Over the last several years, many Canadian researchers and news outlets have commented on the rise of political propaganda bots on social media platforms. There are reports of Twitter bot usage in Quebec politics as early as 2012, and yet it seems these trends continue unabated without any meaningful regulation. Reasonable calls for a digital campaigning code of conduct seem to fall on deaf ears, leaving policing of these matters to the very social media outlets that allowed this to happen in the first place. What does it mean for democracy when a propaganda bot is indistinguishable from a human account? The recent revelations about Cambridge Analytica and its alleged Canadian offshoot AggregateIQ have put these modern political tactics under increased scrutiny, but will anything actually change?
Rhonda Vetre, CTO of Estee Lauder: My executive leadership role in the male-dominated tech sphere not only calls for frequent global travel, but moreover, demands that I collaborate with people of many different cultures on a regular basis, which has offered inspiring learning and unique leadership experiences that have had a measurable impact on my career and my ability to adapt and drive change. Kristina Cleary, CMO of Ceridian: The traditional organizational structure is becoming obsolete. With the end customer becoming what could arguably be the most important stakeholder in the modern business, businesses are changing the way they operate. There’s a shift occurring toward a customer-centric model – one where an organization supports, communicates and reacts to its customers’ needs first. Jennifer Schaffer, CIO of Athabasca University: At a research-intensive digital university, the effective integration of technology and people is essential to helping learners achieve their highest potential. Technology has never and can never exist for its own sake. Athabasca University operates 100% people-focused technology.
The worst atrocities of our species have been perpetrated within the name of “purpose” – by those who would inflict their purpose on all others, and rob them of this fundamental freedom. Let’s make it our purpose to end such imposition of will. What follows from this, if we carry it forward, are two other mandates: first, to preserve the freedom of meaning-making for future generations of our own species; and second, to extend the ideals of “Pragmatic Tolerance” (that is, tolerance of everything but intolerance itself) as much as possible to species other than our own. Maybe Star Trek had it right: in much the same way that travel (especially the kind that involves a deep immersion in local culture and language) cures most of the diseases of prejudice and xenophobia, perhaps a commitment to exploring and embracing the various forms of intelligence found on our own world and others will cure our species of both the short-sightedness and hubris that will otherwise most certainly be our downfall.
In his day job, entrepreneur and investor Robert Herjavec works hard to prevent security breaches. At least when he's not investing in ugly sweaters, hand-held breathometers, or books that turn into lights on ABC's hit entrepreneurship and investment show, Shark Tank. Herjavec, whose Herjavec Group manages cybersecurity for some of the biggest corporations on the planet, will be speaking at the upcoming Canadian Cloud Council conference Control in May. "This whole idea of ambient computing becomes part of the daily tapestry of our daily lives ... in homes, cars, malls," says Herjavec. "We see this going into the large-scale enterprise to monitor environments, create logs, and enhance security." But we're going to need more than monitoring, Herjavec added. The recent false missile crisis in Hawaii is a perfect example. The island paradise's population of almost 1.5 million was terrified by a false alarm of an incoming missile. While this was a simple mistake caused by a poor user interface and quickly corrected, imagine the chaos that malware infecting systems like this could create. "It's a cascading effect," Herjavec says. "What if there’s a malware that impacts a whole community ... I see the promise of hardwired device being able to protect against that, a kill switch to stop a laptop or a phone." Ultimately, what's going to protect our computer systems is artificial intelligence ... an always-on system that is continuous probing for vulnerabilities, searching for dangerous patterns of traffic and access, and patching holes in real-time. That's going to take a while to achieve. In the meantime, Herjavec sees three intermediary steps. The first is orchestration: setting up systems like Splunk or Phantom that can control different devices on your network and automatically update them as needed. The second is integration: deeply integrating those systems and devices to enable that control. And the third, Herjavec says, is creating a heterogeneous ecosystem where everything can work together.
The Canadian Cloud Council is pleased to announce their eighth major enterprise technology conference on May 14 and 15 at the Rimrock Resort in Banff, Alberta. Like all Canadian Cloud Council events, Control will feature a completely gender-balanced cast of speakers including: Anthony Watson, Founder and CEO of TBOL PLC; Rhonda Vetere, CTO of Estee Lauder. Scott Santens, Globally Recognized Basic Income Advocate; Dara Johnson Treseder, CTO of GE Ventures; Josh Crumb, Cofounder of GoldMoney and BitGold; Michelle Zatlyn, Cofounder of Cloudflare and Joshua McKenty, Cofounder of OpenStack and Piston Cloud. Chevi Rabbit, recently named to Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 list, will be acting as Mistress of Ceremonies. “Control” promises to be a thought provoking and revolutionary event that dares to ask whether technology is advancing or destroying the human race,” challenged Robert Herjavec, CEO of Herjavec Group. Mr. Herjavec is participating in what is sure to be a memorable closing panel discussion with Morgan Rockwell, the CEO of BitCoin. “I look forward to participating in such a critical initiative and helping ensure that Canadians harness our incredible potential in the areas of policy influence, technological exportation and cloud computing.”
