This year’s event is one you don’t want to miss!

Digifest 2017 is connecting innovators in the creative community to share their unique stories using digital applications to address global problems under the theme of Work, Learn, and Play. Taking the stage will be local and international speakers from the education, design, entrepreneurship, gaming, and technology industries. This will be an incredible opportunity to meet, mingle and network with leading professionals from across the country.

We’re not done. We will be announcing more speakers in the coming weeks so please stay tuned for that.

Digifest 2017 Speakers

Eran Chen

Founder, Executive Director,

ODA New York

Eran Chen AIA, is the founder and executive director of ODA, an architectural firm… More Info

based in NYC. Eran is known for creating buildings that are radically innovative as well as fiscally and ecologically responsible. Since its inception in 2007, ODA has quickly become one of the most prolific and influential firms of its kind. Having developed groundbreaking residential projects in New York, Eran’s work has been widely featured in such publications as The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Spaces, Architectural Digest, Interior Design, and World Architecture News, among others. Eran received a B.Arch Diploma with Honors from the Bezalel School of Art and Design in Jerusalem, where he serves on the board and as guest lecturer.

Hyunmin Cheong

Senior Research Scientist,


Hyunmin Cheong is a Senior Research Scientist at Autodesk. His current…More Info

research interest lies in the application of artificial intelligence techniques in generative design. He is working on Project Dreamcatcher, a generative design system that synthesizes design solutions for problems specified by designers and helps them explore the solutions generated. Hyunmin obtained his PhD in Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at the University of Toronto, in the field of design theory, methods, and computing. He has contributed a number of publications to international scientific conferences and journals.

Kate Edwards

Executive Director,


Kate Edwards is the Executive Director of the International Game…More Info

Developers Association (IGDA) appointed in December 2012. She is also the founder and principal consultant of Geogrify, a Seattle-based consultancy for content culturalization, and a unique hybrid of an applied geographer, writer, and corporate strategist. Formerly as Microsoft’s first Geopolitical Strategist in the Geopolitical Strategy team she created and managed, Kate was responsible for protecting the company against political and cultural content risks across all products and locales. Since leaving Microsoft, she has provided guidance to many companies on a wide range of geopolitical and cultural issues and she continues to work on a variety of game franchises. Kate is also the founder and former chair of the IGDA’s Localization Special Interest Group, a former board member of IGDA Seattle, the co-organizer of the Game Localization Summit at GDC, and is a regular columnist for MultiLingual Computing magazine. In October 2013, Fortune magazine named her as one of the “10 most powerful women” in the game industry and in December 2014 she was named by GamesIndustry.biz as one of their six People of the Year in the game industry.

Jake Hirsch-Allen

Lead for Higher Education,


Jake Hirsch-Allen is currently the Lynda.com Lead for Higher Education at LinkedIn Canada.More Info

He teaches at McMaster University, is on the advisory board of the Hot Docs cinema and founded Lighthouse Labs, Canada’s foremost software development bootcamp. A former intellectual property and international criminal lawyer, Jake was also Chair of Technology Committee of the Global Education Platform.

Satish Kanwar

VP of Product,


Satish Kanwar is a Director of Product at Shopify, the world’s leading multichannel …More Info

commerce platform powering over 325,000 businesses around the world. He was chosen as one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 (Retail & Ecommerce) for 2016. Satish was previously the co-founder of Jet Cooper, a product design agency that was acquired by Shopify in 2013. He is an active speaker, mentor, and angel investor in the Canadian startup community, and served as co-organizer of TEDxToronto and Startup Open House.

Janice Liu

Director, Digital Solutions & Operations

Cossette Media

Janice Liu leads a team that drives digital marketing  …More Info

strategy for all of their clients across finserve, telco, ecomm and more. Janice has led and managed large cross- functional teams to achieve business objectives on both the agency as well as client side. At her previous role as Head of Digital Personalization and Campaign Optimization at CIBC, Janice developed and executed on short to long term digital sales strategies to achieve overall sales goals. She not only led acquisition and branding campaign initiatives, but she also played key roles on technology implementation projects at the digital channels, driving through various updates to the Online Privacy policy, risk assessments and more. An accomplished and seasoned marketer, Janice has over 10 years of experience in digital marketing, with a heavy focus on performance and acquisition programs to drive online sales and revenue. Janice is passionate about technology and the ability to leverage digital interactions to drive personalized, client-centric experiences.

