Students showcase Innovation at Polytechnics Canada
November 23rd, 2014

15792065146_5ce1fbcb02_mEarlier this month I had the pleasure to attend the 2014 Student Applied Research Showcase, presented by Polytechnics Canada and hosted by BCIT in Vancouver.

When we think about research in science, technology, and engineering, we typically don’t think of Canadian Colleges to play a very active and relevant role. Nothing seems to be further from the truth: in the 2013/2014 school year, 11,927 students at the Polytechnics Canada college members undertook 1,789 applied research projects. Some 1,643 faculty/staff participated in the applied research, helping develop 946 prototypes among other commercial ventures. Read More

The Future of Buildings
November 18th, 2014
as Published in EuroProperty on November 3rd, 2014 under title: “‘Living’ Buildings are Property’s Future”
living buildingsWorkforce globalization, environmental responsibility, and a growing and aging worldwide population are prominent trends that are shaping our future. Today, companies are grappling to address them within their respective industries. Ironically, in their searches, they are all happening upon a common and compelling solution: the Internet of Things. IoT signifies the network of physical objects that are connected to the Internet and that consequently have the ability to share information (ie. data) not only with humans, but also with one another. The number of things waking up is increasing Read More
The Internet of Everything for Everyone
November 8th, 2014
Two significant events took place in Toronto in the last week of October: SmartWeek 2014 and the Toronto Global Forum.
SmartWeek 2014 was the inaugural Canadian version of what is becoming a global phenomenon where industry, government, academia, entrepreneurs and exciting startups convene to build on the great opportunities that the Digital Age is providing us with a focus on exploring new economic opportunities and growth. The SmartWeek was titled “Innovating the Future of the Internet of Things” and was hosted by University of Toronto and held from October 21 – 26.
The Toronto Global Forum is the Toronto Read More
To be or not to be (ubered)…that’s the question.
October 5th, 2014
taxi“To be or not to be…”, says Prince Hamlet as he considers death and suicide. He laments the pains and unfairness of life but recognizes that the alternative might be still worse. “In the animal kingdom, the rule is, eat or be eaten; in the human kingdom, define or be defined”, suggests American Psychologist Thomas Szasz. This is what the taxi industry today must be thinking. Or is it already too late for them? Has the ‘alternative to the unfairness of life’ (thus the end of an industry) already become a reality?
Cisco + Schneider: Connecting Intelligent Systems for a Smarter World
September 20th, 2014
Schneider Electric and Cisco in Canada signed a collaboration agreement earlier in 2014. We celebrated our partnership at Earth Rangers Center – a live sustainable showcase of both our latest technologies. (see:  “Announcing our Canadian Partnership with Schneider Electric” blog).
Since then, Schneider and Cisco have been working actively on numerous projects together in the energy and industrial marketplace as well as in construction. We come historically from very different worlds and our paths did rarely cross. Schneider sells to operations (OT, operation technologies) and it often involves complex large environmental systems (naturally, they do a lot more than that, please check out  Schneider Canada website). Cisco sells to IT (information technology) and if often involves networks and collaboration technologies (of course, we do a lot more than that, please check out  Cisco Canada website). Read More
Bringing education to rural Canada with “Remote Training Centers”
August 29th, 2014
The success of a country depends on the innovation and productivity achieved in –and generated by– its communities. Communities are the heart of every nation and the people in these communities are the fuel for economic growth and prosperity. Thus, it is easy to recognize that education is a cornerstone of every economy. In a world that is changing rapidly with every passing year (economic shifts, political instability, urbanization, etc.), educational institutions are constantly challenged to stay current and ahead.

Add to this the digital revolution that is affecting all aspects of life and is triggering consequent shifts in the labor markets and goods-based to knowledge and services-based economies. “The skills we need to thrive in the 21st century are changing” – Council of Ministers of Education, Canada.
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Council of Canadian Academies Report Stresses Importance of a Connected Canada
July 8th, 2014

Last week the Council of Canadian Academies issued a new expert panel report, Enabling Sustainability in an Interconnected World. The report features some excellent and fascinating insight into Canada and its relationship with information and communication technologies (ICTs), with a strong emphasis on how this will impact the country’s sustainable future.

In short, the report outlines the many opportunities that ICTs offer with regards to achieving Read More

Smart Communities
June 21st, 2014
Hundreds of Smart Communities, and 1,000s of Smart municipal leaders from across the country, embarked on Niagara Falls in the weekend of June 1st. During a jam-packed 5 day event, the Federation of Canadian Municipalities hosted its Annual General Meeting and Tradeshow. Highlight was the installation of Mayor Brad Woodside from Fredericton as the President of the Federation, during the Sunday General Meeting.
In between the prominent speakers from Federal and Provincial governments, including Federal PM hopeful (2015) Justin Trudeau, the FCM Read More
Internet of Things for Buildings (or BIoT)
June 18th, 2014

Almost nine years ago, I joined Cisco in its corporate real estate department. The team I joined was tasked to look at innovative ways to reduce the need and improve the utilization of slightly less than 20 million sq.ft of corporate real estate. I’d like to believe that this is where the Cisco Smart + Connected Real Estate practice was born. Now, almost nine years later and after several departmental and international job-role changes, I am still close to the transformation of the real estate industry.

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My George Brown College 2014 Convocation Speech.
June 13th, 2014

Keynote Address Friday June 13
Dr. Rick Huijbregts 10:30am

President Ann Sado L) and Chancellor Sally Horsfall Eaton R)

President Anne Sado (L) and Chancellor Sally Horsfall Eaton (R)

Madame Chancellor, Madame President, Members of the Platform Party, Graduates, George Brown Faculty and Staff, Ladies and Gentlemen.

I want to extend my heartfelt congratulations to all of you today who are marking the end of an important chapter in your lives.

I was honored when Nancy asked me to address you today. Convocation speeches are given by people who have amazing careers so they can share with you their lessons learned, and give you advice on your path forward. At the risk of disappointing your family, I have to admit that I am not that.

But I do have three thoughts for you today.

Let me start with a quote as I share with you the first of my three thoughts: and that is FUTURE. The quote is from Gandhi: “The Future depends on what you do today”.

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