On June 14, 2016, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) launched a consultation process in support of Canada’s Innovation Agenda. Recognizing that Canada’s ability to compete in a digital world is paramount as society undergoes a fundamental economic shift driven by the digital transformation of industries, and that there is a clear need for youth to be engaged on these issues given their critical role in the evolution of our digital society, on September 19th the CIC National Capital Branch held a Politics @ the Pub event entitled, Canada and the Digital Economy: Youth, Talent, and Innovation.

Following brief presentations, our panel of experts engaged the audience in a lively discussion.

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The People:

DAN HERMAN (Panelist)
Dan Herman recently joined the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development as Executive Director of Innovation Policy and Analysis to help guide the development of Canada’s Innovation Agenda. He is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Centre for Digital Entrepreneurship and Economic Performance (DEEP), a Waterloo-based economic policy think-tank. In addition to his work at the department, he is a researcher at the Balsillie School of International Affairs where he focuses on innovation and economic policy and how Canada should adapt to compete in the global economy (which also happens to be the scope of a PhD that he is working on). Dan brings a wealth of experience in both the private and public sectors, having started his own company and served as a Senior Policy Advisor in the Government of Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Innovation.

VICTORIA LENNOX (Panelist)
Victoria has a track record of stimulating public discourse & developing meaningful political & policy inroads to advance the entrepreneurship agenda. She is an expert in entrepreneurship policy, building enterprise networks (national, communities & campuses), catalyzing movements, & ecosystem governance. Victoria is the co-founder of Startup Canada, Canada’s first-ever, entrepreneur-led, national movement. Victoria is the catalyst of a national grassroots network of local Startup Communities; PIVOTmagazine.ca, 1000startups.ca, StartupAward.ca & MentorshipChallenge.ca among other high-impact, national programs – recognised by PROFIT Magazine as one of Canada’s Top 30 entrepreneurs in 2012.

RAFAL ROHOZINSKI (Panelist)
Mr. Rohozinski is a digital entrepreneur behind several companies, and the principal investigator of two highly innovative cyber research initiatives: the Infowar Monitor, a joint project between The SecDev Group and the Citizen Lab, Munk Centre for International Studies, University of Toronto, which examines and documents emerging trends in cyber warfare; and, the OpenNet Initiative, a collaboration with the Citizen Lab, Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School, the Advanced Network Research Group at Cambridge University (now the SecDev Group) and the Oxford Internet Institute, which documents patterns of Internet censorship worldwide.

DASHA SHAKOV (Panelist)
Ms. Shakov is a young entrepreneur and co-founder of Parcelly, an Ottawa region startup providing unique gifting solution for long distance friends, family members, and loved ones. A third year BCom Marketing student, she is an innovative entrepreneur who is sure to inspire and impress everyone she meets for years to come.

NICHOLAS WISE (Opening Remarks)
Executive Director of Service Policy at the Treasury Board of Canada.

MARGARET HUBER (Opening Remarks)
Margaret Huber is President of the Canadian International Council’s National Capital Branch and a former Canadian Ambassador in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.

EHSAN TORKAMAN (Moderator)
Ehsan Torkaman is the Director of Politics @ the Pub and a member of the CIC National Capital Branch.

Photos from September 19th P@P Panel: Canada and the Digital Economy: Youth, Talent, and Innovation