Speakers

Henrik Bechmann

Henrik Bechmann

Henrik is one of the Organizers of Civic Tech Toronto, and the founder and lead of its Budgetpedia project, an initiative to make information about the Toronto budget more accessible to citizens. Henrik has been a software developer for 35 years, and has been an occasional civic activist.

As a software developer Henrik is a student of trends in software, and its potential influences on social economy; as a civic activist he is a student of trends in Open Data, and its potential influences on social engagement.

Henrik can be contacted though Linkedin.

Mark Daley

Mark Daley

Mark Daley serves as the Chair of Compute Ontario and is the Interim Associate Vice President (Research) at Western University. He is also Western’s Associate Professor in the Computer Science, Biology, and Statistics & Actuarial Science Departments, a Principal investigator at the Brain and Mind Institute, and holds a SHARCNET Research Chair in biocomputing. Mark also holds an adjunct appointment in the computer science department at the University of Saskatchewan.

Mark is a mathematician and theoretical computer scientist by training and spent his early career contributing to both the theoretical foundations of computing and to the formal mathematical modelling of biological processes. In 2011, Mark took an education leave to pursue a master’s degree in neuroscience and has since expanded his research endeavours to include data-driven mathematical modelling in neuroimaging and computational physiology.

Mark has a strong relationship with IBM in which he has lead a high profile research initiative applying realtime streaming analytics, based on IBM’s Infosphere Streams technology, to the network analysis of fMRI data. Mark has also been involved in accelerating MR motion correction using Field-Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs) and has a working relationship with IBM’s Austin and TJ Watson labs.

Follow him on Twitter @daleymaths

Read our interview with Mark on advanced computing trends and outlooks for Ontario.

Karen Dubeau

Karen Dubeau

As Director of Partner Engagement for ventureLAB, Karen leads the development and management of strategic and collaborative partnerships key to ventureLAB’s clients and stakeholders, and to the evolution of a dynamic regional ecosystem supporting innovation and entrepreneurship.

Karen has experience as a successful founder and entrepreneur of an Ottawa technology firm, and has spent the last 6 years working with not-for-profit business associations and communities on strategic programs involving intelligent communities, gigabit corridors, knowledge mobilization for small businesses and building community-based collaboration ecosystems. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for province of Ontario, a Top 40 Under 40 Alumnus, the Chamber of Commerce Executives of Canada’s Staff Person of the Year Award, and most recently, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

Diane Findlay

Diane Findlay

Diane is the Manager of Compass for Success, a not-for-profit organization that focuses on the use of data by educators to improve student outcomes.  As one of the founding members of Compass, she has helped build the organization to support over 40 school boards and First Nation education organizations across the province of Ontario.

Diane works directly with teachers, principals, superintendents and CIOs across the province to help build an evidence-informed, decision-making culture from the classroom to the board room.  Her most recent work focused on transforming the classroom by utilizing the latest technology and in real-time, in order to improve learning for students and teachers. She has served on the Provincial Privacy Taskforce and recently created a Provincial Think Tank with a focus on data, access and privacy.

Follow Diane on Twitter @dianefindlay

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.

Richard will be moderating the opening panel.

Ted Graham

Ted Graham diTHINK speaker

Ted is the innovation leader at PwC Canada where he helps to turn "ideas into invoices." He is also founder of the South Core Innovation Hub, a collaborative group of innovation leaders from Toronto's unique waterfront area. Member organizations include large banks, start-ups, public transportation - all who are looking to make a substantial impact on their companies and communities. Prior to PwC Ted was a McKinsey strategy consultant with a focus on understanding and leveraging people networks to influence the spread of ideas.

He speak about his first-hand account of being an UberX driver and applies lessons learned to disruptive innovation themes in his forthcoming book, "The Uber of Everything" to be released later this year.

Follow Ted on Twitter @tedgraham

Read our interview with Ted to learn about his less-than-traditional journey in disruptive innovation.