We need to remember to stick to who we are – don’t change to fit into the organization. If you feel like you are bending your values or doing things that don’t feel right to you, then you probably aren’t in the right organization and you need to know that is ok. Finding the right place that is aligned with your values takes time, especially as those values change from when you start your career to when you finish it. Remember careers are long so this is a marathon not a sprint. If you need to sit out a race or two, that is ok as well. There are so many different career paths today so don’t limit yourself to just one possibility. Patience is key when trying to drive change and foster new behaviors and mindsets – remember that anything worth doing is worth waiting for, especially in the IT industry where external change happens at great pace and sometimes distracts from the internal changes that need to happen.
Interzone, Planet Earth’s most thought provoking technology conference, is less than three weeks away. Today, Robert Brennan Hart, CEO of Politik, is delighted to announce that Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson will address attendees at Interzone, along with Vancouver’s Chief Digital Officer, Jessie Adcock, who will present an open data initiative. Under Mayor Robertson’s leadership, Vancouver continues to rank as one of the most liveable cities in the world, with one of the most competitive environments for attracting new jobs and investment. The City of Vancouver has also been named the Most Innovative Organization in the province by BC Business Magazine for its open data initiative.
Interzone aims to put on this planet’s ‘most thought-provoking technology conference’ – and it’s happening this April at the Sheraton Wall Center in Vancouver. From the speaker list of 40 innovators and global CEOs, with stalwarts like SAP CEO Bill McDermott, Hootsuite CEO Ryan Holmes, Lavalife Founder Bruce Croxon and Code 20140 CEO Laura Weidman Powers, you might get the impression it’s yet another big tech-apalooza along the lines of Vancouver Startup Week or the recent BC Tech Summit – but this one’s a bit different. Perusing the Script section of the conference website, you get a very different sense of what it’s all about from this bit, just for starters:Is this a tech conference bridging startups and enterprise, or Occupy Wall Street West Coast? From my most recent Fallout 3 playthrough, recursive loops of Liberty Prime’s reassuring anti-Red words of wisdom start echoing in my brain… At which point, I remind myself that this event is sponsored by the likes of IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. And that nominally straight-edge folks like BC Minister of Technology Amrik Virk, CBC’s Dragon’s Den star Bruce Coxon and TELUS Chief Data and Trust Officer Pamela Snively, along with the above-mentioned all-star lineup are all headlining this gig.
Is this a tech conference bridging startups and enterprise, or Occupy Wall Street West Coast? From my most recent Fallout 3 playthrough, recursive loops of Liberty Prime’s reassuring anti-Red words of wisdom start echoing in my brain… At which point, I remind myself that this event is sponsored by the likes of IBM and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. And that nominally straight-edge folks like BC Minister of Technology Amrik Virk, CBC’s Dragon’s Den star Bruce Coxon and TELUS Chief Data and Trust Officer Pamela Snively, along with the above-mentioned all-star lineup are all headlining this gig.
“Success in human endeavour has required control over and access to scarce resources that were limited and inaccessible – land, raw materials, capital and property,” commented Hart, Interzone Chair. “Driven by disruptive technologies, the power of these barriers to exclude and disenfranchise is now severely diminished. We are living witnesses to a new socioeconomic construct; where ideas trump inheritance, and where innovation can be achieved with next to no financial or human capital investment. Organizations that rely on the barriers of incumbency and privilege are an endangered species and being replaced by ones that embrace innovation not just as a means of reckless profiteering, but also as a way of adding value to human and social interactions.”
“If technology is to finally fulfill its potential of advancing human kind, urgent and cooperative dialogue and action from both the private and public sectors is needed,” commented Robert Brennan Hart, CEO of Politik and Interzone Chair. “Dialogue that identifies and exposes the modern conspiracies of the digital age; conspiracies which seek to subvert innovation as a means to perpetuate the entrenched incumbencies of the plutocrats; or at best, replace one generation of oppressors with another. Action that accelerates open technologies, democratizes institutions, tears down barriers to competition, and discredits and destroys incumbent and privileged thinking. This type of thinking is still ruling the roost in Alberta, but it doesn’t have to in British Columbia,” concluded Hart.
Pristine waters, majestic snow-capped mountains, and sprawling parks are the images people think of when they imagine greater Vancouver. The region’s expansive natural terrain is a big draw for tourists and locals alike, but with increasing carbon emissions from cars and other technologies, the natural oasis is in need of protection. The city and surrounding area decided to fight tech with tech, and government agencies, nonprofits, and corporations have utilized modern technology for various initiatives that are making Vancouver both greener and more tech-friendly every day. The city of Vancouver itself has instituted a slew of various initiatives to make Vancouver greener by 2020. The city’s chief digital officer, Jessie Adcock, says that the city has five main long-term strategies: the Greenest City Action Plan, the Healthy City Strategy, the Economic Action Plan, the Renewable City Strategy, and the Digital Strategy. The city’s four-year digital strategy was approved in 2013 with fifteen priority initiatives to be delivered over four years, Adcock says. This year, that strategy will be getting a revamp. “Most strategies do really well when they have clear objectives,” she says. “We’re going to deliver the last of those priorities this year. So what does that mean for the future?
