Smart Cities Governance Lab

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137 Glasgow Street

Kitchener, ON N2G 4X8


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Built on a foundation of data-generating infrastructure, smart cities can simultaneously create new social and economic opportunities, as well as concerns around privacy, trust, and individual autonomy. Answers lie at the intersection of public policy and technology, but the two disciplines do not always converge. The Smart Cities Governance Lab will bring together policy innovators, researchers, industry leaders and Ontarians with interest in the rapidly evolving landscape of smart cities. Through a combination of speaker series and workshops, attendees will learn from each other, discuss possibilities of smart cities and identify opportunities to align the objectives of policymakers and technology leaders to help establish governance models and collaborative opportunities for well-functioning smart cities.

Event Agenda:

8:30 AM - Light Breakfast & Networking

9:00 AM - Opening Remarks - Reframing Digital Governance for Smart Cities

Nizar Ladak, President & CEO at Compute Ontario

9:15 AM - Keynote Speaker - Canadian Smart Cities: What’s at Stake and How to not Mess it up Andy Best, Executive Director at Open Cities Network

9:45 AM - Keynote Speaker - How Technology Can Inform Public Policy for Smart Cities

Dr. Srinivasan Keshav, Cheriton School of Computer Science, University of Waterloo

10:15 AM - Break

10:30 AM - Panel Discussion: Different Data, Different Needs?

Panel Moderator: Bianca Wylie, Founder of Open Data Institute Toronto

Panellist on Health Data: Rosario Cartagena, Chief Privacy and Legal Officer at IC/ES

Panellist on Data Sharing: Joe Greenwood, Lead Executive, Data at MaRS Discovery District

Panellist on Waterloo Region Smart Cities Challenge: Matthew Chandy, Smart Waterloo Region Project Manager

Panellist: Adam Blinick, Director of Public Policy and Communications, Uber Canada

11:30 AM - Keynote Speaker - Policy Enabling The Adoption of Technology for Public Good

Francis Bilodeau, Assistant Secretary, Digital Policy and Service, Office of the Chief Information Officer at Treasury Board of Canada

12:00 PM - Lunch

12:45 PM - Intro to Data Trusts

Sean McDonald, Co-Founder of Digital Public

1:15 PM - Governance Workshops

4:00 PM - Keynote Speaker - Digital Leadership

Ryan Androsoff, Director, Digital Leadership at Institute on Governance

4:30 PM - Closing Remarks

Berry Vrbanovic, Mayor of Kitchener

4:45 PM - Networking Reception

Opening Remarks: Nizar Ladak

Nizar Ladak is a seasoned executive leader with a passion for finding innovative solutions to strategic and operational challenges.

Mr. Ladak is the President and CEO of Compute Ontario which brings together scientific, technical, and policy-making communities using big data and enabling access to advanced research computing (supercomputers) in Ontario for the prosperity of all Canadians.

Prior to this role, Mr. Ladak served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Health Quality Ontario (HQO), which focusses on enhancing the quality and efficiency of healthcare services. As Vice President and Chief Information Officer at North York General Hospital, Nizar developed the hospital's eHealth Strategy resulting in the hospital being one of three in Canada and 0.001% of hospitals in North America to achieve this level of electronic medical record integration. As the Director of the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), Nizar established the first in a series of web-based reports for Canada’s 500 hospitals and led the adoption of new data sets to solve Canada’s healthcare system’s challenges.

Mr. Ladak contributes to his field by serving on various Boards. He has delivered over 700 presentations and keynote addresses and has a number of publications.

Keynote Speaker: Andy Best

Canadian Smart Cities: What’s at Stake and How to not Mess it up

Andy Best is the Executive Director of the Open Cities Network, a not-for-profit that’s building a cities-first approach to smart cities partnerships. The OCN advocates for open architecture, more regulation in the public data space and for cities to be the main beneficiary of the value of city data. The OCN is a neutral meeting place for the public and private sectors to collaborate on governance, policy and standards for smart cities.

Prior to the OCN, Andy was Vice-President of a brand and strategy agency and consulted with cities to embed improvement and innovation into their culture and operations.

Andy also led the innovation file at the City of Guelph, including

  • Designing the Civic Accelerator, Canada's first startup accelerator inside of a local City Hall;

  • Launching the Improvement Network, a coordinated suite of innovation programs and tools to help drive modernization and results;

  • Implementing Canada's first municipal open government action plan.

Andy has appeared on TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin and has spoken at many public sector conferences.

Dad to two, husband to one, Andy also sits on the board of CMHA Waterloo Wellington, the Canadian Mental Health Association’s largest regional chapter.

Keynote Speaker: Dr. Srinivasan Keshav

How Technology can Inform Public Policy for Smart Cities

Srinivasan Keshav is a Professor of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo. He received a B.Tech in Computer Science and Engineering from IIT Delhi in 1986 and Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1991. He was subsequently an MTS at AT&T Bell Labs and an Associate Professor at Cornell. In 1999 he left academia to co-found Ensim Corporation and GreenBorder Technologies Inc. He has been at the University of Waterloo since 2003, holding first a Canada Research Chair and then the Cisco Chair in Smart Grid. His honours include being named an ACM and IEEE Fellow, two Test of Time awards from ACM SIGCOMM, and best paper awards at ACM SIGCOMM, MOBICOM, and eEnergy. He is the author of two graduate textbooks on computer networking and has served as Chair of ACM SIGCOMM and as Associate Dean of Graduate Studies in the Faculty of Mathematics, University of Waterloo.

