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This year’s event will feature an exciting line-up industry leaders and experts to engage with you about Internet-related topics that are important to all Canadians. Stay tuned!

Speakers:  Avinash Kaushik, Google  |  Paul Brigner, Internet Society  | 
Byron Holland, Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)  | 
Stéphanie Kennan, Entrepreneur, Professional Speaker, and Author  | 
Virginia Heffernan, Former New York Times' columnist, and Author | 
Nicolas Gaudreau, Yellow Pages Group

Panelists:  Ron Deibert, CitizenLab  |  Tim Denton, Industry Expert  | 
Heather Dryden, Industry Canada  |  Frédérick Gaudreau, Sûreté du Québec  | 
Michael Geist, University of Ottawa  |  Matthew Johnson, MediaSmarts  |  Sylvie LaPerrière, Google, Inc.  |  Mark Raymond, CIGI  |  Michel Vanier, RISQ

Master of ceremonies:  Eric Barbeau

Moderator:  Martin Lessard


Avinash Kaushik, Google
Avinash loves teaching and sharing ideas. As the Digital Marketing Evangelist for Google, he has "uncomplexified" data-driven decision making for countless business leaders. He speaks at workshops and events all over the world, educating and entertaining audiences with his innovative and data-driven approach to digital marketing.

Avinash puts a common sense framework around the often frenetic world of web analytics and combines that with the philosophy that investing in talented analysts is the key to long-term success. He passionately advocates customer centricity and leveraging bleeding edge competitive intelligence techniques.

Through his blog, Occam's Razor, and his bestselling books, Web Analytics: An Hour A Day and Web Analytics 2.0, Avinash has become recognized as an authoritative voice on how marketers, executive teams and industry leaders can leverage data to fundamentally reinvent their digital existence.

Serving on the board of advisors for the University of California Irvine, the University of Toronto, and Mind Your Group, Avinash is also an associate instructor at the University of British Columbia. He has received multiple awards for his work with web analytics and its impact on direct marketing and has contributed to companies including IBM, Unilever, AOL, L'Oréal, Time Warner, AutoDesk, Vanuard, Toyota, and Google. He has received honors such as Statistical Advocate of the Year award from the American Statistical Association, Rising Star award from the Direct Marketing Educational Foundation, and Most Influential Industry Contributor from the Digital Analytics Association.

Paul Brigner, Internet Society
Regional Director of the North American Bureau at the Internet Society where he oversees projects, initiatives and activities across the Internet Society's functional and programmatic areas in the United States and Canada.

Previously, Paul was Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Policy Officer for the Motion Picture Association of America, and prior to that, Executive Director, Internet and Technology Policy, for Verizon. He worked at Verizon for nearly 10 years in numerous management positions.  Earlier in his career, Paul was a software and network architect for several organizations and also served in a technology consulting capacity.

Paul holds a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center and an MBA from Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. He is a graduate summa cum laude of Stephen F. Austin State University where he received the Outstanding Computer Science Graduate Award and The Wall Street Journal Student Achievement Award. Brigner also served in the United States Army where he attended the U.S. Military Academy Preparatory School and was appointed to the U.S. Military Academy.

Byron Holland, Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA)
Driven by an entrepreneurial spirit and a passion for Internet governance, Byron’s leadership has brought CIRA to the forefront of innovation. At CIRA, Byron has led a wholesale rewrite of the .CA registry and related policies and business rules. Since the registry rewrite, .CA has become the fastest growing country code top-level domain (TLD) in the world, and the second fastest growing TLD overall.

Byron has developed a strong international profile for CIRA and the .CA top-level domain. He is vice-chair of the Country Codes Name Supporting Organization (ccNSO), the body that represents the interests of all country code top-level domains and leads policy development initiatives at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Byron is also an active participant in the United Nations co-ordinated Internet Governance Forum, and other Internet governance fora.

Prior to joining CIRA, Byron helped found the third largest coalition loyalty program in Canada, Futura Rewards. As the Chief Operating Officer at Futura, he oversaw the development and growth of the company from a small upstart to a publicly traded company with more than 100 brand partners and 400,000 members.