The sophomore edition of Interzone will be held at the Sheraton Wall Center in downtown Vancouver on April 11 and 12, 2016. The event will feature imagineers from organizations who are leveraging innovation to redefine survival in the 21st century. In addition to delivering the opening keynote presentation, McDermott will also be participating in a vibrant debate about the future of enterprise technology called "Year Zero" with Jackie Yeaney, EVP of Strategy and Marketing at Red Hat and Jessie Adcock, Chief Digital Officer at the City of Vancouver. The panel will be moderated by Frederic Lardonois, Writer at TechCrunch. Before joining SAP, the world's largest software company in 2002, McDermott served as EVP of Worldwide Sales and Operations at Siebel Systems and President of Gartner. He is a passionate believer in engaging up-and-coming young leaders and has been recognized by organizations ranging from City Year of Greater Philadelphia to the Children's Aid Society of New York City.
LOS ANGELES, Dec. 10, 2014 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) -- Today, Robert Brennan Hart, Founder and CEO of Politik (www.politik.io) announced IBM (www.ibm.com) as the premiere sponsor of their inaugural Interzone (www.interzone.io) conference. Interzone will be held at the Fairmont Banff Springs in Banff, Alberta, Canada from March 11 to 13, 2015. "We are delighted to have one of the most valuable brands in the world onboard as the Premiere sponsor of Interzone. IBM has shown that even one of the world's largest technology companies can continually push the boundaries of innovation with technologies like Watson, Bluemix(TM)and their recent media partnership with Twitter." said Hart. "The future of enterprise technology will be written in the Canadian Rockies and we want to thank IBM for being a vital part of this experience." Interzone features the best line-up of technology speakers ever staged in Canada including: Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder of Apple; Robert Herjavec, CEO of Herjavec Group & Star of ABC's "Shark Tank"; Bruce Croxon, Founder of Lavalife & Star of CBC's "Dragon's Den"; Christine Herron, Director of Intel Capital and Adam Messinger, CTO of Twitter.
The opening speakers for The Cloud Factory include Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat and Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware. “The move to the cloud is on par with the Industrial Revolution and highlights the first real push into a global Information Economy, but not all clouds are created equal,” said Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat. “Given the importance of cloud computing to the continued existence of business in general, enterprise buyers and CIOs must ensure that their chosen cloud platform remains open and transparent, eliminating lock-in and keeping their data free and flexible. This is why the education and conversations fostered by The Cloud Factory and the Canadian Cloud Council are so important to the business world at-large.” Other highlight speakers include CIO of New York Times, CIO of NASA, CIO of Walmart Canada, Former CIO of the US Federal Government, CIO of City of Edmonton, CIO of City of Calgary, Founder of OpenStack, Founder of Hadoop, Head of User Growth at LinkedIn, Chief Data Scientist at Mailchimp, GM of Box, VP of Platform at Salesforce and VP of Strategy at IBM to name a few. Additionally a long list of Silicon Valley venture capitalists, including representatives from Accel Partners, Bessemer Ventures, Hummer Winblad, Emergence Capital, Microsoft Ventures and SAP Ventures, will be in attendance to see some of the most innovative enterprise startups compete in the Canadian Cloud Showdown.
The two things that the Canadian Cloud Council are doing to fix the potential misconception that “cloud is risky” are to explain the nuances so Canadian consumers evaluate risk more intelligently and holistically; and reset the expectations of cloud adoption so people realize that the risk isn’t about adopting clouds, it’s about not doing so and getting beaten by faster, more focused, more agile competitors who overcome traditional barriers to entry. Second of all, cloud (like the Internet) is inherently multinational and it is possible that we created an artificial borders problem. Saying “the Canadian cloud” doesn’t mean much; it’s like saying “the Canadian Internet.” With most of our TV shows and films coming from the US, there’s no reason to expect that we’ll maintain our national identity in the long haul without a significant amount of effort. If a company uses Google Mail, Dropbox, Expensify, Salesforce, Freshbooks, Tripit, and a bunch of other cloud services, perhaps only one or a few of them are Canadian. Does the end user of the consumable cloud service really care about data sovereignty or where a cloud service resides? Or, does the issue reside only with the CIO who may be fighting the “Shadow IT” brigade anyways? The Canadian Cloud Council is educating Canadian corporations on how to drive effective cultural change management processes within an organization so cloud is provisioned and operationalized in a unified, measured and ROI driven fashion. If both the business and technology side of an organization build a cloud strategy in unison, understand the risks and rewards of the cloud in unison and actively support the operational process in unison, it has as much better chance of successful execution and acceleration.