Panel Moderator: Bianca Wylie

Different Data, Different Needs?

Bianca is an open government advocate with a dual background in technology and public engagement. She is the co-founder of Tech Reset Canada and is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation in the Global Economy program. She worked for several years in the tech sector in operations, infrastructure, corporate training, and product management, most recently at Thomson Reuters. As a facilitator at Swerhun Inc., she designed, delivered and supported public consultation processes for various governments and government agencies. In 2014, Bianca founded the Open Data Institute Toronto. She is a columnist, guest lecturer, and speaker on open government and public sector technology policy and a member of the Toronto Public Library’s Innovation Council.

Panellist on Health Data: Rosario Cartagena

Rosario is the Chief Privacy and Legal Officer at ICES. In her role, Rosario provides strategic advice to the organization related to privacy, legal, risk, compliance and cybersecurity. Previously, Rosario was a member of the Health Law Group at Fasken Martineau DuMoulin LLP. In her role she provided advice on a variety of health and privacy law matters, including corporate governance, public policy, risk management, health regulatory compliance, and health research. She has also worked in the privacy and legal group at Cancer Care Ontario.

Rosario has an LLM from Osgoode Law School (Business Law) and a law degree (cum laude) from the University of Ottawa. Prior to attending law school, Rosario completed a Master in Science, Public Health Sciences in population health from the University of Alberta and was a post-grad intern at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Panellist on Data Sharing: Joe Greenwood

Joe is the Lead Executive for Data at MaRS Discovery District, North America’s largest urban innovation centre. Joe works with innovative ventures, governments and enterprises to co-create solutions that can unlock data and apply advanced analytics to address our biggest challenges in the economy, energy, health and transportation. Joe’s background is in product management for data and analytics services with previous roles as Head of Product Development for Ordnance Survey in the UK and Senior Product Manager for secure real-time mobile data services at Blackberry. Joe is a Certified Analytics Professional and both a Privacy and Access by Design Ambassador.

Panellist on Waterloo Region Smart Cities Challenge: Matthew Chandy

Matthew Chandy manages the Office of Regional Economic Development at the Region of Waterloo and has been leading the development of the Smart Waterloo Region proposal to the Government of Canada’s Smart Cities Challenge focusing on healthy children and youth. After being shortlisted as a finalist community in the spring of 2018, Matthew and the Smart Waterloo Region team developed a full proposal with over 35 technology and data-enabled solutions and over $105 million in partner contributions. The proposal was submitted on March 5 and the team is now preparing for the final evaluation stage and implementation phase.

Keynote Speaker: Francis Bilodeau

Policy Enabling The Adoption of Technology for Public Good

Francis Bilodeau joined the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) in December 2017 as the Assistant Secretary, Digital Policy and Services. Prior to joining OCIO Mr. Bilodeau was the Assistant Secretary for the newly created Results and Delivery Unit, in the Privy Council Office‎.
Francis has also previously held positions at the Treasury Board Secretariat, where he was Executive Director in the Government Operations Sector, and Infrastructure Canada, where he held various executive positions and helped lead the development and implementation of multiple generations of federal infrastructure programming.
Francis holds a degree in mechanical engineering as well as a master’s degree in business administration.

Intro to Data Trusts: Sean McDonald

Sean McDonald builds governance for technology and technology for governance. Sean is the co-founder of Digital Public, which uses trusts to help communities protect and govern digital assets. He is a lawyer and the CEO of FrontlineSMS, an award-winning global technology company. Sean is a Senior Fellow at the Center for International Governance Innovation and a Research Fellow Duke’s Center for Law and Technology.

Sean is an advisor to Digital Democracy and the IEEE's Ethics and AI Committee. Sean is also a researcher and writer whose work has been published by the Review of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Cornell’s Legal Informatics Institute, IRIN, Innovations Journal, among others. Sean was formerly a Visiting Fellow at Stanford’s Digital Civil Society Lab and an Affiliate at Harvard’s Berkman Klein Center. He holds a JD/MA from American University, with specializations in international law and alternative dispute resolution.

Keynote Speaker: Ryan Androsoff

Policy Enabling The Adoption of Technology for Public Good

Ryan Androsoff is an international expert on digital government and an enthusiastic advocate for the modernization of public sector organizations through the use of digital technology and user-centred design approaches. With a passion for public sector entrepreneurship, Ryan has nearly two decades of experience working with a variety of government and international organizations, as well as elected officials, in Canada, the United States, and Europe. For the past 10 years, Ryan has been specifically focused on leading public sector digital transformation initiatives. Currently Ryan has partnered with the Institute on Governance to lead their Digital Executive Leadership Program for public sector executives, and is serving as a consultant for government organizations to advise on their digital transformation efforts.

Closing Remarks: Berry Vrbanovic

Berry Vrbanovic was first elected as Mayor of the City of Kitchener in 2014, after serving as a City Councillor from 1994-2014. In October 2018, Mayor Vrbanovic was re-elected, with an outpouring of community support, for a second term. He is committed to improving the quality of life for residents in Kitchener and throughout the Region of Waterloo. In addition to serving on all regular standing committees of Kitchener city council and Region of Waterloo council, Berry is also an appointee and active participant on many boards and committees. Berry is Treasurer of United Cities & Local Governments, President Emeritus (2011-12) of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) and is a member of FCM’s Green Municipal Fund Council.

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137 Glasgow Street

Kitchener, ON N2G 4X8


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