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Digital Planning

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[Digital Planning header]

Digital Planning

[Imagining our Digital Future banner]

Symposium Speakers for the Principal's Symposium: Imagining our Digital Future

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[Claire Ahn]

Claire Ahn

Claire Ahn is an Assistant Professor of Multiliteracies at the Faculty of Education, Queen’s University.

Within the broad field of multiliteracies, Claire is interested in how visual information is mediated across different platforms.

As a former secondary English teacher, Claire is also interested in how educators implement digital media in their classrooms as a way to develop students’ critical digital literacy skills, and how adolescents navigate and understand digital media.

Reading between the lines: Supporting and guiding students in a digitally complex world

The rise in digital reading environments such as the internet encouraged the New London Group (1996) to promote a paradigm shift in literacy studies to favour “mulitliteracies” over “literacy” as a descriptor for the complex task of making sense of and producing contemporary multimodal texts.

In light of this, educators face a particular challenge. Today, there are renewed concerns for developing students’ critical digital literacy skills because information is mediated across many different platforms, which can have varying affects on audiences.

These calls for attention come at a time when there are number of social justice issues that are being discussed widely and offer varying perspectives.

To add, deceptive media (“fake news”) also appears to be rampant. While technology and the advent of social media have impacted the creation and production of deceptive media, one must avoid placing blame on technology and the media.

To develop students’ critical digital literacy skills, educators should instead consider the mode of delivery and to also re-examine our own relationships with media.

[Bianca Marao]

Bianca Amaro

Dr. Bianca Amaro has a PhD in Applied Linguistics from Pompeu Fabra University, Spain, and a degree in Law and Letters. She is active in the following subjects: Scientific Communication, Copyright and Open Access to Scientific Information and Open Science. She is oordinator of the Brazilian Open Access Program at the Brazilian Institute of Information in Science and Technology, and also coordinates the following systems and projects: Open Access Scientific Publications Portal (oasisbr); Brazilian Digital Library of Theses and Dissertations (BDTD); Directory of Open Access Policies of Brazilian Scientific Journals (Diadorim); the Brazilian Open Access Digital Repositories and Brazilian Open Access Scientific Journals projects.

Dr. Amaro is a member of the board of the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), a member of the board of the Open Access Repository to Science Network - LA Reference, and the winner of the International Electronic Publishing Trust for Development Award (EPT 2015).

[Laurent Beland]

Laurent Béland

Dr. Laurent Karim Béland is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical & Materials Engineering at Queen's University, Canada. His research is based on computational materials science, at multiple time and length scales. His interests include materials for nuclear power applications, and cement paste and other disordered materials.

Dr. Béland obtained his BSc and PhD in physics from the Université de Montréal, Canada. He was a postdoctoral fellow in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Materials Theory Group and a postdoctoral fellow at the MIT.

Our digital future: the computational materials scientist’s point-of-view

A significant portion of Canada’s energy supply – 17% – is developed through nuclear fission. However, energy is not the only by product of nuclear fission: a myriad of unstable isotopes and particles are produced, which degrade the materials nuclear reactors are made from over time.

Engineers are tasked with understanding this degradation, which allows them to determine the lifespan of nuclear reactors, best practices for storing spent nuclear fuel, and to develop new materials able to withstand harsh conditions.

Dr. Laurent Béland’s research is focused on these questions of radiation. He has developed methods to simulate the effects of radiation atom-by-atom at a fairly large time scale – simulations are typically able to model reactions that happen within nanoseconds, while Béland’s simulation methods can go up to seconds.

Reactions taking place over an even longer period of time can be modelled as well, though it requires a higher degree of computational power. Because of this, Béland and his team work closely with the Centre for Advanced Computing – issues of “big data” exist in his work because massive amounts of atoms need to be accounted for.

This adds to the lab’s multidisciplinary approach: Béland’s work draws on tools from the fields of physical chemistry, solid state physics, and software engineering.

[Richard Birtwhistle]

Richard Birtwhistle

Dr. Richard Birtwhistle is a family physician and clinical epidemiologist. He is a Professor in the departments of Family Medicine and Community Health and Epidemiology and is currently Director of the Centre for Studies in Primary Care in the department of Family Medicine at Queen's University. He also served as the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Medical Education in the School of Medicine at Queen's from 1996-2004. He continues to practice family medicine in clinic 2 days per week.

