Tech Forum and ebookcraft 2018: Speakers

Have you heard? Tech Forum is back for its 12th year. And every year gets better and better. This year we're pleased to present Saadia Muzaffar as a featured keynote speaker. Muzaffar is a leadership futurist, tech entrepreneur, and Founder of TechGirls Canada. We've also got speakers and panelists lined up from across North America who will address a wide range of issues facing today's publishing industry, including diversity, information management, bridging the digital divide, using chatbots for marketing, and new research on how Canadians are buying and consuming books.

And we can't forget to tell you how excited we are for ebookcraft 2018, our conference-within-a-conference for the ebook production community. We're bringing you more sessions on accessibility, new developments in e-reading, and lots more. 

Scroll down to see the first round of Tech Forum speakers and ebookcraft speakers.

We're going to continue to announce speakers from now until March 12, 2018 when registration closes. But don't wait until March to get your tickets. Take a look at our fantastic lineup below and then take advantage of our super-early-bird prices until Oct. 31, 2017 for the best deal.


Tech Forum 2018 sessions and speakers

Keynote Address

Saadia Muzaffar is a leadership futurist, tech entrepreneur, and Founder of TechGirls Canada, the hub for Canadian women in science, technology, engineering, and math. Her work explores big ideas and impactful strategies that address growing challenges for business leaders in today's connected and vigilant markets. She is an author, speaker, and international media advocate on modern leadership and has been featured in CNNMoneyFortune MagazineGlobe & MailVICE, CBC, TVO, and Chatelaine. Recently Saadia and her team released Change Together: A Diversity Guidebook for Startups and Scaleups.

Bot Boom: What marketers need to know about chatbots now

Erin Bury is a marketer, former technology journalist, and startup enthusiast. Erin is currently the Managing Director at Eighty-Eight, a creative communications agency based in Toronto that works with consumer brands and technology companies including Sony Pictures Television, Torstar, Yellow Pages, and PayPal. Erin was formerly the Managing Editor at startup publication BetaKit, and the Director of Communications at Sprouter, which was acquired by Postmedia in 2011. 

Erin is a monthly columnist for the Financial Post and a tech commentator on CTV News, and has been featured in publications including The New York TimesForbesCNNThe Toronto Star, and Canadian Business. Erin was named one of Marketing Magazine’s “Top 30 Under 30”, and her claim to fame is she’s been retweeted by Oprah – twice.

ONIX Hacks: Balancing standards with necessity on publishing's frontlines

Tricia McCraney joined Virtusales Publishing Solutions as a Projects Consultant in 2015, working with clients to implement the Biblio suite of software modules including Bibliographic, Production, Contracts and Rights, Royalties, and Digital Asset Management. Prior to joining Virtusales, Tricia worked as an industry consultant specializing in ONIX for clients including BookNet Canada, eBOUND Canada, the National Reading Campaign, and Indigo Books. Having previously worked for Bowker and, Tricia estimates she has analyzed thousands of ONIX files from hundreds of publishers over the last 17 years. She is a member of both the BookNet Canada and BISG Metadata Committees and, outside of all things book data, is a photographer and record collector. 

Having attended Tech Forum almost every year since the inaugural event in 2006, Tricia is excited to make the leap from long-time listener to first-time speaker.

Libraries Bridging the Digital Divide

Jessamyn West is a librarian and community technologist. She writes a column for Computers in Libraries magazine and is the author of the book Without a Net: Librarians Bridging the Digital Divide. A born outreach librarian, she teaches a course entitled "Tools for Community Advocacy" for the University of Hawaii's Library School. She was a Research Fellow at Harvard University Library Innovation Lab for 2016-2017, and serves on the Advisory Board to the Wikimedia Foundation. She works with small libraries and businesses in Central Vermont to help them use technology to solve problems.

Panel: Blockchain and Building the Future of Information Management and Sharing

Simon-Pierre Marion is the President and Founder of Scenarex. Having graduated with the highest honor from UQAM, Mr. Marion holds both a bachelors degree in computer science (B.Sc.A.) and an executive master’s degree in Business Administration (EMBA) with a specialization in technology management. He is an entrepreneur with a combined experience of over 20 years in the management of teams, projects, and budgets.

