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Innovators from Los Angeles, Vienna, Toronto, Calgary, Milwaukee to speak at April 12-13 event

mesh conference attracts global innovators from Canada, U.S. and Europe

mesh conference
mesh conference
mesh conference

It takes a village to drive large-scale innovation, and a month from now that village meets at the Platform Innovation Centre in Calgary.

Today the mesh conference unveiled its next round of speakers who will join the highly curated list of people who will share insight, learning, and digital transformation takeaways at the April 12-13 event.

“We aim to create the conditions for innovation to flourish, and we think those conditions require a meshing of people from diverse backgrounds and industries who come together to share the latest trends, challenges, and opportunities for the benefit of everyone,” says Chris Hogg, partner and co-producer of mesh, and president of content marketing firm DJG. “It’s about creating a space where people can connect and learn from each other, and where new ideas can be generated and tested.” 

With a focus on four threads — business, media and technology, society, and marketing — the mesh conference will host Canadian digital transformation leaders who will meet to connect, share, and inspire others to think about changing the way we think, organize, operate and behave.

Joining the all-star lineup of speakers announced last week, mesh today shared details of its society and marketing keynotes, and a host of featured speakers across all mesh threads.

Exploring neurodiversity and creativity

Mark Fairbanks
Mark Fairbanks

Mark Fairbanks joins mesh to explore opportunities in technology design to create inclusion. His keynote will focus on learning experiences and neurodivergent creativity. 

Mark is the co-founder and Executive Director of Milwaukee-based Islands of Brilliance, a creative program for autistic individuals that pioneers the use of art, creativity, and creative technologies to spark self-confidence, encourage independence, and build pathways to employment.

At mesh, Mark will share insight on neurodiversity and creativity, and how the combination of design process and lean methodology can be applied to create meaningful, measurable, and sustainable social impact.

Islands of Brilliance was started in 2012 by Mark and his wife Margaret who have guided the organization through constant evolution and growth, and today the organization has students from around the United States enrolled in all three layers of programming access.

The inspiration for the program originates with his youngest son Harry, who was diagnosed on the autism spectrum just before the age of three. 

The organization is now the subject of a research study being conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Michigan State University funded by the National Endowment for the Arts.

Prior to Islands of Brilliance, a 27-year career in advertising, design, and digital saw Mark working for notable creative boutiques in Milwaukee, Minneapolis, and Chicago. During this period his work appeared in The One Show, Communication Arts, Graphis, and The Obies, while also receiving acclaim in Adweek, Creativity and The New York Times.

He was a member of the Creative Alliance, a cohort of notable agency creatives and agencies working on social impact initiatives during the final two years of the Obama Administration. 

Mark also currently serves as the Entrepreneur in Residence for Social Innovation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s Lubar Entrepreneurship Center, devoting time to working with undergraduate students on design methodologies, business model canvas, and thinking through prototypes of their ideas focused on social impact.

Creating immersive experiences for marketing and sales success

Andreas Fraunberger
Andreas Fraunberger

Dr. Andreas Fraunberger joins mesh to discuss the immersive storytelling through virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), immersive video, and WebXR content.

As the Managing Director and XR Producer of Vienna-based creative studio, Junge Römer, Andreas will share insight on using VR and AR to transform stories into places people can visit, events they can influence, and experiences they can live through.

Andreas and his team have worked on mixed reality projects for HILTI, Red Bull, REWE, ORF, ARTE, ProsiebenSat.1 TV Germany, Austrian Tourism Board, Advertising Board of Tyrol, Wiener Staatsoper and more.

In addition, Andreas is a lecturer for animation and development at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna where he teaches about the theory of perception.

Andreas got his PhD from the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna where he focused on time-based media and psychoanalysis.

Featured speakers

In addition to the keynote announcements, mesh also shared details about featured speakers who will join this year’s Calgary event, April 12-13:

Colleen Pound
Colleen Pound

Colleen Pound is a corporate strategist, community builder, and disruptor who lives at the intersection of connection and commerce.

As a member of mesh’s host advisory committee, she is passionate about bringing the best minds together to transform our future and have some fun along the way.

Mathew Ingram
Mathew Ingram

Mathew Ingram, Chief digital writer, Columbia Journalism Review

Mathew Ingram is Columbia Journalism Review’s chief digital writer. Previously, he was a senior writer with Fortune magazine. He has written about the intersection between media and technology since the earliest days of the commercial internet. His writing has been published in the Washington Post and the Financial Times as well as by Reuters and Bloomberg.

Mathew is a mesh OG and one of the event’s founders.