Byron maintains a world recognized blog, Public Domain ( On his blog, he provides leading insight into issues of importance to Canadians on Internet-related matters. Byron can also be found on Twitter at @CIRA001.

Byron received a Bachelor of Arts with Honours from the University of Western Ontario and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University. He also holds his ICD.D designation from the Institute of Corporate Directors.

Stéphanie Kennan, Entrepreneur, Professional Speaker, and Author
Speaker and author, Stéphanie Kennan is a highly committed woman who finds the time to write a weekly blog on, administer LinkedinQuébec Group's Communication et marketing, As an entrepreneur, professional and travel extensively to share her passion for marketing with entrepreneurs from all over Quebec

Stéphanie's enthusiasm and energy make her an excellent populariser who is regularly invited to present specialized conferences to the business community. Her favourite themes include B2B marketing, branding, the Web, and social media marketing.

During her more than fifteen years as president of Bang Marketing—since its founding in 1998—Stéphanie has acquired in-depth knowledge of the entrepreneurial field. Over this time she has also mastered the art of providing custom-made communication and marketing solutions for small and medium size enterprises.

In the spring of 2012, Stéphanie published her first book on best Web practices in which she offers indispensable advice for small and medium enterprise managers. In the book she also demystifies the secrets of successful online marketing for the business world. Mon site web chez le psy is available in bookstores and on the Éditions Transcontinental website.

Stéphanie, a marketing graduate from HEC Montréal, is a member of the board of directors of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and the board of directors of the Fondation du maire – le Montréal inc. de demain. She is acknowledged by her peers for her straightforwardness, personal commitment and philanthropy.

Virginia Heffernan, Former New York Times' columnist, and Author
Virginia Heffernan provides an original perspective on the most influential and least understood medium of our time. She treats the Internet not merely as a new technology or as a business tool, but as a cultural object—a collaborative work of art that has "its own rules, conventions, implications."

Virginia Heffernan does for the Internet what Pauline Kael did for movies and Marshall McLuhan did for television. She helps us rethink this new medium: its enormity, its effect on society, and our place in it. Now the "Machine Politics" and "Appitude" columnist at Yahoo! News, covering the collision of technology, culture and also a former contributor to The New York Times. From 2006 to 2011, she wrote television criticism and The Medium column for The New York Times Magazine. She's regularly requested by a range of institutions—universities, libraries, Fortune 100 corporations, political organizations, ad agencies.

Heffernan is a sought-after speaker on the idea of leveraging the intrinsic capabilities of the Internet for cultural, political, and professional purposes. A former editor at Harper's and Slate, she has her Master's and a Ph.D in English literature from Harvard. Her book, tentatively titled Magic and Loss: The Pleasures of the Internet, is forthcoming from Simon & Schuster.

Nicolas Gaudreau, Yellow Pages Group
Nicolas is a Canadian digital media executive, entrepreneur and lecturer, known for his key role in the early development of the online media industry in Canada.

A C-level executive with over 25 years of experience as CMO, VP Marketing and VP Digital for multi-billion dollar companies, Nicolas also serves on several boards, including start-ups and non-profits.

With his strong background in general management, traditional and digital marketing, strategic planning, local marketing, digital media and product development, Nicolas has a track record for driving digital transformation. Nicolas has taken the threats of digital transformation and turned them into opportunities and competitive advantage across several industries, including media, telecom, e-commerce and local marketing.

A sought-after speaker, Nicolas is a motivational leader known for building great teams. With adept operational skills and creative approaches, he excels at rapidly analyzing problems, identifying opportunities, and leading action plans.

Gaudreau's current fields of research and interests are in the area of mobile commerce and social shopping.



Ron Deibert, CitizenLab
Professor of Political Science, and Director of the Canada Centre for Global Security Studies and the Citizen Lab at the Munk School of Global Affairs, University of Toronto. The Citizen Lab is an interdisciplinary research and development hothouse working at the intersection of the Internet, global security, and human rights. He is a co-founder and a principal investigator of the OpenNet Initiative and Information Warfare Monitor (2003-2012) projects.

