James Fallows
National Correspondant
The Atlantic

James Fallows has worked for The Atlantic for nearly 30 years, and in that time has also lived in Seattle, Berkeley, Austin, Tokyo, Kuala Lumpur, Shanghai, and Beijing. He has also spent two years as chief White House speechwriter for Jimmy Carter, two years as the editor of US News & World Report, and six months as a program designer at Microsoft. He is now the Chair in US Media at the United States Studies Centre at the University of Sydney, in Australia. Fallows has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award five times and has won once; he has also won the American Book Award for nonfiction and a N.Y. Emmy award for the documentary series Doing Business in China. He is the founding chairman of the New America Foundation.

Bruce Poon Tip
G Adventures

Bruce Poon Tip is the Founder of G Adventures (www.gadventures.com), and is the author of the New York Times, The Globe & Mail and International bestselling book Looptail: How One Company Changed the World by Reinventing Business. A global leader in sustainability and social entrepreneurship, Bruce has spoken multiple times at the request of the United Nations and World Bank, presented at the headquarters of Apple and Google, and delivered keynote speeches at TED events and leading entrepreneurship conferences around the world. In 2012, Bruce was inducted into the Social Venture Network Hall of Fame, alongside Richard Branson (Virgin Airlines), Anita Roddick (The Body Shop), and Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield (Ben & Jerry’s ice cream).

Greg Barber
Vice President + Consumer Channels Group

Greg Barber is the Vice President of the Consumer Channels Group (CCG) at Microsoft Canada. CCG brings together Microsoft’s Retail, OEM, mobile operator and distribution partners into one organization; and is the single point of accountability for the Canadian subsidiary across Windows PC, Office, Surface & Tablets, Windows Phone, and Xbox. As a 20-year veteran of Microsoft, Greg loves the fast pace and challenge of working in an industry that never stands still. He’s passionate about technology and consumers, and has seen how technology can change lives as well as revolutionize whole industries.

Emma Coats
Freelance Story Artist

Emma Coats got her start at Pixar Animation Studios in 2007 as a story artist on the feature film Brave. While at Pixar she also worked on such films as Monsters University and Inside Out. Since leaving Pixar in 2012, Emma has worked on numerous projects for Dreamworks TV, Scott Free, Paramount Animation, and Rovio. Emma briefly attended the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) before leaving to independently pursue a career in film and television. Always passionate about story, she has delivered lectures on story to audiences at the Austin Film Festival, the VanArts Pixar Master Class, business retreats and Most Contagious. She teaches story structure at Otis College of Art and Design while continuing to develop her own films as a director.

Carla Diana
Independant Production Designer + Fellow Smart Design

Carla Diana is a hybrid designer keenly focused on realizing new visions for Smart Objects and the Internet of Things. In addition to her industry experience at some of the world’s top design firms such as frog Design and Smart Design, Carla maintains strategic alliances with a number of academic research groups. She is a member of the Georgia Tech Socially Intelligent Machines Lab, and a faculty member at the School of Visual Arts and the University of Pennsylvania’s Integrated Product Design Program where she developed the first course on Smart Objects. She is Advisor for the group Tomorrow-Lab, a young design firm that creates electro-mechanical solutions for smart devises, and she continues to work as a Fellow at Smart Design, where she oversees the Smart Interaction Lab.

Mike Kirkup
Velocity University of Waterloo

Mike Kirkup is Director at Velocity, the University of Waterloo’s startup incubator. He joined the Velocity team in 2012 to help foster entrepreneurship throughout the University of Waterloo and the startup community of Kitchener-Waterloo. During his time at Velocity, he has mentored such startup successes as BufferBox, Mappedin and Thalmic Labs, to name a few. Mike understands both the creative and commercial paths to building successful businesses. For over a decade, he mentored hundreds of startups focused on developing mobile applications. His approachable demeanour and deep understanding of entrepreneurial culture has made him a notable influencer across the Velocity community in Kitchener-Waterloo.

Jordan Levitin
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid

Jordan’s 30 year career in marketing research has been a steady journey of discovery, exploring the deeper motivations that drive everything from voting patterns to consumer behaviour. Today he focuses on helping clients maximize their return on marketing investments through market landscaping, insight identification and new product innovation. Jordan has a degree in Urban Planning and an MBA, is a Past President of the research industry’s national association (MRIA) and is an avid rower and world traveler.

Gareth Macleod

Gareth founded Tinkercoin with Ross Robinson in 2012, shortly after graduating from the University of Waterloo with a degree in Computer Science. A veteran of Facebook, Gareth helped the company build critical pieces of the company’s security and anti-spam infrastructure which serve hundreds of millions of people a day. Since starting Tinkercoin, Gareth has been consulted as a Bitcoin expert by Al-Jazeera, Global News, and the Chinese State Television. His hair has been seen in Time Magazine.

Nick Parish
President, Americas

A longtime 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.

Omar Qureshi

Omar Qureshi is the CEO and Co-Founder of Planleaf. Planleaf is the only task management solution that works completely inside of your email inbox. It requires no download, no installation and works across all devices. Planleaf is proudly based out of Waterloo and is currently in the Velocity startup incubator program. Prior to Planleaf, Omar worked as a developer at several startups in the Waterloo Region. Omar holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Statistics from the University of Toronto.

Jed Schneiderman
Tapped Mobile

Jed is the President and Co-Founder of Tapped Mobile. Tapped is Canada’s leading mobile marketing company. Tapped specializes in helping brands and businesses connect with consumers via their mobile devices. Areas of expertise include mobile strategy development, location based marketing, mobile performance marketing and mobile video marketing. Prior to starting Tapped, Jed worked at Microsoft Canada where he was the Online Business Group Lead where he managed the BING and Windows Live portfolios. Jed has also worked at CTV Television Inc., where he was instrumental in the successful multi-platform launch of MTV and CTV’s digital media group. Jed has also held senior marketing positions at Procter & Gamble and AOL Canada.

Brian Stewart

Brian Stewart is the Founder and CEO of MetricWire, a company that developed a platform for mobile data collection and analysis. Brian is a recent graduate of the University of Waterloo’s Master of Arts in Economics program. Prior to MetricWire, Brian conducted research on university-based entrepreneurship as part of the Entrepreneurship Infrastructure Project at the University of Waterloo.

Ilse Treurnicht
MARS Discovery District

Ilse Treurnicht is the CEO of MaRS Discovery District, a leading innovation centre located in Toronto. She oversees both the development and operations of the MaRS Centre and its broad suite of entrepreneurship and innovation programs. Ilse joined MaRS in early 2005 from her role as President & CEO of Primaxis Technology Ventures, a startup-stage venture capital fund focused on the advanced technologies sector. Prior to Primaxis, Ilse was an entrepreneur with senior management roles in a number of emerging technology companies. She holds a DPhil in chemistry from Oxford University, which she attended as a Rhodes Scholar.