His primary research interests include hypertension, chronic disease management, and the evaluation of primary care models. Since 2008 he has been the principal investigator and is the current Chair for the Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) which is a national project funded by the Public Health Agency of Canada ($11.8M). Its aim is to develop a central repository of de-identified patient data on chronic diseases from a network of primary care practitioners using electronic medical records. This data source will be available to health care providers and researchers for surveillance and research purposes, ideally leading to improved chronic disease care in Canada.

Dr. Birtwhistle received the Researcher of the Year award in 2010 by the College of Family Physicians of Canada in recognition of the successes of CPCSSN. He is also the Vice Chair of the newly reconstituted Canadian Task Force in Primary Healthcare which is producing evidence based guidelines for primary care practitioners.

Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN)

The Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Surveillance Network (CPCSSN) is a pan-Canadian electronic medical record surveillance system—the first of its kind in Canada.

CPCSSN is a database of more than a million de-identified patient records from participating family doctors and nurse practitioners across Canada. These records are collected to inform research, chronic disease surveillance, policy-making and practice improvement, ultimately improving the quality of patient care and identifying novel risk factors for chronic disease.

Dr. Richard Birtwhistle, a professor at Queen’s School of Medicine, was the Chair and principal investigator of CPCSSN.

[Samuel Dahan]

Samuel Dahan

Samuel Dahan joined the Faculty of Law at Queen’s University as an Assistant Professor and Queen’s National Scholar in 2018. He is the Director of the Conflict Analytics Lab, a LegalTech global consortium on the application of data analytics and AI to dispute resolution and negotiation. He is an Adjunct Professor of Law at Cornell University, an affiliate faculty member of the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School, and a member of the European Incubator of the Brussels Bar.

Dahan worked as a référendaire (legal secretary) at the Court of Justice of the European Union and as a legal adviser for the Comparative Law unit of the French Conseil d’Etat (French Administrative Supreme Court.) He was a rapporteur (case handler) in several high-profile antitrust and labour law cases before the Court, including one that resulted in a €500 million fine.

Dahan has served as a consultant to the European Commission, European External Action Service, Alstom-Siemens, l’Oréal, Carrefour, and various European ministries. He also served as an advisor to the chief negotiator of the Financial Assistance Program in Latvia during the financial crisis of 2008.

Dahan holds a doctorate in law and economics from the University of Cambridge, where his research focused on regulatory responses to the euro crisis from an empirical data perspective. He has studied law and dispute resolution at Harvard Law School, Ecole Normale Supérieure (ENS-Ulm), the Sorbonne Law School, the European Academy of Legal Theory in Brussels and the University of Nice. Dahan competed at the national level in Taekwondo in France, earning silver, and has medaled in French and British kickboxing championships.

The Analytics Resolution Tribunal: an AI Experiment for Small-Claims in Ontario

The Conflict Analytics Lab is the largest global consortium of researchers and practitioners interested in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and data science as it applies to conflict resolution and negotiation.

Samuel Dahan, a Queen’s National Scholar and Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Law, is the inaugural Director of the Conflict Analytics Lab. While largely comprised of legal academics and professionals, specialists in business, mathematics, international relations, and economics—both in the industry and in academia—are also represented in the lab.

Conflict analytics, the lab’s focus, is concerned with conducting data analysis in a way that can inform the strategy of negotiators, human resources professionals, and lawyers based on conflict predictability. Insights produced through this new data analysis are not meant to replace human reasoning, but rather compliment it.

The applications of conflict analytics the lab intends to examine include consumer disputes mechanisms, small claims, online dispute resolution, labour and commercial dispute settlements.

[Claire Davies]

Claire Davies

Claire Davies is an assistant professor in Mechanical and Materials Engineering at Queen’s University with an honorary senior lecturer appointment in the Department of Surgery and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland. She attended Queen’s University for her undergraduate degree, the University of Calgary for her masters and the University of Waterloo for her doctorate. She did a postdoctoral research fellowship in the Department of Surgery at the University of Auckland before taking an academic role in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Auckland, and then her appointment Queen's.

