Speakers

Digifest 2012 hosted speakers from all around the world to share innovative ideas and open minds to new ways of thinking. We discussed everything digital culture from smart cities to new frontiers in games, social media, augmented reality and animation to new forms of creativity and entertainment.

To view our speakers from 2011, click here.

Biz Learning Forum (By invitation only)

Brandon Corman / Tracy Kitts / Andrew Wilkes / Damien Steel

Steve Angel / Michel ElingsAriel GartenJean-Francois Mayrand / Alex McLeodJeremy Mendes / Sébastien Pierre / Shane Williamson / Morihiro Harano (keynote)

Claire Boonstra (keynote) / Eric Boyd / Gary Campbell / Derek Chezzi / James Elder / Dave Farough / Debbie Gordon / Lotte Meijer (keynote) / Angela Pacienza / Terry Posthumus / Hossein Rahnama / Dr. Jorge Silva / Guhno Sohn / Mark Surman / Farhan Thawar / Andy Walker

Anna Anthropy / Cecily Carver / John Goodwin / John Helliker / Lindsay JibbPaul Nowosad / Mike OrrPaul Pattison / Matthew Scott / Chris Solarski / Warren Spector (Special Presentation) / Julian Spillane / Kathleen Webb / Emma Westecott / Marv Wolfman (Special Presentation) / Jaime Woo

Aiep / Carlo Ratti / Luc Courchesne

Steve Angel - Feel

Steve caught the animation bug early. At the age of 10 he was taking lessons at the AGO taught by legendary NFB animator Eugene Federenko. The classes continued for years until they were sidelined by basketball and dreams of a career in the NBA.
After a degree in sociology from McGill University he was overlooked in the rookie draft by the fledgling Toronto Raptors so he chose to travel and then enrolled Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. At NASCAD he experimented with all kinds of art forms and spent time abroad studying illustration at Parsons in New York.
While at school, Steve helped found Shift Magazine with some buddies. He then rediscovered animation and started working at Cuppa Coffee Animation. He worked there for three heady years animating, directing and cutting his teeth in the world of advertising and TV broadcast.
It was high time to make a break for it so Steve and Julian Grey (also a Shift Magazine and Cuppa Coffee survivor) decided to start their own company. Thus begat Head Gear Animation. Head Gear was designed as a boutique animation house with an eye for innovative design and a weakness for traditional animation forms. Steve, Julian and the HG collective have worked on loads of spots and campaigns (American Express, Milk, Ikea, Toyota, Nickelodeon etc.) and garnered dozens of international awards.
Head Gear just celebrated its 15th year in business and Steve and company are still having fun cutting and pasting and smooshing plasticine around under a camera.

Co-founder, Head Gear Animation

Topic: A Matter of Feel

The birth of animation took place in the analogue world. Animators would grapple with clay models and hand sketch their creations and then record them frame-by-frame on celluloid film stock. The process was long and arduous but in the end there was a certain type of feeling and rawness communicated to the viewer that was particular to this process. When computers were first used in animation they were billed as a saving grace and a means to greater efficiency and control and considered graphically superior to hand made creations. For traditional animators it was apocryphal! There was a knee-jerk, negative reaction to it at first. Over time, however, producers and creators have been forced to adapt to this technology for practical and production reasons. But how do we incorporate this technology to tell evocative stories that will capture the viewer’s imagination?

^^

Anna Anthropy - Play

More information coming soon.

Game designer, critic & author of “rise of the videogame zinesters”

Keynote Panel Presentation - Playing For Keeps: Diversity in Video Games

Digital gaming is now mainstream, a central part of modern life, yet it remains a challenge to find visible traces of widespread participation by women, or indeed any other traditionally-excluded group, in the creation of technology. It is our contention that this lack of participation impoverishes the potential for games and that the more diversity of artists and designers that engage in game making as an expressive medium the more diversity in types of games will emerge. Toronto is a vibrant hub for independent game development and there are a number of local initiatives that look at addressing the lack of diversity on display in the game development community. This panel features a mix of researchers, indie game makers and activists working in this area and will discuss the challenges and opportunities offered by a more inclusive game development community.

^^

AiEP - Media Gurus

Founded in 1988 by the dancer and choreographer Ariella Vidach and by the director and expert in multimedia Claudio Prati, the dance company AIEP realizes projects in the field of visual media arts and develop an expressive language that draws from the most diverse fields of the arts (dance, music, video art, design). In over twenty years of activity, the artistic career of AiEP has explored the use of interactive media in an increase of complexity: using video projections on stage interctive with almost invisible sensors worn by the performers, motion capture and computer graphics, always exploring the relationship between body, choreography and interactive systems and the interference between art and technology.

ARIELLA VIDACH & CLAUDIO PRATI

Interactive Dance: The Moving Body in Responsive Environments

Claudio Prati (video maker) and Ariella vidach (choreographer) co-founders and artistic directors of the cultural association and dance company AiEP, illustrate, with (short demonstrations and) the help of video projections, the stages and the most significant technologies of the trial that for years has distinguished their work: the use and the development of interactive tools applied to the choreography. The Conference is presenting the “state of the art”, in the development of interactive technology applied to dance and the performing arts.

^^

Claire Boonstra - Hack Keynote

Claire Boonstra is co-founder of Layar. She holds an MSc in Civil Engineering (TUDelft), worked with KPN, Unilever and Talpa Digital, was co-organizer of Mobile Monday Amsterdam and Managing Director of SPRXmobile. At Layar, Claire is responsible for the Business Development and works with publishers to make their print publications interactive. Claire spends more and more time on her calling: improving the way we educate our kids to be better prepared for today’s exciting and challenging world.

Claire was recently elected as a ‘Young Global Leader’ of the World Economic Forum, was a ‘Rising Star’ at the Women’s Forum for the Economy and Society, was Online Mediawoman of the Year, is ‘Young Advisor’ of EU Commissioner for the Digital Agenda Neelie Kroes and has been listed several times as one of the ‘most influential women in technology’. She is married and has two little kids.

Co-Founder, Layar

Making Your Reality Interactive

Click through on that schoolbook, painting or building It is now possible to bring our digital life into the physical reality. Layar makes it very easy to place and view digital content on top of real world objects. Claire will show various applications, how you can do this yourself and how it can be relevant in your life.

^^

Eric Boyd - Hack

More information coming soon.

President, Hacklab.to; Founder & Chief Cyborg, Sensebridge

TOPIC: Wearable electronic senses and jewelry
^^

Gary Campbell - Hack

Gary Campbell is a product manager and digital consultant with 16+ years experience. He created Aggregation magazine, one of the first iPad publications in Canada. He also oversaw the online transformation of Toronto Life magazine and managed all digital operations for five other St. Joseph Media properties. He’s won or been nominated for 27 national awards for his work and speaks regularly on topics from iPads to analytics.

Founder, Aggregation Magazine

Panel Discussion: Everybody Publish!

Becoming your own publisher has never been easier. Panelists discuss tools and lessons they’ve learned. Disruptive technology is helping knock down the barriers for publishing and distributing your own work. But it’s not just upstarts playing in that space. Traditional players are using this technology to redefine their brand in the digital space.

