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20121003 Strategic Plan
Canada's 'University of the Imagination

Speeches & Presentations

To keep you informed of new initiatives, OCAD University President Dr. Sara Diamond will post copies of her notes from recent presentations or meetings. Check this space regularly for new additions.

"Euphoria & Dystopia: The History of the Banff New Media Institute"
Derry Lecture Speaker, Huron University College at Western University
October 29, 2012

"Building a Values Driven Institution: Two Case Studies at OCAD University"
Kumuwuki Big Wave: Regional Arts Australia National Conference
October 19, 201

Baycrest Proud Partner Award Remarks
On June 21, 2012, OCAD University was named the recipient of the Baycrest Proud Partner Award in recognition of the university's ongoing research activities with Baycrest.

City of Toronto Core Service Review deputation
On July 28, 2011, the City of Toronto heard deputations from 169 citizens, including Dr. Diamond, as part of its Core Service Review.

Cultural Human Resource Council
The Cultural Human Resource Council (CHRC) organized a national roundtable on the impact of emerging digital technologies on the cultural sector, in Ottawa on June 16, 2011. OCAD U President Dr. Sara Diamond had agreed to be a “thought leader” for the web-based interactive forum, which has been a key part of the consultative process. It has seeded considerable discussion and widespread feedback on our subject. Dr. Diamond was then invited as a leader in digital media and in education to provide a keynote address that would kick off the roundtable with some inspiring and visionary ideas that acknowledged trends and opportunities in Canadian cultural content. The talk also suggested the possibilities of collaborative action in training, research and creation. This built on her initial posting that suggested the need to have a cultural “workforce” that is truly at the cutting edge of innovation:

It’s time to submit to convergence. For years media production required significant overhead. This is no longer the case as accessible and reasonable production technology is now available.

For years technologies were unstable, incapable of living up to producers’ concepts, alienating users or audiences, requiring endless simplification and painful usability testing. Platforms even the newest are now robust. We are back to the future in a world where content counts. For example, tablet computing offers intimate access to rich interactive experiences either as a standalone medium or in concert with other screens, or live entertainment. Mobile applications guide us through museums and galleries in didactic or playful ways.

Digital media are malleable creating new aesthetic possibilities by allowing the infinite layering of images, effects, and disparate forms of content. It is easier than ever to create an art work for multiple screens (online, big screen, mobile). While tools may be cheap, their articulate use never comes easily, requiring discipline as does any creative form.

Digital media reframes our aesthetic judgments. Speed characterizes the digital aesthetic. Three dynamics are worth noting: the ubiquitous nature of video; ‘gamification’ and ‘social media’. YouTube has created a world where amateur and professional video plays side by side. We are bombarded by video. There is a premium on the spectacular and bizarre awash in a quantum of banality, with occasional rays of brilliance. Yet YouTube has become a critical media for the dissemination of documentary and marketing materials, for understanding cultural dynamics and audiences and for disseminating media art. ‘Gamification’ is the use of game dynamics in shaping all forms of media experiences and interfaces, with gaming approaches seeking into the larger culture. We are witnessing a trend that, like the ‘webification’ of print media, ‘gamification’ will change narrative structures. Finally, for major brands as much as fifty percent of their marketing occurs through social media suggesting that the cultural sector might do well to pay attention to common tools that link fans and critics, such as Facebook or Twitter, or better, carefully created dynamic websites that foster dialogue with audiences.

The digital revolution has ended and digital world has begun and with it a land of virtual opportunities.

Association of Universities & Colleges of Canada
In preparation for the upcoming Executive Heads mission to Brazil the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada (AUCC) organized a workshop on strategic engagement with Brazil. Dr. Sara Diamond, José Celso Freire Junior and Fabio Theophilo participated as panelists on the session “Collaborating for success”. The panel compared conditions in university and research practice in Brazil and Canada. Dr. Diamond presented OCAD U's efforts to build research and innovation in the mobile sector through a series of OCAD U-led missions with the Mobile Experience Innovation Centre, MobileFest and partner universities in Brazil. The panel session, moderated by Ryerson University’s Marsha McEachrane Mikhail, took place on June 14, 2011 at the Sheraton Hotel in downtown Ottawa.

OCAD University's submission to the Government of Canada on Canada's Digital Economy (PDF)
July 2010

Dr. Sara Diamond's address to City University Hong Kong at the launch of the Applied Laboratory for Interactive Visualization and Embodiment (ALiVE) at Hong Kong Science Park (PDF)
June 25, 2010

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