From an industrial standpoint, for several years she was a rehabilitation engineer at the Saskatchewan Abilities Council, developed an industrial biomedical engineering Master's program with Fisher and Paykel Healthcare in New Zealand, and has acted as an expert witness in both the Auckland and Christchurch High Courts.

Dr. Davies’ interest in biomedical engineering evolved while volunteering at Bloorview Children’s Hospital (now Holland Bloorview Kids Rehabilitation Hospital), where she observed that the technology available to these children did not allow them the same freedom as other children. She has since dedicated her research to improving the lives of people with disabilities. Her research covers three main areas; biomaterials, motion analysis and assistive technology.

Equitable Digital Access

The Principles of Universal Design were introduced in the 1970s to bring attention to equal access for people with impairments; specifically mobility issues. However, these principles lack recommendations for development of computer access tools to engage individuals with planning and cognitive disabilities.

Recent statistics suggest 19.7% of Canadians do not access the Internet. Many have difficulties due to physical and motor control limitations, including poor mobility or reduced manual dexterity (7.2% and 3.5% respectively).

My research seeks to fill this gap by providing a framework to support design that enables effective computer access. This will allow individuals with disabilities greater participation in society.

[Alexander Dirksen]

Alexander Dirksen

A proud member of Métis Nation BC, Alexander has diverse experience as a researcher, facilitator, public speaker and strategist. From contributing to the development of national awareness building efforts to exploring tangible acts of reconciliation with individuals and organizations, his work is driven by a fierce personal commitment to decolonization and the meaningful advancement of reconciliation.

Alexander currently serves as Program Director for Community Knowledge Exchange, where he is supporting innovative, decolonized and inclusive social change practices in Canada. He also serves on the board of Apathy is Boring.

Alexander has served as Manager of Strategy and Engagement with the First Nations Technology Council, Government Relations and Strategic Engagement with Reconciliation Canada, Operations Manager for the Banff Forum and as a researcher at the Centre for Global Research at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, where he explored transitional justice and reconciliation in the context of Timor-Leste.

Alexander holds an M.A. in Global Affairs from the Munk School of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and a B.A. (with Honours) in International Studies from Simon Fraser University. In 2018, Alexander was recognized as one of 200 global "Leaders of Tomorrow" by the St. Gallen Symposium.

Decolonizing Digital Spaces

Our future is being actively shaped as we speak, in part through the lines of code that power the platforms and services we rely upon in our daily lives.

As we begin to critically examine our relationship to technology through digital planning, how do we ground these conversations in a recognition of our collective responsibility to reconciliation?

And how can we shape inclusive, safe and equitable digital spaces that respect and elevate Indigenous voices and perspectives?

[Julia Gollner]

Julia Göllner

Julia Göllner is the Commissioner of Academic Affairs for the Queen’s University Alma Mater Society and the Vice President of the Ontario Undergraduate Student Alliance.

Working closely with University Administration and advocating externally to the Provincial Government, much of Göllner’s work is related to the educational quality and financial accessibility of a university degree.

Authoring a policy paper on Technology Enabled Learning, Göllner is passionate about the digital future of our university and the ever increasing importance of digital literacy on campuses.

Digital Literacy and the University Campuses

Digital literacy is defined as “The ability to use technological tools to solve problems, underpinned by the ability to critically understand digital content and tools. This can include the more advanced ability to create new technological tools, products and services.”

Students arriving to post-secondary education should be equipped with basic technological skills – introduced to them at the K-12 level.

On post-secondary campuses, the amount of students studying technology, computer science, and fields preparing them for the modern workforce is not very high. According to the Brookfield Institute, there is currently a massive influx of students that are taking third-party courses and “boot-camps” during vacation time from the post-secondary system.

What does it mean for the university as being the place in which students are prepared to succeed and innovate in the workforce? And what does it mean for students who can not afford these third party programs?

There are plenty of opportunities for evolution – whether that be by providing open entry level computing courses, expanding the online network of computing courses, partnering with third-party organizations to subsidize costs for students interested, developing our campus infrastructure, the opportunities are endless. It is a conversation regarding how we as an institution can prepare our graduates adequately for what is inevitably in store for them.

[Meghan Goodchild]

Meghan Goodchild

Meghan Goodchild is the Research Data Management Systems Librarian at Queen’s University and Scholars Portal of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL).