^^

Cecily Carver - Play

Cecily Carver co-founded the Toronto feminist organization Dames Making Games after participating in the Difference Engine Initiative in 2011. DMG’s monthly “speaker social” events have hosted 23 female speakers to date, and its two 2012 incubators have assisted 16 women in creating and showcasing their first games. Cecily grew up in western Canada, where she earned a degree in Computer Science from the University of Alberta. She began her career working as a software developer in Toronto and New York, but has rededicated herself to work in the cultural sector, and she now works for the Canadian Opera Company. Her Difference Engine Initiative project, the Victorian-stealth Adeline’s Elopement, is her largest game but she has also completed promotional games for independent Toronto theatre companies, including 2011′s Ride the Cyclone and Praxis Theatre’s Jesus Chrysler. She is fond of opera, Jane Eyre, Baldur’s Gate, and ADOM.

Co-Founder, Dames Making Games

Keynote Panel Presentation - Playing For Keeps: Diversity in Video Games

Digital gaming is now mainstream, a central part of modern life, yet it remains a challenge to find visible traces of widespread participation by women, or indeed any other traditionally-excluded group, in the creation of technology. It is our contention that this lack of participation impoverishes the potential for games and that the more diversity of artists and designers that engage in game making as an expressive medium the more diversity in types of games will emerge. Toronto is a vibrant hub for independent game development and there are a number of local initiatives that look at addressing the lack of diversity on display in the game development community. This panel features a mix of researchers, indie game makers and activists working in this area and will discuss the challenges and opportunities offered by a more inclusive game development community.


^^
Derek Chezzi

Derek Chezzi - Hack

Derek Chezzi is the Editor-in-Chief at Yahoo! Canada. He has worked in digital media for more than 12 years. He has helped shepherd his company through its transformation from an exclusive aggregator of content to one that creates some of the most popular blogs and video programs on the Web.

Editor-in-Chief, Yahoo! Canada

Panel Discussion: Everybody Publish!

Becoming your own publisher has never been easier. Panelists discuss tools and lessons they’ve learned. Disruptive technology is helping knock down the barriers for publishing and distributing your own work. But it’s not just upstarts playing in that space. Traditional players are using this technology to redefine their brand in the digital space.

^^

Brandon Corman - Biz Learning Forum

Brandon Corman is a business development manager for the Network of Angel Organizations – Ontario, where he is responsible for building Southern Ontario’s Angel investor networks on behalf of FedDev Ontario. Prior to this, Brandon was an Investment Analyst for a venture capital firm located downtown Toronto.

Business Development Manager, NAO-O
Topic: biz learning forum (invitation only)
^^

Luc Courchesne

Luc Courchesne - Media Guru

Luc Courchesne is a pioneer in media art and design. From interactive portraiture to immersive experience systems, he has developed innovative approaches which have earned him international recognition and prestigious awards such as the Grand Prix of the ICC Biennale 1997 in Tokyo, an Award of Distinction and several Honorary Mentions at Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, an exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, and participations in Wired’s Next Fest.Luc Courchesne is full professor at Université de Montréal, a founding member and current director of research at the Society for Art and Technology, and member of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts.

Professor of design, Université de Montréal
Founding member & director of research, Society for Art and Technology [SAT]

You Are Here

The proliferation and increased mastery of interactive, immersive and networked media is, as McLuhan professed, dressing us in technology. Dressed and immersed we are, socially engaged in a « reality jam » with the physical, the augmented, and the virtual. In the process, we have turned from spectators to users, visitors and now inhabitants of our own arts. Courchesne will present his recent works, and an overview of the research at Montreal’s Society for Arts and Technology (SAT) on immersive scenography, intelligent interaction and network experience.

^^

James Elder - Hack

James Elder received his PhD in Electrical Engineering from McGill University in 1996. He is currently a member of the Centre for Vision Research and an Associate Professor in the Departments of Computer Science and Engineering and Psychology at York University. His research seeks to improve machine vision systems through a better understanding of visual processing in biological systems. Dr. Elder’s research has won a number of awards and honours, including the Premier’s Research Excellence Award and the Young Investigator Award from the Canadian Image Processing and Pattern Recognition Society. His 3DTown research has recently been featured in the National Post and on CBC radio and television.

York University

3DTown: The Automatic Urban Awareness Project

The York Urban Awareness Project is focused on the development of a general system for sensing, distributing, interpreting and visualizing the real-time dynamics of urban life. The key to this technology is the integration of accurate 3D urban models with real-time video data. Our system provides a compelling understanding of the current dynamic life of a city, while protecting the privacy of its inhabitants. Object detection and motion tracking algorithms are used to find and follow people and cars in pan/tilt video camera data. A proprietary online calibration algorithm rectifies these data to a stored model of the 3D urban scene. Each person and car identified in video is then represented as an anonymous sprite in a 3D visualization of the urban scene. Observers can choose how they visualize the scene: in a user-controlled walkthrough or flythrough, or from the point-of-view of one of the actual agents presently in the scene.

^^

Michel Elings - Feel

Michel Elings is co-founder of TRVL, the first iPad-exclusive magazine in the world and the highest customer-rated magazine in the App Store with 5 stars. TRVL has a growing audience of 700,000 and every week they publish a new magazine on a destination. Apple showed TRVL in the WWDC Developers Video of 2012. At TRVL Michel is the product guy, responsible for everything that has to do with their app, design and software. TRVL is about to start another revolution in publishing.

Co-Founder, TRVL

The Future of Digital Publishing

How TRVL became the highest rated magazine and how they plan to revolutionize the future of digital publishing.

^^

Dave Farough - Hack

2012 marks 30 years in the radio industry for Dave. Born and raised in Winnipeg, his career began in 1982 at CJSL in Estevan, Saskatchewan running the Sunday morning bible tapes.In 1985 came KX96 in Brandon, Manitoba and then to Victoria in 1987 to help launch the Island’s first rock station- 100.3 The Q. Corus Entertainment came knocking in 2001 and the skinny kid from “The Peg” landed in Toronto as Program Director of 102.1 the Edge.Two years later, he moved 50 ft. down the hall to program The Mighty Q107, but he wasn’t done yet! In 2005, Dave became General Manager of 4 Corus radio stations in London, Ontario and during those 5 years, with an amazing team of radio pros, successfully launched 1031 Fresh FM and re-formatted FM96 and AM980 to become market leaders. Then, in 2010, it was back to Toronto and the new Corus Quay headquarters as a V.P. with the radio division overseeing Brands, Programming and New Media for the 37 radio stations across Canada.

VP; Brands, Programming & New Media, Corus Entertainment

Radio in 2012; Brought to you by the letter “E”

Remember when radio was only an audio experience? No pictures, no video, no text…just a “DJ” talking between songs and you listened on something that looked like a toaster in your kitchen. Well, times have changed! Your computer is now a radio, your smartphone is a radio and now it’s about talk, music, video, blogs, FB posts, tweets, Foursquare and Pintrest, online contests, YouTube, listener clubs, etc. These days, the consumer is VERY demanding and the best radio stations are equipped to meet the demand.

