Digital Access Day

JUNE 19, 2018, OTTAWA

What is Digital Access Day?

We believe the internet can help address serious social and economic needs. But too often, the digital divide mirrors existing inequities.

Thanks to funding from the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA), three organizations on the frontlines of bridging the digital divide are establishing the first-ever Digital Access Day to explore all the reasons Canadians can’t fully participate in online life.

We want to bring together NGOs, the tech sector, policy-makers, academics, and those most affected by the digital divide to talk about good work already underway, identify what else can be done, and measure progress. Join us!

Digital Access Day 2018 Speakers

Catherine Clark
Catherine Clark
President | Catherine Clark Communications Inc
Named one of Ottawa’s Forty Under 40 by the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, Catherine Clark is a nationally respected ...
Byron Holland
Byron Holland
President and CEO | CIRA
Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for Internet governance, Byron’s leadership has brought CIRA to ...
Rodney MacDonald
Rodney MacDonald
Global Public Policy Strategist | Intuit
With more than 10 years in public policy and advocacy, MacDonald began his career in the Office of the Prime ...
Ken Sanderson
Ken Sanderson
Executive Director | Broadband North
Sanderson is a member of Pinaymootang First Nation and is currently Executive Director of Broadband Communications ...
Mark Buell
Mark Buell
Regional Bureau Director North America | Internet Society
Buell is the Internet Society’s Regional Bureau Director for North America. In this role, Mark oversees the ...
Nisa Malli
Nisa Malli
Senior Policy Analyst | BII+E
Nisa Malli is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship, leading ...
Marina Pavlovic
Marina Pavlovic
Associate Professor | University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law
Marina Pavlovic is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa’s Faculty of Law, Common Law Section, and is ...
Dr. Mary Cavanagh
Dr. Mary Cavanagh
Associate Professor | University of Ottawa's School of Information Studies
Dr. Mary Cavanagh is an Associate Professor at the University of Ottawa’s School of Information Studies and ...
Lena Trudeau
Lena Trudeau
Senior Advisor | Canadian Digital Services
Trudeau is the Founder and CEO of Nuage Cloud Strategies and Senior Advisor to the Canadian Digital Service. ...
Shelley Robinson
Shelley Robinson
Robinson is Executive Director of National Capital FreeNet, a not-for-profit Internet Service Provider and digital ...
Eric Craven
Eric Craven
Project Coordinator | Atwater Library
Craven is the Community Development Librarian at the Atwater Library and Computer Centre in Montreal, where he also ...
Candice Blackwood
Candice Blackwood
Digital Literacy Librarian | Ottawa Public Library
Blackwood has worked at the Ottawa Public Library since 2014, including a stint doing Teen Services and is now the ...
Alexandra MacEachern
Alexandra MacEachern
Director of Policy and Outreach | ICTC
Alexandra MacEachern is a lawyer with a passion for technology. She is currently the director of policy and ...
Florencia Herra-Vega
Florencia Herra-Vega
CTO | Peerio
Florencia Herra-Vega is an generalist developer who loves trying to break down and explain complex technical ...
Ret. Lt. General Stuart Beare
Ret. Lt. General Stuart Beare
Strategic Advisor | Accenture
Lieutenant General (retired) Stuart Beare is a 36 year veteran of the Canadian Armed Forces, the Canadian Army and ...
Faud Khan
Faud Khan
Founder | TwelveDot Inc 
Faud Khan is an industry veteran with more than 23 years of IT security experience with network equipment ...
David Fewer
David Fewer
Director | CIPPIC 
Director, Samuelson-Glushko Canadian Internet Policy and Public Interest Clinic (CIPPIC) B.A., LL.B., LL.M. ...
Zeina Osman
Zeina Osman
Co-executive Director | CompuCorps
Osman is the coexecutive director of CompuCorps Mentoring Inc, a hightech charity that seeks to benefit Canadian ...
Christopher Hickey
Christopher Hickey
Director of Industry Affairs | CNOC
Hickey is the Director of Industry Affairs at Canadian Network Operators Consortium Inc., an association of ...
Dr. Michael Geist
Dr. Michael Geist
Canada Research Chair | University of Ottawa
Dr. Michael Geist is a law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in ...
Blaine Cameron
Blaine Cameron
City Wide Chair | Board of Ottawa ACORN
Blaine Cameron has been a member of Ottawa ACORN for 6 years, joining when an organizer knocked on his door when he ...
Franca Palazzo
Franca Palazzo
Palazzo brings over 20 years of expertise in delivering tailored business development and program development ...
Brian Hall
Brian Hall
Organizer | NYC Mesh
Brian Hall has lived in downtown Manhattan since 1988. He has been an organizer with NYC Mesh for the last four ...

