From Isolation to Inclusion: How Diversity Drives Equitable Innovation

May 17, 2021 | noon - 1 p.m. MDT

From isolation to inclusion: How diversity drives equitable innovation

To make this ever-changing world a better, more inclusive place for all Canadians, innovators must recognize and value difference and cultivate a welcoming space for Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC). Watch our panel of innovators and researchers on campus and in the community discuss how diversity is driving equitable innovation.

This webinar was presented in partnership by the University of Calgary and the Rideau Hall Foundation as part of Canadian Innovation Week.  

This presentation occurred May 17, 2021 at noon - 1 p.m. MDT

National Innovation Week at UCalgary
As part of UCalgary’s partnership with the Rideau Hall Foundation, we celebrated Canadian Innovation Week. Join UCalgary experts and researchers May 17-21, for a week of conversation, inspiration and ideas. Learn more.

From Isolation to Inclusion: How Diversity Drives Equitable Innovation

Meet the Panellists

Dr. Gideon Christian, PhD  

Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary

Dr. Christian’s research on algorithmic racism focuses on racial bias arising from the use of AI in risk assessments for re-offending in the criminal justice system. For Dr. Christian, algorithmic racism is defined as race-based bias arising from the use of AI-powered tools in the analysis of data in the decision-making process, resulting in unfair outcomes to individuals from a particular segment of the society characterised by race.

Dr. Jennifer Adams, PhD

Professor, Werklund School of Education and Faculty of Science, University of Calgary; Creativity and STEM Canada Research Chair

Dr. Adams is head of a new research project that will explore the experiences of BIPOC students pursuing science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) majors at western Canadian post-secondary institutions. Additionally, the study will shed light on the reasons why this community remains underrepresented in both STEM learning and the workforce.

Meet the moderator

Jill Clark

Manager, Communications and Media Relations, Rideau Hall Foundation

Jill Clark is a career communicator and media professional. She has public, private and not for profit experience, having worked for Canadian and European communications firms and been part of the pilot project for the Federal Leaders’ Debates Commission. She is a seasoned moderator and emcee and was the Master of Ceremonies for the 2020 Toronto Global Forum. Her work for the Rideau Hall Foundation includes the Michener Award for Public Service Journalism, public relations for The Right Honourable David Johnston and several other team-based initiatives toward building a smarter, more caring Canada.

Meet the Emcee

Shanika Abeysinghe, BA’16, founder, Bessie

Shanika obtained a Bachelors of Arts in Film Studies + Law and Society through the University of Calgary. At the age of 23, she was named the executive director of the Marda Loop Justice Film Festival (a Calgary-based socially conscious documentary film festival), while maintaining a role in communications at the Calgary Drop-In Centre. There she built and supported campaigns that raised more than $1.4 million to support the city’s most vulnerable. As a champion for Calgary, Shanika has sat on committees for many organizations including: Kids Help Phone Calgary Chapter, Calgary International Film Festival, Canadian International Fashion Film Festival, Famous 5 Foundation, University of Calgary Alumni Arts & Culture Council, the Calgary Stampede and the 51. At Bessie, Shanika leads storytelling, marketing, and customer success. When she isn’t working, she can be seen watching some obscure foreign film at a festival or eating her way through Calgary's best cuisines.