Ontario Digital Inclusion Summit


February 9 and 10
YMCA, 20 Grosvenor St, Toronto

If you can’t join us in person or want to watch it all over again, catch the live stream on our Youtube channel.

DAY 1: Feb 9, 2018

Learn. Be challenged. Be inspired.
Day one is all about understanding the context surrounding digital inclusion in Ontario. Expect a day of listening, learning and hearing from some of the top thinkers in this space alongside a vibrant group of people with interest and passion for the topic. The day will feature a mix of keynotes and presentations from a variety of speakers covering a range of ideas related to digital inclusion. Stay tuned for speaker announcements!

DAY 2: Feb 10, 2018

Share and surface.
If day one helps us explore the “what” of digital inclusion, day two is all about the “so what?” and “now what?” Expect an action-packed day of sharing, shaping and working with fellow participants to identify and surface some of the key opportunities, challenges and questions in this space. The day will focus primarily on facilitated generative conversations and activities in small groups.

In partnership with the Government of Ontario.


Technology partners:

Supporting partners:

AGENDA: DAY 1 | Feb 9, 2018

8:00 - 8:30 AM: Registration

8:30 AM: Start of the Summit

  • Elder Opening  
  • Welcome by Julie Cafley, Senior Vice-President, Policy and Partnerships, Public Policy Forum
  • The Honourable Eleanor McMahon, President of the Treasury Board, Minister Responsible for Digital Government
  • Hillary Hartley, Chief Digital Officer, Government of Ontario

9:50 AM

  • Angela Siefer, Executive Director, National Digital Inclusion Alliance in conversation with Marlene Floyd, National Director, Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

10:45 AM

  • Alexander Dirksen, Manager, Strategy and Engagement, First Nations Technology Council

11:20 AM - Insights into Inclusion I

  • Shelley Robinson, Executive Director, National Capital Freenet, & Zeina Osman, Co-Executive Director, CompuCorps
    Topic: Beyond a Computer and a Connection: The Need for Digital Literacy

  • David Best, Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians
    Topic: Inclusive Accessibility as an Economic Opportunity

12:05 PM-1:00PM - Lunch

1:05 PM

  • Nasma Ahmed, Open Web Fellow, Ford-Mozilla  

1:40 PM - Insights into Inclusion II

  • Catherine Middleton, Professor, Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University
    Topic: Older Canadians and the Digital Divide
  • Carmen Ho and Elizabeth Glass, Policy, Planning and Performance Management, Toronto Public Library
    Topic: Bridge: Technology Assessment Toolkit: Closing the Gap on Technology Access & Inclusion

2:50 PM

  • Dr. Dori Tunstall, Dean, Faculty of Design, OCAD

3:25 PM - Insights into Inclusion III

  • Avery Au, Civic Tech Toronto
    Topic: Public Sector Legal Information: The Potential of Inclusive Design & Open Access
  • Dayana Cadet and Jessica Yamoah, Move the Dial for Everyone
    Topic: Advancing Women Leaders in Technology

4:10 PM - Closing Reflections

  • Kylie Havelock, Senior Product Manager, Canadian Digital Services
  • Pamela Robinson, Associate Dean, Graduate Studies and Strategic Initiatives, Faculty of Community Services, and Associate Professor, School of Urban and Regional Planning, Ryerson University

5:00 PM – End of Day 1

Download Day 1 agenda here (MS Word).

AGENDA: DAY 2 | Feb 10, 2018

8:30 - 9:00 AM: Registration

9:00 AM: Start of the Summit

  • Elder Opening  
  • Welcome by Julie Cafley, Senior Vice-President, Policy and Partnerships, Public Policy Forum

9:40 AM - Lightning Talks

  • Nisa Malli, Senior Policy Analyst, Brookfield Institute
    Topic: Designing, Testing and Teaching Digital Literacy
  • Dan Gillis, Associate Professor and Statistician, School of Computer Science, University of Guelph
    Topic: Digital Inclusion Using Wireless Mobile Networks

10:40 AM - Breakout Discussion I

11:35 AM - Lightning Talks

  • Deepika Grover, Free Agent and Cedric Jean-Marie, Senior Technical Advisor, Canadian Heritage
    Topic: Inclusion in an Era of Open Dialogue and Digital Engagement
  • Jon McPhedran-Waitzer, Network and Engagement Advisor, and Michael Lenczner, Founding Director, Powered by Data
    Topic: Transform the Sector: An Inclusive Approach to Planning Data Infrastructure

12:05 PM - Lunch

1:15 PM - Breakout Discussion II

2:10 PM - Lightning Talks

  • Luisa Ji, Co-Founder and Sharon Kennedy, Software Developer, Milieu
    Topic: The End-Product as an Inclusive Process 
  • Ellie Marshall, JD Candidate, University of Toronto
    Topic: Wearable Inequity: Potential Legal Risks and Responses to the Introduction of Digital Health Surveillance in Ontario

2:45 PM - Breakout Discussion III

3:35 PM - Recap of Day 2

4:00 PM – End of Summit 

* Agenda subject to change.


