International thought leaders on digital inclusion
to converge at OCAD University
Designing Enabling Economies and Policies conference to feature talks by Don Tapscott and Kristyn Wong-Tam
(Toronto—May 10, 2012) OCAD University will host Designing Enabling Economies and Policies (DEEP), May 24 to 25, a program of the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict).
The conference brings together the world's most influential digital inclusion thinkers, information and communications technology designers, persons with disabilities advocates and policy makers to identify levers and innovative new strategies for digital inclusion that go beyond current approaches. G3ict is an Advocacy Initiative of the UN GAID, the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development.
Don Tapscott, one of the world's leading authorities on innovation, media and the economic and social impact of technology, is a key speaker at DEEP. Also among the line up is diversity activist and Toronto City Councillor for Toronto Centre-Rosedale, Kristyn Wong-Tam.
In addition, The Lieutenant Governor of Ontario, the Honourable David C. Onley will host participants for a reception in his suite at Queen's Park.
Designed to foster substantive, in-depth discussion among decision makers promoting the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in their respective countries, DEEP will analyze success factors and causes of failures of e-accessibility policies and programs. Areas of focus will include:
- Accessible Education
- Workplace Accommodation
- Broadcasting and New Media
- Contents and Services
"Accessibility and inclusion are not only rights to be protected, but catalysts for new ideas," said conference co-convenor Jutta Treviranus, Director of OCAD University's Inclusive Design Research Centre, and of the Inclusive Design Institute. "DEEP is an opportunity for policy makers, advocates, service providers and academia to exchange ideas for digital inclusion for persons with disabilities. Digital inclusion leads to better design and robust business strategies, which in turn become economic drivers with ubiquitous social benefits."
"The DEEP conference will definitely help advance the understanding of success factors and roadblocks involved in implementing digital accessibility," said Axel Leblois, Executive Director, G3ict. "We are particularly pleased that leading disability advocates and private sector participants will be involved in brainstorming sessions alongside government representatives. DEEP 2012 will also be a unique opportunity for international participants to learn more about the pioneering Canadian and Ontario experiences. We are very grateful to OCAD University, the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario to make this international multi-stakeholder inquiry possible."
Plenary sessions will explore levers for change such as technological solutions; economic levers, demographics and market forces; the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and policy; education and training on accessibility and societal trends.
For the complete agenda, visit the Designing Enabling Economies and Policies conference website at deep2012.idrc.ocad.ca.
Held in conjunction with the DEEP conference, OCAD U will celebrate the official opening of the Inclusive Design Institute (IDI), a research community and regional research hub based at OCAD University that focuses on the inclusive design of emerging information and communication systems and practices. The IDI is funded by the Government of Canada through the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Research Fund Research Infrastructure program with eight postsecondary institutions as core partners, namely OCAD U, University of Toronto, Ryerson University, York University, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Sheridan College, George Brown College and Seneca College.
OCAD University and G3ict acknowledge the generous support of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Ontario Public Service, Research in Motion Limited, Accessible Media Inc. and IBM Canada.
Don Tapscott has written or co-written 14 widely read books including most recently Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet (Revised Paperback, May 2012). His 1992 bestseller Paradigm Shift helped coin a seminal management concept and his 1995 hit The Digital Economy changed thinking around the world about the transformational nature of the Internet. Two years later he defined the Net Generation and the "digital divide" in Growing Up Digital. His 2000 work, Digital Capital, introduced seminal ideas like "the business web" and was described by BusinessWeek as "pure enlightenment." Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything was the best-selling management book in the United States in 2007 and translated into over 25 languages.
The Economist called Macrowikinomics a "Schumpeterian story of creative destruction" and the Huffington Post said the book is "nothing less than a game plan to fix a broken world." Over 30 years he has introduced many ground-breaking concepts that are part of contemporary understanding.
In 2011, Tapscott was re-named to the Thinkers50 Definitive List of the Top 50 Business Thinkers in the World, earning the ninth spot on the list. He was also a runner up as the World's Leading Thinker on Globalization and Macrowikinomics was runner up for The Best Business Book of the Last Two Years. He is a member of World Economic Forum, and an Adjunct Professor of Management for the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto. It is hard to imagine anyone who has been more prolific, profound and influential in explaining the digital revolution and its impact on the world.
Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam has an extensive career investing in the City of Toronto through both the public and private sectors. Her contributions have led to the development and support of numerous social planning programs, business ventures, art endeavours and successful community initiatives.
As a tireless community advocate, Councillor Wong-Tam has championed for the expansion of green public spaces, farmers' markets, community gardens including improvements to parks and ravines. She has lead efforts to defend the rights of tenants to obtain affordable and decent standards of rental housing and helped create a neighbourhood association to preserve and protect heritage buildings and historical landscapes in the ward.
Councillor Wong-Tam has a distinguished track record of human rights advocacy and was a co-founder of Asian Canadians For Equal Marriage, and the past president of the Chinese Canadian National Council Toronto Chapter that successfully lobbied the federal government for the head tax apology and redress.
Prior to being elected to City Council in 2010, Councillor Wong-Tam was an accomplished real estate professional and supporter of the arts. She has curated art installations for Scotiabank's Nuit Blanche and is the principal of a Toronto-based contemporary fine art gallery. As a founding member of the Church-Wellesley Village Business Improvement Association, her business advocacy and entrepreneurship focusing on urban economic development, earned her a seat on the Mayor David Miller's Economic Competitiveness Advisory Committee which produced the Agenda for Prosperity in 2008.
Councillor Wong-Tam continues to be a champion for sustainable living and environmental health and plays a vital role in ensuring the vibrancy of our city and its economic and social development. In addition to her city appointments to numerous city boards and agencies, she is also a board member of the University of Toronto Art Centre and the Business Chair at the Toronto Workforce Innovation Group (previously known as the Toronto Training Board).
Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict)
G3ict (http://www.g3ict.org/) is an Advocacy Initiative of the UN GAID, the United Nations Global Alliance for ICT and Development, launched in December 2006 in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UN DESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities on the accessibility of Information Communication Technologies (ICTs) and assistive technologies. G3ict relies on an international network of ICT accessibility experts to develop and promote good practices, technical resources and benchmarks for ICT accessibility advocates around the world.
About OCAD University (OCAD U)
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada's "university of imagination." The University, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.
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Media are invited to attend. To RSVP or for more information, please contact:
Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)