What is THINK: Open about?

Join us at THINK: Open on May 24, 2017, as we bring together leaders of our public institutions, subject matter experts, and practitioners to understand how the commons will impact our research, education and innovation sectors.

We’ll consider the technology, policies and relationships that enable access, modification, and sharing of the ideas, data and content required to accelerate innovation.

8:00 am – Registration and breakfast networking

9:00 am – The challenge and opportunity of “Open”

Join leaders from university, college, school board and library institutions as they discuss their own journeys down the road of “open”. How ready are their sectors for this opportunity? What kinds of initiatives are already underway and where does the future lie?

9:45 am – Ontario digital infrastructure update

10:00 am – Break

10:15 am – Breakouts by stream

  • Bioinformatics and medical research: Optimizing data science to accelerate health
    Biologically-driven and personalized medical research relies upon the availability of large multi-modal datasets of high quality. The consolidation and shared utilization of these data poses challenges compounded by increasing data size, variety, and the availability of advanced research computing resources. Using examples from oncology and neuropsychiatric research, the panel will discuss the current challenges and opportunities facing information management in medical research and recent progress in bioinformatics data science.


  • The Circle of Six
    This panel will present a unique delivery designed by six colleges to provide innovative programming in Northern Ontario, as a long-term strategy for  sustainability.  Setting access for learners as a core founding principle, these six Colleges (Boreal, Canadore, Cambrian, Confederation, Sault and Northern College) have embarked on a proactive three-year journey to invigorate flagging programs, explore new programs and increase access for students in communities they serve in the North.  Of particular concern is access for Indigenous learners who represent a large percentage of Northern Ontario’s population.  The challenge of moving from competitor to collaborator is  part of the innovation story with this collaboration.  Key successes and surprise findings will be shared.  The learnings  from this project are critical for other colleges who wish to build collaborations. While this services rural and remote communities in Northern Ontario, this is a compelling story for all educational institutions.

    • Mary O’Farrell Bowers, Vice President, Academic, Canadore College
  • Tech Stream: A technician’s intro to Software Defined Networking (SDN) open frameworks


11:00 am – Breakouts by stream

  • Open Education Resources

    • Katya Pereyaslavska, OCUL



  • Open Data in Reverse
    Imagine a world where communities and government work collaboratively on opening up and using open data. That world has arrived: find out how a government ministry, a civic group, and a college worked together to create, publish and activate an open data set, while increasing data literacy for students. Join this diverse group of panelists as they reveal how it all came together.



11:45 amLunch and Leadership Awards ceremony

1:00 pm – Breakouts

  • Education: eCampus Ontario presents “Open Education”
  • Tech Stream: The future of SDN – A panel discussion

1:45 pmInternational perspectives and how Ontario fares

2:30 pm – Closing remarks

3:00 pm – Network reception