MARK Your Calendar to attend the Executive Forum May 02, 2019!

BeSpatial / BeSmart'19: Creating Business Value and Social Impact   

Executive Forum Event: May 2, 2019 

Bayview Club, 25 Fairway Drive, Thornhill L3T 3X1

Register  - Early Bird rates extended until March 31!

Not a member?

Join us to enjoy member benefits and a discount on your event costs. Attend the BeSpatial /BeSmart'19 Executive Forum on May 2, 2019, to learn the answers to these and a host of related questions.

Day 2 Executive Forum is the second of Two full days of sessions planned to address the importance of geospatial and information to the successful realization of Smart initiatives. Topics will cover geospatial, privacy, data essentials, challenges, opportunities, and much more… 

Full two day BeSpatial event.

Preliminary List of Participants

<< All album photos 7/24 photos
Dan Mathieson, Mayor of Stratford and current Chair of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)

Join Panel sessions with our Featured Speakers above

BeSpatial / BeSmart'19: Creating Business Value and Social Impact   

Two full days of sessions are planned to address the importance of geospatial and information, at all levels, to the successful realization of Smart initiatives. Topics will cover geospatial, privacy, data essentials, challenges and much more...

Executive Forum Preliminary Agenda (February 2019)

Welcome: Catherine Fitzgerald, President, BeSpatial

Topic Areas                         


Opening Insights on Smart Jan Kestle, President, Environics Analytics Catherine Fitzgerald, President, BeSpatial & Manager Information Services, Municipality of Chatham-Kent

9:00 AM - 1. Data Analytics, Open Data and Smart Business Decisions

Dr. Tracey Lauriault, Assistant Professor, Carleton University; Ed Rubinstein, Director, Environmental Compliance, Risk & Sustainability, University Health Network;  Ian Williams, Manager, Analytics & Innovation, Toronto Police services; and Jan Kestle, President, Environics Analytics. 

 Jury Konga, Open Knowledge Canada & former president, BeSpatial.
Video Lead-in to Panel 2
Dr. Ann CavoukianPrivacy by Design Centre for Excellence:  "If you want your business to succeed, lead by gaining the trust of your customers. The best way to do this is by ensuring that their privacy is respected and their data are strongly protected. Embedding privacy, by design, into your operations builds trust and loyalty like no other -- leading to a strong competitive advantage: Win/Win!" - Dr. Ann Cavoukian.
Andrew Lyszkiewicz, Director, Strategy & Outreach, BeSpatial, former Head, Geospatial Centre, City of Toronto.
10:00 AM - 2. Legal and political challenges in data collection and access

Fraser Mann, Partner/Lawyer, Mann Symons LLP Juliet Slemming, Senior Legal Counsel/Privacy, Teranet; Michael Angemeer, CEO, Veridian (invited) & Roy Wiseman, former Executive Director, MISA/ASIM Canada,  former CIO, Region of Peel.

Mary Ellen Bench, City Solicitor, City of Mississauga.
11:00 AM 3. Community Broadband and Economic Development                                                  Dan Mathieson, Mayor of Stratford; Doug Lindeblom, Director, Economic Strategy, York Region;  Dr. Helen Hambly, Project Leader R2B2 project (SWIFT); John Henry, Chair, Regional Council, Durham  and Toby Lennox, President & CEO, Toronto Global.  Lou Milrad, Public-Private Tech Alliances,  former Chair and CEO of the GTMA (Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance) and former President, BeSpatial.
1:00 PM - 4. Public-Private Partnership (P3), Challenges and Opportunities
Campbell Patterson, Owner, CP Communications (invited); David FellCEO, EORN (Eastern Ontario Regional Network)Mark Bain, Head of Torys’ Public-Private Partnerships practice, and co-head of the firm’s Infrastructure and Energy practice Lou Milrad, Public-Private Tech Alliances,  former chair and CEO of the GTMA (Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance) and former president, BeSpatial.
2:00 PM - 5. Benchmarking Leading Practices, Canadian Smart Cities Challenges                                      Alan Mitchell, former Executive Director, Global Cities, KPMG; Dr. Tracey Lauriault, Assistant Professor, Carleton University; Laura Bradley, General Manager, YorkNet and Patricia McCarney.  President and CEO of the World Council on City Data (WCCD) and is a professor of Political Science and the Director of the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto. Roy Wiseman, former Executive Director, MISA/ ASIM (Canada) and former CIO, Region of Peel. 
3:30 PM - 6. Building Smart Cities and Communities of the Future                                                                                    Andrea McKinney, Chief Digital Officer, Global Hamilton; Chris Moore, CIO, Toronto Region CA; and Dr. Sara Diamond, President & Vice Chancellor, OCAD University. TBA, eleven-x (invited). Alan Mitchell, former Executive Director, Global Cities, KPMG Andrew Lyszkiewicz, Director, Strategy & Outreach, BeSpatial, former Head, Geospatial Centre, City of Toronto.            

An excellent opportunity for GIS professionals and practitioners to showcase their initiatives to their peers as well as management and executives levels. 