Download Day 2 agenda here (MS Word).



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Alexander Dirksen

A proud Métis policy wonk, strategist and facilitator, Alexander is passionate about helping to craft an inclusive and equitable future for our country through the meaningful advancement of reconciliation. Alexander serves as manager of Strategy and Engagement for the First Nations Technology Council, where he oversees strategic planning for the organization, including the development of the First Nations Innovation and Technology Labour Market Research initiative.

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Angela Siefer

Angela envisions a world in which all members of society have the skills and the resources to use the Internet for the betterment of themselves and their communities. She is the founder and executive director of the National Digital Inclusion Alliance, a unified voice for local technology training, home broadband access and public broadband access programs in the United States. Angela has been working on digital inclusion issues since 1996.

For more details, read a profile of her written work.

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Avery Au

Avery Au is a firm believer in the power of digital technology to transform public access to legal information and services. A lawyer by training, he is an active advocate for open legal information policies that are needed to keep government accountable, drive innovation in public services and spark new forms of civic engagement. Avery helps organize weekly hacknights at Civic Tech Toronto and leads the Law & Design Project, a volunteer team developing user-centered legal information products. Avery is also a founding and executive team member of Open Democracy Project, the not-for-profit behind and DemocracyXChange,

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Carmen Ho

Carmen is part of the Policy, Planning and Performance Management team at Toronto Public Library. In her role as a planning specialist, she engages in long and short-term planning for the organization and develops standards, performance measures and evaluates methodologies and outputs on library projects and services. Her recent work includes supporting TPL’s Open Data initiatives, developing a measurement and evaluation tool for Ontario public libraries to measure the impact of technology services and working to improve access to a broad range of library services including technology and connectivity across TPL’s 100 branches. Carmen is also an executive team member of a non-profit organization, Librarians Without Borders.

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Catherine Middleton

Catherine is a professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University. Her research focuses on digital inclusion, identifying and assessing policies and practices that enable people to get access to the communications technologies that are central to everyday life. She is also interested in how Canadians use (or don’t use) the Internet and mobile devices, and in understanding ways to advance individuals’ capacities to use communications technologies to engage in society. She is a member of the Ageing + Communications + Technology research partnership, the Canadian Spectrum Policy Research project and the Public Wi-Fi in Australia project.

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Cedric Jean-Marie

Cedric is a generalist obsessed with simple and elegant designs that make work, life and anything easier to enjoy/use. Currently working hard with multiple cross-functional teams in the department striving to change the way we operate and do government business in the age of disruption. This includes ambitious projects that aim to deliver positive changes in how government works with citizens in a participatory democracy, automation through the use of AI that augments human capabilities and anything else that has chances of disrupting the status quo. Cedric is a friendly collaborator who questions everything and loves to do things for the right reasons.

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Daniel Gillis

Daniel is an associate professor & statistician in the School of Computer Science at the University of Guelph. He is the director of the Physical Science & Engineering Education Research Centre, co-founder of Farm To Fork and GuelphHacks, and co-creator of the Ideas Congress Transdisciplinary Classroom. His research interests span statistics, computer science, biology, pedagogy and community-engaged scholarship. Most recently, Dan has been working on a community-led project in the remote Inuit community of Rigolet, Nunatsiavut, developing tools to monitor health and environment, and working to improve connectivity using Mobile Mesh Technologies. 

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David is an accessibility IT specialist with more than 30 years in software design and development, project management, diversity leadership and disability advocacy, Recently retired from IBM, he is now an entrepreneur actively supporting Ontario organizations. As an information technology specialist, accessibility consultant, digital inclusion advocate and assistive technology user, David has experienced the digital divide, confronted workplace challenges, implemented best practice inclusion strategies, mentored peer support group initiatives, facilitated web design workshops and promoted emerging technologies that inspire independence and confidence.

David is an appointee to the Ontario government AODA advisory team, and serves on the Board Of Directors of the Alliance for Equality of Blind Canadians (AEBC), a national grassroots, peer support organization speaking with one voice for more choices in creating an inclusive society.

For more, read his full profile.

