Keynotes & Plenary Sessions

aneesh chopra

K-2 (Tues, Apr 24, 12:00 PM)

Aneesh Chopra served as the nation’s first United States chief technology officer reporting directly to President Obama. He helped advance the National Wireless Initiative, a set of Internet Policy Principles that informed the White House response on proposed online piracy legislation and an Open Innovation movement that delivers results by “crowdsourcing” citizen expertise to solve problems and grow the economy.

Chopra previously served as Virginia’s secretary of technology and a cabinet member on the Council on Virginia’s Future (2006-2009) where he launched the Productivity Investment Fund to spark innovation in state government. Virginia’s productivity and transparency measurement system, Virginia Performs, was cited by Governing Magazine when it named Virginia “best managed state” in 2008.

Prior to joining Governor Kaine’s cabinet, Chopra served as managing director with the Advisory Board Company, a publicly-traded health care think tank serving nearly 2,500 hospitals and health systems where he led two research programs and helped launch its first business intelligence software solution.

In 2011, Chopra was awarded the Wireless Foundation’s Industry Achievement Award for Outstanding Leadership, National Association of State CIOs’ Technology Champion award and Modern Healthcare’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare (#39). In 2008, he was named to Government Technology magazine’s Top 25 in their Doers, Dreamers and Drivers issue.

Upon his departure, President Obama noted, “[he] did groundbreaking work to bring our government into the 21st century…from electronic health records for veterans, to expanding access to broadband for rural communities, to modernizing government records. His legacy of leadership and innovation will benefit Americans for years to come and I thank him for his outstanding service.”

Chopra earned his master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University in 1997 and his bachelor’s degree from The Johns Hopkins University in 1994.

Dr. Nicholas Gruen

K-4 (Wed, Apr 25 @ 12:00 PM)

Dr Nicholas Gruen is the renowned Australian economist who lead Australia’s Government 2.0 Taskforce in 2009.  He produced the well-received “Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0” report. The resulting recommendations represent the current Gov 2.0 best practices with regard to government digital innovation, open government and open data.  Dr Gruen is a strong public advocate for economic reform, innovation and open government in the context of the extraordinary opportunities provided by the internet.

Dr Gruen is  the founder of  the economic policy consultancy Lateral Economics  in Melbourne, Australia.  He has advised two Australian Federal Cabinet Ministers, directed the Australian Business Council’s New Directions program and sat on the Productivity Commission. He is a frequent newspaper columnist in the daily press and a prolific blogger at Club Troppo.

David Eaves

K-1 (Tues, Apr 24 @ 9:05 AM)

A public policy entrepreneur, open government activist and negotiation expert, David advises a number of government at the local, provincial/state, national and international levels on open data and open government, helping them craft strategies as well as execute implementation plans.  David advises the Mayor of Vancouver on open government and open data and helped draft the Open Motion.

David lives in Vancouver, British Columbia. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in history at Queen’s University and a Master’s of International Relations at Oxford. He is a former Sauvé Scholar at McGill University and an Action Canada Fellow.

louis zacharilla

K-4 (Wed, Apr 25 @ 9:05 AM)

Louis Zacharilla is a social entrepreneur who has been credited with initiating the global Intelligent Community movement. As one of the founders of ICF, he developed the Top Seven and Intelligent Community of the Year Awards program. Through the Intelligent Community Forum, a think tank based in New York, he helps community thought leaders to implement and to understand the best practices of the world’s leading communities in the 21st Century. He speaks worldwide of the need to develop viable, creative and innovative “home grown” communities. In addition to his writings, he is a frequent keynote speaker and moderator at conferences and events. In April 2012 he was quoted in the global Wealth Report on his choice of the world’s best cities in 2050. He appears regularly in the media to discuss the impact of broadband and access technologies on the rebirth of the world’s “no name” communities. To further ICF’s study of communities, Mr. Zacharilla recently announced the launch of two new Institutes for the Study of the Intelligent Community.

Along with his fellow founders of ICF, Mr. Zacharilla co-authored Broadband Economies: Building the Community for the 21st Century. He is presently working on a new book, The New Tribalism, a series of essays. His articles, opinions and blogs appear in publications in Canada, The Netherlands, Sweden, the United States, and Australia. His work for ICF was the subject of multi-part series in Taiwan’s Ideas Magazine last year. He was featured in a promotional video for the City of Stockholm. He writes a blog on the ICF website and a regular column for Satellite Executive Briefing.

Mr. Zacharilla has served as an adjunct professor at New York’s Fordham University, is a guest lecturer at New York University’s Polytechnic Institute’s School of Innovation Technology & Enterprise and recently lectured at Central European University (Budapest) on the possibilities of Intelligent Community formation in Eastern Europe. He was named a judge for the French-based World E-Democracy Awards program and was elected a member of the board of trustees at Walsh University (Ohio, USA). He serves as an honorary advisory board member to the Intelligent Senior Independent Living Spaces project (Canada) and will shortly assume a similar capacity on the board of St. Vincent Ferrer in Manhattan.

DAVE  Nikolejsin

 K-3 (Tues, Apr 24 @ 4:05 PM)

Dave Nikolejsin has served as Chief Information Officer for the Province of British Columbia since July 2005 and was appointed Associate Deputy Minister on October 29, 2010. Prior to his appointment as Chief Information Officer, Dave spent two years as the Assistant Deputy Minister responsible for the Network BC initiative. Through his leadership in this project, Dave played a pivotal role in bridging the digital divide by connecting many rural and remote communities in British Columbia to high-speed broadband.

Dave has a strong technical background, and spent nearly 20 years working in management positions of progressively more responsibility, both in the B.C. government and with SaskTel in Regina, Saskatchewan. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for BCNET, the Board of Directors of ISSNET, and an active participant in the cross-jurisdictional Public Sector Chief Information Officer Council.


K-5 (Wed, Apr 25 @ 4:00 PM)

Joan McCusker believes it is ordinary people who do extraordinary things. Through her experiences as a teacher, mom, world champion curler, Olympic Gold Medallist and CBC Analyst, Joan has collected a number of observations on the attitudes that propel ordinary people to build extraordinary lives. With a big smile, plenty of humour and tons of Olympic examples, Joan explains the type of attitude and teamwork that builds success in every aspect of life.

Her first example is her own journey. Joan was part of a curling foursome that dominated the world of women’s curling in the 1990’s. With her teammates, Sandra Schmirler, Jan Betker and Marcia Gudereit, Joan won three Canadian and three World Curling Titles in 1993, 1994 and 1997. While balancing young families and careers, the team rallied in the fall of 1997 to win the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials and the right to represent Canada at the Olympics. These victories prepared them well for their greatest achievement: a Gold Medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan.


I-1 (Tues, Apr 24, 8:50 AM)
I-2 (Wed, Apr 25, 8:50 AM)

Ignite Talks are concise presentations (5-6 mins) about exciting success stories.  Presenters can’t dawdle or dwell on a topic.  They get to their points quickly and it allows attendees to learn a lot in a short time.

Facilitated Discussion Forums

F-1, F-2 ,F-3, F-4, F-5, F-6 (Wed, Apr 25 @ 1:30 – 3:45 PM)