The Data Visionaries

Since 2017, Simon Fraser University has invited leading thinkers from diverse fields to engage in conversations about how data is shaping and reshaping the world. The Data Visionaries Series helps to define, open up and critically examine the possibilities and impact of data in our future

Who are the Data Visionaries? They are the pioneers who will shape and reshape the world we live in. They are people asking new questions, developing new solutions and thinking about data in new ways for real world impact.

Register For The Data Visionaries: Investing in a Low Carbon Future

Can you keep organizations accountable for their social and environmental impact?

Organizations play an important role in our sustainability efforts. ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) investing and sustainable finance have grown in popularity in the past few years as companies realize the importance of setting long-term sustainability targets. To demonstrate their commitments, they are publishing ESG reports and stakeholders are using this information to compare peer groups and make financial and non-financial decisions.

Proponents point to ESG reports as a positive trend that improves transparency and allows for better informed strategies on addressing climate change. Critics are quick to point out that the data used to measure ESG can be opaque, that there is a lack of consistency in the terminology, and that this can lead to the risk of green washing. Emerging scholarship and practice suggest that a systemic approach to climate change is required for reporting on reducing anticipated climate risks and emissions and advancing climate action goals across all areas of business including social and cultural environments, governance, asset and infrastructure, resources, operations, and investment planning and reporting. 

This panel will focus on the role that data can play to keep organizations accountable to their climate change and sustainability goals and targets, and how the future of ESG will impact you.

Critically Examining Big Data

Our public panel sessions feature diverse experts debating current issues around data and technologies that are changing the world. From 5G to artificial intelligence to data and democracy, these lively discussions will expand your knowledge and offer new perspectives.

SFU Leaders Solve Complex Challenges

Our leaders don’t just think about solutions—they invent and implement them. SFU is home to a range of experts tackling data challenges in innovative ways. This speaker series offers an engaging and intellectually enriching way to dive deeper into how big data affects you.


Holding Data Hostage

Responding to the future of cybersecurity.

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A Sustainable and Inclusive Pandemic Recovery

Using data informed decisions to help BC's economic recovery address well-being and inequality.

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Data for the senses

Incorporating artificial intelligence and computational creativity re-imagine what it means to produce and consume art.

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Quantum Computing

Pioneering the quantum future to better understand our universe and deliver breakthroughs in areas like drug development, encryption and finance.

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5G and smart cities

The future of 5G and smart cities in Canada.

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The future of healthcare

Data, analytics and empowerment are key to a data-driven healthcare future. But not without risk.

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Data and Democracy

Big data is changing how we perceive and participate in our democracies.

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AI and the transportation revolution

From self-driving cars to flying robots, maritime law to railway cleantech, transportation is evolving as big data and artificial intelligence propel us in new directions.

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Past Participating Organizations

  • 1Qbit
  • Amika Mobile Corporation
  • Black Press Media
  • Borealis AI Vancouver
  • Canadian Centre for Cyber Security
  • Canadian Maritime Law Association
  • City of Burnaby
  • City of Vancouver
  • Columbia Journalism School
  • Electronic Arts
  • Fortinet Canada
  • Generation R
  • Plenty of Fish
  • Radical I/O Technology Inc.
  • Telus Health
  • University College London
  • University of London
  • University of Ottawa
  • UrbanLogiq
  • Ministry of Citizen's Services, Government of British Columbia
  • Ministry of Jobs, Economic Recovery and Innovation
  • Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Government of British Columbia