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Four New Speakers For March 23

In the past few weeks, we’ve added some great speakers on a variety of topics concerning the present and future of the people of Toronto.
March 5, 2019

There has been a ton of work put in for our March 23 event, so I’m excited to say that the speaker lineup is now complete and 100% available for your perusal on the Schedule page.

In the past few weeks, we’ve added some great speakers on a variety of topics concerning the present and future of the people of Toronto.

Here are the most recent to join the program:

Selina Young - Manager, Indigenous Affairs Office at City of Toronto

Selina is joining us to speak about a very exciting new feature of our city: The Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (ICIE) that will soon be located in a brand new building at 200 Dundas Street East. The centre will provide a supportive space for First Nations, Métis and Inuit entrepreneurs looking to create or grow their businesses, social enterprises, not-for-profits, collectives or cooperatives. It’s also meant to be the heart of a new Indigenous business district right in the centre of our city. The economic opportunities for Indigenous people in our city will have a tremendous impact and we’ll be hearing more about the effects on March 23!

Read Selina's profile page.

Kevin McLaughlin - VP Strategic Partnerships at Free2Move

The ominous title of Kevin’s session, The Scooters Are Coming, certainly sums up the tumultuous relationship that cities have with this new form of last-mile transportation. These little machines have been known to crowd sidewalks and injure both riders and bystanders. In early January, the Toronto Star reported that Bird Scooters has recruited a lobbyist to begin meeting with city councillors, though no launch date has been set. While the countdown may not yet be on, the parts are certainly being moved into place. How will Toronto deal with the coming invasion?

Read Kevin's profile page.

Nabeel Ahmed - Researcher, Toronto Open Smart Cities Forum

This won’t be your average smart cities presentation. Nabeel has been studying the Sidewalk Toronto proposal for months. These days, we know that Google’s plans for Quayside go well beyond the 12-acre site that they have been tasked with developing a proposal for.

The Sidewalk Toronto plan also includes taking a portion of the property tax and development charges that would go to the city, raising some serious concerns about the relationship between the planning corporation and the city.

Here's what he said for during an interview with CBC's Spark:

We know that affordable housing and transit are huge challenges in Toronto right now. Are those challenges that we are facing because we haven't used technology well enough? Are those challenges that will be solved by using better technology? I don't think anyone is naïve enough to believe that. I think we know that there is a fundamental lack of supply of affordable housing. No amount of computers will build 5,000 affordable rental apartments.

He’ll bring a unique perspective to the governance and political forces at play.

Read Nabeel's profile page.

Rhonelle Bruder - RISE Initiative

The RISE Initiative is dedicated to raising awareness and reducing the stigma vulnerable populations face regarding sexual exploitation, homelessness, and poverty. RISE supports establishing safe space where youth can learn strategies to foster resilience, wellbeing, and emotion intelligence.

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