Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World

Actions Panel

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World

Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics are changing the way we work, the way we play and how we interact with each other.

When and where

Date and time


Humber College North Campus, School of Applied Technology, Seventh Semester (room) 205 Humber College Blvd 205 Humber College Blvd Toronto, ON M9W5L7 Canada

Map and directions

How to get there

About this event

In Celebration of International Women's Day

"Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World"

Automation, Artificial Intelligence, and Robotics are changing the way we work, the way we play and how we interact with each other.  What do we want this automated future to look like?

Join us for a day of networking, speakers, collaborative design workshops and discussion with professional women from a broad range of industries, experiences and perspectives.


10:00 am Doors Open and Networking

10:30 am Welcome

10:45 am Keynote Speaker, Helen Kontozopoulos, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer, Odaia.ai

11:20 am Networking

11:30 am Keynote Speaker, Irene Sterian, Director, Technology & Innovation Development, Celestica, President & CEO, ReMAP

12:10 pm Expert Facilitator Inspire Presentations

12:30 pm Lunch and Networking

1:15 pm Expert Facilitator Inspire Presentations

1:45 pm Expert-Led Collaborative Design Workshops

2:30 pm Presentation of Co-Creation Results

2:50 pm Thanks and Close

A tour of the Humber College facilities is scheduled for after the event.

Keynote Speakers:

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Helen Kontozopoulos, Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer, Odaia.ai

@helenissocial @OdaiaAI linkedin.com/in/helenissocial

Helen Co-Founded ODAIA.ai, a customer journey analytics and prediction platform for enterprise companies. As Chief Growth Officer, Helen brings her understanding of artificial intelligence and the challenges corporations face in deploying it to create value, as well as her marketing and social media experience, to lead customers in their adoption of emerging technology. ODAIA is a University of Toronto spin-out founded to commercialize core data mining and prediction algorithms developed by Prof. Periklis Andritsos, faculty member at U of T and co-founder. Helen is also an Adjunct Professor at the University of Toronto, where she teaches product development, design, and entrepreneurship in the Department of Computer Science, and the Department of Computer and Mathematical Sciences. Helen co-founded the UofTs Department of Computer Science Innovation Lab, an incubator to support students to commercialize their innovations in emerging technologies, such as Artificial Intelligence.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Irene Sterian, Director, Technology & Innovation Development, Celestica, President & CEO, ReMAP

@IreneSterian @remap6 linkedin.com/in/irene-sterian-p-eng-8299583

Irene Sterian is a successful engineering executive and technology leader with a distinguished career in manufacturing. Irene presents significant accomplishments in engineering management and is a pioneer of environmentally safe, sustainable manufacturing technologies. She is the Founder, President & CEO of ReMAP, a $50M+ not-for-profit tech ecosystem that accelerates the commercialization of innovations developed in Canada for the global market. Irene demonstrates incredible creative vision with the ability to forge successful large-scale, cross-sector partnerships resulting in unprecedented investments in Canadian electronics and research initiatives for the healthcare, energy, telecom and aerospace sectors. Irene has been a regular contributor of global manufacturing standards at international associations through several board membership and steering committee appointments. Irene is the 2019 recipient of the Professional Engineers of Ontario Medal for Management.


Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Renn Scott, Senior Director UX and ID, Myant Inc., Founder, Daily Goods Design Labs

@RennDGFTech @DGDesignLabs @MyantInc linkedin.com/in/rennscott

How might we design wearable technologies for women so they feel safe when they travel from home to work, and back again, moving throughout the city at any time of day, and in all weather?

A design leader and prolific inventor, Renn has a passion for creating innovative user experiences and forward-thinking product designs. With over 20 years of experience at companies such as Myant, IBM and BlackBerry in leadership roles within user experience, design research, consumer insights and strategic innovation, Renn has helped design best in class products and experiences. Renn’s hands-on approach and point of view as a design leader is radically different than most. For any project she always starts with 'WHY create' in the first place and uses a co-creative design methodology and best practices based on insights gained from female consumers. Renn’s experience and observations has been that there is a lack of female design leaders and designers in the tech and design fields. Instead of just leading by example Renn also strives to empower other women to make, create and innovate in the field of design, technology and fashion by sharing her insights, skills and knowledge through Daily Goods Design LABS pop ups and educational event series.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Kem Laurin Kramer, Design Thinking Innovation Coach, Manulife, Founder at iNNOVATION Life Labs, Author of UX in the Age of Sustainability

@KemKramer @Manulife linkedin.com/in/kemlaurin


How might we empower women to lead in the age of Automation?

