2013 THINK Conference Agenda


“Today we create more information globally every two days than in all the years leading up to 2003.”

Whether it’s research in physics, medicine, digital media, the arts, or social sciences, petabytes of valuable data is being produced every single day. The theme of this year’s THINK Conference will focus on “Extreme Data” – the trends, the issues and what they mean for Ontario’s research, education and innovation communities. The THINK Conference will challenge organizational leaders affected by the circumstances of the day to take notice, exchange knowledge, share best practices and develop ideas that lead to innovative solutions.



8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.Registration / Full Breakfast
9:00 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.Opening Remarks

Darin Graham, President and CEO, ORION
Anne Sado, President, George Brown College and Board Chair, ORION
9:15 a.m. – 9:35 a.m.The Big ideas flowing from ORION’s Users

Darin Graham, President and CEO, ORION

The future of the ICT world is at an inflection point and connectivity is a critical support mechanism. This presentation is a snapshot of some exciting examples of the plethora of user-based activity at the core and on the fringes of the ORION network. As the “Backbone of Innovation” for Ontario, ORION is immersed in this activity in support of assisting, guiding and facilitating our users to help them build that future.
9:35 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.Keynote Speaker

John Weigelt, National Technology Officer, Microsoft Canada
10:30 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. – BREAK
10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.The Age of Big Data and Extreme Information – Are you ready?

The reality is most organizations do not have the basics in place; they can either choose to change or have to change. A panel of industry experts will discuss the problems and opportunities with big data management in the new information age.

Moderator: Dr. Darin Graham, President and CEO, ORION


11:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. Privacy by Design in the Age of Big Data – Put an End to Zero-Sum Thinking

Dr. Ann Cavoukian, Information & Privacy Commissioner, Ontario, Canada

The protection of privacy is a necessary part of today’s business environment. Consumers not only want access to more information, they also want to know that their personal information is safe and protected when it’s in the hands of the organizations they do business with. As we enter into the age of Big Data and Open Data, we are immersed in a rich information environment and frequently sharing information about ourselves and others – can privacy remain a viable option? YES! Commissioner Cavoukian will discuss what the current privacy issues are in the age of Big Data, and how the made-in-Ontario concept of Privacy by Design is leading the way to a future with privacy
12:15 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. – LUNCH
12:45 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.Remarks From The Minister of Research and Innovation

Honourable Reza Moridi, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation
1:00 p.m. – 1:45 p.m. – ORION Leadership Awards Presentation

The ORION Leadership Awards will be presented by Minister Moridi and recognize research breakthroughs and innovation in Ontario.
1:45 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. – Breakout Sessions

THINK Conference delegates will attend one of three information and discussion sessions led by industry experts. Topics will include:

  • Security in a Distributed Network Environment – Session led by Dr. Ken Evans
  • Big Data In Practice: Requirements, Planning, and Infrastructure – Session led by Dirk deRoos
  • Trends in Big Data and the Impact on Research and Education – Session led by Dr. Alan Wagner

2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. BREAK
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Network as Instrument: Faster Data for Ontario

Dr. Gregory Bell, Director, Energy Sciences Network, Director, Scientific Networking Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

It’s time to start thinking about research networks as instruments for discovery, not infrastructures for service-delivery. In this talk, Dr. Bell describes what’s at stake in this distinction and explains how the culture and strategy of ESnet are influenced by its unusual institutional context: embedded in a US national laboratory, classified as a ‘user facility’, and located uphill from a famously-audacious university.
3:45 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. – Closing Remarks

4:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.Networking Reception