^^

Ariel Garten

Ariel Garten - Feel

If there ever was a gap between science, art, business and technology, Ariel has closed it. Her work converts the workings of the mind into tangible solutions. Ariel has researched at the Krembil Neuroscience Institute studying hippocampal neurogenesis, displayed work at the Art Gallery of Ontario, DeLeon White Gallery, and opened Toronto Fashion Week. The intersections of these diverse interests have culminated into various lectures with topics such as “The Neuroscience of Aesthetics” and “The Neuroscience of Conflict, featured on TVO’s Big Ideas.Referred to as the “Brain Guru” by Now Magazine, CBC Radio and the Toronto Star, Ariel has also run a successful real estate business, spent time as the designer and owner of a Canadian fashion boutique, and is a practicing psychotherapist.

CEO, Interaxon

Brainwave Enabled Technology - Engaging Machines With Your Mind

Connecting to computers with our minds is no longer science fiction, come try it for yourself. Brainwave enabled technologies have exploded onto the market and are moving into the mainstream, and the sci fi future of controlling your mouse with your mind or having complex relationships with technology is now an accessible, affordable reality. Come see how the our affect is going to effect our devices and interactions now and in the future.

^^

John Goodwin - Play

More information coming soon.

DURHAM COLLEGE

History of Gaming

Within a relatively small window of opportunity, disruptive innovation can create massive, unexpected change in the way we use technology. The games industry is driven by this effect, more than any other entertainment sector. When harnessed, it fuels the development process, allowing us to create fresh, inspirational new games. This talk will look at key innovations that forever changed the way we play games, how it affects the games industry, and how it changes the way we interact not only with technology, but with each other.

^^

Debbie Gordon - Hack

Debbie Gordon is the director of the kidsmediacentre @ Centennial College’s School of Communications, Media and Design in Toronto. The kidsmediacentre functions as a market research centre and media think tank providing strategic counsel, consumer intelligence and deep-seated insight into children’s media relationships for the content industry in Canada. Debbie spent the first 20 years of her life working in advertising and marketing with a number of multi-national agencies managing research and brand-building initiatives for companies like Unilever, Hershey, Heinz, Kraft, Levis, YTV, Much Music and CTV. In 2001, Debbie launched Mediacs, a media literacy consulting practice. Debbie’s work in the area of digital literacy, youth marketing, body image, gender representation and healthy eating attracted the attention of organizations and media across the country. Debbie has guided corporations and government agencies on research and important corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiatives including writing the digital literacy column for Microsoft, creating game-safety messaging for Xbox and developing strategic messaging and online activities for the Dove Self Esteem Fund. Debbie writes on children and media for CBC Radio, canadianparents.com and Today’s Parent Magazine and has been a regular guest speaker at many public health, marketing and education conferences.

Director, kidsmediacentre @ Centennial College’s School of Communications, Media and Design

kidsmediacentre: Exploring Kids' Media Futures

Debbie Gordon, director of the kidsmediacentre, provides an overview of the kidsmediacentre and a review of the importance of early stage, child-centred market research (viewability, playability) in the brand development process.

^^

Morihiro Harano (Japan) - Feel

Morihiro Harano is a multi-talented creative director with stellar achievements not only in advertising but in new business development,
strategy, product design and media initiatives. Joining Dentsu in 1994 when the Internet began to unfold its potential, Harano was committed to helping the agency’s digital subsidiaries with their digital initiatives. After leaving Dentsu, Harano helped a media startup to conclude a successful IPO, then returned to Dentsu to launch Drill, a non-traditional creative agency. In 2011, he founded PARTY with Naoki Ito, Qanta Shimizu, Hiroki Nakamura, and Masashi Kawamura. His works include among others ‘NTTDocomo: Xylophone’, ‘Menicon: Magic’, ‘ToyToyota: Backseat Driver’, ‘BeeTV’ and ‘EPOS: 100 Design Cards’. Harano is a consistent award winner at home and abroad and received to date: D&AD:Yellow Pencil, Cannes gold lions, ADFEST:360 Lotus, Good Design Award and Dentsu Advertising Grand Award. He is a member of D&AD and NY ADC and teaches part-time at Waseda University.

Creative Director, Party (Japan)

Creative Technologies for Advertising

In this session, the new Creative Lab, PARTY, looks at how new technologies relate to new ways of storytelling, and how it can nurture new markets and create new business eco-systems. It explains its creative process and team structure with rich case studies, to show how PARTY brings this new storytelling to life.

^^

John Helliker - Play

John Helliker is the Director of the Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) established by Sheridan College in conjunction with industry partners at Pinewood Toronto Studios. This studio and post-production facility serves as a collaborative workspace for integration of new production and post-production technologies within the film, television, gaming, and interactive industries. John has been a tireless advocate for collaborating with industry while ensuring that students are exposed to leading edges practices in the industry. Most recently, John was presented with the ORION 2012 Leadership Award for Higher Education, recognizing his innovative work at SIRT. Before joining Sheridan College as a faculty member in 2005, John worked for over 20 years as a freelance director, production manager, and writer within the Canadian film and television industry. At Sheridan John has taught directing, visual effects and previsualization, a new course jointly taken by directing, cinematography, and production design students.

Director, Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT) established by Sheridan College

Virtual Production and Convergence

Sheridan College’s SIRT Centre at Pinewood Toronto Studios focuses on virtual production technologies within the film, television and gaming sectors. It works with industry partners, as well as faculty and student researchers to both develop solutions and promote their application among current professionals and the next generation of digital storytellers. In this talk, John Helliker, Director of the SIRT Centre, will outline the approach to this evolving area of production being taken at SIRT.

^^

Lindsay Jibb - Play

Lindsay completed her BSc. Honours at Queen’s University, a MSc. at the University of British Columbia and a BSc. in Nursing at the University of Toronto’s Lawrence S. Bloomberg Faculty of Nursing. She began her PhD at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Nursing in 2011 under the supervision of Dr. Jennifer Stinson. Her PhD focuses on the development and evaluation of a Smartphone-based clinical decision support system for adolescents with cancer-related pain.

Lindsay Jibb, RN, The Hospital for Sick Children

Taking Ontario Mobile

Kathleen Webb, Director of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), located on OCAD University’s (OCAD U) campus, will lead this interactive session together with Lindsay Jibb RN at The Hospital for Sick Children, and Mike Orr, Practice Lead of Digital & Software Strategy at Cundari.

OCAD U will soon be launching the Taking Ontario Mobile (TOM) report along with MEIC’s own Mobile Innovation: Ontario’s Growing Mobile Content, Services, and Applications Industry 2012 report. This session will focus on a particular finding shared by both reports: the need for cross-industry partnerships, and, more specifically, the need for industry collaboration with health sector subject matter experts to create standards, services, and applications.

During this session, participants will learn about the process that The Hospital for Sick Children went through in identifying a mobile app opportunity, securing a business relationship with Cundari, and then the collaborative process that followed on their path to creating an award-winning app for helping children with cancer report their pain.