Kem-Laurin is a Digital Transformation & Innovation Coach at Manulife and the Founder iNNOVATION Life Labs, a new kind of business model that focuses on inspiring, empowering and enabling everyone to take part in the Digital Transformation. She is also the author of the book User Experience in the Age of Sustainability, which focuses on practical frameworks for designing more ethically and sustainably, now a noted text in graduate design programs. Kem completed her Masters at the University of Waterloo, completing her major project on the topic “Screen-based controls for Graphical User Interfaces” for web and game interfaces. Upon graduation, she was Siemens's first User Experience Researcher at the Princeton, NJ laboratory, where she drove the institutionalization of design research across the US Business units. She subsequently went on to lead the design team – supporting a number of Siemens vertical markets – Cloud, Web & Mobile, Logistics & Assembly; Mobile, Energy & Automation, Postal Automation, Medical Imaging & Health Information Systems, winning the 2004 CeBIT award for a VOIP and telecommunication interface design leadership, along with her Siemens team. She later returned home to Canada where she led the Research in Motion (now Blackberry) Usability design team, before going to Autodesk, where she led the modernization effort of the industry-leading 3D Animation software, Autodesk Maya®. She is the holder of several patents and currently pursuing a Ph. D at the University of Waterloo in Experimental Digital Media & Rhetoric; she is mum to two boys, and a rambunctious King Sheppard, Chewie.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Mary Chong, VP Business Development and Operations, Revelo Electric Corp

@RideRevelo linkedin.com/in/chongmary

How might we ensure freedom of movement with the convergence of micromobility and smart cities through automation and AI?

Mary is cofounder of Revelo, an urban mobility solutions company based in Toronto. Mary oversees strategy, operations and channels.

As an entrepreneur of a young company, Mary builds on her experience and networks developed over her 31 year career in software technology; Mary has held global leadership roles in strategy, planning and development, UX and globalization, M&A integration, and consulting for emerging software technologies. Mary believes strongly in the value of diversity and equity in the workplace and has championed many workforce leading practices with positive impacts. Mary holds a BMath in Computer Science from the University of Waterloo.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Ruth Bastedo, Principal, Bastedo Strategy and Communications, Senior Consultant, Magnet, Ryerson University

@RutBas @MagnetToday https://www.linkedin.com/in/rbastedo

How might we make sure that women of all generations have a chance to sit at the technology table?

Principal of Bastedo Strategy and Communications, Ruth is an experienced digital strategist, with a 20-year career developed in the context of Canada’s entrepreneurial digital and innovation ecosystem. Passionate about supporting Canadian businesses, Ruth has always brought a diversity lens to emerging areas in digital such as marketing technology, content strategy, product and service design and customer experience, consulting and executing projects for a portfolio of clients.

Ruth is also a Senior Consultant at Magnet, a digital social innovation platform at Ryerson University, helping regions and communities to collaborate and grow. Magnet provides the digital infrastructure for Canada's new Future Skills Centre, a forward-thinking research centre with a focus on how to best prepare Canadians today for workforce opportunities of the future.

Career highlights include co-founding two digital agencies with successful exits (Medium One and Experience Media) and creating development programs for women in collaboration with partners such as Rotman’s Initiative for Women in Business. Over 12 years, Ruth collaborated with the Government of Canada’s Business Women in International Trade program (BWIT), speaking to groups around the world as part of Canadian BWIT delegations, representing both her business, and women entrepreneurs as Past-President of Women Entrepreneurs of Canada. Ruth is a member of the Advisory Group for Women in Philanthropy for Providence and a past member of the Board of Governors for St. Clement's school in Toronto.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Janneke Ritchie, CEO and Founder, Orange Gate

@JannekeRitchie @OrangeGate linkedin.com/in/janneke-ritchie-810a4619

How might we transform the experience aging in a future with robots and AI?

Janneke Ritchie is an entrepreneur, speaker, designer and digital transformation expert. A former robot momma, she’s passionate about how robots, AI and future technologies will redefine the human experience of aging. Janneke has 20 years experience envisioning, designing and implementing solutions to enhance adoption of new technologies in large organizations. Currently she’s working on HestaHub, a project to create a simple, elegant way for home environments to signal to family when something seems wrong and it’s time to check in.

An international speaker, Janneke inspires audiences to envision the opportunities and prepare for the challenges of aging in the era of AI.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Marianne Lefever, Architect, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Healthy City Global

@MarianneLefev @HealthyCityG linkedin.com/in/marianne-lefever

How might we use automation, AI, and robotics to make space in our cities for people and nature?