Deibert was one of the founders and (former) VP of global policy and outreach for Psiphon Inc.

Deibert has published numerous articles, chapters, and books on issues related technology, media, and world politics. He was one of the authors of the Tracking Ghostnet report that documented an alleged cyber-espionage network affecting over 1200 computers in 103 countries, and the Shadows in the Cloud report, which analyzed a cloud-based espionage network. He is a co-editor of three major volumes with MIT Press: Access Denied: The practice and policy of Internet Filtering (2008), Access Controlled: The shaping of power, rights, and rule in cyberspace (2010), and Access Contested: Security, Identity, and Resistance in Asian Cyberspace (2011). He is the author of Parchment, Printing, and Hypermedia: Communications in World Order Transformation (New York: Columbia University Press, 1997), and the forthcoming book Black Code: Inside the Battle for Cyberspace (forthcoming: McClelland & Stewart/Random House, 2013).

He has been a consultant and advisor to governments, international organizations, and civil society/NGOs on issues relating to cyber security, cyber crime, online free expression, and access to information. He presently serves on the editorial board of the journals International Political Sociology, Security Dialogue, Explorations in Media Ecology, Review of Policy Research, and Astropolitics.

Deibert is on the advisory board of Access Now, Privacy International, is a member of the board of directors of Lake Ontario Waterkeeper.

Deibert was awarded the University of Toronto Outstanding Teaching Award (2002), the Northrop Frye Distinguished Teaching and Research Award (2002), and the Carolyn Tuohy Award for Public Policy (2010). He was a Ford Foundation research scholar of Information and communication technologies (2002-2004).

Tim Denton, Industry Expert
He has broad experience in legal and policy matters in the areas of telecommunications, broadcasting and the Internet. He chairs the Commission's Telemarketing Violations Review Panel, and has been involved in a number of important structural decisions during his term. He was elected to the Board of the American Registry of Internet Numbers and serves as its Chairman.

Prior to his appointment to the Commission, Mr. Denton was involved in the governance of the domain name industry through his work with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and as a director, from 2002 to 2004, of the Canadian Internet Registration Authority. Between 1996 and 1998, he served as the first solicitor of the Canadian Association of Internet Providers.

As a policy advisor to the Minister of Communications from 1985 to 1987, he was intimately involved in the creation of the Broadcasting Act and later contributed to the creation of the Telecommunications Act. He helped introduce competition in the long-distance telephone market as counsel to the Canadian Consumers' Association, and served as Assistant to the CRTC's Vice-Chair of Telecommunications between 1978 and 1980.

Mr. Denton holds a Master of Laws from the University of Ottawa's Law and Technology Program, as well as a Bachelor of Civil Law and a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) from McGill University.

Heather Dryden, Industry Canada
Ms. Dryden currently serves as Senior Policy Advisor at the International Telecommunications Policy and Coordination Directorate at the Canadian Department of Industry (Industry Canada). Ms. Dryden is based in Ottawa.

Ms. Dryden has worked for the Department since 2002 and holds a BSc. (Econ) (Hons) Degree in International Politics and Strategic Studies, now specialising in Russian Studies. She has lead responsibility for Internet governance and Domain Name System (DNS) policy matters. In this role, Ms. Dryden coordinates and develops Canadian government positions and policy, and represents Canada on the Governmental Advisory Committee (GAC) of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) – currently serving as interim GAC chair. Ms. Dryden also represents Industry Canada, in an ex-officio capacity, on the Canadian Internet Registration Authority (CIRA) Board of Directors and participates in the American Registry for Internet Numbers – Government Working Group (AGWG).

Ms. Dryden also has responsibilities within the United Nations system on Internet-related matters, including the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). She has also been appointed to serve on the Multistakeholder Advisory Group (MAG) of the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) since 2008. Ms. Dryden also participated in the Canadian delegation to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) and its related preparatory negotiations in 2004-2005.

In addition to Internet matters, and drawing on her educational background in International Politics and Russian Studies, Ms. Dryden's experience also includes working at the NATO Information Office in Moscow immediately before joining Industry Canada. Ms. Dryden has also worked on capacity-building programs funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Ms. Dryden speaks English and French and has a working knowledge of Russian.