In keeping with the “play” theme, the presentation will be followed by a brainstorming challenge. Participants will be given health scenarios, and with support from mentors, will dream up mobile app-based solutions that could impact the healthcare sector and its clients in a connective and positive way for dealing with health issues.

^^

Tracy Kitts - Biz Learning Forum

Tracy Kitts has been with the National Business Incubation Association since May 2000 and is currently its Acting CEO. He oversees the internal operations and finances of the 2,100-plus member organization of incubator managers, developers and other Economic Development professionals. He manages a staff of 13. NBIA currently has members from over 60 nations, making it the most international business incubation association. NBIA has developed a comprehensive array of member services including publications, training, research, consulting and information clearinghouse activities, and it has significantly expanded its prestige in the United States and abroad. It is nearly five times larger than any of its peer associations.Mr. Kitts is a trained meeting facilitator and has been invited to speak and moderate discussions on topics related to business incubation and entrepreneur support at numerous events and conferences. He has also contributed work to various studies of the incubation industry and assessment of business incubation best practices.Mr. Kitts joined the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) as Director of Web Services in May 2000. As Director of Web Services he developed a Web site with over 10,000 pages of information on business incubation. Mr. Kitts is expert in multiple programing languages, database design and has extensive experience building Web sites and developing Web-based applications.Before joining the staff at NBIA, Mr. Kitts was Associate Director of the Appalachian Center for Economic Networks, a business incubation program working to revitalize rural economies in Appalachia. While there, his primary focus was development and implementation of programs that used technology to promote the social networking of entrepreneurs, entrepreneurial resources, schools, and local government. Mr. Kitts also has worked in information technology, software development, finance and real estate management. He is a graduate of Ohio University.

Acting CEO, National Business Incubators Association
Biz learning forum speaker (invitation only)
^^

Jean-François Mayrand - Feel

Jean-François specializes in the fields of interactive digitalcreation, applied arts and technology. While working for EPOXY,his talents have taken him all the way to Tokyo to work on a webusability/experimental laboratory project for Sony. He hasdesigned and art directed web-based projects for DHC/ART,La La La Human Steps, Autodesk, Ubisoft, Hexagram and Sony.

Interactive Creative Director, PHI CentRE

AMENTIA: A Moment of Insanity. Sharing/Leaving Traces of Your Experience as Visual Data.

AMENTIA is a new-media installation inspired by the exploration of the limits of madness. The audience is invited to interact with a man who suffers from multiple mental disorders, experiencing this relationship in a constrained environment where the choice of movement and sound will create a multiplicity of reactions from our patient. The audience will explore the fine line that separates our perception of sanity and the throes of madness.

^^

Lotte Meijer

LOTTE MEIJER - Hack KEYNOTE

Lotte Meijer is an interactive producer and interaction designer.
She works with educators, curators, researchers and scientists to find the best way to share their passions with a larger audience. Online, on location, or both.
In collaboration with other designers and developers, she creates interactive installations, websites, location-based mobile applications, and embedded media that are enlightening, entertaining, and easy to use.

Interactive designer and producer

Dead Ends & Happy Accidents

Lotte Meijer will talk about the problems and decisions she ran into on two projects, showing the strategy behind interactives, as well as the usefullness of testing, and telling how she actually ended up doing them. Starting from some of the project she create, Lotte will talk about the differences between web and offline interactives as well, and what influence the environment has on an interactive.

^^

Jeremy Mendes - Feel

Jeremy Mendes is a Vancouver based artist with over 10 years experience working on interactive projects. He specializes in Art Direction, Creative Direction, Design and Illustration. His experience spans — interactive design, motion design, information design, creative conceptual work, storytelling, brand development and advertising.He is currently working freelance on interactive projects with the National Film Board of Canada. These interactive projects truly capitalize on his collective experience — requiring an understanding of story, culture, art and design. And importantly, how these elements are conveyed through interactive experiences. He also continues to pursue contract work in all areas of his expertise.

Artist, National Film Board of Canada
topic: Bear 71: Interactive online documentary
^^

Alex McLeod

Alex McLeod - Feel

Alex McLeod constructs hyperrealistic 3D environments filled with crystalline mountains, fiery lakes, and rotund clouds, all rendered in a sickly sweet and gooey candy-colored palette. Recalling the wide-open vistas of Romantic landscape painting while at the same time staging otherworldly dystopias, McLeod’s CGI prints act as hybrid spaces that imply an almost infinite recombination of the past and present, the real and virtual.Beneath their seductively polished surfaces, of glimmering fortresses and floating geometric abstractions, lies a haunting stillness that comes forth in the aftermath of cataclysmic events. The cause of destruction remains unknown in these depopulated spaces -there are no people in these images, however much human traces remain in the rickety railways and empty fortresses. And yet, from the twilight of devastation shown in these strange dioramas lies possibilities for hope and rebirth in our own digital milieu through the artist’s new approaches to concepts as varied as ecological responsibility and the shared intersections between photography and painting.

3D Digital Artist

My World

Imagine if you could immerse yourself in a synthetic-created world, attach to it what you wanted and explore a kingdom that’s all yours. That’s what 3D Digital artist Alex McLeod has been able to do with his sophisticated renderings that make fantastical landscapes look real. Through this presentation you will learn how McLeod has been able to transcend the cold and calculated feeling that is often associated with digital creations and bring people to a place where they can feel nostalgic about 20th century master surrealist painters. After he discovered Google’s 3D Warehouse, which allows him to import three-dimensional assets as he liked, his artwork began to take on a different complexity which he couldn’t replicate with paint. He was hooked and retired his paintbrush in favour of computer-generated imagery.

^^

Paul Nowosad - Play

Paul leads TransGaming’s global content and service strategy, and company-wide business development business.Prior to joining TransGaming, Paul led the corporate strategy team at Ontario Lottery & Gaming (OLG), one of North America’s top five largest lottery and gaming corporations. Prior to OLG, Paul held senior management positions at Yahoo!, Transcontinental, and The Walt Disney Company.Paul plays an active role in many start-up ventures and post secondary programs such as the University of Toronto – Rotman Business Management School.  Paul holds a Masters degree from Colorado, and two undergraduate degrees from the University of Calgary, and University of Western Ontario.

Paul Nowosad, Vice President, TransGaming Inc

Smart TV: Not so Smart Yet

Discussing the constantly changing evolution of direct to consumer models enabled through connected devices and how the future of gaming will change in the living room due to Smart TV.

^^

Mike Orr - Play

Mike is currently the Practice Lead of Digital and Software Strategy at Cundari where he is responsible for creating innovative user experiences. His passion is business design and the intersection of user experience, technology, and strategy. He draws on 15 years of strategy consulting and system engineering engagements that span health (Microsoft Health, SickKids, Eli Lilly, Genuine Health), telecom (Rogers, Nortel), banking (RBC, TD) and retail (Sears, HBC). Recently Mike has been engaged in Research & Development projects that enable brands to better understand the effectiveness of their digital presence and reduce time-to-market for mobile initiatives.