Digital Access Day 2017 Gallery

Event Schedule

Tuesday, June 19, 2018


Registration and coffee


Welcome: Catherine Clark
Opening Remarks: Franca Palazzo, Zeina Osman, Shelley Robinson
Keynote: Byron Holland, CIRA


DAD talks and Q&A: Indigenous Connectivity

DAD talks are like TED talks, consisting of two ten-minute presentations that give information and context on a specific element of digital access, followed by a moderated question and answer period.

Indigenous communities are finding ways to connect themselves to the internet on their own terms. What are some of those models? What are the challenges they’re facing? And how are they harnessing the internet to further empower their communities?

Ken Sanderson, Broadband Communications North
Mark Buell, Internet Society

Moderator: Terry Ansari, Digital Strategist




DAD talks and Q&A: Digital Access Research

There are a number of different ways to measure digital access, digital adoption, connectivity, and digital literacy. Here we dig into some of that work. How do you blend relevant qualitative and quantitative data? How do you measure change? And is data capturing the whole story?

Nisa Malli, Brookfield Institute
Marina Pavlovic, Faculty of Law, University of Ottawa
Mary Cavanaugh, Associate Professor, University of Ottawa

Moderator: Lena Trudeau, Nuage Strategies


Panel Discussion: Digital Literacy — In a world of smart technology, how smart are we really?

Connectivity is meaningless if people don’t understand how to use it. As such, digital literacy is one of the central challenges to digital access. And there is a spectrum of digital literacy, from people learning to use a mouse for the first time and accessing basic online services, to projects that teach kids how to code or seniors how to become digital animators, to citizens learning to participate in the multi-stakeholder model of International internet governance.

For this panel we’ll bring together a range of experts who can speak to who has been left behind, as well as practitioners on the frontlines of ensuring everyone has an opportunity to learn how to understand and use the internet in the way that best suits them.

Candice Blackwood, Ottawa Public Library
Eric Craven, Atwater Library
Lena Trudeau, Nuage Strategies
Nisa Malli, Brookfield Institute

Moderator: Shelley Robinson, National Capital FreeNet




Keynote: Florencia Herra-Vega, Peerio


Safety, Surveillance and Privacy Panel

Part of true digital access is feeling safe online. What does digital access mean in an age of mass data breaches, the threat of ransomware, online harassment and trading personal data for free online services? Are some communities more affected than others? How do people protect themselves without losing access?

Alex MacEachern, ICTC
Florencia Herra-Vega, Peerio
Ret. Lt. General S.A Stuart Beare, Accenture
Faud Khan, TwelveDot

Moderator: David Fewer, CIPPIC




Facilitated Table Talk & Discussion: Catherine Clark


Keynote: Brian Hall, NYC Mesh


Panel: Affordability — what’s the cost if you can’t connect?

Prices for internet keep going up. And studies have shown that some people are scrimping on food in order to pay for their connections. Others struggle to cram their online lives into the confines of cellphone screens and limited data plans as a way to keep costs down, using free (but insecure) wifi at coffeeshops or at the library when they’re open. This limits digital access. This panel will talk about the Canadian internet marketplace and what could be done better, as well as featuring people who are working to making internet more affordable for everyone.

Zeina Osman, CompCorps
Chris Hickey, CNOC
Michael Geist, Canada Research Chair
Blaine Cameron, ACORN

Moderator: Rodney Macdonald, Intuit


Closing Remarks: Catherine Clark



Thank you to our Sponsors

This event would not be possible without the generosity
of the Community Investment Program through CIRA.


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