Featured Speakers

Ryan Merkley


Ryan is Chief Executive Officer at Creative Commons. He joined the organization in 2014 to define a new strategy and to establish long-term sustainability for CC. Today, CC is implementing its renewed strategy to build a vibrant, usable commons powered by collaboration and gratitude. Since 2014, CC nearly tripled the number of individual donors, and the commons grew to over 1.1 billion licensed works. In early 2016, CC announced a landmark $10M donation from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, supporting its ongoing work and renewed focus.

Prior to joining CC, Ryan was Chief Operating Officer of Mozilla. He also worked as Director of Corporate Communications for the City of Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Games, and was a Senior Advisor to Mayor David Miller in Toronto, where he led the Mayor’s budget policy and initiated Toronto’s Open Data project. Ryan is an experienced campaigner and advocate for social causes, and has advised political campaigns on the local and national levels.

Kelsey Merkley

Kelsey Merkelsey-wiens-20150719-4648.jpgkley is the recently-appointed Public Lead for Creative Commons Canada. Creative Commons is the global standard for legal sharing, used on over 1.1 billion works, with communities in over 100 countries. Kelsey has expertise in Open Educational Resources (OER), policymaking to support open collaboration and innovation, open business models, intellectual property law, and community building.

Kelsey is an open innovation practitioner. Kelsey spent 7 years working on open projects in Africa, living and working in Cape Town. Before returning to Canada in 2016 she managed pan-African projects with an open education focus, including the Pan-African Open Advocate Program #openafrica, Kumusha Bus stops, and Africa Toolkits. She is the founder of Open Textbooks for Africa, a project designed to support the adaptation and adoption of Open Textbooks for universities across Africa. Previous projects include working with Siyavula the first CC licensed open textbook endorsed by a Board of Education globally, the Creative Commons Library Certificate Program, Nolwazi, WikiAfrica, University of Cape Town IP Unit, City of Cape Town Open Data Project, UNICEF Innovation Unit, and the Shuttleworth Foundation. She hosted the first African Open Textbook Summit in Cape Town, and CC’s Institute for Open Leadership.

Kelsey was named one of South Africa’s brightest young minds by Mail & Guardian and was a speaker at 2015 TEDxCapeTown, on designing for trust.

Howard Knopf

howard knopf.jpgHoward Knopf is Counsel with Macera & Jarzyna, LLP in Ottawa, Canada. He has worked mainly in the areas of copyright, trade-marks, cyberlaw, competition and related issues. He has been the Chairman of the Copyright Policy Committee of the Canadian Bar Association and was advisor to the Law Commission of Canada on security interests in intellectual property. He has been an adjunct professor of law and frequently lectured at the invitation of the judiciary, government officials, law schools, continuing legal education fora, the World Intellectual Property Organization and various NGO’s, including the Couchiching Institute on Public Affairs. He has published extensively, both as author and editor. Since 2000, he has been a member of the faculty of the Fordham Annual Conference on International Intellectual Property Law and Policy. He has appeared before the Copyright Board, the Canadian Artists and Producers Professional Relations Tribunal, the Federal Court, the Federal Court of Appeal and the Supreme Court of Canada. He maintains a blog on copyright law at http://www.excesscopyright.blogspot.com.

David Porter, Ed.D.

david porter.jpg


Twitter: @dendroglyph

Dr. David Porter is the CEO of eCampusOntario, the primary face of the Ontario Online Learning Consortium (OOLC), a not-for-profit corporation whose membership is composed of all publicly-funded colleges and universities in Ontario. David is a long-time advocate for the benefits of adapting new technology to deliver educational

David is a long-time advocate for the benefits of adapting new technology to deliver educational opportunities, and has been involved in open and distance learning since the 1990s, at both the K-12 and higher education levels.

David was formerly Associate VP Educational Support and Innovation at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. For 11 years, David was the Executive Director of BCcampus. During his term at BCcampus, David and his team engineered Canada’s first government funded open textbook program, a leading-edge move in higher education in 2012.

David has also worked as a project leader and consultant for international open and distance learning projects, most recently in Mongolia, Malaysia, and Vietnam. He is a co-editor of the International Journal of eLearning and Distance Education (IJEDE.ca), an open access journal.