa.

His research draws from media and communication, journalism as well as social movement studies to study media as a site and source of social struggle and contestation. Most recently, Patrick’s work has studied the evolution of oil/tar sands advertising and campaigning from 1970 to present day with his project Mediatoil.

Mediatoil offers the public an online, searchable database of oil/tar sands promotional material and in August 2016 won first in prize in Compute Canada/SSHRC’s national competition The Human Dimensions Open Data Challenge. Patrick’s work has been published in several academic journals and he is the co-author of Protest Camps and the co-editor of three books Protest Camps in International Context: Spaces, Infrastructures and Media of Resistance (Policy Press 2017), Beyond WikiLeaks: Implications for the Future of Communications, Journalism and Society (Palgrave 2013) and Mediation and Protest Movements (Intellect 2013).

He may be found on Twitter as @pmmcc

Richard Pietro

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Richard Pietro socializes open government and open data by creating civic engagement as art through his company OGT Productions. Some of his projects include the 2014 Open Government Tour and "Open" - the world's first short film on open government, open data, and open source.

He also worked collaboratively with the Ontario Ministry of Housing to develop a new way for creating, publishing, and activating Open Data sets, a process he calls “Open Data in Reverse.” This initiative even helped the government win a nationally recognized award for engagement.

Most recently, his Open Data Iron Chef workshop has garnered attention due to its innovative way for introducing open government and open data to students at both the secondary and university levels.

Find Richard on Twitter @richardpietro

Mita Williams

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Mita is a science librarian at the Leddy Library of the University of Windsor.

She is also on the Board of Directors of Hackforge, a hackerspace based in Windsor. It is a collective of technology enthusiasts, software engineers, hardware hackers, librarians, and expatriates from the automotive industry. Hackforge is community-oriented, focused on team projects that bring people together and pointed in the same direction.

Also, Mita leads Open Data Windsor Essex. ODWE is Hackforge’s special interest group dedicated to supporting and encouraging efforts in open data. Funded by the Ontario Trillium Foundation, ODWE advocates for open data and assists organizations in our community share their work in a manner that’s accessible and open for everyone.

Browse her past projects as speaker, event organizer, and gamer on her website and find Mita on Twitter @copystar

Pavel Richter

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Pavel Richter is Chief Executive Officer of Open Knowledge International, a worldwide non-profit network of people passionate about openness, using technology to unlock information, and enabling people to take action on pressing social problems. OKI's mission is to empower Civil Society Organisations to use Open Data to improve people's lives. Their current projects, including Frictionless Data, OpenTrials, School of Data, and many more, provide citizens and organisations with the tools and skills to use data to change the world.

Before joining OKI, Pavel was Executive Director of Wikimedia Deutschland for five years, and pioneered the internationally acclaimed Wikidata project which is now the fastest growing project for open structured data. Pavel is in on the Advisory Board of Transparency International Germany and Code for Germany. He holds a Masters Degree in Political Science, History and Constitutional Law. He worked for 12 years as a management consultant in the IT and banking industry, before he started to focus on managing non-profit organisations.

Find Pavel on Twitter @pavel

Embriette Hyde

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Embriette is the Project Manager for the American Gut Project, one of the largest crowd-sourced citizen science project in the USA. She established the American Gut Project as a key force in microbiome research, highlighted through the White House's National Microbiome Initiative and expanded the project into Asia. She is passionate about bringing specific cohorts into the project, including fermented foods consumer and athlete focus groups.

Academically, Embriette joined the laboratory of Dr. Joseph Petrosino, director of the Alkek Center for Metagenomics and Microbiome Research at Baylor College of Medicine, where she deepened her work analyzing microbial communities. At the University of California, San Diego, she joined Dr. Rob Knight's lab to study both the environmental and human microbiomes, how the intricate ways the microbiome can affect our health, -- and what it means to be human. Collectively, her work garnered recognition in the 2016 Forbes 30 Under 30 in Science.

Follow Embriette @embriettehyde

Michael Jones

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Michael Jones is Professor and Program Coordinator at Sheridan College for their joint Communication, Culture, Information and Technology program with the University of Toronto Mississauga.

Michael’s primary research interest is applied project-based learning pedagogy, particularly in engineering and information technology domains. He is also interested in the political economy of new media, business information technology solutions and online advertising/marketing.

Nosa Ero-Brown

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Nosa Ero-Brown is the acting Director of the Open Government Office, Ontario’s Treasury Board Secretariat.

Nosa is responsible for the implementation of the Ontario government’s Open Government Strategy.  In this role she is working to provide access to high-value data and information that supports innovation and strengthens public policy – and testing new public engagement methods to involve Ontarians in decisions regarding the issues that impact their lives. In addition, Nosa is responsible for leading the implementation of Ontario’s commitments and action plan as part of the subnational pilot project of the Open Government Partnership.