In her role, her time is split between developing research data infrastructure locally at Queen’s and working with Scholars Portal on research data initiatives that support OCUL as a whole. She represents Queen’s and Scholars Portal on national working groups at CARL’s Portage Network, including the new Dataverse North working group.

Meghan previously worked as a postdoctoral fellow and project manager for the Orchestration and Perception Project at McGill University. She holds a PhD in Music Theory and a Master of Information Studies from McGill.

Uncovering the mysteries of musical orchestration

Orchestration at its core is the art and science of combining musical instruments. It influences what we hear in music and how it makes us feel. It has the capacity to provide musical weight and colour and it contributes to the identity and tone of the composer, ensemble, and musical style. However, very little research has been conducted on this essential component of music and we are left with a limited understanding of the what, how, and why of orchestration.

Through a SSHRC partnership grant led by McGill University, the Analysis, Creation and Teaching of Orchestration (ACTOR) project brings together an international and interdisciplinary team of researchers, composers, music theorists, computer scientists, psychologists, sound recordists and conductors with the goal to revolutionize the study, teaching, and practice of orchestration.

My role merges my research background in music theory and current expertise in research data management as a librarian at Queen’s University and Scholars Portal, the service arm of the Ontario Council of University Libraries (OCUL). The team will create innovative digital tools for analyzing, learning, creating, and teaching orchestration.

Research data management underpins the project to enable and support the integration of different types of data, to build interoperable tools, and to facilitate the exchange of interdisciplinary knowledge. Quote: Building digital tools is needed to develop an understanding of orchestration and its essential role in how we perceive and experience music.

[Dan Howes]

Dan Howes

Dr. Dan Howes graduated from medical school at Dalhousie University and completed his training in first Emergency Medicine, then Critical Care at Queen’s University. He continued his career in Kingston and is the Department Head of Critical Care Medicine and a Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine and at Queen’s University.

Dr. Howes’ academic mission is in the promotion resuscitation medicine as a sub-specialty. As an educator at Queen’s he has a focus on simulation based teaching, and serves as the Director of the Faculty of Health Sciences Clinical Simulation Centre. He is the Program Director and founder of Canada’s first fellowship in resuscitation medicine through the Department of Emergency Medicine.

Dr. Howes’s research focuses on leadership, crisis decision making, the development of expertise, and emerging technology.

The Future of Simulation

Simulation is underutilized in medical education compared to other fields like aviation. Our inability to simulate the clinical environment accurately has created a 'fidelity gap'.

Emerging technologies are advancing rapidly and offer potential solutions to help us fill this gap. Augmented reality will transform our lifeless manikins into patients who offer visual cues to the physicians. Artificial intelligence will allow them to mirror real patient behaviours, while dynamic measures of cognitive load will allow the experience to be tailored to the abilities of the learner.

[Yuri Levin]

Yuri Levin

Yuri Levin is the Stephen J.R. Smith Chair of Analytics at Smith School of Business. He is also the inaugural Director of Queen’s Master of Management Analytics program, and the inaugural Director of the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics at Smith School of Business at Queen’s University.

Yuri holds a Ph.D. in Operations Research from Rutgers University, where he taught for 3 years before joining Queen's in 2002. He teaches analytical decision making, strategic analytics, and pricing analytics courses in the MBA, MMA, and Executive Education programmes.

Yuri is an Associate Editor of Operations Research. He served as Chair of INFORMS Revenue Management and Pricing Section, Associate Editor of Management Science, and was a Guest Editor of the special issue of European Journal of Operational Research on Revenue Management and Dynamic Pricing. His research has been funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Council of Canada.

Yuri has consulted widely on consumer behavior modeling and optimization of pricing and has developed corporate training programmes in strategic analytics, analytical decision making, and strategic pricing optimization.

Customer Analytics

The Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics builds on the Smith School of Business’ reputation for excellence in the field of data science as it’s applied to business strategy. In an increasingly digital age, the majority of a person’s day-to-day activities produce some sort of data – your spending habits, for example, or what you tend to browse online.