Joy Henderson

diTHINK-speakers

Joy is a building architect and urbanist: Digital City Architect of CityZeen, a data-driven platform to construct digital identities for people living in urban centres. CityZeen will link citizens with urban data and services, providing new insights and personalization. On this subject, Joy spoke at the 2015 Intelligent Communities Forum and Global SMARTWEEK in 2014.
In the academic world, Joy has taught Design Concepts for Sustainable Building, Structures, and Design Studios at various post-secondary institutions.

Joy has worked in private practice, public service and academia in Canada, Europe, North Africa, and Latin America; her previous local engagement was at Diamond and Schmitt Architects. She holds a professional degree from the University of Waterloo, and a Masters in International Cooperation in Architecture: Urbanization and Housing in Developing Contexts, from the Universitat Internacional de Catalunya, Barcelona.

Follow Joy on Twitter @joykhenderson

Polly van Herpt

Polly van Herpt, diTHINK speaker

Polly van Herpt is a two-term student trustee from the Limestone District School Board and president of the Public Board Council of l'Association des élèves conseillers et conseillères de l’Ontario.

In her role within Ontario Student Trustees' Association, the largest student stakeholder in education and the voice for the student vision, she has advocated for changes within the education system regarding mental health. This included the organization of the Ontario Public Students’ Wellness Summit, a conference that united high school students in discussing mental health in the education system. She serves as a board member of VOCEC (Voices Opportunities Choices Employment Club), a Kingston non-profit mandated to provide employment and support to those with mental health challenges.

Follow Polly on Twitter @PollyvanHerpt

Nizar Ladak

Nizar-Ladak-diTHINK-Compute-Ontario

Nizar Ladak is Compute Ontario’s President and CEO, where he leads the organization’s strategy by facilitating provincial collaboration for advanced computing communities and assets. He is passionate about supporting a secure future for Ontario’s research and innovation industry.

Currently, Nizar is championing Compute Ontario’s Blueprint for Action, a consultations-based plan that helps direct the organization to better support Ontario’s advanced computing communities. The blueprint includes critical leadership around issues such as cyber infrastructure, privacy and security, big data, and more.

Follow Nizar on Twitter @ladak_nizar

Dan Mathieson

Dan Mathieson diTHINK2016 speaker

Dan Mathieson is in his fourth term as Mayor of Stratford and has sat on municipal council since 1995.  During his tenure, Dan has been a member on numerous boards and committees in healthcare, municipal affairs, law enforcement, athletics, not-for-profits, universities and colleges.

He is currently Chair of the Ontario Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC), Chair of Kings University College at Western University, Chair of the Stratford Police Services Board, a member of the Board of Directors of Festival Hydro and Rhyzome Networks, the Stratford Festival, and the Advisory Board of the University of Waterloo-Stratford Campus.  Dan is also a Governor on the Board of i-Canada and is on the Advisory Board for Walsh University – Institute for the Study of the Intelligent Community.

In November, 2015 Dan was awarded the Alumni Award of Excellence from the Master of Public Administration, Local Government program at Western University.  He is also the 2016 Western University, Public Administration Distinguished Practitioner in Residence, lecturing on governance and innovation in public institutions.

In 2012, Dan was chosen by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance (CATA) to receive the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, paying tribute to community leaders whose endeavours have set them apart as technology innovators.  As well, Dan received the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for public service.

Follow Dan on Twitter @danmathieson

Read our interview with Dan about how Stratford leveraged digital infrastructure.

Alfonso Licata

Alfonso-Licata-ORION

Alfonso is the President and CEO of ORION, and has a strong track record in the design and launch of new and disruptive businesses in the technology space and across multiple market segments. As a seasoned executive, Alfonso helps drive the organization’s strategy forward based upon consultations from ORION's community.

He is also a Volunteer Mentor and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, supporting teams and companies at Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ), Communitech and MaRS. He previously held a similar role at Deloitte, after co-founding several technology-based companies over the last 15 years.

Rhonda McEwen

Rhonda McEwen

Rhonda McEwen is an assistant professor at the Institute of Communication, Culture, Information and Technology and at the iSchool, at the University of Toronto. She holds an MBA in IT from City University in London, England, an MSc in Telecommunications from the University of Colorado, and a PhD in Information from University of Toronto.

