Who we listen to and who we trust is changing, while at the same time, smarter systems and machines are emerging that are ready and willing to make decisions on our behalf. Automation and machine learning are having a disruptive and transformative effect on every sector and industry, driving innovation, and offering the potential for greater scale and efficiency. In some areas this technology is increasing capacity and capability, enabling new products and services, while fueling growth. Yet in other areas, automation will lead to dramatic consolidation and disruption, especially with regard to employment. There are also significant ethical issues to consider as we embrace these smart systems, especially when algorithms are wrong or exhibit prejudice. We’re in a unique historical moment to discuss and ultimately shape the role of automation in our lives and the opportunities and challenges it presents.
The increasing complexity of our technological society reinforces the necessity for responsible and participatory cyber security practices. The stakes have never been higher, and yet the number of incidents and data breaches continues to increase in severity and sensationalism. Part of the problem is that the average user is either alienated from, or lacks the necessary literacy, to follow current best practices. Yet we can’t blame the victim/user. As IT professionals we need to step up and adapt our methods to increase our effectiveness. An excellent example is the rise of participatory design and inclusive computing. As values and methodologies, these concepts argue that rather than design tools for users, we should be designing and building tools with users. While bias in AI is an obvious and important example of where this is currently being applied, cyber security is arguably just as important, and in need of immediate attention, or rather participation. In this session we’ll explore participatory cyber security, inclusive computing, what it means, and how it can be used by admins and developers.
Over the last two decades technology has enabled a wave of patient centric tools and approaches that have the potential to revolutionize medicine and health care. Yet the pandemic provided the emergency to apply and embrace many of these tools, in some cases with tremendous positive impact. One example is Vaccine Hunters, the volunteer, discord based, online community that helped North Americans get their vaccines as quickly and easily as possible. Another has been the patients and families struggling to get care and attention for their long term COVID related symptoms. Both of these give us glimpses into the future of health care, as technology enables patients to organize and mobilize communities of care. What does this mean, and how can traditional institutions adapt and leverage this emerging innovation?
The pandemic has transformed work and learning, compelling individuals and organizations to embrace technology, in some cases without necessary preparation or training. As a result, not everyone understands the new tools and environments, especially when it comes to surveillance and productivity monitoring technologies. The consequence of bad or annoying technology is the erosion of trust, which is tragic, given how crucial trust is for a functioning organization. The alternative is to leverage technology to foster trust, and to enable a broader organizational culture that rewards rather than punishes. As we exit this pandemic, there’s an opportunity to strike a balance between work and life, and in particular use technology to reinforce our humanity, and enable work environments that empower people to do their best.
The pandemic has transformed work and learning, and this will be particularly evident as we emerge into a post-pandemic world. One person’s disruption is another person’s opportunity. Similarly, some organizations have responded with incredible resilience, and are experiencing unprecedented growth and success.
Historically, great crises and catastrophes are followed by renaissances and periods of incredible innovation. What is the difference between success and failure, between frustration and excitement? Talent. This is true for both individuals and organizations.
How do you foster and harness your talent? How do organizations attract, develop, and retain talent? These are crucial questions during this transitional period as we remain in a pandemic but seek our path out of it!
Key takeaways from this presentation include:
- Talent is universal but its development is not. It requires investment, focus, and support, combined with a culture that recognizes it.
- Talent is increasingly expensive, which is great for individuals, but a challenge for organizations. Flexible and nurturing work environments are necessary.
- Talent enables resilience in the face of volatility as well as potentially helping to manage ongoing digital and organizational transformation.
There are a lot of reasons why working or learning from home can be difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. There are a wide range of tips and tools that can make it easier and more effective. Perhaps the most essential is to not work alone, but rather find ways to maintain social contact and collaboration. With your peers, your customers, and even your family!? Similarly working from home brings a new set of security and privacy concerns that most people are neither prepared nor aware of. Not to mention the importance of the Internet and Wifi, which depending upon how you manage it, can be anything from great to a disaster. There’s lots to learn, and this interactive presentation helps you make the most of it.
We live in a technology driven society where almost all the world’s knowledge is available to us on our mobile devices. The key question becomes, what are we going to do with it all? Knowledge alone is not enough, we need each other, as the secret to success is both social, and interactive. The world is our classroom, and technology allows us to be simultaneously students and teachers. While automation and artificial intelligence have an important role to play in making education as accessible as possible, we cannot forget that learning is what makes us human, and knowledge increases in value the more it is shared. That’s why the future of education is peer to peer, on demand, and in abundance. Learning as we go, sharing what we know, and building knowledge networks to ensure we all benefit from the process. This is the pedagogy of the Internet, and the path to our collective prosperity and success.
This pandemic has reinforced why rural living has its advantages. However for a lot of city dwellers, it’s hard to imagine how this kind of radical change is possible. Yet thanks to the Internet, it’s a whole lot easier than many realize. From homesteading, to preppers, from tiny homes to van living, there’s a growing movement of people taking advantage of the digital world to reconnect with the natural one. Jesse Hirsh spent most of his life in downtown Toronto but a couple of years ago decided to move to a farm in the Ottawa Valley. In this interactive presentation he’ll share his experiences, the opportunities, and explain why the future is rural.
The wheels are coming off the AI hype machine and many of the technology’s promises and potential are not coming to pass. As companies reassess their investment in automation and machine learning, it is worth digging into the substance of Artificial Intelligence. What it can do, what it can’t do, and why you need to manage bias and risk, even if your only relationship with AI is as a user of search engines and social media. While the limits of AI are becoming clear, there’s still much it can and will do, transforming society along with it. This raises the question of what businesses and governments need to know, in order to move past the hype, and use the technology responsibly.
Farming continues to be a significant source of innovation as farmers hustle to make the most of their land and livestock. Robots, automation, and technology in general are enabling a new era in agriculture that has the potential to address global hunger, climate change, and ensure we all have good food to eat. However all of this depends on how the technology is used, and more importantly who controls it. As farms become smarter, the opportunity is not just better agricultural practices, but a better relationship between the grower and the eater, and everyone in between. The pandemic illustrated how brittle our food supply chain can be, and the economic crisis it induced has left many farmers struggling to survive. How can technology and transparency ensure sustainability and success?
For the past couple of decades, governments around the world have recognized the power and potential of digital technologies but have been slow to adopt them, for a wide range of legitimate reasons. However the pandemic has induced a genuine urgency as governments wrestle with the combined challenges of remote work for their civil servants and the demand from the public for digital service and program delivery. Most governments have been relatively successful in responding to this crisis, however there’s still no end in sight. How can governments continue with their upgrade amidst this ongoing pandemic? What is working? What’s not? What does the future hold for digital government? How can we adapt? How can we lead?
Jesse provides a unique and customized approach to his presentations. View more industry-specific presentations here.