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Discussion Series

Hosted by


Hosted by Humber College, the 2021 discussion series consisted of free, informal, virtual chats introducing key questions, collaborations, research, and opportunities as we collectively build a more resilient city. This series set the stage for the CivicLabTO Academic Summit, which took place November 23 & 24, 2021. 

Session recordings can be viewed below and please check here for updates on 2022 programming.


CivicLabTO: Advancing a Culture of Innovation and Partnership 

A discussion with Chris Murray, City Manager, City of Toronto, Rhonda Lenton, President, York University, and Chris Whitaker, President, Humber College.

The first session in the Pre-Summit Discussion Series introduced the key themes driving the City of Toronto's work towards a resilient future and the collaboration between the academic partners and the City under the umbrella of CivicLabTO, leading into the CivicLabTO Academic Summit programming to follow.

CivicLabTO Discussion Series: Technology, Innovation, and Equity 

A discussion with Alice Xu, Manager, Connected Community, City of Toronto, Mohamed Elmi, Director of Research, Diversity Institute, Toronto Metropolitan University, and Nivedita Lane, Manager of Community Development and Partnerships, Humber College, with introductions by Ben Rogers, Dean Seneca Innovation, Seneca Polytechnic and Nasir Kenea, Chief Digital and Infrastructure Officer, George Brown College.


The second session in the Pre-Summit Discussion Series introduced Technology, Innovation & Equity - the key themes driving the City of Toronto's work with academic partners towards understanding and addressing the impacts technology has on equity and how policy and innovation could bridge the digital divide.

CivicLabTO Discussion Series: Climate Change and Green Recovery

A discussion with Lindsay Walker, Associate Director, Sustainability, Humber College and feature insights from Cecilia Fernandez, Acting Manager, Policy and Research, Environment and Energy Division of City of Toronto, Dr. Matt Adams, Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment at the University of Toronto Mississauga, Ms. Priya Patel, Graduate Student, Department of Geography, Geomatics and Environment, University of Toronto Mississauga, Dr. Fatih Sekercioglu, Assistant Professor, School of Occupational and Public Health and Director of the Planetary Health Research Lab, Toronto Metropolitan University, Dr. Emre Karatas, Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering, oronto Metropolitan University.

This session will explore how academic-municipal collaboration like the Toronto Ambient Air Quality Impacts from COVID-19 Study can generate targeted, timely and useful research to inform public policy and address the climate crisis.

CivicLabTO Discussion Series: Economic Resiliency: Culture, Innovation, Inclusion 

A discussion with Glen Lowry, Executive Director & Advisor to Provost / Partnerships, Outreach & Research, OCAD University, Mike DeGagné, President and CEO, Indspire, Dr. Tara Vinodrai, Director, Master of Urban Innovation Program and Associate Professor, Institute for Management and Innovation at the University of Toronto, and Umbereen Inayet, National Award Winning TEDx speaker, curator and artistic producer. 

This virtual panel is a precursor to the CivicLabTO Academic Summit: Collaborating on Renewal and Resilience Nov. 23 & 24, 2021. Focusing on the human side of Economic resilience, panelist will assess opportunities and highlight key concerns around who is included as governments and organizations—the  City and Higher Education Institutions among them—begin to build back better. The three featured panelists have distinguished careers working closely with communities and developing crucial insights on the quotidian impacts of cultural policy and innovation; collectively, they will discuss questions of Economic Resilience from the perspective of ongoing work and emerging concerns.

CivicLabTO Discussion Series: Stronger, Safer, More Just Communities 

A discussion with Robert Luke, ECampus Ontario, Laura Arndt, Chief Operating Officer at the Survivors’ Secretariat, Six Nations of the Grand River, former Chair of Indigenous and Access Program Innovation at Centennial College, Clara Ganemtoré, Policy Development Officer, Social Development, Finance and Administration, City of Toronto, Rawle Elliott, Faculty at Centennial College – Indigenous Studies, former community board member at the Afro-Canadian Legal Clinic and Office of the Provincial Advocate for Children and Youth, Miriam Henry, Assistant Crown Attorney, Crown Lead, Toronto Northwest Justice Center, Ministry of Attorney General, Joanna Duarte Laudon, Policy Development Officer, Social Development, Finance and Administration, City of Toronto, and Olusola Olumogba, Founder & Executive Director, Direct Your Life / Critical Period Interventionist. 

This discussion focuses on a better understanding of the youth justice system and community well-being. Starting with the relationship between colonialism and racism on the youth justice system in Ontario, the discussion explores the impacts on Indigenous, Black and Equity-Deserving Communities in Toronto. Whether it's about violence prevention, policing, courts, government-run or community-led safety programs, we ask what needs to be put in place for stronger, safer and more just communities for Toronto's youth.

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© 2021 CivicLabTO

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