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Michelle Holland - Toronto Mayor's Advocate for Innovation

Councillor Michelle Holland is responsible for championing the growth of Toronto’s technology and knowledge sector, with a focus on talent attraction and retention, increasing diversity and addressing the impact of workers displaced by technology.


For several years she has been a leading voice on the innovation and technology file. In 2016, Michelle was appointed by Mayor John Tory to serve as the City’s first Advocate for the Innovation Economy. She will lead the City’s efforts to encourage growth in the sector, promote and protect innovation and technology jobs, encourage greater gender diversity and position Toronto as a leader in the innovation economy in all respects.


She is currently Chair of Scarborough Community Council, Vice Chair of the Economic Development Committee and Chair of the City’s Corporations Nominating Panel where she has been leading efforts to facilitate gender equality on boards. As a graduate of the Director's Education Program she has considerable board experience including the Hockey Hall of Fame, the Design Exchange and the Art Gallery of Ontario among other boards.


She was elected to Toronto City Council in 2010 and re-elected in 2014. She has served on the most important City Council Committees including Executive Committee, Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, Budget Committee and Economic Development Committee.



Peter Bak - Chief Information Officer, Humber River Hospital

Peter is the CIO of Humber River Hospital, the first fully digital hospital in North America, and the first Canadian Hospital to recruit a humanoid robot. He is a seasoned change leader and innovator with over 25 years of experience in healthcare technology, people and system transformation, business development, and business operations. He was the subject matter expert for developing the digital transformation strategy and implementing the hospital’s digital vision.


He is a firm believer in the value of leadership when it comes to leading change. In his advise to other healthcare institutions looking to take on similar transformative initiatives, he advises “If you’re going to do a major IT initiative like we’ve done here, it has to start with complete buy-in from that level. Without that buy in, don’t even start.”


Peter’s areas of expertise include methods for effective sharing of electronic patient records, interoperability workflow to optimize care delivery, diagnostic imaging systems, IT operations, and transforming care delivery in acute centres.


His skill and contribution to the healthcare industry are reflected in his recognition as the Canadian public sector CIO of the Year for 2016.


Tomi Poutanen - Co-Founder of Vector Institute and Layer 6 AI, and Chief AI Officer, TD Bank

Tomi has accomplished momentous breakthroughs both in leading the way and changing the AI landscape in Toronto and Globally. He co-founded Toronto-based Layer 6, the first company to offer clients a prediction engine powered by a real-time deep learning framework (AI). Layer 6 uses AI in its platform for prediction and personalization; enabling it to analyze various forms of data, learn and anticipate the needs of an individual client. It also won The ACM Recommender System Challenge in August 2017 for the best recommendation system.


Prior to Layer 6, Tomi built a $100M search marketing program, and led the global launch of Yahoo Answers. He also developed the recommendation engine powered by Deep Learning and co-developed the data-compression algorithm used by Microsoft in software distribution and cloud storage.


Tomi co-founded the Vector Institute which has a vision that includes building, leading and sustaining AI Innovation in Canada as well as attracting the best global talent focused on research excellence. Tomi is also a founding G7 Fellow at the Creative Destruction Labs, a leading AI venture incubator that has launched successful Canadian startups worth $1 billion..


He holds an MASc in Computer Engineering and an MBA from the University of Toronto, and proud father of Anna ('07) and Sophie ('09) who love to code. Tomi is an Entrepreneur, a Software Engineer and a Machine Learning specialist.


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