Mike Orr, Practice Lead of Digital & Software Strategy at Cundari

Taking Ontario Mobile

Kathleen Webb, Director of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), located on OCAD University’s (OCAD U) campus, will lead this interactive session together with Lindsay Jibb RN at The Hospital for Sick Children, and Mike Orr, Practice Lead of Digital & Software Strategy at Cundari.

OCAD U will soon be launching the Taking Ontario Mobile (TOM) report along with MEIC’s own Mobile Innovation: Ontario’s Growing Mobile Content, Services, and Applications Industry 2012 report. This session will focus on a particular finding shared by both reports: the need for cross-industry partnerships, and, more specifically, the need for industry collaboration with health sector subject matter experts to create standards, services, and applications.

During this session, participants will learn about the process that The Hospital for Sick Children went through in identifying a mobile app opportunity, securing a business relationship with Cundari, and then the collaborative process that followed on their path to creating an award-winning app for helping children with cancer report their pain.

In keeping with the “play” theme, the presentation will be followed by a brainstorming challenge. Participants will be given health scenarios, and with support from mentors, will dream up mobile app-based solutions that could impact the healthcare sector and its clients in a connective and positive way for dealing with health issues.

^^

Angela Pacienza - Hack

Angela Pacienza recently joined The Globe and Mail where, as Executive Producer, Video, she is helping the digital team breathe life into the brand’s vision. Previous to this, she held the title of Director of Online News at The Canadian Press where she worked on the company’s digital strategy that included creating content for emerging platform, and launching their video business and social strategy.

Executive Producer, Video, the Globe and Mail

Panel Discussion: Everybody Publish!

Becoming your own publisher has never been easier. Panelists discuss tools and lessons they’ve learned. Disruptive technology is helping knock down the barriers for publishing and distributing your own work. But it’s not just upstarts playing in that space. Traditional players are using this technology to redefine their brand in the digital space.

^^

Paul Pattison

Paul Pattison - Play

Paul brings a combination of strategic planning and senior development skills to the team. He has been working with web, multimedia and video for the past 13 years in both large and small companies in the Interactive industry. Past clients include Samsung, Nike, BMW, Canon and YTV and many more.

He has a proven track record of translating his clients’ goals and objectives into solutions that work. He focuses on understanding the challenge before choosing the technical path. Relish’s past work is known for using the latest technologies in a thoughtful way that results in engaging user experiences.

Paul has a background in software design and has worked on a variety of projects including websites, Flash games, intranets and database applications. He is proficient in the use of many current technologies including HTML, CSS, Javascript, XML, Flash, Actionscript, Java, ASP, PHP, and SQL.

Technical director, all play, no work

Weirdwood Manor: The intersection of book, animation and gaming

A behind the scenes look at the making of Weirdwood Manor – part book, part animation, part game = all awesome. Paul will be walking through the ideas and process that spawned their upcoming iPad app entitled Weirdwood Manor. Weirdwood Manor is an interactive iPad storybook about three children who learn that by tapping into their imagination, they can harness extraordinary abilities. The app takes a different approach to how interactive stories are told.

^^

Sébastien Pierre - Feel

Sébastien Pierre is the founder of FFunction, a data-visualization studio that helps companies and organizations better understand and communicate their data. Sébastien is actively involved in the open-data movement, as a co-founder of MontréalOuvert and QuébecOuvert, two citizen initiatives promoting open-data in the city of Montréal and the province of Québec. For Sébastien, visual representation of information is the key to dealing with information overload and gaining insights into complex issues simply and effectively.

FOUNDER, FFunction

Telling Visual Stories With Data

Data is everywhere, from web analytics to open data published by government, but this data is often complex to comprehend and communicate. Increasingly, major media such as the NY Times, The Guardian and The Globe & Mail are using a new language to mold this data into accessible and simple to understand visualizations. In this discussion, you’ll learn what to do with a new dataset, how to get insights into the data and how to create visualizations that tell a compelling story.

^^

Terry Posthumus - Hack

Terry Posthumus has been the Coordinator of the 3D Animation programs at Humber Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning since their inception. He is responsible for the development of the 3D Animation, Art & Design Advanced Diploma. Terry has been teaching at Humber for the past twelve years in various capacities, including 3D Animation, Audio and Video and Motion Graphics/Compositing. Besides teaching at Humber, Terry has taught for over twenty years in both the 3D Animation and Music industries. Terry has benefited from an extensive career in animation and music. As an animator he has worked for Disney Animation Canada and has produced many commercial pieces for companies like The Swatch Group, Sopexa Canada, Air France and La Coste. As a musician/producer, he has arranged and produced several albums and is the owner of a music school in Port Perry, Ontario.

Humber College
The Rise of Open Source Software in Digital Art

^^

Hossein Rahnama - Hack

As an undergraduate student at Ryerson University, Hossein began his career at Rogers Communications as a wireless applications developer in 2000 under the supervision of Brad Fortner. In 2003, he worked at Alpha Global Labs as a software and knowledge engineer working on medical expert systems and the applicability of mobile devices in medical settings. Prior to his doctoral studies at Ryerson, Hossein was a mobile applications architect at Primus Telecommunications Europe in London, England. From 2007 to 2010, Hossein served as the Vice President of Research and Innovation at Appear Networks located in Kista, Sweden where he participated in a successful European Research Project (MUSIC). In 2009, Hossein completed his doctoral studies at Ryerson and in 2010, he became the research director at the Ryerson Digital Media Zone. Under Hossein’s direction, the DMZ’s Research and Innovation team has completed more than 16 funded projects and deployed large-scale projects internationally. Hossein is an advocate of experiential learning and is interested in involving undergraduate students in research and innovation projects from early stages of their careers.

Research and Innovation Director, Ryerson’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ)

Topic: Experiential Learning

^^

Carlo Ratti - Media Guru

Carlo Ratti is a civil engineer and architect who teaches at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he directs the SENSEable City Laboratory. This lab studies the built environment of cities — from street grids to plumbing and garbage systems — using new kinds of sensors and hand-held electronics that have transformed the way we can describe and understand cities. Other projects flip this equation — using data gathered from sensors to actually create dazzling new environments. The Digital Water Pavilion, for instance, reacts to visitors by parting a stream of water to let them visit. And a new project for the 2012 Olympics in London turns a pavilion building into a cloud of blinking interactive art.