Dr. McEwen has worked and researched digital communication media for 15 years, both in companies providing services and in management consulting to those companies. Her research and teaching centre around information practices involving new media technologies - with an emphasis on mobile and tablet communication, new media, social networks, and sensory information processing. CBS 60 Minutes journalists covered McEwen’s research in 2012 & 2013.

Follow Rhonda on Twitter @rhondamcewen

Andriy Miranskyy

Andriy-diTHINK-speaker

Andriy Miranskyy is an assistant professor at the Department of Computer Science, and faculty member of the Data Science Laboratory at Ryerson University. His research interests are in the area of mitigating risk in software engineering, focusing on software quality assurance, program comprehension, software requirements, project risk management, Big Data, and Green IT. Andriy received his Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics at the University of Western Ontario. He has 17 years of software engineering experience in information management and pharmaceutical industries.

Prior to joining Ryerson, Andriy worked as a software developer in the IBM Information Management division at the IBM Toronto Software Laboratory; currently, he is the Faculty Fellow of the IBM Centre for Advanced Studies. He has served as Guest Editor for a special edition of IEEE Software as well as organizer, committee member, and reviewer for several software engineering workshops and conferences.

Karen Louise Smith

Karen Louise Smith

Dr. Karen Louise Smith is an Assistant Professor at Brock University in the Department of Communication, Popular Culture and Film. Dr. Smith’s research explores the values of openness, privacy and participation in digital society.

She has collaborated extensively with Mozilla on the Hive Toronto digital literacy network, which features over 60 organizational members. Her recent research with Hive Toronto explored the hacking and making practices of informal educators. Additionally, she led a team to produce a prototype-level open badges privacy curriculum.

Follow Karen Louise on Twitter @smithisgeneric

Read our interview with Karen to learn about a unique, collaborative space to develop digital literacy.

Elizabeth D. Steiner

Elizabeth Steiner diTHINK speaker

Elizabeth Steiner co-authored the RAND report, Continued Progress: Promising Evidence on Personalized Learning, which investigates  personalized learning models with the goal to help develop solutions to education policy challenges. She has also published numerous reports about school leadership, educator pay for performance and school human resources reforms.

Elizabeth is currently a project associate at the RAND Corporation, and was previously a member of a team that designed a comprehensive plan for a Science and Technology Academy for Pittsburgh Public Schools. She holds a master's degree in public policy and management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University.

Jutta Treviranus

Jutta Treviranus

Jutta Treviranus is the Director of the Inclusive Design Research Centre (IDRC) and professor in the faculty of Design at OCAD University in Toronto. With its origins in the ATRC, which she launched in 1993, Jutta has established the IDRC as an international center of expertise in the inclusive design of emerging digital systems, networks and practices. Jutta also heads the Inclusive Design Institute, a multi-university regional centre of expertise. Jutta founded and directs an innovative graduate program in inclusive design at OCAD University.

Jutta is also the co-director of the Raising the Floor Consortium, which coordinates the Global Public Inclusive Infrastructure project. She leads many international multi-partner open source research networks that have created broadly implemented innovations that support inclusion e.g., Fluid Project, Floe Project, and together with her team, they've pioneered network-supported personalization as an approach to accessibility in the digital domain. She has also played a leading role in developing accessibility legislation, standards and specifications internationally.

Follow Jutta on Twitter @juttatrevira

Joseph Wilson

Joseph Wilson

Joseph is the Director of Business Development at Spongelab Interactive, an education technology company. As a veteran in Ontario's edtech space, he brings a variety of experiences, including teaching at the TDSB and helping develop the Entrepreneur’s Toolkit Workshop Series and the Future Leaders program for youth at the MaRS Discovery District.

He has a degree in Social Justice and Global Education from OISE. He has written on topics of science, innovation and education for NOW Magazine, the Globe and Mail, Financial Post and Yonge Street.  He also founded Toronto think-tank the Treehouse Group in 2009.

Follow Joseph on Twitter @josephwilsonca

Speakers from previous conferences

  • THINK 2015
    • Keynotes: Alfredo Tan of Facebook Canada and Dr. Dave Williams of Southlake Regional Health Centre
  • THINK 2014
    • Keynote: Jaigris Hodson of GCI Group
  • THINK 2013
    • Various speakers