Ms. Dryden was selected by the Governmental Advisory Committee to serve as Interim Chair at the Brussels meeting until the conclusion of the first GAC meeting of 2011. Heather has now been elected to a full term as Chair of the GAC. This term will expire at the end of the first meeting of 2013.

Frédérick Gaudreau, Sûreté du Québec
Officer in charge of the Sûreté du Québec Cybercrime Unit. He plans, organizes, manages and controls the activities inherent to the Cybercrime area for the Sûreté du Québec. He coordinates several major investigation files as well as a multitude of development projects in partnership with organizations dedicated to the fight against cybercrime. Mr. Gaudreau represents the Sûreté du Québec on several committees and study groups such as the Canadian Federal/Provincial/Territorial study group on cybercrime, the Interpol specialist group on crime against children, and theAssociation Francophone des Spécialistes en Investigation Numérique.

He also represented the Sûreté du Québec during several symposiums and conventions in Québec, Canada and Internationally. As regards his training, Mr. Gaudreau holds a university certificate in Applied Police Management and Security, a university certificate in Management of Organizations and is presently completing a degree in Public Security.

Michael Geist, University of Ottawa
Law professor at the University of Ottawa where he holds the Canada Research Chair in Internet and E-commerce Law. He has obtained a Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) degree from Osgoode Hall Law School in Toronto, Master of Laws (LL.M.) degrees from Cambridge University in the UK and Columbia Law School in New York, and a Doctorate in Law (J.S.D.) from Columbia Law School.  Dr. Geist is an internationally syndicated columnist on technology law issues with his regular column appearing in the Toronto Star and the Ottawa Citizen.  Dr. Geist is the editor of From "Radical Extremism" to "Balanced Copyright": Canadian Copyright and the Digital Agenda (2010) and In the Public Interest:  The Future of Canadian Copyright Law (2005), both published by Irwin Law, the editor of several monthly technology law publications, and the author of a popular blog on Internet and intellectual property law issues.

Dr. Geist serves on many boards, including the CANARIE Board of Directors, the Canadian Legal Information Institute Board of Directors, the Privacy Commissioner of Canada’s Expert Advisory Board, the Electronic Frontier Foundation Advisory Board, and on the Information Program Sub-Board of the Open Society Institute. He has received numerous awards for his work including the Kroeger Award for Policy Leadership and the Public Knowledge IP3 Award in 2010, the Les Fowlie Award for Intellectual Freedom from the Ontario Library Association in 2009, the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s Pioneer Award in 2008, Canarie’s IWAY Public Leadership Award for his contribution to the development of the Internet in Canada and he was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2003.  In 2010, Managing Intellectual Property named him on the 50 most influential people on intellectual property in the world.

Sylvie LaPerrière, Google, Inc.
Sylvie is an active builder of the global Internet. An expert in negotiating peering and international network interconnections she is actively involved in extending the reach and use of the Internet. She is a strategic negotiator for Google's global interconnection team managing the network edge and content delivery programs. Previously, she expanded Tata Communications' Internet backbone in more than 25 markets, had it circle the globe and achieved settlement-free status. Operating in the international telecommunications arena for two decades, Sylvie has extensive experience in developing peering partnerships and negotiating commercial agreements with global, regional and national telecom and Internet operators.

An engaged member of the global Internet community of networkers, Sylvie chairs the Board of Directors of the North American Network Operator Group (NANOG), whose mission is to improve the Internet interoperability through the coordination and dissemination of technical information related to networking technologies and operational practices. She is also a member of the Board of the Amsterdam Internet Exchange (AMS-IX) and of the Montreal Internet Exchange.

With a solid foundation in product development for Internet, data and mobile services, Sylvie is international leader on peering strategy and a frequent speaker at international panels. She received her Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing and Information Systems from École des Hautes Études Commerciales de Montréal.