Marianne Lefever is an architect with over 10 years of experience in climate mitigation and sustainable city design in Europe and North-America. After an exciting career as a structural engineer, renewable energy consultant, innovation consultant, and futurist, she returned to her first love of sustainable city design. As a managing partner at Healthy City Global, she is currently transforming cities around the globe into healthy environments and communities. The company uses data analytics to understand how a certain location is impacting our well-being and how we can improve it. Their spatial design guidelines combine efforts on sustainability and well-being to improve population health and pool financial resources. Marianne is also a thought-provoking public speaker. And has spoken at TEDx conferences in LA and the Toronto area as well as private corporate events.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Lindsay Ellerby, Sr. Design Director, Normative Inc.

@elledog @NormativeDesign linkedin.com/in/lindsayellerby

How might we design for a future where computers stop working for us and work with us? How might we design for a world where we have augmentation that creates new and different capabilities for humans?

Lindsay Ellerby is the Senior Design Director at Normative where she leads the team on a wide range of projects that include product design, innovation and strategy, and end-to-end design of software applications. She is passionate about creating better human-machine futures and understanding how to build technology with soul. Lindsay has worked in the field of design for more than a decade helping teams execute for organizations including Cisco, SickKids, Xerox PARC, and Four Seasons.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Ginger Grant, Associate Dean, Applied Research and Innovation, Humber College

@MythGinger @HumberAppTech @HumberCollege linkedin.com/in/gingergrant

How might we make women robot-proof?

Ginger Grant believes in order for innovation to occur with any regularity, individuals must be helped to reach their personal potential for creativity in their daily work. An important part of the solution lies in aligning the values, beliefs and meaning systems of individuals and organizations in order to create an optimal environment in which to unleash the human imagination. Grant believes that creativity does not stem from logic but from passion, the courage to create, and yet both sets of skills are required to deliver innovation. How to handle this paradox in a complex environment? This is her favourite research playground. An innovation researcher, author and academic entrepreneur, Grant’s passion is creativity in business: the design, development and implementation of narrative gameplans that transform corporate culture and drive market share for competitive advantage. She is the Associate Dean of Applied Research and Innovation at Humber College, where she helps build Humber’s applied research capacity by not only working with all faculties but also assuming a leading role in guiding applied research projects. Grant also serves as a special advisor for the Customer Experience Council with the Conference Board of Canada and is a visiting professor at the Copenhagen Business School. Grant holds a PhD (2005) and a Master’s degree in Mythology and Depth Psychology (2000) from Pacifica Graduate Institute; a Bachelor of Arts in Personality and Religion (1998)and certificates in Social Work and Family Violence from the University of Waterloo. She is the only Canadian in the teacher/trainer group for the Stanford Creativity in Business program. A recipient of several teaching awards, Grant is also certified in multiple assessments, including Creative Problem Solving, Values Perspectives, Foursight, MBTI, EQi, EQ-360, and 4Mat.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Raeshelle Morris, Innovation Program Manager, Applied Research & Innovation, Humber College

@HumberCollege linkedin.com/in/raeshelle-m-morris-bmos-hons-ma-leadership-pmp-20630650

How might we make women robot-proof?

Raeshelle is a certified Innovation and Entrepreneurship expert. She is currently the Innovation Program Manager responsible for all aspects of Applied Research and Innovation (ARI) project management, this includes proposal development, preparation of grant applications, project planning and execution, along with the oversight of project progress. She also promotes an awareness of Humber’s applied research expertise and capacity to the various schools and faculty and staff members as well as among local business and industry, related organizations and economic development agencies. Prior to working with ARI, she managed Humber’s Centre for Entrepreneurship (CfE), where she was responsible for implementing the operational and strategic mandate of the CfE, managing CfE programs and activities, promoting CfE initiatives, and engaging in opportunities to support the ideas and ventures of CfE members. Raeshelle holds a Masters in Leadership from the University of Guelph, a double major honours Bachelor’s Degree in Management and Organizational Studies from the University of Western Ontario, and she is also a certified project manager (PMP). Before joining Humber, she worked at Futurpreneur Canada where she managed the GTA and Atlantic region and supported over 200 young entrepreneurs to actualize their entrepreneurial endeavours. Before that, she worked at the Ontario Centres of Excellence, where she led and supported the coordination of Government-funded Entrepreneurship and Commercialization programs including the On-Campus Entrepreneurial Activities Program (OCEA), Campus Linked Accelerator Program (CLA), SmartStart Seedfund, Voucher for E-Business and Technology Adoption Program (VEBTA) and Talent Edge Internships and Fellowships.


Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Dr. Farzad Rayegani, Dean of FAST at Humber College


Dr. Farzad Rayegani is the Senior Dean at the Faculty of Applied Science and Technology at Humber College. He has wealth of experience in the fields of teaching, research, innovation and development. He has authored and co-authored numerous publications and has extensive experience consulting with industry. His career in higher education spans over 20 years and includes time as a faculty member, researcher, manager, director and associate dean. He holds a Master of Science in Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical Engineering Systems. Over the span of his career, Farzad has also taken on leadership roles within a number of professional associations and organization, and has been the recipient of numerous leadership awards. He currently holds memberships in numerous organizations such as the Professional Engineers of Ontario, the Ontario Society of Professional Engineers and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers to name a few.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Dr. Maryam Davoudpour, Co-organizer, Chair IEEE Women in Engineering Toronto Section, Vice-Chair IEEE Canada Women in Engineering


Dr. Maryam Davoudpour received the MASc and PhD degrees from the Moscow State Technical University of Bauman in Information Technology and Control Complex Systems. She also completed a NSERC post-doctoral fellowship. She is a member of the DMZ (Digital Media Zone) at Ryerson University. Dr. Davoupour is with Ryerson University since 2008 and has recently joined Humber College. She has extensive industrial and academic experience and has been involved in various successful R&D projects. Dr. Davoudpour’s research interests are in the areas of Nonlinear Modeling, Knowledge-Based Expert Systems, Petri Nets, Modeling Context Aware Systems and Internet of Things. She is an active reviewer of various IEEE publications and conferences. Dr. Davoudpour is the chair of the IEEE Instrumentation, Measurement, Robotics and Automation chapter in Toronto and she is the Chair of Women in Engineering (WIE) at IEEE Toronto, as well as the vice chair of WIE IEEE Canada and also WIE representative for Central Canada. Dr. Davoudpour was selected as an Honorable Mention for the 2018 WIE Inspiring Member of the Year Award by the IEEE Women in Engineering Committee (WIEC), for her inspirational leadership and outstanding contributions to the IEEE WIE and IEEE communities. The purpose of this award is to recognize a professional member of IEEE Women in Engineering (WIE) who has made an outstanding contribution to WIE, their community and the engineering community, through dedication and involvement in projects or activities directed toward fulfilling one or more of the WIE goals and objectives. The WIEC also selected the IEEE Toronto WIE Affinity Group as the recipient of an Honorable Mention for the 2017 and 2018 WIE Affinity Group of the Year Award.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Adriana Ieraci, M.Eng.

Founder and Director, GYBO Robotics Network

Founder and CEO, Conveyor Built

@adrianai @GYBORobotics linkedin.com//adriana-ieraci

Adriana Ieraci is the founder and CEO of Conveyor Built, a product and service design firm that uses human-centred design to develop new product and service ideas using emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence and robotics. She is currently leading the research and development of a wearable medical device to prevent muscle loss due to inactivity during hospital stays. Ms. Ieraci has worked with startups and research institutions developing commercialization strategy, business models, service and experience designs. She is a human-centred design, service design and technology entrepreneurship lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, and the Faculty of Information, University of Toronto. Adriana's passion for technological literacy and open innovation inspired her to start the GYBO Robotics Network, a network of over 850 roboticists and robot enthusiasts in southern Ontario. She is a member of the board of the Parametric Human Project. Adriana has a Masters of Engineering from the University of Toronto.

Women in Leadership: Creating a Vision for an Automated World image

Ayda Naserialiabadi, Communications, B.Eng, Founder and CEO, Veebar Tech, Secretary IEEE WIE Toronto Section

@Veebartech linkedin.com/ayda-naserialiabadi veebartech.ca

Ayda received her Bachelor of Industrial Engineering with a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation. After visiting her deaf grandmother a few years ago, she co-founded Veebar Tech in 2018 to help seniors with hearing loss and dementia to be safe living independently at home. Ayda spent a whole summer working for a senior’s community center as a technology program coordinator to become more familiar with their needs and interests. Ayda’s choice in achieving the minor from the center of innovation and entrepreneurship helped her to become more interested in entrepreneurship and be trained to lead the business and get to know amazing people to get mentorship from in this journey. She is also the secretary of IEEE Women in Engineering - Toronto section.