Director, SENSEable City Laboratory

The Senseable City

The real-time city is now real! The increasing deployment of sensors and hand-held electronics in recent years is allowing a new approach to the study of the built environment. The way we describe and understand cities is being radically transformed – alongside the tools we use to design them and impact on their physical structure. The presentation will discuss these changes through the work of the SENSEable City Laboratory, a research initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

^^

Matthew Scott - Play

Matt Scott started his career at the ageof 18, by writing, producing, and directing his first feature film, “Two Sides To Every Story,” which made official selection at YoungCuts International Film Festival in Toronto. At this time, he also started film school at York University, studying both the history of cinema and motion picture production. During his undergrad, he interned and worked professionally in post-production and practical special effects, crediting over 20 feature films, television series, MOWs, and music videos. Before graduation he also wrote, directed, and produced three short films and two half-hour television pilots. In 2009, he continued to work in multiple departments on set and as a freelance writer, producer, and editor for clients; including major financial institutions and the ROM. In 2010, he created a series for the web and wrote and directed his fourth short film, “Again,” which made official selection at Zero Film Festival in Toronto and Montreal.Quickly realizing that FX is the essence of movie magic, the very thing that allows filmmakers to bring their imaginations to the screen, he began investing heavily in visual effects, popularly known as CGI. Eager to expand his skills and investigate new opportunities, he started a one year post-grad in video game design at George Brown College.In the summer leading up to school, he began feeding his curiosity for stereoscopic 3D and quickly became fluent in 2D to 3D motion picture conversion, stereo compositing, and true 3D game design. Throughout the year, he challenged himself to design and develop an ambitious, fully stereoscopic 3D, open-world game demo, meticulously recreating 1962 East Berlin and promoting depth and immersion around every corner. In addition to successfully producing the demo, he consequently innovated a new way of designing stereo 3D interactive experiences.
He is currently aiming to turn his project, “The Hammer and the Locksmith,” into a game web series, as a transmedia Cold War spy adventure, built through game episodes, short films, secret documents, photographs, stock footage, and audio recordings – all hosted on a single website.

Filmmaker / Game designer / Stereographer

Stereoscopic 3D and Interactive Immersion

Stereoscopic 3D has tremendous potential to enhance worlds and stories. With thoughtful design and iteration, 3D can quite literally add a level of depth and immersion unfamiliar to most players and audiences. Designing 3D for “open-world” games is especially challenging because players are allowed to look and go anywhere.

^^

Dr. Jorge Silva - Hack

Jorge is a recovering academic who spends his time coding and laying out circuit board traces in order to avoid relapsing. He is an Inclusive Tech. Developer at the Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University and Technical Lead at OCAD U’s spin-off Komodo OpenLab. Jorge has been working with people with disabilities for over a decade assisting in the development of technologies that support their daily lives. He is most proud of his work with Tecla, a set of tools that provides access to mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, for those who are unable to manipulate them due to disease or disability. Jorge believes open source is one of the best ways to empower marginalized communities to “scratch their own itch” (as he was recently seen preaching at TEDx MontréalQuartierLatin [http://tedxtalks.ted.com/video/TEDxMontrealQuartierLatin-Jorge]).

Researcher, Inclusive Design Research Centre, OCAD University Co-Founder, Komodo OpenLab Inc.

Hackcess Collective 0.1

With the inclusion of people with disabilities as an alibi, and a history of failed attempts as the main narrative, Jorge will introduce the latest iteration of a plausible user-driven model for hacking segregation out of mainstream design.

^^

Guhno Sohn - Hack

Gunho Sohn is an expert on virtual and augmented city modeling from various airborne and ground sensors. He is currently Co-Chair of International Society of Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing Working III/4 and leading an international benchmark tests on virtual city modeling techniques. His research primarily focus on producing augmented urban models, integrating “physical” urban space with “virtual” urban ICT (Information and Communication Technology) through multidisciplinary researches in spatial science, digital media and computer vision.Dr. Sohn completed his PhD in Geomantics Engineering from University College London in 2004 and is currently working as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth and Space Science and Engineering at York University. Before obtaining his PhD degree, Dr. Sohn has been involved in satellite image processing while he worked at Samsung Aerospace.

York University

3DTown: The Automatic Urban Awareness Project

The York Urban Awareness Project is focused on the development of a general system for sensing, distributing, interpreting and visualizing the real-time dynamics of urban life. The key to this technology is the integration of accurate 3D urban models with real-time video data. Our system provides a compelling understanding of the current dynamic life of a city, while protecting the privacy of its inhabitants. Object detection and motion tracking algorithms are used to find and follow people and cars in pan/tilt video camera data. A proprietary online calibration algorithm rectifies these data to a stored model of the 3D urban scene. Each person and car identified in video is then represented as an anonymous sprite in a 3D visualization of the urban scene. Observers can choose how they visualize the scene: in a user-controlled walkthrough or flythrough, or from the point-of-view of one of the actual agents presently in the scene.

^^

Chris Solarski - Play

Chris Solarski received a BA in computer animation and began working as a 3D character and environment artist for Sony Computer Entertainment in London. Eventually, Solarski enrolled in art classes at the Warsaw Academy of Fine Arts. During that time, he discovered the exciting connection between classical art techniques and video game design. He currently develops his own video games under Solarski Studio. He also works as creative director of the Swiss-based social gaming startup Gbanga, and lectures at SAE/Qantm Institute in Zurich.

Author & artist, solarski studio

Classical Art Techniques for Video Game Design

Chris Solarski’s talk will explore links between classical art and video games; enabling developers to increase their creative scope, and design more expressive and varied emotional experiences in games. Although the talk is primarily aimed at video game developers, it is equally accessible to those interested to learn about gaming’s future, and potential as an artistic medium. Distinguished video games—including Journey, World of Warcraft, and ICO—are studied alongside artworks by the Old Masters to demonstrate techniques that will enable game designers to develop games that convey meaningful, and more varied emotional experiences.

^^

Warren Spector - Play

Warren Spector, veteran electronic game designer/producer, heads up videogame developer, Junction Point, a division of the Disney Interactive.Warren has worked in the game industry since 1983. After six years at Steve Jackson Games and TSR, creating pen-and-paper games, he joined computer game developer Origin Systems where he produced several addictive games including Ultima Underworld: The Stygian Abyss, Ultima Underworld 2: Labyrinth of Worlds, System Shock, Ultima VII: Part 2, Serpent Isle, Wings of Glory, Bad Blood, Ultima Worlds of Adventure: Martian Dreams, Cybermage and others. After seven years with Origin, Warren did a brief stint with LookingGlass Technologies before founding Ion Storm’s Austin, Texas studio in 1997. At Ion Storm, he produced and directed the award-winning, genre-bending game, Deus Ex. He later oversaw development of Ion’s Deus Ex: Invisible War, released in December 2003, and Thief: Deadly Shadows, released in June 2004. He left Ion Storm in November 2004 to found Junction Point Studios, Inc., where he and his team developed concepts for a variety of video game and motion picture partners. In July 2007, Junction Point was acquired by The Walt Disney Company. As part of Disney, he directed the Wii-exclusive title, Disney Epic Mickey, which in 2010 offered gamers of all ages a new perspective on the world’s most popular cartoon star, Mickey Mouse.Though now a fixture in the electronic gaming world, Warren’s gaming roots are in the pen-and-paper game business, where he developed TOON: The Cartoon Role-Playing Game (among others) for Steve Jackson Games, and at TSR, where he worked on the Top Secret/SI Espionage role-playing game, The Bullwinkle & Rocky Party Roleplaying Game, and the Buck Rogers Battle for the 25th Century boardgame to name a few.In addition to making games, Warren has been a comic book author (2010’s Duck Tales series “Rightful Owners” for Boom! Studios), a novelist (“The Hollow Earth Affair,” published in 1988), a film reviewer for the Austin Chronicle, an Assistant Instructor for film and television studies at the University of Texas-Austin and the author of numerous magazine and newspaper articles. From 2000-2002, he served on the Board of Directors of the International Game Developers Association and served as co-chair of the IGDA’s education committee, forging ties between the game business and academic institutions around the world. In 2007, Warren, a frequent lecturer about games, taught the Master Class in Videogames and Digital Media at the University of Texas at Austin. In 2012, he was awarded the Game Developers Choice Lifetime Achievement Award as well as an honorary doctorate by Columbia College, Chicago. His work has been featured in exhibits at the Australian Center for the Moving Image in Melbourne and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Born and raised in New York City, Warren is a bookaholic, a boardgame fanatic, a lover of basketball and rhythm guitarist for the band “Two-Headed Baby.” He graduated from Northwestern University in Evanston, IL in 1977 with a B.S. in Speech and received his Master of Arts in Radio-Television-Film in 1980, remaining at UT to pursue a Ph.D in communications until the game business lured him away from academia just a dissertation short of a degree. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife, Caroline.