For researchers at the Smith School of Business, the existence of this data presents an important opportunity. Yuri Levin, director of the Scotiabank Centre for Customer Analytics, has had a longstanding interest in “revenue management,” which is essentially strategic pricing based on customer habits. It’s a practice that originates from the airline industry: prices are targeted for individual consumers rather than standardized across the board.

While the benefits of revenue management may seem skewed to the seller, Dr. Levin insists that customers benefit as well as prices lower overall.

Data analytics can then be thought of as tool for tailoring consumer experiences to individual customers, thereby making marketplace interactions more efficient. The applications of this data analysis in business are numerous: it can be used to inform the creation of effective loyalty programs, or to streamline customer service. Seeing the value of data analytics gives companies and institutions a novel competitive advantage.


Susan Lord

Susan Lord is a Full Professor in the Department of Film and Media, Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Affiliated with the Graduate Program in Cultural Studies, as well as the Departments of Art and Gender Studies, she researches in the areas of cinema and media arts; cosmopolitanism; new media, gendered spaces and the city; and Cuban cinema and visual culture. She has undertaken curatorial projects of media arts, worked with artists groups and artist-run centres for over 20 years.

With a background in feminist and critical theory, Susan has worked at the intersection of cinema, new media, and aesthetic theory. She teaches Media Studies, Cinema and the City, and Cuban Visual Culture, and is a member of the teaching staff for DEVS 305: Cuban Culture and Society, which takes students to Havana each May as part of the Queen's/U of Havana exchange program.

Her projects currently are concerned with citizenship practices in the media arts and civic spaces of post-colonial worlds. Theories of publicity, temporality and affect are of ongoing concern, as is the continuing project on artist groups and translocal practices. She has received three SSHRC SRGs and numerous Canada Council, OAC and Queen's research awards. Her current SSRHC-funded project is on the visual culture of Havana.

Vulnerable Media Lab

The interdisciplinary Social Ecology of Vulnerable Media (SEVM) research project is dedicated to the study of media collections and collectives through the preservation, migration and remediation of the rich and diverse audio-visual production in Canada by Indigenous peoples, women, LGBTQ2 and local audio-visual artists in the Kingston region.

Susan Lord, Dylan Robinson and Rosaleen Hill have received $800,000 from CFI/JELF and MIRS/ORF to study and create new archival processes and forms of access for the robust audio-visual histories of media makers whose cameras and microphones are used to contribute to community resilience, and as tools of critical reflection of colonial and patriarchal archives.

The work in the state-of-the-art Vulnerable Media Lab is grounded in the understanding that audio-visual cultural heritage has been unequally cared for and that the cultural practices of women and Indigenous peoples are in particular need of a dedicated archival focus and framework. A key objective of the project is to work with “born digital media” alongside a variety of “obsolete” and “marginal” media, all of which share their own kinds of material vulnerabilities.

The researchers aim to develop methods and processes to ensure this media art history is preserved and made available according to culturally specific and ethically driven forms of access, thus engaging in new conversations about cultural heritage.


Joshua Marshall

Joshua Marshall, PhD, PEng, is a multi-disciplinary engineering scientist, educator, and technical consultant with expertise in mobile robotics, autonomous driving, systems control engineering, navigation and robotic mapping. He has a particular interest in heavy vehicle automation and planetary exploration applications. His research has resulted in multiple commercial technologies as well as one spin-off company, and is featured in the "From Earth to Us" exhibit at the Canada Science & Technology Museum, among other public outlets.

At Queen's, Dr. Marshall is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science, where he leads the Offroad Robotics research group, and serves as Interim Director of the new Queen's Institute for Disruptive Technologies. In 2016-17, he was the KKS International Visiting Professor at the Centre for Applied Autonomous Sensor Systems (AASS) in the School of Science and Technology at Örebro University, Sweden. Prior to joining Queen’s, Dr. Marshall led the Robotic Vehicles Group in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering at Carleton University and was a Control Systems Engineer on both space and terrestrial robotics projects at MacDonald, Dettwiler, and Associates (MDA).

Dr. Marshall received a BSc in Mine-Mechanical Engineering and an MSc in Mechanical Engineering, both from Queen’s, and a PhD in Electrical & Computer Engineering from the University of Toronto. He is a Senior Member of the IEEE and a licensed Professional Engineer in the province of Ontario.