Previously as Manager of Policy and Partnerships in the Open Government Office, Nosa was responsible for leading the development and implementation of Ontario’s Data Directive as part the province’s Open Government Strategy.  In this role she worked to provide access to high-value data and information that supports innovation and strengthens public policy – and testing new public engagement methods to involve Ontarians in decisions regarding the issues that impact their lives.

Nosa holds a Master’s Degree in Political Science from University of Toronto; she is also a graduate of the Lester B. Pearson United World College, Victoria BC.

Andrés L. Dorado

Andrés L. Dorado

Andrés Dorado is the Business Analytics Program Manager for the City of Edmonton’s Analytics Centre of Excellence and is responsible and accountable for setting the vision and strategy for data warehousing and business intelligence in the City as well as the development of data driven solutions that lead to improved corporate business outcomes.

Edmonton is a leader in the advancement of the principles of open government and open data. Through their Open City Policy, endorsed by City Council in April 2015, they have repeatedly shown that they are a City that believes in the concept that data is ‘Open by Default’. In addition, they have been nationally recognized on three separate occasions for the innovative work that we are doing to enhance the lives of citizens through the operational practices that they are embracing to be transparent, inclusive and collaborative.

The City of Edmonton fully believes in the value of Open Data and the benefits that it can bring to numerous stakeholders including Citizens, Businesses, Academia, Researchers and Entrepreneurs. Through their Open Lab and Open Science programs as well as through the creation and facilitation of the Metropolitan Edmonton Open Data Committee, they have led the way in Canada in the number of innovative methods that that they have released, used, and showcased Open Data.

Ben Mack-Crane

Ben Mack-Crane

Ben Mack-Crane is a Principal Architect at Corsa Technology focusing on high performance SDN applications using open protocols. Ben has experience with automated control across a broad spectrum of network technologies, from optical to packet and L0 through L7. He has been involved in behavioral specification and modeling of a wide variety of network elements over his career including packet switches and routers, transport systems, cable telephony, flexible multiplexers, and telephone switches. His current focus is on SDN and virtualization. Ben has been instrumental in numerous standards development efforts, including work in the ONF, MEF, IEEE, ITU, IETF, OIF, and ATIS. He is currently the ONF Specification Area Director, encouraging the application of open SDN principles across the networking spectrum from optical to packet and from fixed transport to mobile applications. He is leading the ongoing development and evolution of the OpenFlow protocol in the ONF Open Datapath Working Group.

Lewis Wynne-Jones

Lewis Wynne-Jones

Lewis Wynne-Jones is the head of data acquisition for ThinkData Works, a Toronto-based startup with a core focus on the aggregation and distribution of public data. Their external data management platform Namara is connected to every open data portal in Canada and the USA, providing everyone from civic hackers to business leaders immediate access to over 100,000 standardized data sets.

For two years Wynne-Jones has been finding, monitoring, and managing updates to over 1000 data portals, an activity that has exposed him to the best and worst of the open data movement. A relative newcomer to digital research, he is energetically committed to demystifying data for luddites such as himself.

You can contact ThinkData on Twitter @thinkdataworks

Hadi Bannazadeh

Hadi Bannazadeh

Hadi is the Chief Architect of the Canadian SAVI multi-tier cloud testbed which is based at the University of Toronto. Hadi has more than 15 years of experience in computer and telecom networks and in cloud computing. He received the PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from University of Toronto where he developed novel concepts for network architectures that leverage virtualized infrastructure to enable rapid application and creation.

 

In the NSERC Strategic Network for Smart Applications, Hadi led the design, implementation and deployment of the SAVI national testbed which integrates computing, networking, radio and other resources into a platform that supports at-scale experimentation in cloud computing, software-defined networking, future internet, IoT, and large-scale distributed applications.  The SAVI testbed works closely with ORION, CANARIE, and other research networks, and is federated with the U.S. GENI, Chameleon and CloudLab testbeds.  Hadi is CTO and co-founder of Janus Cloud Systems, a startup company offering products for network security and operations management.

Lena Patterson

Lena Patterson

Lena has been a part of the eCampusOntario team since the organization opened shop in August 2015. As a policy analyst at Council of Ontario Universities, Lena lead the online and technology-enabled learning file and helped steer the development of the ecampusontario.ca portal. Now in her role as Operations Director, Lena is keen to see eCampusOntario grow and support institutions to promote access, collaboration and innovation in online and technology-enabled learning.