Date: May 1 & 2, 2019
Location: The Bayview Golf and Country Club
25 Fairway Heights Drive, Thornhill, ON L3T 3X1

Register for BeSpatial

One Day only: Join us at the BeSpatial /BeSmart'19 Executive Forum on May 2, 2019, to learn the answers to these and a host of related questions.

We would love to hear from you. Please e-mail: BeSpatial with any questions!

Participating Organizations


Insights from our Panelists

 Alan Mitchell

Insight: Over Alan's extensive career, he has focused on working with and for Cities. He has over 30 years of experience in a variety of capacities, including developing Smart Cities, eGovernment / eService solutions, conducting service reviews and introducing program and service based budgeting, to name a few. 

 Dr. Ann Cavoukian

 Insight: "If you want your business to succeed, lead by gaining the trust of your customers. The best way to do this is by ensuring that their privacy is respected and their data are strongly protected. Embedding privacy, by design, into your operations builds trust and loyalty like no other -- leading to a strong competitive advantage: Win/Win!" 

David Fell

Insight:  The EORN PPP Model is based on a fundamental principle of market failure in which public demand for high speed internet access is not being sufficiently addressed in rural regions by private sector ISP’s due to the high cost of building broadband infrastructure. Using an evidence-based and data-driven approach to identify market failure in a region, allows governments to invest the minimum amount of public funding necessary to stimulate the maximum amount of private investment that will be required to close the market failure gap.

 Ed Rubinstein

Insight: The use of “smart building” technologies and analytics holds a lot of promise for both optimizing building operations and managing energy use.  However, implementation of smart building technologies can be challenging for older and complex buildings such as hospitals.  There is a great potential for smart buildings in healthcare and some good results to date.

Andrea McKinney

Catherine Fitzgerald

Insight from our President: GeoSpatial and Information Management professionals are critical partners in the development of Smart Cities. The expert members of BeSpatial connect patterns with place and develop data into insights. The BeSpatial Geospatial professional community has a leadership role to play in protecting private information while developing partnerships for data sharing and supporting information rich communities.

Dan Mathieson, Mayor, City of Stratford

The City of Stratford has made significant investments in digital infrastructure. Stratford offers a citywide wireless network that includes 60 kilometers of buried fiber optic high speed internet cable and 400 communications towers. The presence of digital infrastructure has made Stratford the ideal real-life location to test new technology in a “living lab” environment.  For example, Stratford has partnered with the Automotive Parts Manufacturers Association (APMA) to position itself as Ontario’s first real life testing ground for autonomous vehicles.  Stratford has also attracted a data center for one of Canada’s largest financial institutions, and has partnered with the University of Waterloo to open a satellite campus that offers a renowned digital media program.  Stratford’s success demonstrates the importance of local innovation, and illustrates the economic development opportunities available to municipalities that invest in digital infrastructure.  

Fraser Mann

 Ian Williams

Insight:  The Toronto Police Service innovation and analytics approach has found success in integrating it’s Enterprise GIS system to deliver solutions within the organization.

Andrew Lyszkiewicz

Insight from our co-Chair:  Geospatial is about geography and spatial relationships. Geography provides the location to connect otherwise disconnected data. Spatial relationships provide location-based intelligence. Therefore, geospatial creates business value and social impact. 

 Chris Moore

 Insight:  Innovation can live within the public sector, and does in many organizations already. Innovation is key in organizations that want to continue to evolve to the best they can be. In the innovation space there will be leaders and laggards, it’s not a race it is a journey. If you are in a public sector organization that is a leader then support and celebrate this, if you are with a laggard then ask yourself what your role is in developing a culture of innovation.

 Doug Lindeblom

 Insight: Doug will provide insights on the effect the York Region Broadband Strategy has had on economic development activities in York Region. This will include the formation of YTN Telecom Network Inc. – a corporation created to manage access to the Region’s optical fibre network – and York’s designation as an Intelligent Community by the Intelligent Community Forum.

 Jan Kestle

Insight:  We live in an era of evidence-based decision-making. Businesses and governments alike are expected to use data and technology to make better and smarter decisions. But how well analysts use the wide variety of available data is the single biggest contributor to the outcome. Normalizing, weighting, standardizing, anonymizing and integrating all types of data to transform them into insights—that’s the challenge. Data scientists require in-depth knowledge of how the data were assembled, what is allowed under both the law and “good ethics” and what methods are best suited to which business problems.

In our view at Environics Analytics, GIS and spatial analysis experts have demonstrated over the past three decades that geography is the secret sauce in making big data usable. The popular tagline from Esri in the ’90s—“everything happens somewhere”—has never been more timely. Whether analysts are looking at overtly spatial problems or just trying to get an integrated view of citizens and patrons, spatial analysis is an underused “best practice” in privacy-compliant and accurate data transformation.

