Introducing True North TV

While we won't have a chance to get together IRL this year, we are ready to share with you virtually. Introducing: True North TV.

Picture this: the magic of True North, the best of Waterloo Region, but in your living room. Or office. Or wherever you want to engage with us. All you have to do is join in, sit back and explore what it means to be human (and humane) in a tech-driven world while staying (virtually) six feet apart from your peers.

Hosted by Iain Klugman, Communitech’s straight-shooting and inquisitive President and CEO, True North TV will consist of conversational episodes with a variety of guest experts and entertainers. Hosted on Communitech’s YouTube channel, each episode will bring fresh insight and candid conversations on timely issues–such as the pervasiveness and importance of Tech For Good throughout our generation’s greatest health care crisis.

Broadcasting from Canada’s innovation capital, Waterloo Region.

The birthplace of search, smartphones and the blue bin, it’s where quantum computing, AI, fintech, blockchain and robots are part of the daily vernacular. It’s one of the world’s hottest places to start and grow a tech business. And it’s one of the most dynamic, energetic innovation ecosystems in the world.

Episode 25: Solving healthcare challenges in the cloud with Google’s Ilia Tulchinsky

Today’s tough problems require more than just great brain power. Our researchers, scientists and innovators need computing power—and they’re taking advantage of “the cloud” to make new products and services a reality. Nowhere is this more evident than in health care where cloud computing is playing a critical role by enabling data sharing and collaboration. Join us on Tuesday, December 1 for a special #TrueNorthTV with Ilia Tulchinsky, Google’s Engineering Director of Cloud Healthcare and Life Sciences who’s helping develop cloud-based health care tech right here from Waterloo Region.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 24: Farm to your door is the new farm to table with TruLOCAL’s Marc Lafleur

Even before COVID-19, there was a resurgence in people choosing to both eat and shop local. Kitchener-based truLOCAL’s business brings the best of these movements together with locally-sourced beef, poultry, pork and seafood delivered to your door. Tune into #TrueNorthTV on Tuesday, November 24 for our next episode featuring truLOCAL CEO and co-founder Marc Lafleur. Here, you’ll learn more about how truLOCAL started, why consumers have embraced local during the pandemic and what eating and shopping habits might stick around after COVID-19.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 23: Adapting to workplace changes with Axonify CEO Carol Leaman

COVID-19 caused almost every workplace to change the way they operate overnight—especially businesses with large numbers of front-line workers. Waterloo-based Axonify saw this impact first hand. Their learning platform is used to educate front-line employees in retail, service, hospitality and other vitally important sectors. On the next episode of #TrueNorthTV, Axonify CEO Carol Leaman joins our host Iain Klugman to talk about the effects of COVID-19 on their customers and their team, becoming more reflective on the ways we work and helping local businesses adapt to this new future of work.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 22: Talking strong foundations in construction and tech with Mallorie Brodie

Innovating isn’t easy. Especially when you’re trying to replace pen and paper in one of the world’s largest industries—commercial construction. With rebar and concrete in their DNA, Mallorie Brody and Lauren Lake have built their startup Bridgit Solutions into one of the leading construction software companies in North America. CEO and co-founder Mallorie Brodie joins Iain Klugman on Tuesday, November 10 for #TrueNorthTV to talk about COVID-19’s effects on the industry, raising capital during a global pandemic and the importance of diversity for the Bridgit team.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 21: Building a unicorn in Canada with Martin Basiri and Nick Solaro

Did you hear the one about three brothers who moved from Iran to Canada and are now running a startup valued at $2 billion?

There’s no punchline because this is no joke—it’s Canada’s next unicorn and they’re changing the way international students apply to universities, colleges and other educational institutions around the world.

Tune into the next #TrueNorthTV to hear from Martin Basiri, CEO of ApplyBoard, and Nick Solaro, Partner at Ohio-based Drive Capital, one of ApplyBoard’s biggest investors, on how they’re managing their rapid growth, raising capital during COVID-19 and where they see the education market going in the future.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 20: Taking small biz online with Digital Main Street

Prior to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, main street businesses were already struggling to survive with the rapid growth of online shopping and e-commerce. Then, well, you know what happened.

