Baratunde Thurston
Politically Active Technology-Loving Comedian

Baratunde Thurston is a politically-active, technology-loving comedian from the future. He co-founded the black political blog, Jack and Jill Politics and served as Director of Digital for The Onion. He has written for Vanity Fair and the UK Independent, hosted Popular Science’s Future Of on Discovery Science and appears on cable news regularly to say smart things in funny ways. Then-candidate Barack Obama called him “someone I need to know.” Baratunde travels the world speaking and advising, and performs standup regularly in NYC. He resides in Brooklyn, lives on Twitter and has over 30 years’ experience being black. His first book, How to Be Black, is a New York Times bestseller.

Doug Stephens
Retail Prophet

Founder of Retail Prophet, Doug Stephens is one of the world’s only retail industry futurists. His research and insights have helped major organizations—such as Air Miles, Home Depot, and Disney—understand exactly how mega-trends in demographics, economics, technology and media are forever altering consumer/brand relationships and what they need to do to adapt and evolve. Drawing on his 20 years of experience, Stephens analyzes media trends, financial climates, demographic shifts, emerging technologies and everything in between to provide an unrivalled insight into consumer trends.

Steve Levy
Ipsos Reid

Steve started his career in the UK where he spent two years in sales (at Xerox) and then after completing his undergraduate degree, he moved into brand management (at Mars foods). Since 1986, he has been involved in the marketing research and information business in the UK, South East Asia and Canada. In his current role, he leads a number of Ipsos’s Canadian commercial businesses and is responsible for a staff of over 200 Marketers and Researchers, local product development and R&D, and numerous white papers and public releases. Steve is also a frequent public speaker and media commentator.
Most Influential Brand Global Initiative – Steve leads this initiative that takes place in 21 countries around the world and unveils/presents it each year at Adweek (Toronto) with a roadshow that follows.
In addition to his management role, Steve continues to act as team leader for a number of accounts mostly in the technology sector.
Steve loves GREAT hamburgers – Current favourite is Holly Chucks at the corner of Yonge and St. Clair.

Nick Parish
President, Americas

A long-time journalist and editor, Nick helps run Contagious in North America. He works on Contagious’ award-winning quarterly briefing book, frequent special reports, web platforms and client-based consulting projects, all focusing on turning emerging innovative technology and marketing into future-facing business intelligence. He’s spoken at dozens of leading industry events including the Cannes Lions, SXSW Interactive, IDEA, CaT and Yahoo! Provoke Summit. His writing has been published in the New York Post, New York Magazine, Advertising Age, Creativity, Slam, Mashable and The Globe & Mail. In 2013, Nick joined the board of the Art Directors Club. He resides in Brooklyn and enjoys fly-fishing, dystopian fiction, and any music that sounds like it could have come from Detroit.

Nora Herting

Nora Herting is a Founding Partner of ImageThink, New York City’s only graphic recording firm. Working with high-level teams, she translates complex ideas into clear, powerful images that unlock innovation and creativity. Nora helps ImageThink’s Fortune 500 clients solve big-picture problems and visualizes the best ideas for thought leaders in business and technology.

Che-Wei Wang + Taylor Levy
CW&T Art + Design Studio

CW&T creates multidisciplinary work in collaborative environments, leveraging technology and computing. With the latest tools and processes, CW&T imagines near future possibilities and builds them into reality. Their design approach is to create lasting designs while questioning conventional thinking. In the quest to fulfill their goals, CW&T tends to favour minimal aesthetics, intuitive interfaces and over-engineered construction. Che-Wei Wang [pron. say-way] is an artist, designer and architect. His work ranges from architecture, exhibition design, web design, interactive installations, robotics, sculpture and product design. Taylor Levy is an artist and designer. In her work, technology is broken apart and reconstructed to expose its otherwise opaque inner workings.

Peter Roper
Vice President of Sales

Songza provides expert curated playlists for every occasion. The goal is to make it easy for listeners to find the right music at the right time to suite their preferences. In short, Songza makes the things you do every day better. Roper, a former Ad Age and Tremor Video executive, is responsible for executing Songza’s revenue strategy by working with brands and agencies to help them unlock value, while enhancing the Songza user experience. Most recently, Roper was the VP of Brand Sales, East for Mojiva, a leading mobile ad network, where he helped brands from Ford to IBM innovate in mobile using rich media. Prior to Mojiva, Roper was Senior Director of Digital for Ad Age where he launched the brand’s first mobile presence.

Ryerson University
Lindan Courtmanche + 3 Entrepreneurial Teams

Lindan Courtemanche is the Marketing and Communications Manager of Ryerson University’s Digital Media Zone (DMZ). She is a Creative Producer and an Integrated Project Lead for all the things a brand does beyond traditional advertising. Lindan’s studio management experience has made her a passionate champion of cross-functional teams and a resourceful partner for organizing the chaos of the creative process. Her belief in the power of brands makes her an advocate when it’s time to execute breakthrough ideas. Lindan’s experience in non-traditional and experiential creative production includes work with ING DIRECT in Canada and the United States, Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, Delta Hotels, Air Miles, The Premium Beer Company (Moosehead) and the CBC.

Alon Marcovici
Vice President Consumer Sales + Marketing
The Globe and Mail

Alon Marcovici is currently Vice President of Consumer Sales & Marketing at The Globe and Mail. His 18-year career in sales, marketing and communications spans the sports and entertainment, media and non-profit industries throughout North America, including previous roles as Executive Vice President of Digital Media, at CTV Television Inc. and Vice President of Digital Media for Canada’s Olympic Broadcast Media Consortium. At the 2010 Canadian New Media Awards, Marcovici was named Executive of the Year and his work on Vancouver 2010 was recognized with the Best Cross-Platform Project Award. It also earned him a 2010 Gemini Award for Outstanding Technical Achievement in Digital Media.