I had the great pleasure of participating at C2 Montreal (C2MTL) conference, which took place at the Grandé Studios this year! Stradigi AI invited me to attend the three-day conference-event!
In this article, I’m going to explain what C2 Montreal is, why it’s a very different conference from all the others, this year’s theme and a little more information about Stradigi AI and their unique AI platform, Kepler that they announced during the event!
What is C2 Montreal?
C2 is a conference focused more on the business and creativity side of things instead of the technology I’m used to. However, artificial intelligence was an integral part of virtually all conferences! The event is creativity focused but is not afraid to showcase revolutionary themes and talks to advance important causes and push the boundaries, for example, environment and global warming, diversity and inclusion…
2019 theme: Tomorrow
Each year, C2 Montreal takes place under a particular theme, this year’s theme was “Tomorrow”. The description mentions: “After years of talking – climate change, corporate diversity, new business models, the bar that we are always placing on a personal and professional level – the time has come to act.”
I find this theme very striking and relevant. What initiatives can we do today to counter climate change and improve the diversity of our teams? Moreover, Jamie Margolin made a speech in the agora, very poignant, in front of thousands of people, to ask us all to change our habits today.
C2 Montreal is a conference like no others
C2MTL is totally different from other conferences due to its elegant blending of creativity with business. It is even possible to use the word “festival” in order to describe the event! The main goal when attending this kind of event is to network. Labs are organized to facilitate this: doing a team-related activity in the dark, participating in the barometer, workshops and more.
There are also one-and-a-half-hour workshops where the goal is to work in a team of 6 people to brainstorm on a particular topic. In reality, this is an opportunity to get to know the people around the table with us since we will spend more than an hour together to discuss and exchange new ideas!
Pictures by: Arianne Bergeron, Myriam Baril Tessier, and Jimmy Hamelin
Diversity of speakers
At C2 Montreal, 50% of the speakers are male with the other 50% composed of female speakers. Parity is important to them when they organize the event. While attending the conference, it’s was very nice as a minority in tech to see all these people from different horizons come on stage!
We are seeing this at Startupfest too, and I hope more conferences will follow this model as it demonstrates a real effort towards diversity and it’s enjoyable as a participant, it makes a difference.
My favorite conferences and activities
Barometer “Data VS Privacy” and “IA + Creativity”
The barometer was my favorite activity, especially for the “Data VS Privacy” theme. We had to choose an answer from the multiple choices that were posted on the projector, and we had to move around to choose the color representing our answer that was projected on the floor! Then would talk to the people around us and justify our response. For example, we had to answer such questions as: “should we regulate social networks” or “how often do you change your passwords”… This had sparked some interesting conversations!
Workshop “Breaking the code: How to empower women in tech”
I really loved the workshop organized by the company Talsom. The company seemed to have spent many hours and resources in order to prepare this beautiful workshop! They created a short video to tell the story of the two girls, and their journey from their childhoods to professional careers.. One of which has a career in technology as a developer, while the other was more marketing oriented.
During the workshop, as a team, we had to:
- Identify the obstacles faced by the two girls which could have prevented them from going into technology
- Suggest ideas for concrete actions that could be taken in order to address the difficulties they have faced
- Choose one great idea to develop in more detail
- Rewrite the story of the two heroines as if they had been able to take advantage of the proposed idea
So it was very original, and I really enjoyed the exercise. The final idea that my team proposed was to offer leadership courses to girls in primary school. It would teach them how to be a good leader and to speak with confidence. To do so, we could teach them about inspiring women who have made history to make sure they have role models to relate to.
Live chat with David St-Jacques
Wow! We had a very special moment with astronaut David St-Jacques live from space! It was a very extraordinary moment. I never thought I could interact live with an astronaut in space.
Tips for attending C2 Montreal
I was attending the conference for the first time. I must say that I learned some lessons by making some mistakes that I will try not to reproduce in the next years if I still have the chance to attend this beautiful event!
- Immediately register to the sessions as soon as the registrations are open. Stop everything and do it so you do not miss a conference you really care about!
- Try to plan some brain dates in advance. It is the perfect way to brainstorm about problems that can be encountered & hold interesting meetings at the same time!
- Take an extra battery to charge your cell. This year, there was no outlet on the site! (Ok, there might have been 9 charging stations for your cell phone, and you know from thousands of participants that they were never available)
Who is Stradigi AI?
Stradigi AI is a company from Montreal that was founded in 2005, with one of the country’s largest applied research labs, located in their Montreal head office. Stradigi AI transforms enterprise businesses through cutting-edge artificial intelligence solutions. They are part of the #AIForGood movement of the United Nations that aims to develop AI that aims to solve global problems like sustainable development.
The company made two big announcements during C2 Montreal: the launch of their Kepler platform, and the announcement of will.i.am to their team.
Launch of Kepler
During the event, Stradigi AI launched its AI platform named Kepler. It consists of six AI expertise modules: recommendation, prediction, anomaly detection, image & video understandings, natural language processing, and strategic decision making. Kepler is a bit like an AI drag and drop, offering a unique pipeline to take input data and deliver a customized output to customers.
Announcement of will.i.am as Artificial Intelligence Advisor for Ethics and Bias
Do you know will.i.am? He is the co-founder and lead singer of The Black Eyed Peas! Most people know him for his songs, but since at least 2011 he has been involved in the tech industry, in a variety of ways.
will.i.am was the director of creative innovation at Intel. He also worked on the development of a lens to take better pictures with a cellphone and bought various technology startups, etc. Additionally, he founded an artificial intelligence company named i.am+.
These experiences lead him to meet Stradigi AI and begin a partnership journey where he became an investor, partner and today to be named as an AI Advisor on bias and ethics at Stradigi AI!
I spent three great days at C2 Montreal. While in 2018 I walked in front of the site of the event and dreamt that I could participate, I am very happy to have been granted my wish this year! It was not disappointing. Don’t miss C2 Montreal if you want to meet inspiring people and network.