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Dayana Cadet

As a content specialist and a member of the Inclusion Committee at Hubba Inc., Dayana’s utmost priority is to be an advocate for people of color in the tech industry. Having been in Toronto’s tech scene for two years now, she aims to bring a fresh perspective while educating employers on what it means to truly be inclusive. In her role as co-lead at #MoveTheDial for Everyone, Dayana hopes to build a platform that will serve to support and amplify the diverse voices of both women and minorities of all professional levels within the tech space in Toronto and beyond.

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Deepika Grover 

Deepika is one of Canada’s free agents. On assignment at PCH, she’s learning to creatively weave digital and design-based approaches that push policy conversations into new territory, both in terms of who’s involved and how they engage each other and their government. Her training in social science includes a focus on applied creativity (i.e. problem-solving methodology and group dynamics). This allows her to design processes that help folks question core assumptions as they slog through complex policy positions, and pivot towards relevant, testable, breakthrough solutions.

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Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall

Elizabeth (Dori) Tunstall is a design anthropologist, public intellectual, and design advocate who works at the intersections of critical theory, culture, and design. As dean of Design at Ontario College of Art and Design University, she is the first black and black female dean of a faculty of design. She leads the Cultures-Based Innovation Initiative focused on using old ways of knowing to drive innovation processes that directly benefit communities.

With a global career, Dori served as associate professor of Design Anthropology and associate dean at Swinburne University in Australia. She wrote the biweekly column Un-Design for The Conversation Australia. In the U.S., she taught at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She organized the U.S. National Design Policy Initiative and served as a director of Design for Democracy. Industry positions included UX strategists for Sapient Corporation and Arc Worldwide. Dori holds a Ph.D. in Anthropology from Stanford University and a BA in Anthropology from Bryn Mawr College.

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Elizabeth Glass

Elizabeth is the director of Policy, Planning and Performance Management at Toronto Public Library, the busiest urban public library system in the world. Her team is tasked with defining, measuring and improving the outcomes and impact of library service for Toronto’s diverse residents and communities. She leads TPL’s policy development, the business intelligence strategy and the development and implementation of performance outcome and impact measurement to measure progress on the strategic plan. She has represented TPL on City of Toronto initiatives aimed at increasing equity including the Poverty Reduction Strategy, Seniors Strategy and the Broadband interdivisional working group. Research interests include program evaluation in the public sector and exploring the opportunity of public libraries in the digital age.

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Ellie Marshall

Ellie Marshall is a Juris Doctor candidate at the University of Toronto where she is executive editor of the Critical Analysis of Law Journal and past chair of the Technology and Intellectual Property Group and Feminist Law Students’ Association. Ellie is also a research assistant at the Centre for Innovation Law and Policy. Ellie graduated with distinction from the MSc program at the Oxford Internet Institute at the University of Oxford, where her research explored the impact of digital government and surveillance on the disability community in Great Britain. Prior to graduate school, Ellie worked as an advocate for open government at Open North in Montreal. 

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Hillary Hartley

Hillary is the chief digital officer for the province of Ontario. As the deputy minister for Digital Government, she leads the Ontario Digital Service, a team of designers, developers and product specialists tasked with making government digital services easy for the people of Ontario. Previously, Hillary was the deputy executive director of 18F, the U.S. government's digital office, and a former presidential innovation fellow.

As Ontario's chief digital officer, she will partner with government ministries in delivering major digital projects. Hillary will also help accelerate transformation across government by setting new service standards for digital products, attracting and empowering digital talent, and aligning partners around delivering the best possible customer experience.

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Jessica Yamoah

With a history of community engagement and an entrepreneurial spirit that dates back to her youth in Waterloo, Ontario the intersection of Jessica's experiences: As a girl and woman; a second generation Canadian-Ghanaian; a team member of leading global innovators including Nike, Nokia and Apple; as well as working with emerging tech start ups.

These have all been training for her current role leading Innovate Inclusion which advocates for the intraprenurial and entrepreneurial success of underrepresented communities with a focus on technology by providing awareness and access to resources and programming  Through her work, Jessica wants to impart the ideation of innovation in all streams of entrepreneurship.  And connect the tech ecosystem to delete the digital divide; Creating an equitable playing field in the innovation economy that reflects and benefits all members of our global community.

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Jon McPhedran Waitzer

Jon is currently leading Powered by Data's newest project, Transform the Sector. They are passionate about convening diverse stakeholders around shared interests in a data-enabled social sector, with a commitment to facilitating equitable participation across differences in power and position. Jon's professional experience includes leadership roles across the fields of grassroots community services, international development, and management consulting. They recently completed a Jeanne Sauvé Fellowship, and spent 4 years as Director of Head & Hands in Montreal. They've also worked with McKinsey & Company in Montreal and Ashoka in Berlin, and served as an independent consultant to clients from the public, private, and social sectors.

