Waterloo, May 24, 2018- True North is set to take over Waterloo Region May 29 – 31st. The conference will be held at Lot 42, while the public festival will feature events throughout the region, bringing together conference attendees and the broader community.


The inaugural True North conference will bring together tech companies, startups, policy makers, academia and community groups to have important, and sometimes difficult, conversations about AI, diversity, fake news and other issues at the intersection of society and technology.


Featured conference speakers


The conference features over 30 speakers, along with thematic panels, break-out sessions and community consultations. Some of the featured speakers include:


  • Ed Catmull, cofounder and President of Pixar Animation Studios, and Uber’s Chief Brand Officer, Bozoma Saint John will explore concepts of creativity and branding in building today’s fast-paced, technology-driven businesses.


  • Oscar award-winning producer and director, Spike Jonze (Her), and Emmy Award-winning writer, Charlie Brooker (Black Mirror) join MIT Media Lab’s Kate Darling for the “Stranger than Fiction” panel, discussing the future of entertainment and technology.


  • Rana el Kaliouby, CEO and founder of Affectiva, will provide a live demo of emotion AI and how people and technology interact. Siyabulela Xuza, award-winning rocket scientist and founder of Galactic Energy Ventures will address the planet’s energy needs.


  • Catherine Bracy, co-founder and Executive Director of TechEquity will speak on how to engage the community in building an equitable tech sector, and Sarah Lacy, CEO and Editor in Chief of PandoMedia will talk about detoxing the “bro economy.”


Featured #TNDTK festival events


Another important feature of True North is the public festival, with free public events taking place across the community, including:

  • The Why Waterloo Tour runs Tuesday, May 29 from 5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m., showcasing the community with stops at the Canadian Clay and Glass Museum, Vidyard, Catalyst 137, the Kitchener Public Library, Shopify and the Perimeter Institute.


  • The Beaches will perform a free outdoor concert at Carl Zehr Square in downtown Kitchener Wednesday, May 30 7:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m., hosted by Communitech and the City of Kitchener.


  • Dream, Girl,” a documentary about female entrepreneurs, is screening at the Apollo Theatre Wednesday, May 30 at 4:30 p.m., followed by a panel of discussion with Communitech Fierce Founders participants.



For more speakers and conference and festival schedules please visit www.truenorthwaterloo.com.


For media inquiries, please contact:


Samantha Clark

Public Relations Manager, Communitech




About Communitech


Communitech was founded in 1997 by a group of entrepreneurs committed to making Waterloo Region a global innovation leader. At the time it was crazy talk, but somehow this community managed to pull it off. Today, Communitech is a public-private innovation hub that supports a community of more than 1400 companies — from startups to scale-ups to large global players.


Communitech is a member of the Ontario Network of Entrepreneurs and helps tech companies start, grow and succeed in three distinct ways.


  • Communitech is a place – the center of gravity for entrepreneurs and innovators. A clubhouse for building cool tech and great companies.
  • Communitech delivers programs – helping companies at all stages with access to capital, customers and talent. We are here to help them grow and innovate.
  • Communitech partners in building a world-leading ecosystem – making sure we have all the ingredients (and the brand) to go from a small startup to a global giant.