Digital transformation may sound like corporate hoopla, but that’s just what many small business owners found themselves needing when their doors were shut. And this transformation has been made possible with help from a set of programs run by Digital Main Street.

Supported by the federal and provincial governments as well as large tech companies and regional innovation centres, Digital Main Street offers several programs for small and medium-sized businesses that need help navigating all things digital.

Join us on Tuesday, October 27 for the next episode of #TrueNorthTV where we’ll be joined by three small business owners who will share the challenges they’ve experienced being entrepreneurs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 19: Talking creative destruction with Ajay Agrawal

If you’re a tech entrepreneur in Canada, you’ve most likely benefited from the work of our next guest, Ajay Agrawal. He’s the founder of the Creative Destruction Lab and co-founder of The Next 36, Next AI and Next Founders. Agrawal joins us on Tuesday, Oct. 20 at noon ET to talk entrepreneurship, the effects of COVID-19 on innovation and more.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 18: Canada's advantage is immigration - talking innovation and growth with Ketaki Desai

Our next guest is a perfect example of why we're so passionate about the Canadian tech ecosystem and all things Tech For Good™.

Originally from India, Ketaki Desai spent 18 years working in academia and entrepreneurship in the U.S. But that wasn’t enough to meet the stringent and shifting demands of the American immigration system, so Ketaki Desai and her husband made the choice to immigrate to Canada.

Desai joins host Iain Klugman to talk about why other tech workers should look closer at Canada (like she did!), what she’ll be doing at the Ontario Centres of Excellence and what she thinks about Canadian tech’s opportunity in recruiting highly-skilled immigrants.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 17: Finding a safe path forward with MappedIn CEO Hongwei Liu

Adapting a business during the pandemic is challenging – even more so when your business revolves around indoor spaces like offices, malls and other commercial spaces. MappedIn CEO Hongwei Liu joins us on the next episode of #TrueNorthTV to talk about how the company is working to make indoor spaces safer during COVID-19 and how they continue to make privacy a priority.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 16: Innovating from the inside with Tendayi Viki

Working on corporate innovation projects can make you feel like a pirate. But pirates aren’t loved by everyone, no matter what Pirates of The Caribbean tries to tell us. In his latest book, Pirates in the Navy, author and corporate innovation expert Tendayi Viki lays out a playbook on how to drive substantive change in organizations – and talks about the effect of COVID-19 on corporate innovation teams.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 15: Amplifying BIPOC voices with Tyra Jones-Hurst

You might not recognize the name of our #TrueNorthTV guest on September 15, but that’s kind of the point. The voices of Black, Indigenous and People of Colour—or BIPOC— are not heard often enough in our communities. Tyra Jones-Hurst is out to change that with the launch of I Said What I Said, period, a new storytelling platform that aims to amplify BIPOC voices. Jones-Hurst is no stranger to sharing stories. Her family history in Canada stretches back 12 generations in the Maritimes, where her family has distinguished themselves for their service to Canada and to Nova Scotia’s Black community.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 14, part 2: ...and the winner is! Meet the Leaders Prize winner with David Stein

We’re back to meet the winners of the Leaders Prize, Canada’s largest AI competition. Joining them are David Stein, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of the Leaders Fund and Communitech CEO, Iain Klugman. Find out how they developed their solution that uses AI to automatically assign a truth rating to a given claim. We’ll learn how they took it from idea to prototype—and what they plan to do next.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Épisode 14, partie 2: ... et le gagnant est! Rencontrez le lauréat du prix Leaders avec David Stein

Nous sommes de retour pour rencontrer les lauréats du Prix Leaders, le plus grand concours d’IA au Canada. Ils sont rejoints par David Stein, co-fondateur et associé directeur du Leaders Fund et le PDG de Communitech, Iain Klugman. Découvrez comment ils ont développé leur solution qui utilise l'IA pour attribuer automatiquement une note de vérité à une revendication donnée. Nous allons apprendre comment ils sont passés de l'idée au prototype et ce qu'ils prévoient de faire ensuite.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 14: Fake News Foiled - Announcing the Leaders Prize winner with David Stein

Tech For Good™ is more than a hashtag. It’s a vision for a world where entrepreneurs use technology for more than building bridges. It’s a vision where the gaps between us—financial, political, educational—are closed. We see a world where technology can bring us all together and enhance our lives in a positive way. That’s why we partnered with the Leaders Fund to create the Leaders Prize, Canada’s Largest AI prize of 1,000,000 dollars. The challenge given to Canadian entrepreneurs was to tackle a really large problem—using artificial intelligence to automatically assign a truth rating to a given claim. In this special episode of #TrueNorthTV, David Stein, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of the Leaders Fund and Communitech CEO, Iain Klugman announce the winning team.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Register today to join us for this special episode of #TrueNorthTV!