Ritch Dusome

Ritch Dusome

Ritch Dusome is President & CEO of CENGN – Canada’s Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks. He has held this position since its inception in September 2014 and is also both a Board Member for the organization and an OPNFV ambassador. CENGN is an Ontario, Federal, and Industry funded consortium focused on Next Generation Networking including areas such as Open Compute Data Centre, Software Defined Networking, Network Function Virtualization, Internet of Things, and Open Standards.  Ritch has over 30 years of Data Centre, Networking and Internet Experience working at a variety of companies including: CENGN, Cisco Systems, Bell Canada, and TD Bank. Ritch holds a B.Sc. from the University of Ottawa and is also a 10-year CCIE Emeritus alumni and Enterprise Architect.

Rory McGreal

Rory McGreal

Prof. Rory McGreal is the UNESCO/Commonwealth of Learning/International Council for Open and Distance Education Chair in Open Educational Resources (OER); and Director of  the Technology Enhanced Knowledge Research Institute (TEKRI) at Athabasca University. He is also  co-Editor of IRRODL (International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning).  He is the founder of the OER Knowledge Cloud, a repository of research articles on OER. Previous positions include Assoc. VP Research, Executive Director of TeleEducation NB, a Canadian province-wide  elearning network and Supervisor at Contact North/Contact Nord in Ontario.  He is also the recipient of  several national and international awards for open and distance learning.

Stephen Abram

Stephen Abram

Stephen Abram, MLS, is executive director of the Federation of Ontario Public Libraries where he represents Ontario’s over 300 public library systems to all levels of government.  He has deep roots in Canada's library sector as a strategy and direction planning consultant for libraries and the information industry is principal of Lighthouse Consulting Inc.

He has been president of the Ontario Library Association, the Special Libraries Association and the Canadian Library Association.  He is a renowned library trend watcher, keynote speaker, innovator and author of Stephen’s Lighthouse blog – the top blog in the sector globally – as well as hundreds of articles and a number of books.  Stephen's recent books include contributions to the most recent textbook for library science, Information Services Today: An Introduction, ALA Editions' bestselling Out Front with Stephen Abram, Boomers & Beyond, Libraries 2020, Creating a Culture of Evaluation: Taking your Library from Talk to Action, and Reinventing Reference: How Libraries Deliver Value in the Age of Google.

He teaches at the graduate level at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information (iSchool) as well as planning iSchool Symposia. He has held executive leadership positions in libraries and at Cengage Learning (Gale), SirsiDynix, Thomson Publishing, ProQuest and IHS.

Stephen tweets at @sabram.

 

Jean-Noé Landry

Jean-Noé Landry

Executive Director of Open North, heads Canada’s leading civil society organization specialized in open data and civic technology. Open North’s work focuses on open data standards and engagement strategies, civil society advocacy efforts, and technological products and services.

Mary O’Farrell Bowers

Mary O’Farrell Bowers

Mary O’Farrell Bowers is the Vice President, Academic, at Canadore College in North Bay. Previously, she spent nearly three decades at Georgian College, culminating in her position as dean and principal at their Orillia campus.

Ariela Levy

Ariela Levy

Ariela Levy is the Senior Manager Operations at Sunnybrook Hospital.

Katya Pereyaslavska

Katya Pereyaslavska

Katya Pereyaslavska has worked on a number of accessibility-related projects including publications on digital inclusivity. She leads accessibility initiatives at Scholars Portal, Ontario Council of University Libraries, including the Accessible Content E-Portal (ACE). She is currently supervising the completion of the Report on Accessible Media (ROAM).

Kimberly Silk

Kimberly Silk

Kimberly Silk is a librarian with a background in academic and data librarianship and a passion for conducting research to evaluate how libraries impact their communities.

She is co-author of “So Much More: The Economic Impact of Toronto Public Library on the City of Toronto,” published in 2013 and the first library economic impact study of its kind in Canada. As Principal Consultant of BrightSail Research, she continues to work with public libraries across Canada to extend this methodology. In 2014 she created the Library Research Network, a not-for-profit, curated, web-based repository of research relevant to public, academic, government and special libraries. Her most recent collaboration with Dr. Bill Irwin, “Creating a Culture of Evaluation: Taking Your Library from Talk to Action“, was published by OLA Press in April 2017.

Since 2015 she has worked with the Canadian Research Knowledge Network (CRKN) as Special Projects Officer where she collaborates with academic libraries and other stakeholders to coordinate research projects to support transformations in scholarly communication.

From 2008 to 2015 Kim was the Data Librarian at the Martin Prosperity Institute (MPI) at the University of Toronto. At MPI, she developed integrated library and research services to support the MPI research process, and gained expertise in the role of public assets, such as libraries, parks, schools and museums, on the prosperity of cities and regions.

