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Article and Seminar Topics

Compliments of Direct Leap Technologies, Inc.

Simon Rowland, Founder and CEO of Direct Leap Technologies, has lectured internationally on a variety of topics. He is available to speak about communication tools for non-profits and advocacy organizations, entrepreneurship, technology commercialization, and innovation management.

He has presented to Federal Government policy bodies, debated politics for live broadcast audiences, and lectured as a motivational speaker to assembled groups of high school students. For bookings, please contact us.

Here is a sample of his public speaking background with some recent engagements.

Technology and Innovation

  • Calls for Change Conference. Led a workshop and 'unconference' afternoon seminar on applying open-source telecommunications tools to the nonprofit sector. Direct Leap was the main sponsor of the Calls for Change miniconference. We covered a wide breadth of tools, from traditional membership communication, Get Out The Vote, and call centers, to more recent tools and technologies such as Web 2.0 applications, VoIP, polling, and SMS.
  • 2007 Nonprofit Software Development Summit. Demonstrated some new tools developed and field-tested during the 2004 and 2006 Canadian Federal Elections, and discussed creative ways to do polling, volunteer coordination, community outreach, event organizing, and grassroots political education using VoIP, Click-to-Call, SMS, Web/Mobile convergence, and open source technology.
  • Project Management Institute. Lectured on Agile Project Management methodologies including SCRUM and Extreme Programming at the Peterborough chapter of the Project Management Institute. Other topics considered include distributed development teams, rapid iteratiation lifecycle projects, and outsourcing software development.
  • Traveller Information Summit. Lectured on the strategic possibilities of open-source technologies to provide on-demand route planning information, to encourage use of mass transit. Answered questions from the leadership of Via Rail, GO Transit, TTC, York Transit and other selected agencies from around the world.

Policy Development

  • Industry Canada. Invited as a technology entrepreneur for a process which developed recommendations for a national policy to support innovation in Canada.
  • Event Organizing. Organized in whole or part a variety of conferences and summits for professional and political audiences. At these events, chaired many policy development working groups and workshops.
  • Federal Politics. Spoken at a variety of venues concerning policy change and strategic direction, including forums on Platform Development and Post-Election Results Analysis.

Aerospace

  • Canadian Space Agency. Participated or presented submissions at three Canadian Space Exploration Workshops events, sometimes on behalf of TransOrbital, Inc. or as a duty on the Board of Directors of the Canadian Space Society. The 2001 CSEW was charged with setting some $100 M in scientific spending priorities for the Canadian Mars exploration program.
  • Broadcast. Interviewed on CBC Radio One to discuss TransOrbital, Inc, as one of the original founders, concerning their recent successful launch of a test vehicle into orbit.
  • Scientific Panel. Served on a scientific panel at a popular science convention following the discovery of frozen water on the Moon.
  • Public Education. Hosted frequent public seminars to promote the Moon Society, an international research and educational foundation, at industry associations, conferences and conventions.
  • Documentaries. Occasionally interviewed as an expert source for television documentaries. X-Files fans might be interested that Gillian Anderson was the host of Future Fantastic, a 1995 multi-part television documentary which aired on BBC-1 after a three hour interview.
  • Original Research. Presented in-depth engineering design study for an innovative cislunar transportation system to industry associations and at major international engineering conferences including the International Space Development Conference in Michigan and the Lunar Development Conference in Nevada.

Social Issues

  • Radio Debates. One year, did seven hours of live broadcast radio debates on political policies and issues, including discussions with the Executive Directors of the Canadian Taxpayer's Federation and the Frasier Institute.
  • All Candidates Meetings. While campaigning for Federal Parliament in his 2000 Election Campaign, Rowland lectured on and debated policies at televised All Candidate's Meetings, on broadcast media, and through print media. One memorable moment with an incumbent Member of Parliament led to cheers from a crowd of several hundred, and ensuing coverage including in the National Post led the incumbent to stage a media release attempting to clarify his statements during the exchange.
  • Television Panel. A live interview on TalkTV constituted an episode on "hactivism" and emerging Internet activism issues. This interview was followed by a televised panel discussion with Judy Rebick and others on the effect of electronic communications on activism and political organizing.
  • Grassroots Political Forums. Occassionally serves as a featured speaker for panel discussions and lecture series hosted by political and civil society groups. Lecture topics have included post-election analysis and innovative strategies for achieving incremental change.
  • Print Coverage. Provides quoted commentary on a variety of business, technology and political issues in newspapers, magazines and for broadcast media across North America. Provided detailed interviews for pieces with a biographical focus in the National Post, the Toronto Star, and in community newspapers.

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