Fausses nouvelles - Annonce du gagnant du prix Leaders avec David Stein

Tech For Good ™ est plus qu'un hashtag. C’est une vision d’un monde où les entrepreneurs utilisent la technologie pour autre chose que simplement construire des ponts. C’est une vision où les écarts entre nous - financiers, politiques, éducatifs - sont comblés. Nous voyons un monde où la technologie peut tous nous rassembler et améliorer nos vies de manière positive. C’est la raison pour laquelle nous nous sommes associés au Leaders Fund pour créer le Prix Leaders, le plus grand prix d’intelligence artificielle du Canada de 1 000 000 dollars. Le défi lancé aux entrepreneurs canadiens était de s'attaquer à un très gros problème - utiliser l'intelligence artificielle pour attribuer automatiquement une cote de vérité à une affirmation donnée. Dans cet épisode spécial de #TrueNorthTV, David Stein, cofondateur et associé directeur du Leaders Fund et Iain Klugman, PDG de Communitech, annonceront le nom de l'équipe gagnante.

Cet épisode vous est présenté par @TD_Canada.

Episode 13: The best offence is a great cyber defence - talking security with Mark Sangster and J. Paul Haynes

There seems to be a new cyber attack in the news almost every day. This year alone, there has been an average of 1,185 cyber attacks per month—a number that continues to increase with businesses shifting their focus on surviving the COVID-19 pandemic. Your business and your employees are working in a virtual world—are your cybersecurity defenses prepared? On this episode of #TrueNorthTV, join us for a conversation with eSentire’s VP and Industry Security Strategist, Mark Sangster and President and COO, J. Paul Haynes on how we can ensure stronger data privacy in the new normal with a distributed workforce.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 12: Video to the rescue with Vidyard’s Michael Litt

Tune in to #TrueNorthTV on Tuesday, September 1 for our first in-person episode recorded (physically-distant safe) in the Communitech Hub! This week, we have Michael Litt, CEO and co-founder of Vidyard in to talk about how the video marketing scale-up quickly deployed new products and features to help companies deal with internal and external communications during the COVID-19 pandemic. Michael shares how they were able to pivot during dark times to expand their market, support their customers and make time to support their team members.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 11: Let's get digital with Alex Benay

In this episode, Iain is joined by Alex Benay, partner in Digital and Infrastructure, Government and Healthcare for KPMG Canada. Tune in to learn more on Alex’s perspective on how Canada's digital progress has continued during the COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of developing a digital identity and what Canada stands to lose if it doesn’t strengthen its digital backbone. (Not sure what a digital backbone is? Why then … another reason to tune in!)

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 10: The future of learning with John Baker

There’s no doubt that the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the Future of Work – but what about its effects on the ways we learn? Join us for a timely discussion with D2L founder and CEO John Baker to learn how the future of education is here now, how COVID-19 will continue to affect educators and students heading back to the classroom and how education has changed in the 20 years (!!) since D2L started.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 9: Lean back with Ash Maurya

This week’s episode is one you must lean in to. Ash Maurya, best known for creating the Lean Canvas - a tool that’s had an anything but lean impact on the way modern companies approach innovation - sits down with our CEO @iainklugman for a next level discussion on business transformation. What steps can you take to make your business more impactful and innovative? You’ll have to tune in to find out.

This episode is brought to you by @TD_Canada.

