Research, innovation, scholarship and entrepreneurship celebrated April 6 to 9
March 30, 2021

Georgian researchers, innovators, scholars and entrepreneurs will explore the impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on all facets of society at the 5th annual RISE event from April 6 to 9.

The overarching theme for RISE 2021 is Rise Today for Tomorrow.  Live speaker sessions, held virtually, will feature topics that focus on the now like coping with lockdown, mental health, wellness, motivation, and stories from frontline health-care workers. They will also include topics that focus on the future, such as tools and strategies to move forward, resiliency, plus learning and change. The diverse lineup of speakers will acknowledge the challenges and stress the pandemic has brought to our schools, communities and countries around the world, as well as infuse a sense of hope for what’s ahead.


“RISE 2021 is more than an online conference,” says Dr. Mira Ray, Director of Research and Innovation at Georgian College. “There are some exciting activities that will enhance the attendee experience including a toolkit box full of unique swag for the first 400 RISE registrants, and a gamification element where you can participate in a code word scavenger hunt to win the grand prize.”


Dr. Ray adds that the virtual format has opened all sorts of new opportunities to share work by students, faculty and staff, and applied research projects done in collaboration with industry and community partners. “Our research and innovation department is proud to sponsor the first annual Innov8 Awards to recognize excellence in research, innovation and changemaking ideas happening across the college,” says Dr. Ray. “It’s a chance for current students and alumni to show off their projects to people outside their class or program. They should be proud of the work they’ve done and are excited to share it with everyone.”

What you can expect

  • see how students are changing the world
  • connect with inspiring guest speakers
  • explore the 3D Click and Shop Marketplace
  • participate in engaging workshops
  • view Innov8 Award presentations submitted by students and/or student teams
  • be part of creativity and collaboration without borders
  • and more
A young male with dark hair and glasses working on a machine

Three events in one!

This year, attendees have the chance to experience other signature Georgian events typically held separately from RISE.

The Manufacturing Innovation Summit, sponsored by the Business Development Bank of Canada, will take place on the first day of RISE 2021. Participants can join forward-thinking manufacturing leaders to share ideas and take away practical insights to harness the power of innovation.

Georgian’s annual Big Data Insights Conference is also part of RISE 2021. The student-led event showcases coursework and research being done in the Big Data Analytics graduate certificate program. Participants can attend informative sessions geared toward the theme of Ransomware: With Big Data Come Big Responsibilities.

Keynote speaker every day

There will be a different keynote speaker each day of the conference:

  • April 6: Dr. Angela Aujla, Professor, Georgian College – Equity, Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace
  • April 7: Dr. Jim Stanford, Economist and Director of the Centre for Future Work in Australia – The Unequal Pandemic: Why COVID-19’s Effects on Work Were so Unfair, and How to Repair the Damage
  • April 8: Dr. Jose Ortiz, OBGYN and epidemiologist from Guatemala, will be joined by Jennifer Kluszczynski, Manager of the ICU at Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in Barrie, to share their COVID-19 experiences from opposite sides of the world
  • April 9: Leah Zaidi, an award-winning futurist and founder of Multiverse Design – a foresight consultancy based in Toronto, will provide resources and tools on How to Think Like a Futurist

The public is welcome to attend this free event. The full schedule and information on how you can register is on the RISE 2021 website.