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


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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.

The purpose of building a smart city or community is to make it more livable for the people that live in them. To accomplish this objective municipalities must create a strategic roadmap for how they are going to take advantage of technology to improve lives of their citizens and tangible measures of success. This roadmap starts with smart infrastructure as the foundation and charts a course for making investments in digital infrastructure necessary to enable a smart community and that the plan demonstrates a understanding that a smart city is about more than technology, it is about people, processes and technology coming together in an ecosystem...Campbell Patterson

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 Mobile Edition

Panelists and Moderators

29 photo(s) Updated on: April 15, 2019
  • Alan Mitchell - former Executive Director, Global Cities, KPMG
  • Chief Digital Officer at the City of Hamilton.
  • Andrew Lyszkiewicz, co-Chair, Director, Strategy & Outreach, BeSpatial and former Head, Geospatial Centre, City of Toronto.
  • Campbell Patterson, Founding Partner, CPC Communications
  • Catherine Fitzgerald, President, BeSpatial and Manager, Information Services, Municipality of Chatham-Kent.
  • Chris Moore, CIO at Toronto and Region Conservation Authority - Government Transformation
  • Dan Mathers, President & CEO, eleven-x inc.
  • David is currently the CEO of the Eastern Ontario Regional Broadband Network (EORN).
  • Dan Mathieson, Mayor of Stratford and current Chair of the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation (MPAC)
  • Doug Lindeblom, Director, Economic Strategy, York Region
  • Dr. Ann Cavoukian is recognized as one of the world’s leading privacy experts. Dr. Cavoukian served an unprecedented three terms as the Information & Privacy Commissioner of Ontario, Canada.
  • Dr. Sara Diamond, President & Vice-Chancellor, OCAD University
  • Tracey P. Lauriault, is Assistant Professor in Critical Media and Big Data, Communication and Media Studies, School of Journalism and Communication, Carleton University and Cross Appointed to the MA i
  • Ed Rubinstein, Director, Environmental Compliance, Risk & Sustainability, UHN - University Health Network.
  • Partner/Lawyer, Mann Symons LLP
  • Dr. Helen Hambly is Associate Professor at the School of Environmental Design & Rural Development | Ontario Agricultural College | University of Guelph.
  • Ian Williams, Manager, Business Intelligence & Analytics, Toronto Police Intelligence Unit.
  • President and CEO of Environics Analytics (EA), Jan Kestle has been a leader in the marketing information industry using statistics and mathematics to help solve business challenges.
  • Jonathan M. Erling, P. Eng. Executive Director, Global Infrastructure Advisory, KPMG LLP
  • John Henry, Regional Chair and CEO, Regional Municipality of Durham
  • Open Knowledge Canada, Moderator
  • Laura Bradley, P. Eng. , General Manager, YorkNet
  • Lou Milrad, co-Chair, Lawyer & Tech Law Editor, Public-Private- Tech Alliances, former Chair and CEO of the GTMA (Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance) and a former president of BeSpatial / urisa ontar
  • Mary Ellen Bench, City Solicitor, City of Mississauga
  • Mark Bain is the Head of the Public-Private Partnerships Practice Group at Torys LLP, and co-head of the Infrastructure and Energy Practice
  • Patricia McCarney is 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, Ca
  • Roy Wiseman, Executive Director, MISA/ASIM (Retired) Canada (Former CIO, Region of Peel)
  • Executive Director, BeSpatial
  • Toby Lennox, President and Chief Executive Officer, Toronto Global. Panel: 3. Community Broadband and Economic Development

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                         


8:30 AM - Opening Insights on Smart

Jan Kestle, President, Environics Analytics ...geography is the secret sauce in making big data usable...

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 Campbell Patterson, Founding Partner, CPL CommunicationsJuliet Slemming, Senior Legal Counsel/Privacy, Teranet & 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, Lawyer & Tech Law Editor, Public-Private Tech Alliances,  former Chair and CEO of the GTMA (Greater Toronto Marketing Alliance) and former President, BeSpatial.
12:00 - 1:00 PM  Working Lunch, Networking and Exhibit Visits

1:00 PM - 4. Public-Private Partnership (P3), Challenges and Opportunities
David FellCEO, EORN (Eastern Ontario Regional Network);  Jonathan M. Erling, P. Eng., Executive Director, Global Infrastructure Advisory, KPMG LLP; Mark Bain, Head of Torys’ Public-Private Partnerships practice, and co-head of the firm’s Infrastructure and Energy practice Lou Milrad, Lawyer & Tech Law Editor, 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;  Laura Bradley, General Manager, YorkNet; DrPatricia 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 and Dr. Tracey Lauriault, Assistant Professor, Carleton University; 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, City of Hamilton; Campbell Patterson, Founding Partner, CPL CommunicationsChris Moore, CIO, Toronto Region CA; Dan Mathers, President & CEOeleven-x and Dr. Sara Diamond, President & Vice Chancellor, OCAD University.  Alan Mitchell, former Executive Director, Global Cities, KPMG.           
6:00 PM  BeSpatial / BeSmart'19 Closing - Safe Travels  

An excellent opportunity for GIS (geospatial and information) 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!" 