Matthew Johnson, MediaSmarts
As Director of Education for MediaSmarts, Matthew creates resources for educators, parents and community groups. Matthew also writes the Talk Media blog, one of the most popular sections of the MediaSmarts website. He has given presentations and interviews to parents, school, community and industry groups across Canada on a wide range of media topics. Matthew is an educator with nearly ten years' experience teaching media education, film-making, English and special education among other subjects. His experience also includes award-winning work as a writer of prose, plays and radio and television scripts and he recently released his first novel, Fall From Earth, with publisher Bundoran Press.

Mark Raymond, CIGI
Joined CIGI as a research fellow in August 2012. He has a B.A. in political science and international relations from the University of Western Ontario and an M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from the University of Toronto, and he has taught international relations at the University of Toronto and the University of Waterloo.

A member of the global security program at CIGI, Mark’s work in this field stems from a long-standing interest in the historical- and security-related origins of today’s global governance structures.

Before beginning his M.A., Mark held an internship at the Canadian embassy in Washington, DC during the summer of 2001. In this role, he monitored the Washington think-tank community for the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade and assisted in the administration of the embassy’s Canadian Studies Grant Program.

Prior to joining CIGI, he held a post-doctoral fellowship at the Balsillie School of International Affairs, where he conducted research on the way ideas shape conflict and on the utility of social constructivist scholarship for informing foreign policy. During his fellowship, Mark was also preparing his dissertation into a book manuscript and proposal; it is currently being reviewed by leading academic publishers and university presses.

At CIGI, Mark contributes to the development of new global security projects and assists with the organization and administration of workshops and conferences. Specifically, he is developing CIGI’s work in the area of Internet security and governance, for which he will be writing policy briefs, blogs and reports.

Michel Vanier, RISQ
RISQ CEO since 2004, Michel Vanier has extensive experience and a long track record in the management of information technology and communications in the area of education and research. Its various functions allowed him to explore all the areas of IT, from high performance computing to multimedia.

Michel Vanier is involved in several committees at provincial and federal vocation. He is a member of the Board of CANARIE federal agency since 2007 and Chairman of the Advisory Board of Optical Regional Advanced Network (ORAN) of Canada. Mr. Vanier is also a member of the expert committee of the School 2.0 steering committee member of the Green ICT project. He was also a member of the Steering Committee of Vocational network project which ended in June 2009.

Holds a Masters in Computer Science from the University of Montreal, specializing in formal languages and compilation techniques, and a Diploma in Administrative Sciences (DSA) from HEC Montreal, Michel Vanier was also a lecturer in the Department of Computer Science and Operations Research from the University of Montreal in scientific programming and software engineering in particular. Before joining RISQ, Michel Vanier was Deputy Director of Information Technology and Communication at the University of Montreal.


Master of ceremonies:

Eric Barbeau
Eric Barbeau is Director, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs at CASACOM and specializes in strategic communications. He is also an acting board member of Agence Science-Presse. Passionate about the digital and mobile worlds, he acted before as Chief Sales Officer of Soluteo, a Canadian leader in the integration of enterprise mobile technology.

He was also a journalist with Radio-Canada (the French CBC) both on TV and in radio from 1992 to 2004. And, yes, he is a member of CIRA, as the proud owner of the domain



Martin Lessard
Martin Lessard is a specialist in Web strategies and a popular social media writer who holds a Master’s degree in Multimedia (1997). In addition, he is considered to be one of Québec’s Internet pioneers.

Martin assists corporate leaders with their social media presence, and in May of 2010, La Presse identified him as one of the eight shining stars of Web 2.0 in Montréal.

His writing projects include his blog, entitled Zéro Seconde (since 2004) and his contributions to (since 2011). He is also a columnist for La Sphère, which is broadcast on La Première chaîne de Radio-Canada.

From 2000 to 2004, Lessard was Interactive Consulting Group Director for Cossette (working on the Bell Canada account). He held the same position for BBDO from 2004 to 2006, and has been self-employed since 2007.

In 2011, he co-wrote the report to the Minister of Culture on the digitization of cultural industries in Québec. He is also the author of the popular Guide des meilleures pratiques Web (Guide to best Web practices).

Martin teaches a Master’s level course at Université de Sherbrooke entitled Enjeux des technologies émergentes (Issues related to emerging technologies).

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