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OPEN MINDS: Doing good in the digital world

Tuesday, June 28th at 7:30pm 10 months ago
Toronto Music Garden 479 Queens Quay West, Toronto, ON
Global forces affect us all – join us for an outdoor dialogue between German & Canadian thinkers & makers to explore how arts, culture and nature can help us adapt to a world in flux.

Amid increasing challenges to societal resilience in the face of global mega-trends, the Goethe-Institut Toronto is hosting a summer conversation series held at Yo-Yo Ma’s Toronto Music Garden at Harbourfront Centre on three summer evenings.

The second conversation in this series features Stephen Kovats, the 2012 founding director of Berlin’s r0g_agency for open culture and critical transformation, a transnational non-profit organisation that helps create open systems solutions for sustainable, innovative and hybrid forms of development in post-conflict and rapid transformation regions. They have worked on the establishment of the new state of South Sudan and launched the CELLSKID youth, technology and bio arts initiative in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

Complementing Stephen’s presentation is Ilana Ben-Ari, founder of Toronto-based Twenty One Toys, a company that makes toys that teach empathy. Ilana will speak about socially innovative design as a pathway to helping children and adults become more open and collaborative in the face of 21st-century challenges. Their joint topic is “We or I? Doing good in a digital World."

Stephen Kovats is a Berlin-based Canadian media researcher and former artistic director of transmediale, Berlin's festival for art and digital culture. In 2011, he initiated the McLuhan in Europe Centennial Network. Previously he curated the international program at V2_Institute for the Unstable Media, Rotterdam, helped lead the development of a new urban Master Plan for the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, and was director of the 'ostranenie' electronic media art forum at the Bauhaus Dessau. His interests are focused on open forms of digital collaboration, exploring the dynamic relationships between technological, political, and urban space and their application on the transformation of societal and cultural landscapes. His recent report on Open Systems Solution for Peace and Development formed a thematic session at the first UNESCO WSIS+10 Review.

Ilana Ben-Ari grew up in Winnipeg and studied design at Carleton University in Ottawa. With her company Twenty-One Toys she is revolutionizing the way toys educate both children and adults. She has invented both the Empathy Toy and the upcoming Failure Toy. Ilana is also a curator for the website Education Revolution and has presented at the TEDxConcordia conference.
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