In 2015, Mr. Marion decided to combine his passions for entrepreneurship, technology, and literature to bring his creativity into the domain of ebooks. His life mission, as well as his organization's mission, is to bring innovation to the service of every author. He aims to provide a benefit to their digital works through a shared economy that protects their rights and ensures an equitable distribution of the revenues between every party.

Panel: Women in Publishing

Kristin Cochrane is President and Publisher of Penguin Random House Canada. She is proud to publish an extensive range of bestselling and literary authors, including Margaret Atwood, Yuval Noah Harari, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, and John le Carré. Kristin continues to work with a select list of authors, namely Kate Atkinson, Jonathan Franzen, Paula Hawkins, and Bill Bryson.

Panel: Retailers Bridging the Digital Divide

Serah-Marie McMahon founded Worn Fashion Journal and edited The Worn Archive, published by Drawn & Quarterly. She sells and writes about children’s books in Toronto. She once yelled the French word for “seal” in front of Herve Tullet. He thought it was funny. 

Anjula Gogia is the Events Coordinator at Another Story Bookshop in Roncesvalles. She is also the former Co-Manager of the Toronto Women's Bookstore (1996-2006). She has worked with PEN Canada and Between the Lines Press. She has an interest in supporting and promoting writing by diverse voices. She has sat on literary juries for the Ontario Arts Council and the Writer's Trust of Canada (Dayne Ogilvie Prize).


ebookcraft 2018 sessions and speakers

Simply Accessible

Kevin Callahan is a New York City-based ebook developer, writer, and teacher. He writes for Digital Book World,, and InDesign Magazine, speaks regularly at conferences such as ebookcraft, PePcon, and CreativePro Week, and is a member of the EPUB3 Community Group’s Accessibility taskforce. You can watch his course "Creating Fixed-Layout ebooks for Kindle" on 

EPUB and Chill: Finding ebooks worth a right swipe

As the Director of Content Standards at Macmillan Learning, Rachel Comerford helps to implement and maintain industry and internal standards in content, platforms, and processes. Her work includes establishing internal accessibility, metadata, and EPUB implementation guides that align with best practices. She co-chairs the W3C Publishing Community Group and participates in working groups at IMS Global, BISG, and AMAC where she asks lots of annoying questions and competes for the title of "most snarky." She enjoys lazy strolls on the beach, red wine, and well-constructed EPUBs complete with all of their accessibility features and metadata.

Jiminy and Dave’s Excellent CSS Adventure

Dave Cramer has been making ebooks for 17 years, and complaining about ebook standards for nearly as long. He was co-editor of the IDPF specification on fixed-layout ebooks, but in recent years has become heavily involved with the W3C and web standards, editing several specs for the CSS Working Group and writing “Requirements for Latin Text Layout and Pagination” for the Digital Publishing Interest Group. When not doing standards work, Dave writes XSL, works on typesetting with HTML+CSS, hunts for interesting information in mountains of XML files, and skis up and down literal mountains, preferably in Canada. He dreams of bringing the rich history of print design and typography to ebooks and the web. 

Jiminy Panoz is a freelancer who has been helping French publishers make the transition to digital for the last six years. In addition to ebook conversion, he has conducted QA audits, managed interactive projects, built custom tools, and designed tailored workflows for his clients. He’s also the creator and maintainer of open-source projects dedicated to ebooks, including the blitz framework.

Universal CSS: How to maintain flexibility and title-specific branding, while secretly taking away the freedom of design

Betsy Granger has spent close to 14 years in publishing. Her career started in fashion editorial as an intern for InStyle magazine. Eleven years back, coinciding with a move out west to Austin TX, she shifted from print to the digital world and fell in love with science publishing. Two years ago, she joined Macmillan Learning and has been working to streamline the digital production process. At night she dreams of single-source publishing while loving and hating InDesign equally. In her "free" time, she works on design projects in Illustrator and Photoshop, and if she ever finds the time again, she would like to work with actual paint.


For more information about Tech Forum or ebookcraft, visit the conference website. If you'd like to sign up for our mailing list to be the first to know about all future speaker and session announcements, sign up here

We hope to see you in March 2018 in Toronto.