Inclusivity the watchword for McGill Innovation Week

Posted on Friday, November 3, 2017

By Neale McDevitt

The fifth annual McGill Innovation Week (MIW), from Nov. 11–18, will showcase the innovations coming from McGill while connecting the University community to the broader Montreal innovation ecosystem.

The goal this year is to bring as many people into the fold as possible. “In keeping with our theme, Inclusive Innovation, this year’s edition of MIW offers something for everyone,” says Michelle Yu, Innovation & Entrepreneurship Officer and one of the MIW organizers. “You can be from any part of the McGill community and still be able to participate in innovation on campus – whether it be deep technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI), or maybe you’re more into the arts or social innovation. There will always be an intersection of people thinking differently and being willing to push boundaries and explore different topics.”

Different topics abound in this year’s MIW lineup, including a Civic Data hackathon; a student case competition on inclusivity and innovation; a lunch and learn on accessibility and innovation; and, a full-day conference on the social context and policy that advances innovation.

“Often we are very much in our own bubbles so we don’t know what is happening in other units or departments,” says Yu. “You might be interested in social innovation but you might be in a faculty where that isn’t talked about very often. MIW gives people the chance to try explore different ideas – and all the events are free!”

Highlights of this year’s MIW include:

  • Malumba Women in Innovation and AI event, which will include keynote addresses by Professor Doina Precup (Co-Director of the RL Lab at McGill, and recently named Head of Google DeepMind; and Valerie Becart (Research Director at Element AI).
  • The closing conference, titled Innovation in Context: Scaling up, which will look at how individuals, companies, firms and the ecosystem itself can turn the success of a single popular idea or product into a larger environment cultivating sustained innovation.

Here is the schedule for the 2017 MIW. All events are free and open to the public, but participants must reserve their spots online.

Nov. 11 – 12:

  • Civic Data Hackathon
    Attendees will be working with Montreal’s datasets on issues relevant (and important) to the city. Unlike typical hackathons, which heavily weight software engineering, this hackathon will focus on using data analysis to empower the public/decision makers around an issue of value to the city of Montreal. Get more info and register.

Nov. 13:

Nov. 14:

Nov. 16:

  • McGill EngInE Engineering Innovation Awards
    Are you passionate about new technology and curious to learn more about start-up culture? Come and mingle with student and faculty innovators at the third annual Celebration of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, hosted by the McGill EngInE (Engineering Innovation & Entrepreneurship) hub. Get more info and register.
  • B21: A Low-Key House Party
    A night to celebrate the diverse and talented community of students, staff and faculty – come together to exchange ideas, to collaborate, and to explore beyond the boundaries of disciplines, titles or everyday work. Get more info and register.

Nov. 17:

Nov. 18:

McGill Innovation Week, Nov. 11–18. All events are free and open to the public, but participants must reserve their spots online. Get more information and register.


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