About our Digital District

About our Digital District

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Digital media dynamo Catherine Warren tapped to spearhead growth for Vancouver’s Digital District

The Centre for Digital Media’s Great Northern Way Trust has appointed veteran digital media entrepreneur and executive Catherine Warren to take on the role of president. Warren will guide the strategic growth of a vibrant campus community of creators, innovators and educators, overseeing GNW Trust’s groundbreaking joint venture between the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, Emily Carr University of Art + Design and the British Columbia Institute of Technology.

Reporting to and serving on the Great Northern Way Trust board, Warren will provide overall leadership for GNW Trust, including its four key business areas: the Centre for Digital Media, real estate development, property management and the endowment fund.

“Catherine brings a valuable blend of digital media entrepreneurship, business development acumen, as well as the academic values to lead the GNW Trust and the Centre for Digital Media district into the future,” said GNW Trust board chair Morgan Sturdy. “She takes the helm at a pivotal time of growth for Vancouver and for interactive media. Her extensive professional relationships in Canada and around the world will help to build our community and broaden our reach for years to come.”

Warren joins GNW Trust from the private sector as president of FanTrust Entertainment Strategies, a pioneering international digital media business development consultancy based in Vancouver. Throughout an illustrious career in digital media spanning more than three decades, Warren has lived and worked in Canada, the U.S., UK and Europe.

Born and raised in British Columbia, Warren was part of the New Media BC board that brought together the original vision and funding for Great Northern Way’s Centre for Digital Media. “Coming aboard GNW Trust now, as the Centre for Digital Media’s graduate program prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary, I feel grateful to have come full circle as we look forward to the next decade of global digital transformation and to our city’s growth,” says Warren. “I’m honoured to take a lead role in facilitating the growth of British Columbia’s digital media industry and community, and to evolve GNW Trust’s strategy and vision together with the distinguished board and expert staff, faculty and students.”

To continue breaking new ground in the fast-paced world of digital media content, technology and
relationships, Warren will remain on various independent boards and continue leading select, strategic FanTrust activities. Currently, Warren serves on the board of DigiBC, the industry association for videogames, animation, visual effects and digital innovation; is a longstanding board member of Canada’s Bell Fund, the country’s largest private fund for digital media associated with television; is an executive board member of the World Summit Awards, a United Nations flagship program dedicated to celebrating the best in digital and mobile media from 167 countries; as well as various corporate and academic boards. She is a member of the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, renowned for the Emmy Awards, and serves on the Academy nominating committee.

Warren has a bachelor’s degree in physics from Reed College in Portland, Oregon. She received her master’s degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism in New York, where she did her original thesis work on-site at MIT covering the launch of its Digital Media Lab, and won the Correspondent’s Fund Award to investigate the race between Europe and America at CERN, the European Centre for Particle Physics Research.

     

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THE THREAT OF SUPERINTELLIGENCE In his book entitled Superintelligence (Oxford University Press, 2014), Nick Bostrom gave wide currency to a discussion that had previously gone largely unnoticed by the wider public. “Superintelligence” refers to the idea that steady advances in artificial intelligence, or machine (computer) intelligence, might one day result in creating a machine vastly superior to humans in reasoning and decision-making abilities. The enthusiasts for this idea, like Google’s Ray Kurzweil, call this possibility “the singularity,” a radical break in the trajectory of human existence. And they think that this coming event is inevitable, and could not be stopped even if we wanted to stop it. There is something decidedly odd about this whole discussion. Many of the enthusiasts see this development as ushering in a human utopia, with happiness and good health for all. On the other hand, the “downside” is rather stark; one discussion of the inevitable singularity refers to the possibility of the end of the human race and the destruction of the planet! Bostrom raises the possibility that a superintelligent machine might wish to dominate or eliminate humans, and might have the capacity to deceive the humans who created it about its true intentions, until it was too late for them to take action to stop it. In my humble opinion, we need to have a broader discussion about all this. SPEAKER William Leiss is a Fellow and Past-President (1999-2001) of the Royal Society of Canada and an Officer in the Order of Canada. His latest book, The Doom Loop in the Financial Sector, and Other Black Holes of Risk, was published by The University of Ottawa Press in October 2010. Over a period of thirty years, he has worked extensively in a consulting capacity with industry and with Canadian federal and provincial government departments in the area of risk communication, risk management, public consultation, and multi-stakeholder consensus-building processes. He has been an advisor on issues dealing with pesticides, toxic chemicals (chlorine, dioxins, and others), tobacco, prescription drugs, electric & magnetic fields, genetic engineering, and many others. http://leiss.ca/ Co-sponsored by SFU's Institute for the Humanities

Seattle-based tech giant @amazon says it’s seeking proposals for a second headquarters in North America- maybe Van? https://t.co/0ncn2dCr9d

Many Canadian cities are in competition to take the spot.

RT @neartuit: Such a great time catching up -10 year anniversary party! Congrats from all of us at @neartuit! #cdm10 https://t.co/XQkN5v9Wum