Ann Pappert

Ann Pappert

Ann Pappert is a strategic and energetic public sector leader whose 20+ years of experience across multiple provinces and cities brings an expansive perspective to her vision for “opening up” government.

An early advocate of open data and open engagement, Ann is focused on the realization of open governance and championing our next generation of transformational public sector leaders.

Her recent work as the CAO of the City of Guelph resulted in it being awarded the Institute of Public Administration of Canada's (IPAC) Bronze award for 'bold innovative leadership' in the municipal public sector.

Ann is currently writing on how to implement significant cultural change within government; the leadership essentials required to deliver a truly 'open' culture within the public service; and practical lessons on embedding holistic design into the structures, policies and delivery systems of cities.

Lisa Grothier

Lisa Grothier

As the Chief Information Officer for St. Lawrence College, Lisa Grothier provides oversight for our Administrative and Academic technology strategy and operations. With technology at the heart of transformational change in higher education, it is imperative that the IT department be strategically aligned with the delivery of our teaching and learning environments and our corporate business functions.

Lisa joined the college in 2010 with 24 years of progressive management experience in the IT education sector. Over the past five years, she and her team have a proven track-record of delivering high-quality, innovative technology solutions and services to meet the strategic and operational needs of our college.

Lisa’s collaborative leadership style embraces an attitude of respect, empowerment, and teamwork. She is keenly focused on “students first” and believes that a strategic, responsive, and customer-focused Technology department can be a significant contributor to the success of students and staff. To this end, she sits on several college committees, councils and advisories to ensure that appropriate technologies and solutions can be considered and integrated wherever possible.

Lisa also chairs the Ontario College Council of Chief Information Officers (OCCCIO) which provides advocacy, collaboration and support for Ontario’s 24 College IT departments and their important role in our province’s higher education sustainability strategy.

Luc Roy

Luc Roy

Luc Roy is the Chief Information Officer for Laurentian University and co-owner of Old Rock Roastery. As CIO, Luc is responsible for IT, Media and Web services for the university. In 1987, Luc graduated from the University of Ottawa with a Bachelor of Science, Computer Science. Luc worked as the Director of Product Marketing for Bay Networks (acquired by Nortel Networks) and many of its subsidiaries for 13 years. He continued to work in the computer networking industry as Vice President - Product Planning for Chantry Networks Inc. (acquired by Siemens), Vice President - Wireless Strategy for Siemens Enterprise Communications, Vice President - Market Management for Siemens Canada, Vice President - Wireless Strategy for Enterasys Networks, Director of Marketing for Greenfield Networks (acquired by Cisco) and Vice President - Product Management and Marketing for BlueCat Networks.

Peter Singh

Peter Singh

Peter Singh is the Chief Information Officer (CIO) at Toronto District School Board, the largest and one of the most diverse school boards in Canada. Serving approximately 246,000 students in 584 schools throughout Toronto, and more than 160,000 life-long learners.

Alan Darnell

Alan Darnell

Alan Darnell is the director of Scholar’s Portal, a shared service of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL) that is truly collaborative. Founded in 2002, Scholars Portal provides a shared technology infrastructure across 21 university libraries in Ontario, enabling data management and resource sharing that can further the work conducted by Ontario universities via Scholars Portal online services and the online inter-library loan platform. - See more at: http://www.orion.on.ca/news-events/press-releases/2015-orion-leadership-award-winners/#sthash.IFzcjFMR.dpuf

Dean Lessard

Dean Lessard

Dean has been the Lead for Northern College on the Northern Colleges Collaborative Project (NCCP) since its inception. With almost twenty (20) years in elementary, secondary and post-secondary education, Dean is a proud ‘Northerner’ with a passion for technology enhanced learning designed to increase student access to high quality educational opportunities. The NCCP has demonstrated to Dean the power of collaboration in sparking creativity, inspiring innovation and developing models for sustainable practice.

Erin Oner

Erin Oner

Erin Oner, Teaching Faculty, Confederation College

Richard Garner

Richard Garner

Richard's 20 year media background is mainly in broadcast television as a producer of multiple shows and content for a variety of national networks. In 2007, Richard became Vice President of Programming for The Score Television Network and in 2012, Richard became VP of Media and Communications for The Stronach Group. Richard has also hosted numerous radio and television shows.

Richard has been working with ORION to produce a video series called "Faces of Innovation" that showcases the game-changing research, education and innovation occurring throughout Ontario that relies upon on the ORION’s digital infrastructure. In 2015, Faces of Innovation won Platinum at Association of Marketing and Communications Professionals’ annual AVA Digital Awards.