 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.

 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.

  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.

Jonathan Erling, P. Eng.

Insight:  Concerns over access to broadband are similar those associated with access to basic electricity service in the early 20th century.  The service is increasingly fundamental to participation in modern economic life but can be expensive and/or unavailable in rural areas. P3 models can be used to help bridge service gaps but are, in Canada, typically focused more on traditional “hard” infrastructure such as roads, hospitals and transit.  Using P3 models for telecommunications will likely require new approaches, with more thought needed on the implications of technology evolution, appropriate sharing of revenue risks, and differences in the pool of potential business partners.

Andrea McKinney

Campbell Patterson

Insight: The genie is out of the bottle and the cart is before the horse.  Because governments are slow to adapt and because tech companies move fast there is a large gap between government’s understanding and ability to protect citizen’s right to privacy and security and tech’s ability to know more about a person’s life, habits and preferences than they know themselves.  The solutions for closing the gap are complex, myriad and murky but for all concerned the solutions need to be found soon if Article 12 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights: No one shall be subjected to arbitrary interference with his privacy, family, home or correspondence, nor to attacks upon his honor and reputation.the Security of the person is a basic entitlement guaranteed by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted by the United Nations in 1948.

Dan Mathers

Insight: Open data and wireless connectivity are catalysts to support the objectives of cities of all sizes as they search for long-term, sustainable methods to help manage assets, energy, and infrastructure. As cities look for new ways to fulfill their strategic and economic development plans, low power, battery operated wireless data solutions featuring low total cost of ownership are providing cost-effective, innovative and scalable applications to meet this need. Additionally, Smart Cities are looking to keep up with today’s connected citizen and provide better programs and services for their community. These solutions are helping with improved resource sustainability and enhanced public service delivery while reducing overall operational costs to offer an enriched community experience.

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.

Fraser Mann

Insight: The spatial relationships that define a small region are a valuable asset, and an understanding of the pattern of those relationships can be an important instrument to drive change. For example, information about these patterns might show a municipality: (i) where bicycling infrastructure is most needed; (ii) if efficiencies can be gained by adjusting waste collection routes; and (iii) what the best locations may be for a public health “pop-up” facility. However, the collection and use of hyperlocal data creates operational and legal challenges for municipalities and other public sector entities.

 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.

Andrew Lyszkiewicz

Insight from our event director:  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. 

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

Insight: 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.  

 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.

 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.

 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?

Juliet Slemming

Sr. Legal Counsel, Privacy Officer at Teranet

Insight: Privacy risk management frameworks help organizations integrate privacy into all aspects of the business. Part of these frameworks are the implementation of strategies to identify, manage and mitigate both external and internal risks.  

 Mark Bain


Mary Ellen Bench


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.

Laura Bradley

 Insight:  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 latest 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.

 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

Insight:  Successful future cities will combine a profound commitment to design and values driven solutions. These must combine qualitative tools that engage and mobilize residents and the many other stakeholders in our urban world, and quantitative methods. Data is a critical resource as we manage the complexity of cities. Urban informatics should support the many players in urban planning and service delivery, and allow meaningful responses to possible scenarios. Data tools are equally important for residents and visitors. 

Data driven design can be applied to every urban challenge. For example, research shows that cultural activities create cohesion, enhance quality of life, reduce isolation and crime, and support retention of families and individuals.  For these reasons, successful cities plan and evaluate distributed cultural offerings and expanded public realms by gathering intelligence about diverse communities’ needs, finding means to embed culture and cultural producers in neighbourhoods, and connect transportation planning to cultural hubs.  In other data-driven studies, student post-secondary engagement and success has been correlated with access to transportation as well as affordable housing. While these are intuitive relationships, data provides the hard facts to support effective planning and service delivery for commuter student populations.

 Toby Lennox

 Insight: The competition among countries and municipalities for foreign direct investment is becoming increasingly more intense. Toby Lennox will present the experience of municipalities in the Toronto Region on the advantages of municipalities working together from a regional perspective to increase the opportunities for attracting FDI. Using the example of the Toronto Region’s bid for Amazon HQ2 as a case study, Toby will discuss the lessons learned and what can work for municipalities.

 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.

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