Agenda

THINK 2024 Agenda

Post-conference workshops on Day 2, October 17, will be announced shortly. Stay tuned for updates!

Conference Day 1: October 16


8:00 – 9:00 am | Registration and Breakfast


9:00 – 9:05 am | Welcome and Opening Remarks

Speaker: Steve Orsini, COU


9:05 – 9:45 am | Opening Keynote – Navigating the Future: Tech, Media and Telecom Predictions for 2024, 2025, and beyond!

Duncan Stewart, lead author of Deloitte’s annual TMT Predictions report since 2007, will present a tailored version of the 2024 report, with some sneak peeks of the 2025 topics. While touching on telecom advancements like 5G, 6G, Open Ran, Fixed Wireless Access, and satellite connectivity, he will also look at the emerging tech trends that drive the need for connectivity and their implications for the research, education, and innovation sector. From generative AI use cases to quantum encryption, Duncan will explore their transformative potential and how they can drive innovation and growth within the community.

Keynote Speaker: Duncan Stewart


9:45 – 10:15 am | Journey to ORION 3.0: Empowering Collaborative Innovation

Discover how ORION is shaping the future of research and education through community-driven initiatives and technological advancements. Join ORION’s President and CEO, Alfonso Licata, as he highlights our commitment to fostering collaboration and innovation within the community. Learn about progress towards ORION 3.0, including pivotal milestones and updates on the GTAnet amalgamation. 

Speaker: Alfonso Licata


10:15 – 10:45 am | Break


10:45 – 11:45 am | Strategic Dialogues: Navigating Higher Education Challenges Leading Through Change — Higher Education Perspectives

A dynamic discussion led by key higher education leaders. We’ll dive into the critical challenges confronting institutions today, including cybersecurity and the evolving technology landscape.

Panelists: Nathan Jamieson, Rick Daoust

Moderator: Dr. Charmaine Dean 


11:45 – 12:45 pm | Lunch


12:45 am – 1:45 pm | Empowering Excellence: Community Innovation Showcase

A showcase of transformative research and innovation within ORION’s vibrant community. This session celebrates the pioneering spirit of our constituents, featuring institutions who will share their groundbreaking projects and impactful initiatives. 


1:45 – 2:30 pm | What Can AI Teach Us About What It Means to Be Human? Thriving In a World of Human-Machine Collaboration

Join Iliana Oris Valiente, Managing Director and Head of Innovation at Accenture Canada, for a keynote session that explores the transformative impact of AI on our daily lives. Drawing from her extensive experience with Fortune 500 clients and her active role in venture capital, Iliana will discuss how AI is reshaping the way we work and play, as well as the broader societal changes it brings.

In this session, Iliana will introduce Laila – her AI-powered digital human twin – and share lessons learned about what it means to be human, uncovered through building an AI. This is part of a broader trend of agentic computing and future collaborations between humans and machines, where three-quarters of workers are likely to interact with an AI agent in the near future. Iliana will also share recent trends from the Accenture Tech Vision report and provide insights on where Fortune 500 companies are focusing their AI efforts. She will delve into the economic impact of Canada fully embracing the AI opportunity, based on recent collaborative research with Microsoft, highlighting a $187 billion uplift to the Canadian economy by 2030.

Audience members will walk away with an understanding of how to embrace AI to augment their personal and professional lives, in addition to comprehending societal-level impacts. Prepare to engage in a forward-thinking dialogue about the opportunities and challenges presented by AI and connect with fellow leaders in shaping the future of education and research.

Session Speaker: Illiana Oris Valiente


2:30 – 3:00 pm | Break


3:00 – 4:00 | Breaking Barriers: Insights from Women Leaders

An insightful exploration into diversity, equity, and inclusion in leadership roles within the research and education sector. This session features a panel of influential women including Deborah MacLatchy, Doris Stamml, Debra Christmas, Julia Le and others who will share their experiences and insights on overcoming challenges and achieving success. 

Session Speakers: Deborah MacLatchy, Doris Stamml, Debra Christmas, Julia Le


4:00 – 4:15 pm | Recognizing Impact: ORION Community Leaders Awards

ORION proudly presents the ORION Awards of Excellence 2024. These awards recognize the valuable contributions of community leaders within the research and education sector.

Please join us in congratulating our 2024 winners for their exceptional dedication and achievements.


4:15 | Closing Remarks


5:30 – 9:00 pm | Community Connect: Networking Social

Join us at Rusty’s, 150 Jozo Weider Blvd, Blue Mountains, from 5:30 pm – 9:00 pm for the THINK 2024 Networking and Social Event.

Don’t miss this unforgettable evening of networking and camaraderie at Rusty’s, amidst the picturesque setting of Blue Mountain Village. Enjoy a relaxed atmosphere, make connections and build community relationships within the research and education sector. 


Agenda is subject to change.

THINK 2024 Agenda

Post-conference workshops on Day 2, October 17, will be announced shortly. Stay tuned for updates!

Conference Day 2: October 17


8:00 – 9:00 am | Registration and Breakfast


9:00 – 9:05 am | Welcome and Opening Remarks


9:05 – 9:50 am | Canadian Collaboration: NREN Leaders on Cybersecurity and Innovation

A pivotal discussion featuring leaders from the National Research and Education Network (NREN) partner organizations. Together with ORION, we’ll engage in an open dialogue sharing insights about the challenges and opportunities faced by the NREN community.

Panelists: Barb Carra, Bala Kathiresan, Jennifer Lane, Sandra Cascadden

Moderator: Alfonso Licata


9:50 – 10:20 am | Break


10:20 – 11:10 am | From Crisis to Control: Cybersecurity Resilience in Action 

An exclusive session where Laurentian University shares firsthand experiences of confronting a cybersecurity incident. Hear their detailed account, including challenges faced and successful strategies employed during the breach. Gain expert insights from a cyber breach coach on effective incident response and post-incident support. Learn about the critical role of cybersecurity insurance including understanding its importance and risk mitigation benefits. This session is essential for anyone involved in protecting research and education networks, offering practical advice and innovative solutions.

Panelists: Luc Roy, Dan Michaluk, Patrick Bourk

Moderator: Kevin Parent


11:10 – 11:55 am | The Science of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB)

Bias is one of the most troublesome aspects of human interaction. It plagues communication and reinforces archaic modes of thinking, but what is the neuroscience behind inequity and stereotypes? Neuroscientist & 3-time TEDx Speaker, Sarah Baldeo, takes you on a journey of understanding the brains’ proclivity for bias, navigating power dynamics, and rebuilding a brain that embraces diversity.

Keynote Speaker: Sarah Baldeo


11:55 – 12:00 pm | Closing Remarks


Agenda is subject to change.