FWD50 2020: COVID Response

Published On Oct 5, 2020

FWD50 is a global digital government gathering held annually in Ottawa, Canada. Each year, technologists, executives, and industry come together for a week of content and discussion, focused on steering progress and innovation towards our better selves.

We’re covering a myriad of topics in 2020, and featuring some key speakers for each topic.

This year, one of our focuses will be around the COVID Response.

The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic was an accelerant for technology adoption. Necessity is the mother of invention, and we invented plenty.  As Churchill said, one should not waste a good crisis. As governments around the globe scrambled to support their economies and implement at-scale public health, digital approaches that had been considered impossible were now on the table.

The trick now is to make sure the good things stick—from a tolerance for risk, to working across departments, to a sense of urgency and user-centric service delivery.


Relevant speakers

DJ Patil worked in US national security and was Chief Scientist, CSO and head of analytics at LinkedIn, whose team coined the term “Data Scientist.” He’s recently taken an unpaid hiatus from his work at Devoted Health to steer the US COVID response, dramatically streamlining response and processing times across much of the country.

Kelly Jin is the Chief Analytics Officer and Director for the Mayor’s Office of Data Analytics in the City of New York, one of the early hotspots for COVID spread in the US.

Paul Glover is the president of Shared Services Canada, and will be speaking about how pandemic response, at home and abroad, has changed technology adoption.

Pia Andrews was a leader in Canada’s Emergency Relief benefits platform, which was rolled out at an unprecedented pace to help Canadians with lockdown.

Understanding health patterns is key to tackling chronic health issues, stopping the spread of disease, and even managing healthcare systems at scale. Amanda Makulec builds visualization products for Federal, non-profit, and private sector clients following nearly a decade working on public health programs in a dozen countries.