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Kylie Havelock

Kylie has recently joined the Canadian Digital Service, having previous led product teams in the UK Ministry of Justice to deliver better public services and open up access to the criminal justice system. By bringing delivery closer to citizens and designing around their needs, Kylie believes we can make public service fit for the internet age. Kylie is passionate about creating diverse communities in technology, and drives this agenda across government through public speaking and innovative action on inclusion.

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Luisa Ji

Luisa is a civic tech entrepreneur and a strategic designer. Her research spans architecture, urbanism, and social innovation strategies.

She co-founded Milieu, with the intention of bringing multiple stakeholders to a shared responsibility of building better cities through technology and digital inclusion.

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Michael Lenczner

Michael is the Founding Director of Powered by Data, and CEO of Ajah.  A leader in the area of open data and non-profits, he has been working in community and public-interest technology since 1999. In 2003, he founded Île Sans Fil, a community wireless group now operating over 1,000 public hotspots in the Montreal area . Working in open data since 2005, he has co-founded national, provincial and municipal lobbying groups as well as coordinated numerous hackathons on issues such as sustainability, corruption and municipal services. He is a frequent collaborator on academic-community partnerships and he serves on several non-profit boards and advisory groups related to technology, democracy, and civil-society.

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Nasma Ahmed

Nasma is a black muslimah working within the intersections of social justice, technology and policy. She is a technologist and capacity builder based in Toronto, currently she is a Ford-Mozilla Open Web Fellow. Nasma often works with organizations based in North America focusing on various aspects of technology capacity building from digital security to literacy. She is passionate about building accessible and inclusive technology for diverse communities. 

Nisa Malli

Nisa Malli

Nisa Malli is a senior policy analyst with the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship where she leads research at the intersection of innovation-driven economies and inclusive economic growth, including the Institute’s research stream on digital literacy and skills. Previously, she’s advised the federal government on emerging technology, worked on social service design for the City of Toronto, and managed a nonprofit computer literacy program for seniors, newcomers, and adult learners.

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Pamela Robinson

Pamela Robinson (MCIP, RPP) is the associate dean, graduate studies and strategic initiatives at the Faculty of Community Services and an associate professor in the School of Urban and Regional Planning at Ryerson. She is also a registered professional planner. As part of the research team, Robinson's research and practice focus on urban sustainability issues with a particular focus on cities and climate change and the use of open data and civic technology to support open government transformations. She serves on the board of directors of the Metcalf Foundation and has participated in four Metrolinx Community Advisory Committees. Robinson is an editor of Urban Sustainability: Reconnecting Space and Place (University of Toronto Press, 2013), Teaching as Scholarship: Preparing Students for Professional Practice in Community Services (WLU Press, 2016) and is a columnist for Spacing magazine.


Shelley Robinson

Shelley Robinson is executive director of National Capital FreeNet, a not-for-profit Internet Service Provider and digital literacy organization. They work to ensure everyone in the national capital region has access to the internet, meaning it's affordable, high quality, people understand how to use it, and feel safe online. Her background is in community media, including work in Rwanda, Afghanistan, Northern Ireland and across Canada. 

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Zeina Osman

Originally from Toronto, Zeina Osman is the co-executive director of CompuCorps Mentoring Inc, a high-tech charity that seeks to benefit Canadian society by providing under-served groups -- career and life skills training focused on access to technology and the internet. Originally trained in public and media relations, she shifted industries in 2012 and went on to work on several large fundraising campaigns for Canadian charities. She works to bridge the digital divide gap in Canada. Zeina has multi-faceted experience with executive management of organizations with particular strength in developing and implementing innovative community programs.


Code of Conduct*

*This code of conduct has been adapted from Net Inclusion (

The Ontario Digital Inclusion Summit (ODIS) strives to support an open exchange of ideas within a safe and respectful environment. We value your attendance at the ODIS, meetings and events, and are dedicated to providing a positive event experience for all participants and members. We want ODIS to be welcoming, supportive and comfortable for all members of the digital inclusion community.

Treat staff, event attendees, and speakers with respect.

Participation in discussions and activities should be respectful at all times. All are expected to exercise tolerance of the perspectives and opinions of all present and use discretion with photographs, recordings and sharing. Be aware of your presence, and be thoughtful in sharing, listening and knowing when to do which.

We do not tolerate harassment in any form. If a participant engages in disruptive or harassing behavior, ODIS organizers may take any action it deems appropriate, including warning the offender or expulsion from the event. If you are being harassed, or have any other concerns, please contact a staff person immediately. 

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