Disney Interactive Vice-President, Studio GM and Creative Director, Junction Point
topic: disney epic mickey 2: special presentation
^^

Julian Spillane

Julian Spillane - Play

Julian is a games industry professional with over 8 years of experience in the design and production of games for PC, console and mobile platforms. Prior to joining DHX, Julian was Project and Business Development Director at Silicon Knights as well as the co-founder and CEO of Frozen North Productions, a console game development studio with offices in Waterloo and Toronto, Ontario. In these capacities Julian was responsible for company operations, business development and overseeing the creation and development of games for the Nintendo DS, Wii, Xbox 360 and PC.
Additionally, Julian served in a research capacity for Canada’s Department of National Defence, developing software simulations for IED detection, day & night rescue and urban combat encounters.Julian is an active member of the Ontario gaming community as a board member of the Toronto IGDA, Interactive Ontario Games Committee, advisory member of Sheridan College’s Bachelor of Game Design and as a part-time lecturer at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

technology director, dhx interactive

Do Androids Dream of Branded Games?

This presentation will bring attendees through the exploration of how DHX is applying experimental concepts, emerging technologies and a fervent passion for game design to develop their IPs without compromising on great gameplay.

^^

Damien Steel - Biz Learning Forum

More information coming soon.

Damien Steel, CA, CFA, OMERS Ventures

^^

Mark Surman

Mark Surman - Play

A community activist and technology executive of 20+ years, Mark currently serves as Executive Director of Mozilla, makers of Firefox and one of the largest social enterprises in the world. At Mozilla, he is focused on using the open technology and ethos of the web  to transform fields such as education, journalism and filmmaking.Prior to Mozilla, Mark served as the Director of Telecentre.org, a $26M  initiative to connect community technology centres around the world supported by Microsoft, Canada’s International Development Research Centre, and the Swiss Development Cooperation.Earlier in his career, Mark worked as a consultant and social entreprenuer working on technology projects for organizations as diverse as Government of Canada, 211 Toronto, the Association for Progressive Communications and the Canadian Labour Congress.In the early 1990s, he started the web development arm of Canada’s first nationwide non-profit internet provider.Mark has raised more than $30M for projects he has led, authored two books, presented at 100+ conferences, written dozens of papers, and traveled to more than 40 countries. Mark holds a BA in the History of Community Media from the University of Toronto. He was also awarded a Shuttleworth Foundation Fellowship in 2008 to to explore the application of open source thinking to the field of  philanthropy. 

Executive DirectoR, Mozilla Foundation

Creativity and Literacy on the Web

The web’s has become not just a way to connect but also a fuel for human creativity. Mark Surman talks about how to bake this creativity into the web and into society for the long haul.

^^

Farhan Thawar - Hack

Named one of “Toronto’s Top 25 Most Powerful People In 2010”, Farhan is a well-known and respected figure in the city’s tech community. Before joining the Xtreme team, Farhan held the positions of Chief Software Architect at I Love Rewards, the Head of Search & MSN Platform for Microsoft Canada and Technical Lead at Trilogy Software. In addition to being a programming and engineering guru for Xtreme Labs, Farhan also uses his wealth of industry and mobile expertise to mentor aspiring mobile and tech startups.

VP Engineering, Xtreme Labs

Building An App: From Start to Finish

The journey to create an app can be quite the ride. From ideation, to design, coding to app store submission, Xtreme Labs employs a unique processes for creating world-class mobile experiences. Farhan Thawar, VP of Engineering at Xtreme Labs will give an in-depth look into what creating an app looks like in the Labs.

^^

Andy Walker - Hack

Andy Walker is a digital media executive with a track record of creating and managing large and specialty Internet media properties with a focus on Internet monetization strategies.Andy is the former, General Manager of twocows.com and has held senior positions at Canada.com, MSN.ca. He has also the go to guy on technology issues for CTV National News, CP24 and Sun News Network and author of 4 books. Currently, Andy is CEO Cyberwalker Media a strategic digital agency that guides companies on generating revenue with their digital assets and IP.On the charity front, Andy has sat on several non-profit boards and is an advisor to the Lt. Gov. of Ontario on technology literacy issues and is a mobile technology advisor to Kids Help Phone.

CEO, Cyberwalker Media

How to Get Rich With Digital

Key strategies to earning revenue on the web no matter who you are or what you do. The web has been delivered in its pure form in the sense that you can publish anything, anytime, anywhere. However, mostly until now, making money from the web has been in the domain of the big companies. But now, anyone can monetize on the web using new platforms that have emerged in the past 5 years. If you are clever about using these platforms and use some old school “hacker” thinking, you can make a living off the web by combining good content and engaging an audience with monetization tools that is pretty common to everyone. In this talk, we will demonstrate through our own experience (case studies) how these strategies work. Examples” including www.tomorrowsgaspricetoday.com, www.totallyadd.com and www.technologytips.com.

^^

Kathleen Webb

Kathleen Webb - Play

Kathleen Webb is the Director of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC) and directing the MEIC Convergence Centre at OCAD University, where she manages private public partnerships in support of mobile industry development, creates programming that addresses talent and training issues, and coordinates the association’s membership base of stakeholders in the mobile media ecosystem. She is also CEO of CRS Technology Corp., established in 1989 Ms. Webb has led numerous ICT and digital media initiatives, including  Deutsche Telekom, CANARIE,  the Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance, and Ryerson University. She is a member of the Project Management Institute and a long-time volunteer in Toronto’s digital media community.

director, mobile experience innovation centre (meic)

Taking Ontario Mobile

Kathleen Webb, Director of the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre (MEIC), located on OCAD University’s (OCAD U) campus, will lead this interactive session together with Lindsay Jibb RN at The Hospital for Sick Children, and Mike Orr, Practice Lead of Digital & Software Strategy at Cundari.

OCAD U will soon be launching the Taking Ontario Mobile (TOM) report along with MEIC’s own Mobile Innovation: Ontario’s Growing Mobile Content, Services, and Applications Industry 2012 report. This session will focus on a particular finding shared by both reports: the need for cross-industry partnerships, and, more specifically, the need for industry collaboration with health sector subject matter experts to create standards, services, and applications.