The Future of Things

From deep underground to the comforts of your own home, Dr. Marshall takes us on a tour of our modern world, where artificial intelligence, robotics, and mechatronics are changing the nature of everyday life and work.

By way of a brief introduction to Queen’s new Institute for Disruptive Technologies, Dr. Marshall describes how the future of work may be very different for our children. He argues that the future will belong (individually) to problem solvers and (collectively) to countries that choose to adapt, both technologically and culturally.

[David Maslove]

David Maslove

David Maslove is a Clinician Scientist with the Departments of Medicine and Critical Care Medicine, and an Internist and Intensivist at Kingston Health Sciences Centre. His research focuses on informatics, genomics, and the use of biomedical Big Data to address current challenges in critical care.

Dr. Maslove completed medical school and residency in Internal Medicine at the University of Toronto. He trained in Critical Care Medicine at Stanford University where he also completed graduate studies in Biomedical Informatics. He collaborates with critical care and informatics specialists both in Canada and abroad, and is the Associate Editor for Data Science for Critical Care Medicine.


Patients receiving treatment in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) of a hospital are inevitably hooked up to a number of monitoring devices, all of which generate massive amounts of data. However, save for measures of blood pressure and heart rate most of this data is discarded, or at the very least goes unused.

Dr. David Maslove, a specialist in Critical Care Medicine with the Queen’s Department of Medicine, is looking to challenge this – rather than ignoring the rise of biomedical Big Data, researchers should use it to their advantage. Recognizing the value of data collected in the ICU, Maslove and colleagues formed the CONDUIT (Combining Novel Datasets to Understand Illness Trajectory) lab.

The CONDUIT lab hopes to develop novel datasets that are able to merge different types of biomedical data, as well as analytic tools to turn those data into actionable medical knowledge. With the datasets in question being so large, the CONDUIT lab team is not only made up of medical researchers but academics in the fields of computing and statistics. Overall, the lab’s aim is facilitate better understanding of acute illnesses, both for research purposes and to aid in clinical decision-making processes.

[David Murakami-Wood]

David Murakami-Wood

Educated at Oxford and Newcastle in the UK, David Murakami Wood is currently Canada Research Chair (Tier II) in Surveillance Studies at Queen’s University in Ontario. He is a widely published specialist in the sociology and geography of surveillance and security in cities from a global comparative perspective, with a particular focus on Japan, Brazil, Canada and the UK, and is also very interested in science fiction and the future of surveillance.

His current research project, Ubicity, funded by by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), considers the place of surveillance and security in the development of smart cities in Canada, the UK and the USA. In 2013-14, he was a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Invitation Fellow at Kwansei Gakuin University and Visiting Professor at Meiji University, in Japan. He is also an organizer in the field of surveillance studies as Co-editor-in-Chief of the international, open-access, peer-reviewed journal, Surveillance & Society, as well as a consultant and media commentator on surveillance issues.

As a co-investigator of the Big Data Surveillance project, also funded by SSHRC, David Murakami Wood was co-leader (with David Lyon) of research Stream One: Security, and is the co-editor of the first publication from the BDS project, Security Intelligence and Surveillance in the Big Data Age, coming in 2019 from UBC press. He has now moved to co-lead Stream Three, on Governance, with Val Steeves (Ottawa).

Can human beings flourish in smart cities?

‘Smart cities’ are characterized by pervasive and distributed sensor networks generating big data for forms of centralized and automated urban management, drawing together such previously unconnected infrastructural systems as video surveillance, meteorological stations, traffic lights and sewage systems. This talk considers the smart city as the archetypical urban form in an age of ubiquitous planetary surveillance. The talk considers the place of human rights within the smart city in a broad sense, not simply in terms of the dominant language of individual privacy and the data protection, but also equity, access to services and justice, and ultimately, the capacity of diverse human and other living  beings to flourish, in cities in which people are increasingly monitored, categorized and managed as logistical flows. It suggests some directions from the practices of bottom-up, citizen-centered city hacking initiatives and maker-spaces, but cautions that such practices are both rooted in the same kinds of techno-economistic logics driving corporate smart city plans, and are already subject to corporate or state capture and recuperation into capitalism. The paper concludes that if smart cities are to be a way that artificial intelligence and big data can serve human flourishing, they need to be detached from narrow techno-economistic purposes and more truly refounded in social-ecological thinking, and this means dismantling many of the surveillance logics that underpin smart cities.

