Digifest: the leading edge of global digital innovation arrives in Toronto

The leading edge of digital innovation and design is coming to Toronto for Digifest from May 8 to 10, 2014 at Corus Entertainment the city’s waterfront. Presented by George Brown College, Digifest is Canada’s premier international digital culture festival, focused on the future of digital innovation.

Founded in 2002, Digifest is an annual event featuring interdisciplinary talks by some of the world’s most visionary tech leaders, and showcases hands-on demos of cutting-edge innovations. It is conceived to bring industry, academia and the public together to celebrate hot new advancements in digital creativity around the globe.

This year, Digifest 2014 will address the theme of Digital Urbanism and the Future of Cities. Its programming and events will highlight the latest digital tools that are facilitating creative solutions, and connecting people and networks that inspire us to imagine more responsive cities that will enable better living.

“This year, Digifest is focused on digital urbanism and boasts many of the world’s best minds on the subject,” says Luigi Ferrara, Dean of Arts & Design at George Brown College and founder of the festival. “The festival’s unique convergence of global industry experts, academia and the general public will inspire us to reflect on how digital tools and technology will shape our lives and the future.”

For the first time in history, more than half the world’s population now lives in cities. Continual growth of 60 million urban residents per year is predicted meaning that 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities by 2050. That’s why Digifest is asking the question, “How will we create our future cities?”

Digifest will explore the blending of physical space with digital assets through a series of keynote lectures, panel discussions, hands-on workshops, and an entrepreneur challenge. International speakers will address emerging trends in interactive design, social issues, and the maker culture.

Featuring engaging talks, demonstrations and performances from world leaders who are expanding the boundaries of digital creativity on a daily basis, Digifest 2014 also boasts an expert-packed speaker lineup including architects, app designers, creators and entrepreneurs who will share their stories and showcase digital and technological discoveries that will reshape some of today’s pressing urban challenges.

Top-flight speakers include: Massimo Banzi (Italy), a global pioneer in maker culture and the founder of Arduino, an open-source and user-friendly microcontroller board; Daan Roosegaard (Netherlands), a social designer and expert in the integration of technology and urban settings;

Mark Rolston (USA), the former Chief Creative Officer at frogDesign (the world-renowned design firm responsible for many of Apple’s designs) and founder of argodesign; Keiichi Matsuda (Japan/UK), an experienced designer who constructs architectural visions of future cities in film. Other participants include Nadia Amoroso (DataAppeal), Eric Brockmeyer (Disney), Loretta Faveri (Sonic Wear), Karl Martin (Bionym), Heidi Overhill, and more.

“This year’s Digifest is bigger and better than ever,” says Ferrara. “Never before has George Brown College, Toronto, or even Canada seen so many high-calibre innovators converge to share ideas and expand our minds.”

On Saturday May 10th, Digifest has partnered with Intel to create Intel Family Day, a free-to-the-public full day of exhibitions, play spaces and workshops. Intel Family Day celebrates the power to create, innovate and realize ideas. The day welcomes everyone from preschool to adults to take in exhibits and demonstrations by artists, and learn from inventors and makers of many cool things. Featuring technology from around the world, visitors will have the opportunity to experience and interact with wearable technology devices, robots and creative performances, and participate in Arduinofest, a show and tell of the most innovative projects featuring Arduino microcontrollers. Intel Family Day also includes a student showcase of innovative digital projects from across Canada and beyond, and the “IT’S A START” entrepreneur competition that sees 20 finalists battle it out in a pitch contest finale for a chance to win more than $20,000 in cash and prizes.

Please visit www.torontodigifest.ca for the complete festival schedule and to register.