Cyber Summit 2021 Speakers


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Laura Spinney

Writer & Science Journalist

Laura Spinney is a writer and science journalist. Her writing on science has appeared in The Guardian, The Economist, Nature and National Geographic, among others. She is the author of two novels, The Doctor (2001) and The Quick (2007), and a collection of oral history, Rue Centrale (2013). Her bestselling non-fiction account of the 1918 influenza pandemic, Pale Rider: The Spanish Flu of 1918 and How it Changed the World (2017), was published in the UK by Jonathan Cape and has been translated into 18 other languages. She lives in Paris.

Heather Russek

Collaborator, Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship

Heather is a strategist and designer with 15+ years of professional experience. She enjoys experimenting with innovation methods, including human-centred design, futures, and art-based practices.

Over the course of her career, Heather has held various positions including policy innovation, healthcare leadership, management consulting, program and project management, and strategy. She is a co-author of Yesterday's Gone: Exploring the future of Canada's labour market in a post-COVID world. Heather holds a Bachelor of Science from Queen's University, an MBA from the DeGroote School of Business at McMaster University, and a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation from OCAD University.

Jessica Thornton

Collaborator, Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship (BII+E)

Jessica is a collaborator at BII+E who uses creative problem solving around human-centred design, strategic foresight, and design research methods to advance innovation policy. Formerly at BII+E, she was responsible for leading several major projects, including Employment in 2030 and Digitally Lit.

Previously, Jessica led user research as part of the Impact of Tech on Ontario’s Workforce Project, as well as BII+E’s engagement in various education related projects such as Basecamp, SHAD at Ryerson, ZerotoStartup, and YRDSB Climate Hack2Action.