[Omo Oaiya]

Omo Oaiya

Omo Oaiya recently relinquished his responsibilities as pioneer CTO of the West and Central African Research and Education Network (WACREN) where he continues to work with other regional networks in Africa on the development of high-capacity Internet networks for research and education across the continent. Current efforts are focused on helping to formulate and facilitate plans for the future, developing partnerships to sustain corporate strategic initiatives of the emerging African networks.

Prior to this, he was network manager and system developer in different IT sectors before offering consultancy and project management support to research and academic institutions in Nigeria and other parts of Africa for the last twenty years.

Omo has a Pharmacy degree from the University of Benin, Nigeria and maintains interests in health as volunteer team leader for the IT development group in the Peoples Open Access Initiative (Peoples-uni), a UK based initiative providing postgraduate public health education via Internet-based e-learning.

He also volunteers as one of the three representatives from AFRINIC, the regional Internet registry for Africa in the Address Supporting Organization (ASO) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). The purpose of the ASO is to review and develop recommendations on Internet Protocol (IP) address policy and to advise the ICANN Board.

[Kathleen Shearer]

Kathleen Shearer

Kathleen Shearer is the Executive Director of COAR (Confederation of Open Access Repositories), an international association of repository initiatives with a membership of more than 140 institutions worldwide from 40 countries on all 6 continents. COAR’s aim is to enhance the visibility and application of research outputs through a global network of open access repositories based on international collaboration and interoperability.

Shearer has been working in the area of open access, open science, scholarly communications, and research data management for more than 15 years. She has been the Executive Director of COAR since 2015, and participates in numerous other organizations in Canada and internationally. She has been an active member of the Research Data Alliance (RDA) and is co-chair of the Research Data Alliance Interest Group, “Long Tail of Research Data”.

Shearer is also a research associate with the Canadian Association of Research Libraries and was instrumental in launching the Portage Network in Canada, a library-based research data management initiative. She is also a strategic consultant with the US-based Association of Research Libraries (ARL). Shearer also sits on the CASRAI Executive Board.

[Hakeem Subair]

Hakeem Subair

Hakeem holds a master’s degree in Management Innovation and Entrepreneurship from the Smith School of Business, Queen’s University. He also has a Certificate in Social Impact from the Centre for Social Impact at the same university. Prior to that, he obtained a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Business, concentrating in Strategy and Entrepreneurship from the University of Windsor, Canada, as well as Bachelor of Finance from the University of Ilorin, Nigeria. Hakeem has won several academic awards and honors and is a member of the Golden Key International Honors Society.

His passion for human capacity development has been the driving force behind his participation in various community development activities. It is what led him to join Enactus Windsor, a student led organization committed to promoting economic sustainability to the Windsor-Essex community in Canada, and its neighbor, Detroit in the United States. He worked as Senior Consultant in the consulting team and playing a pioneering role in two multiple award-winning projects CookStart – a program that helps immigrant women setup and run their own food related businesses, and Project Releaf - a project that helps bring fresh water to some of the most vulnerable communities in the world.

Hakeem’s current role as founder and CEO of 1 Million Teachers is shaped by his passion for applying business principles to tackle some of the biggest challenges facing our planet. A passion that grew into a love for giving children the best chance for reaching their full potentials and increasing the capacity of teachers to help their students to do so.

Education at Scale

Without qualified and motivated teachers, children stand very little chance of realizing their potential. Unfortunately, there is a massive shortage of such teachers across the world.

1 Million Teachers (1MT) aims to close this gap. Our goal is to attract new young teachers to the profession by offering training and support while simultaneously motivating existing teachers to continue their professional learning. Through the use of basic cell phone technology, teachers across Sub-Saharan Africa can engage in accessible, high-quality professional development modules.

Our online platform compliments the learning by offering support in the way of an online professional learning community of peers to answer questions, validate experiences and encourage continued learning with mentorship on a scale never attempted before. We have incorporated gamification best practices by measuring the online learning through levels to engage participants and motivate them to keep learning. Once teachers reach the ‘black belt’ or highest levels of learning, they become local expert teachers and serve to motivate, inspire and support new learners.

