Canada Selects Digital Experts to Lead Nationwide Transformation Consultations

Earlier this summer, the Government of Canada announced plans to launch national consultations on digital and data transformation that would feature leading companies and experts all coming together to discuss how technology could impact the future of the country.

Now Canada has unveiled the six innovation experts that will lead roundtable discussions around the country to better help citizens understand how to drive innovation in a data economy, prepare for how technology will alter the way people work, and ensure that everyone is confident and understands exactly how their data will be used. The six experts are listed below.

  • Janie Béïque, Executive Vice-President, Investments, Fonds de solidarité FTQ.
  • Dr. Arvind Gupta, professor of computer science at the University of Toronto and former president and vice-chancellor of the University of British Columbia.
  • Sarah Lubik, Director of Entrepreneurship for Simon Fraser University.
  • Carole Piovesan, a lawyer with McCarthy Tétrault.
  • Mark Podlasly, founder of Brookmere Management Group.
  • Ilse Treurnicht, former CEO of MaRS Discovery District.

These leaders will begin to host different roundtable discussions around Canada, beginning this month and lasting until mid-September. Business leaders, academia, civil society and other citizens are encouraged to reach out to the government to learn when one will come to a town close to hem and attend.

So far, the target cities that roundtables will be hosted in include Victoria, Vancouver, Calgary, Regina, Winnipeg, Waterloo, Toronto, Ottawa, Montréal, Québec, Fredericton, Charlottetown, Halifax, St. John’s, Whitehorse, Yellowknife and Iqaluit. Canadians can also participate online here.

“Unlocking the economic opportunities from digital transformation will help Canada’s competitiveness, attract investment and create middle-class jobs from coast to coast to coast,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “I thank these strong leaders for the key role they will play in engaging with Canadians on how we can leverage data to drive innovation while respecting the privacy of Canadians.”

The government has also stated that they will strive to include women, Indigenous peoples and other under-represented groups in the roundtables.

The consultations are designed to introduce Canadians to the new ways that data can drive innovation in new fields. It’s widely-known that technology thrives off data, but these experts will look to help show how data can impact agriculture, law, mining and other fields as well.

The first roundtable took place back on June 19 when the consultations were first announced. Companies and organizations including Cisco Canada, Element AI, Siemens Canada, and the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) all attended.