And when we are looking at the development of SMART cities, the data sources and technology can be the foundation of transformative thinking. At BeSpatial 2019 the world of public policy, technology, methodology, ethics and program delivery will come together in a single event with people and topics crossing the “silos”. The data are there. The tech is there. The question is whether the will is there to change the culture and move us forward to SMART? Join the dialogue—help make it happen.

  John Henry 

Insight: Durham recently approved a Broadband Strategy and Action Plan to guide us toward a digitally-connected Region.  Our society and economy increasingly rely on online interactions.  The Region must embrace and enable this evolution to attract investment.

Fast, effective broadband infrastructure is vital to internet-enabled data-driven technologies that now propel business growth.  The Region’s competitiveness and ability to grow and diversify our economy depends on reliable digital connectivity.

All levels of government play a role in ensuring investments in connectivity.  Partnerships and collaboration will be essential to defining, developing and continuing to grow a broadband network to serve all of Durham.

 Dr. Helen Hambly

Insight: An infrastructure investment such as a fibre optic network cannot be managed if it can't be measured. Data to inform decision-making for planning and evaluating broadband investment is one of the key constraints affecting investment in digital economies. The social benefit of internet is evidenced with quality and quantity of data, collected over time. Several key points for accessing and stewarding data for broadband will be highlighted in this discussion.

Juliet Slemming

Sr. Legal Counsel, Privacy Officer at Teranet

Laura Bradley


Data presents the key to analyzing long term investments and outcomes, in both private sector and public sector. The demand for fibre connectivity is growing at exponential rates and no one entity can meet the fulsome challenges that lie ahead. In Laura’s lastest role as the General Manager of YorkNet., she and her team have developing processes and data points to focus capital build plans and integrate it with asset management plans. While knowing where the end points for connectivity are today, they are not necessarily the only base for the future. Geocoding YorkNet’s data, existing network and future builds will enable the ability to drive reporting as well as monitoring and planning long term asset management requirements.

Patricia McCarney

Leading the World Council on City Data, Patricia McCarney is building a globally standardized data base for cities worldwide inviting cities to build city data in conformity with ISO 37120, the first international standard for city data. As host of this new knowledge platform, the WCCD is positioned to be the leading global city data base with standardized, verified, comparable and open city data for a growing network of smart and prosperous cities. This high calibre data is the essential starting point for Smart Cities.

 Lou Milrad

Insight from our co-Chair:  What are the fundamentals of a Smart City? ... 

According to the Smart Cities Council, ubiquitous broadband telecommunications is a prerequisite for a Smart City” while it must also be livable, sustainable and competitive. Global competitiveness, coupled with both domestic and foreign investment attraction and the potential for new job creation coupled with enhanced tax revenues have been significant driving factors in larger cities. While larger communities are typically better able to organize for the implementation of high-speed Internet availability throughout their respective business and neighbourhoods, thereby enabling transition to a smart city, implementation of “reliable and affordable high-speed” community broadband in rural and northern communities traditionally has been most challenging. What are the fundamentals of a Smart City and how do they apply to the community in which I live, and the one in which I work? What are some of the associated political, legal and business challenges?

Where to start and how to transform into a smart community; of what value is previously digitized land-related data? For example, will it create foundations for roadway and transportation-related sensor locations. Similarly, the ability to utilize enhanced business and location data as a tool for attracting new investment into the community as well as retaining current businesses. What about the fairly recent Canada and Ontario governments broadband funding announcements regarding connectivity in rural and northern communities, do they apply to my community? Will evolving public-private sector collaboration produce funding and construction resources so as to also enable access and implementation of “ reliable and affordable high-speed”community broadband in rural and northern communities?

 Mark Bain


 Roy Wiseman

Insight from our co-Chair: Fundamental to the notion of a smart city is the idea of using technology to improve services provided by the city to its residents and visitors. Increasingly, this has meant using smart devices to gather data, much/most of it location-based, on both the state of the city’s infrastructure, as well as the needs and activities of its people, as they navigate through our community.

This new smart city paradigm provides both major opportunities and major challenges: the opportunities relate to how we can gather, analyze and make the best use of these mountains of data; the challenges are about taking advantage of these opportunities, while respecting fundamental rights to privacy. Our BeSpatial/BeSmart 2019 Executive Forum will explore both the challenges and the opportunities – and finding the right balance.

 Dr. Sara Diamond


 Dr. Tracey P. Lauriault

Insight: Data and related data technologies are core infrastructure for cities and are more that IT and operations, and I would argue that smart city technologies should be part of urban plans and be discussed with residents. These large technological systems not only manage and monitor infrastructure, they are infrastructure that involve, data, code, algorithms, apps, sensors, and platforms that will manage traffic, utilities, equipment and bridges, but also, they are technologies that observe, survey and nudge social behaviour. It might therefore be time for social and technological impact assessments – social, environment, economic, and public good. We will need to apply systems thinking across all business units, from social services to transit, and integrated across digital strategies, open government and data, and procurement. The ideals of open smart cities are moving us in that direction, and it might be better to start that opening consultative processes now before we get locked into large technological solutions that may not be in the public interest.

 Toby Lennox


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