Tyler Chisholm
Tyler Chisholm

Tyler Chisholm, co-founder and CEO of clearmotive marketing, podcast host of Collisions YYC.

It’s been said by many colleagues and friends that Tyler Chisholm‘s superpower is being “endlessly curious,” which has served him in many ways, from growing up on the farm to his passion for marketing.

Tyler is the co-founder and CEO of clearmotive marketing, a full-service agency focused on helping brands that operate in fast-paced, competitive industries execute their marketing campaigns more effectively with a deep focus on business results.

Tyler is also the host of two podcasts: They Just Get It and Collisions YYC.

They Just Get It features interviews with people who have taken interesting and unique paths through life, often outside of what is considered “normal”, highlighting the importance and rewards of following your dreams.

In-depth knowledge about Alberta’s economy and growing business opportunities is what you’ll get from Collisions YYC. Each episode goes beyond the headlines to provide listeners with valuable insights that might just inspire their next big idea.

Tyler is a passionate philanthropist and founder of Red Express, a project designed to put toys in the hands of children in need each holiday season.

Charles Buchanan
Charles Buchanan

Charles Buchanan, Founder and CEO of Technology Helps.

As an innovator and visionary, Charles has a distinguished history in corporate technology leadership (including Suncor Energy, Deloitte, Oracle, MNP, and Royal LePage), management consulting, and entrepreneurship. 

Charles has founded and worked with numerous technology companies in diverse areas such as online gaming, fintech, environmental protection, and more. He continues to be an authority in the tech space and has provided expert advice and implemented large-scale technology solutions for enterprise clients.

Charles is a passionate contributor to the community and has served on various non-profit boards for the past 20 years, including his role as Board Chair at Centre for Newcomers. He currently serves on several boards: Calgary Black Chambers (co-founder); The Common Approach to Impact Measurement; Momentum (finance committee); Black Business and Professional Association. He also serves on the grant committee at Calgary Foundation and an entrepreneur mentor at Venture Mentors Service of Alberta (VMSA). Charles is a founder and advisory board member of UpRising Academy helping talented at-risk youth in Jamaica in STEM and sports.

He holds an MBA from the Smith School of Business at Queen’s University and a B.Sc. (Hons) in electrical and computer engineering. When recharging, Charles can be found on the golf course or hiking in the beautiful mountains near his home in Calgary and spending meaningful time with his family.

Alison Pidskalny
Alison Pidskalny

Alison Pidskalny, Strategic Advisor, Pixelated Ventures

Alison is a trusted ally to founders, CEOs and Boards having spent her career equally in the corporate and non-profit sectors.

She is described as a “Swiss army knife” bringing a vast toolkit to organizations looking to grow, shift strategy or engage more authentically with community.

As a strategic advisor Alison builds Community-Informed Strategic Plans that (re)invigorate and focus her clients on bold directions.

As a born/raised Albertan, she leverages her vast network, angel investments and philanthropy as a Financial Feminist and an avid campaigner for community infrastructure that promotes connectedness and inclusion.

Alison sits on the Board of Movement51 and the Board of the Indigenous Gathering Place Society of Calgary, and is a member of the Dean’s Advisory Circle for the Faculty of Science at the University of Calgary.

Chris Wolfenberg
Chris Wolfenberg

Chris Wolfenberg, Partner, Corporate Group, Dentons

Chris is a leading business lawyer in Calgary focused on public and private corporate and securities transactions in the technology, mining and energy sectors.

Chris is known for building strong, long-lasting relationships with clients at every level. He also acts as Director and Officer of a number of public, private and not-for-profit entities. Chris has been recognized as Canadian Lawyer of the Year for Mining Law, and has also been recognized for his Venture Capital and Securities practice. He has received national recognition for his community contributions.

Scott King
Scott King

Scott King has 20 years experience bringing emerging technology to digital marketing.

He specializes in brands with grudge purchase products — products you have to buy, but don’t necessarily want to buy — like household cleaners (Clorox, Pine-Sol, Liquid Plumr) or banking & insurance (Brokerlink, Citi, USAA).

More speakers and sessions will be announced shortly on the mesh conference agenda and tickets are on-sale now at the mesh conference ticket page. Early-bird tickets are on sale now for $679 until March 17 and a small batch of student tickets are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

The mesh conference
Written By

mesh is Canada's digital transformation event experience. Taking place in Calgary and Toronto, mesh aims to create a digital transformation network and event experience that helps organizations and leaders determine what to do, how to do it, and how to be successful. Learn more at

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