The result? Sustainable, long term professional learning communities all over the continent.

[John Willinsky]

John Willinsky

John Willinsky is Khosla Family Professor of Education and Director of the Program in Science, Technology, and Society at Stanford University, as well as Professor (Part-Time) of Publishing Studies at Simon Fraser University. He directs the Public Knowledge Project, which conducts research and develops open source scholarly publishing software in support of greater access to knowledge.

His books include Empire of Words: The Reign of the OED (Princeton, 1994); Learning to Divide the World: Education at Empire’s End (Minnesota, 1998); Technologies of Knowing (Beacon 2000); The Access Principle: The Case for Open Access to Research and Scholarship (MIT, 2006;) and The Intellectual Properties of Learning: A Prehistory from Saint Jerome to John Locke (Chicago, 2017).

What a History of Learning Can Offer a Digital Future

We begin our symposium discussions on our digital future with an historical perspective of the university’s culture of learning. Drawing on his recent book The Intellectual Properties of Learning: A Prehistory from Saint Jerome to John Locke, John Willinsky will present what he believes has set learning apart from other forms of human activity in the West as it facilitates, if inconsistently, the generation and circulation of scholarly knowledge.

He will draw encouraging and cautionary lessons from this history that might guide us in breaking the new ground needed to advance learning in the digital age, in an effort to clear a path, much as Locke attempted more than three centuries ago, to a greater commonwealth of learning.

[Kazu Yamaji]

Kazu Yamaji

Kazutsana Yamaji is Professor, Digital Content and Media Sciences Research Division, National Institute of Informatics (NII), Japan, and Director of the NII Research Centre for Open Science and Data Platform. Dr. Yamaji has published extensively on topics such as open access repositories, learning support systems and blockchain, in addition to neurobiology.

Prior to joining NII, Dr. Yamaji was a Research Fellow of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Department of Ophthalmology, Wakayama Medical University from 2000-2002, and Researcher, Brain Science Institute, Laboratory for Neuroinformatics, RIKEN from 2002 to 2007.In 2018, Dr. Yamaji received the Commendation for Science and Technology by Japan’s Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, for Development of Repository Infrastructure for Promoting Open Science.

[Nora Young]

Nora Young

Nora Young is the host and the creator of Spark, CBC’s national radio show and podcast about technology and culture. She was the founding host of the CBC Radio show, Definitely not the Opera, where she often focused on new media and technology.

As a journalist, author, and speaker, Nora explores how new technology shapes the way we understand ourselves and the world around us. Her book, The Virtual Self, on the explosion of data about our behaviours, opinions and actions, is published by McClelland and Stewart. She has been an avid hobby podcaster since 2005. Her favourite technology is her bicycle.

[Farhana Zukernine]

Farhana Zukernine

Farhana Zulkernine is an Assistant Professor and the Coordinator of the Cognitive Science program at the School of Computing at Queen's University. She holds a Ph.D. degree from the School of Computing at Queen's University and is a member of Professional Engineers of Ontario.

She has more than 15 years of international work experience in three continents in software design, analysis and research. As a researcher she has worked with CA Technologies, IBM Canada, SAP Germany and Fondazione Bruno Kessler in Italy. Her research interests include service and cloud computing, big data analytics and management, and cognitive computing. She has ongoing research collaborations with the Centre for Advanced Computing (CAC) and Compute Canada, Canadian Primary Care Sentinel Services Network (CPCSSN) and the Queen's School of Medicine. She has taught a wide number of courses in database management systems, cognitive science and machine learning.

Cognitive Intelligence

In this era of machine intelligence, researchers are working towards creating intelligent systems that can assist us in everyday life to improve our quality of life. But to serve efficiently and satisfy the customers, machines must have interactive and cognitive capabilities.

The journey that started with simple interactive chatbots have been evolving to include deep learning and cognitive models to improve comprehension of user needs, type, personality, and tone of speech towards building cognitive intelligence. Decades of research has contributed to the advancements we observe today but what truly leveraged artificial intelligence was the recent advancements in big data analytics technology.

In the short talk I will discuss some of the work our students are doing in BAM Lab at the School of Computing in computer vision, speech, Internet of Things and text analytics to create intelligent systems for a variety of application domains.

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