Andrew Low Ah Kee

Executive Vice President International,,


As Executive Vice President International at GoDaddy, Andrew is responsible…More Info

for customers and business in the 56 markets that GoDaddy operates in outside the United States. International expansion has been a core growth driver for GoDaddy with the business more than doubling since Andrew first joined, to now serving nearly five million customers. Before officially joining GoDaddy in 2014, Andrew was a Director at KKR Capstone where he worked with the Consumer, Technology, and Media investment teams to evaluate investment opportunities and accelerate portfolio company growth. He has worked with GoDaddy since KKR’s investment in 2011. Outside of working hours, Andrew plays rambunctiously with his three children, aged 4, 2 and newborn. His very understanding wife, Laura, also allows him to regularly test his culinary skills and indulge his love of tennis. An avid reader, Andrew passes the time on long haul flights reading historical fiction and biographies. Andrew holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BASc from in Engineering Science from the University of Toronto.

Nik Nieuwenhuijs

Co-founder and CEO,


Nik is the co-founder and CEO of CODE D’AZUR, a creative digital agency…More Info

driven by the idea of combining strategy, creativity, design and technology. Nik began his career in 2000, just as people were starting to realize the power of the internet. Picking up on this, Nik started off as a freelance creative technologist supporting advertising agencies in their efforts to introduce digital as a key component of their client work. Later working as an autodidact, he mastered programming in several languages.

In 2007 Nik co-founded CODE D’AZUR with design expert Jeroen Bijl, in an effort to nail not only digital technology but beautiful design. Together they evolved the CODE D’AZUR from a digital production studio to an award-winning, full-service creative digital agency with offices in Amsterdam and Barcelona.

Aside from design and technology, it’s music that gets Nik up in the morning. He has a wide interest in genres from jazz to techno and can often be found playing at clubs and bars in his hometown of Amsterdam.

Marla Natoli

Director of Video and Mobile,

AOL Canada

As Director of video and mobile products at AOL Canada, Marla oversees…More Info

the strategy for all video and mobile solutions that include AOL and Microsoft advertising in Canada. Prior to her role at AOL, Marla helped build the mobile department at Olive Media and held roles at Microsoft Advertising, Postmedia Network and MyScreen. Marla is a thought leader and innovator in the digital industry. She was Named to the esteemed list of Top 30 Under 30 by Marketing Magazine in 2012, awarded a Gold Young Lions Award in Media in 2013 along with a Gold National Advertising Award in Media in 2014, and named Mobile Marketer’s Women to Watch in 2016.

Grant Owens

Chief Strategy Officer,

Critical Mass

Grant Owens is the Chief Strategy Officer at Critical Mass. His role at the agency is to lead…More Info

strategy teams across the globe to ensure the agency is relentlessly focused on designing meaningful experiences that improve customers’ lives. Grant has a track record of building strong teams that deliver best in class, strategically driven work. Prior to joining CM, Grant was with Razorfish for more than 10 years. Most recently as GVP Head of Planning, he was responsible for digital strategy for clients such as Spotify, Mercedes-Benz, Ford, Viacom, CBS Radio, BMW and CNN. Grant also spent four years working in planning at Euro RSCG 4D. Grant also serves as Adjunct Professor at New York University, where he has taught for more than two years. He graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a B.A.

Corey Timpson

Vice President,

Canadian Museum for Human Rights

As Vice President, Exhibition, Research, and Design, Corey Timpson is a member…More Info

of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR) executive leadership, charged with the fulfillment of the CMHR’s national mandate. Corey is responsible for the direction and oversight of all exhibition programs, research and curation, design and production across all media, digital platforms and transmedia storytelling, and collections-based initiatives. Corey’s primary focus at the CMHR is to facilitate interactive and dialogic experiences between and among visitors (on-site and online) through the use of mixed-media, digital technology, and immersive environmental design, relying on sustainable, scalable, and efficient data and interaction models. Corey has a B.A. in Law from Carleton University and a Post-Graduate Diploma in Interactive Multimedia from Algonquin College of Applied Arts & Technology. Joining the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in September 2009, he was the first experienced museum professional on staff. Prior to accepting his role at the CMHR, Corey spent 8 years at the Canadian Heritage Information Network and the Virtual Museum of Canada where he led the interface and creative design, information architecture, and web management teams, working with a large number of Canada’s 3000 museums, on digital innovation projects. Published by ACM SIGGRAPH and MIT, among many others, and sitting on multiple national and international cultural committees, Corey is an active collaborator in the experience design and digital media discourses within the cultural domain.