September 28, 2020

Phil Andrews2BY AARON CRECES

Professors and students in the information technology innovation and design program at Conestoga College invited others to get innovative during a talk hosted by the program.
Called “Global, Social, Mobile,” the presentation featured four talks having to do with creative social and business ventures using current mobile technologies.

The event kicked off with an introduction by IT innovation and design students and Randall Kozak, computer sciences professor at Conestoga College. Kozak said mobile apps have absolutely exploded in recent years, creating a slew of new social and business applications to explore.

“Once mobile apps came around it became easier for people to develop smaller IT apps. Suddenly you have smaller companies and a greater need for entrepreneurship in the IT field.”
Kozak then introduced the speaker lineup, which consisted of Phil Andrews, managing editor of the Guelph Mercury, Ray Brunsting of the Tula Foundation, Collaboration Architect Howard Lenos, as well as Andreas Kyriacou and Andrew McGivery of the Systems Integration and Innovation Department at Conestoga.

The first speaker to take the stage was Andrews, who discussed the impact of the globalization of news on outlets such as the Guelph Mercury. Andrews was determined to convince his audience that news outlets are not dead or dying, just expanding.

“We’re going from a medium that is entirely dependent on circulation, to a totally digital medium that just requires a few shares to get seen,” Andrews said.

“We hear about fewer newspapers, but our readership is still going strong. One in two homes in Guelph has read the Mercury in some way, online or print.”

Andrews encouraged his counterparts in the news business to go online and mobile in addition to print, as it is starting to look like the smart thing to do.

“People who are calling themselves smart newspaper companies should call themselves smart media companies and expand their horizons,” the editor said.

Next up was Ray Brunsting, who works alongside the TULA Foundation to improve health-care using mobile technology. TULA is a Canadian, family-owned organization that is active in equity and health-care initiatives in both Canada and Guatemala.

Brunsting said he and a team have developed a mobile app that tracks pregnancies, making it easier for Guatemalans to get health-care workers out to women with impending deliveries, the goal being to save moms and kids.

“The app is tracking hundreds of pregnancies all over the country,” Brunsting said. “If you’re pregnant and miles from health services, which so many Guatemalan women are, people with some training who have been given a phone and the app can find out and assist you with delivery, or getting to the nearest hospital.”

Following Burnsting, Howard Lenos regaled the group with his presentation dubbed, “Design Principles and Innovative Technology for Accelerating Collaboration in Knowledge-Based Industries.”
Lenos was then followed by Andreas Kyriacou and Andrew McGivery, who discussed innovation service delivery at Conestoga.

The presentation closed with some last remarks from IT students and Randall Kozak.

For more information on the Information Technology Innovation and Design program at Conestoga, visit www.conestogac.on.ca.

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