During this session, participants will learn about the process that The Hospital for Sick Children went through in identifying a mobile app opportunity, securing a business relationship with Cundari, and then the collaborative process that followed on their path to creating an award-winning app for helping children with cancer report their pain.

In keeping with the “play” theme, the presentation will be followed by a brainstorming challenge. Participants will be given health scenarios, and with support from mentors, will dream up mobile app-based solutions that could impact the healthcare sector and its clients in a connective and positive way for dealing with health issues.


^^

Emma Westecott - Play

Emma Westecott is Assistant Professor in Game Design and Director of the game:play lab at OCAD University in Toronto, Canada (http://www.ocadu.ca). She has worked in the game industry (both mainstream and indie): in development, research and the academy. She initially achieved international recognition for working closely with Douglas Adams as game designer and producer for the best-selling Starship Titanic (1998, Simon & Schuster). Since then Emma has built up a worldwide reputation for developing original as well as popular game projects. Emma has worked in game research and education and directed research labs in Sweden and at The University of Wales, Newport where she organized the 2007 Women in Games conference (http://www.womeningames.com). Emma has several funded research projects at the game:play lab (http://research.ocadu.ca/gameplay/home) in areas as diverse as game futures, indie game culture, wearable games and feminist game studies.

Assistant Professor, Games Design, Digital Futures Initiative (DFI), ocad university

Keynote Panel Presentation - Playing For Keeps: Diversity in Video Games

Digital gaming is now mainstream, a central part of modern life, yet it remains a challenge to find visible traces of widespread participation by women, or indeed any other traditionally-excluded group, in the creation of technology. It is our contention that this lack of participation impoverishes the potential for games and that the more diversity of artists and designers that engage in game making as an expressive medium the more diversity in types of games will emerge. Toronto is a vibrant hub for independent game development and there are a number of local initiatives that look at addressing the lack of diversity on display in the game development community. This panel features a mix of researchers, indie game makers and activists working in this area and will discuss the challenges and opportunities offered by a more inclusive game development community.

^^

Andrew Wilkes - Biz Learning Forum

Mr. Wilkes is an active Angel investor, who helps high-growth potential businesses accelerate growth in traditional and technology sectors – including software/transaction processing, clean technologies, biomaterials, warehouse automation, water technologies and financial services.  He has a personal passion to help grow globally oriented businesses internationally.Mr. Wilkes is a partner in Management Initiatives Inc., a business advisory and investment firm located in Toronto, Ontario where he invests, mentors, raises capital and advises business owners and investment funds.Mr. Wilkes is also the volunteer Past-Chair and a Founding Member of the National Angel Capital Organization (NACO), and past-Chairman of the NACO Public Policy Committee. He is active on numerous Boards of Directors with private and public businesses, and volunteer organizations (NACO, Network of Angel Organizations Ontario, the Centre for Commercialization and the Venture Lab). 

Director Network of Angel Organizations – Ontario
topic: Biz Learning forum (invitation only)

^^

Shane Williamson - Feel

Shane Williamson is a tenured Associate Professor of Architectural Design and Computing at the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design and a member of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.Shane received a Bachelor of Science in Architecture with Highest Honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1994 and a Master of Architecture from Harvard University in 1999. The following fall he began teaching at Daniels where his research and teaching interests involve an exploration of the digitally based convergence of representation and production afforded through parametrically based software and computer numerically controlled platforms.Shane maintains a strong belief in the significance and responsibility of architectural production respective of the effectual nature of technological processes and methods of assembly and fabrication. His research and creative practice employs advanced digital tools as a means to critically engage traditional modes of construction and tectonic expression. Over the past ten years, Shane has authored papers and has contributed to grant proposals which have cumulatively been funded nearly 2 million dollars. Significant funding agencies have included the Canada Foundation for Innovation, National Research Council of Canada, and Networks of Centres of Excellence of Canada.Prior to founding Williamson Chong Architects, Shane was half of the Toronto-based practice, WILLIAMSONWILLIAMSON INC., which was awarded the 2006 Young Architects Prize from the Architecture League of New York, the 2008 Ronald J. Thom Award for Early Design Achievement from the Canada Council for the Arts, and was named one of the top 40 under 40 design practices in Canada by the National Post. Most recently, the studio had received a 2010 Award of Excellence from the Ontario Association of Architects, a 2010 Design Exchange Award, and a 2011 North American Wood Design Award.

founding partner, williamson chong architects

Scale-Subtract-Touch: An introduction to the digital fabrications of Williamson Chong Architects

The work of Williamson Chong Architects incorporates digital fabrication as a critical engagement of traditional modes of construction and tectonic expression. Surface, which is often associated with the superficial, ornamental, and cosmetic, provides the primary critical territory for these investigations.

^^

Marv Wolfman

Marv Wolfman - Play

To celebrate the launch of Disney Epic Mickey 2: The Power of Two industry luminary Warren Spector of Disney Interactive’s Junction Point and award winning comic book writer and Disney Epic Mickey 2 story writer Marv Wolfman will be hosting a special discussion on video game design and development. This session will delve into Warren’s experience from conception to animation in making the iconic Mickey Mouse into a video game hero and Marv’s experience writing Oswald The Lucky Rabbit’s first words.Due to limited seating, pre-registration for this presentation is required. Please register at Disney.digifest@highroad.com.

Esteemed Comic Writer and Author of Disney Mickey 2: The Power of Two Script
^^

Jaime Woo

Jaime Woo - Play

Jaime Woo is a Canadian game designer, community organizer, and writer.He is the Festival Director and Co-Founder of Gamercamp, an annual videogames festival in Toronto every November. His physical game Gargoyles was selected to be part of the 2011 Indiecade Big Games program in Los Angeles, the 2012 Come Out and Play festival in New York City, and the 2012 Hide and Seek Weekender festival in London, England. In addition, he has curated and organized events examining the roles of gender and queerness in videogames.He has spoken at the influential SXSW Interactive conference, as well as for organizations such as the Toronto International Film Festival, Rotman School of Business (at the University of Toronto), North by Northeast Interactive, and the Toronto chapter of the International Game Developers Association.He has been featured and interviewed on programs such as CBC’s Here and Now, Q with Jian Ghomeshi, and Metro Morning, Space’s Innerspace, the syndicated program Electric Playground, Financial Post, Globe and Mail, Metro Toronto, Xtra, Fab, In Toronto, and the AV Club.He has written for national publications and can be found in various publications including the Toronto Standard and the Ethnic Aisle.

Festival Director and Co-Founder of Gamercamp

Keynote Panel Presentation - Playing For Keeps: Diversity in Video Games

Digital gaming is now mainstream, a central part of modern life, yet it remains a challenge to find visible traces of widespread participation by women, or indeed any other traditionally-excluded group, in the creation of technology. It is our contention that this lack of participation impoverishes the potential for games and that the more diversity of artists and designers that engage in game making as an expressive medium the more diversity in types of games will emerge. Toronto is a vibrant hub for independent game development and there are a number of local initiatives that look at addressing the lack of diversity on display in the game development community. This panel features a mix of researchers, indie game makers and activists working in this area and will discuss the challenges and opportunities offered by a more inclusive game development community.


^^