Episode 8: Getting cultured with Patty McCord

This episode of #TrueNorth TV features the illustrious and inspiring Patty McCord, former Chief Talent Officer at Netflix, who joins our CEO Iain Klugman for a candid discussion on what should be the most important word in every entrepreneur and business leader’s repertoire: CULTURE. Patty and her team at Netflix were responsible for developing the “Netflix Culture Deck”, arguably one of the most important documents to ever come out of Silicon Valley. Don’t believe us? Ask Sheryl Sandberg. On this episode, Patty and Iain discuss why culture is above all when it comes to successful business - especially in tech.

Episode 7: It’s time to talk about Canadian Intellectual Property with Noel Courage

The core value of any tech company lies in its proprietary tech, which is, in essence, its intellectual property. Have you protected your business by properly patenting your IP?

Join us for a special episode of #TrueNorthTV as Noel Courage, one of Canada’s leading experts on all things IP and partner at Bereskin & Parr LLP, discusses new government implementations supporting the innovation sector, #COVID19 patent pools and how to best navigate the fundamentals of IP.

Episode 6: Delivering accessible digital services during a pandemic with Hillary Hartley

Join Communitech CEO Iain Klugman as he chats with the one, the only, Ontario’s first Chief Digital Officer - Hillary Hartley! Hillary will talk about what the future holds for accessible services for communities and businesses in Ontario, and she’ll share some wild insights into what digital transformations have launched forward at the Ontario Digital Service as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. This is a must-watch, must-tell-all-your-friends episode - brought to you by our friends at TD.

Episode 5: Talking about money, honey with economist Josh Lerner

On this episode of True North TV, our CEO Iain Klugman is joined by the always-engaging Josh Lerner - Harvard Business School Professor and American economist. Iain and Josh dive in headfirst to discuss how policy impacts innovation, venture capital and private equity. Join us and get ready to talk about money, honey!

Episode 4: An interview with ex-Amazon VP, Tim Bray

On this episode of True North TV, our CEO Iain Klugman had the opportunity to interview Tim Bray, a Canadian whose pioneering work in the field of internet search made him a rockstar in the software development world. Recently, Tim made international headlines when he quit a well-paying job at Amazon over the company’s treatment of workplace whistleblowers – and published a blog post about it on his way out. #TechForGood is more than a mantra for Tim, but you’ll have to tune in to find out why.

Episode 3: Chief Bryan Larkin on remodeling the police service

This week’s episode brings a number of hot topics to the table as Bryan Larkin, Chief of the Waterloo Region Police Service, joins Communitech CEO Iain Klugman for a candid discussion.

Missed an episode of #TrueNorthTV? Check out past episodes featuring John Seely Brown and Laura Mae Lindo on Communitech’s YouTube channel - and make sure to subscribe so you’re notified when the next episode airs!

Episode 2: Putting theory into practice with MPP Laura Mae Lindo

For our second episode, we’ll be joined by Kitchener Centre MPP and eternal optimist, Laura Mae Lindo. A knowledgeable advocate for the rights of women and girls, Laura Mae is a respected ally to marginalized community members, and, most importantly, a courageous public speaker on issues often left unaddressed in the mainstream. The Official Opposition Critic for Anti-Racism, and Citizenship and Immigration, Laura Mae was appointed as Chair of Official Opposition’s first Black Caucus, to collaborate with Black communities and allies to address systemic anti-Black racism in Ontario. In this episode of True North TV, Laura Mae will shed light on how her commitment to building inclusive communities both within and outside of educational environments is grounded in her knowledge of how to put anti-oppression theories into practice.

Join us on #TrueNorthTV as we discuss #TechForGood and subscribe to the Communitech YouTube channel to be notified when the next episode airs.

John Seely Brown

Episode 1: Talking the importance of connection with John Seely Brown

We’re kicking off True North TV with one of the people responsible for the devices you’re watching this on today - John Seely Brown. Today, he runs Deloitte’s Center for the Edge which helps companies discover emerging opportunities on the edge of business and technology. But he’s best known for his role as Chief Scientist at the famed Xerox PARC in Palo Alto where the first mouse and graphical user interface (GUI) were created. That’s right, there was a time before icons and emojis (and it wasn’t pretty).

We wanted to have John Seely Brown on the show because he's not just a scientist. He's not just a computer geek. He's been focused on the social side of tech and that’s what True North is all about–what happens at the intersection of technology and humanity.

Here’s a sneak peek of some of our upcoming guests

Harleen Kaur