Keynotes  ♦  Tracks   ♦  Sessions

We’re partnering with Gender Avenger – a unique tool to display gender balance in our panels, presentations and keynotes. Available on all platforms, it takes under a minute to produce a chart or a photo and post it to social media. 

Download the Gender Avenger app and start counting. Social media during the Creative Commons Global Summit Toronto 2017 will show how much we value women’s voices — a lot!


Our first keynote will be international copyright and intellectual property expert Ruth Okediji, William L. Prosser professor of law at the University of Minnesota. Professor Okediji is the author of several books on copyright and intellectual property and is regularly cited for her work on IP in developing countries. She is an editor and reviewer of the Journal of World Intellectual Property, and has chaired the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) Committee on Law and Computers, its Committee on Intellectual Property, and its Nominating Committee for Officers and Members of the Executive Committee. In 2011-2012, she was a member of the National Academies Board on Science, Technology and Policy Committee on the Impact of Copyright Policy on Innovation in the Digital Era. In 2016, she received the prestigious McKnight presidential professorship and was a visiting professor at Harvard from 2015-2016. Ruth was also part of the process of negotiating the recently approved Marrakesh treaty; she joined the Nigerian delegation and helped lead the African Group. She has an upcoming book, Copyright Law in an Age of Limitations and Exceptions. Ruth will be speaking to our first summit goal: “To define sharing and the Commons for our generation.”

Our second keynote will be journalist and lawyer Sarah Jeong, a contributing editor at Vice Motherboard who writes about technology, policy, and law. She is the author of The Internet of Garbage, and has bylines at the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Atlantic, the Verge, Forbes, the Guardian, and other publications. In 2017, she was named as one of Forbes’s 30 under 30 in the category of Media. Jeong graduated from Harvard Law School in 2014. As a law student, she edited the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender, and worked at the Electronic Frontier Foundation and at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society. She was a Poynter Fellow in Journalism at Yale for 2016, and also currently a fellow at the Internet Law & Policy Foundry. Sarah will be speaking to our third summit goal: “To discuss the future of the Creative Commons network and grow the CC movement.”


Ana Garzón Sabogal works with collaborative learning, cultural management, activism and free culture. Based in Colombia, she has organised diverse projects including Radio Vallena, a collective radio station that traveled Colombia’s Pacific Coast to Panama City, sharing stories about migration and resistance and Territories. She is currently Director of the cultural foundation Más Arte Más Acción, part of Arts Collaboratory. Ana will be speaking about culture, open tools, and collaboration in open communities.


Ashe Dryden is a former White House fellow, programmer, diversity advocate and consultant, prolific writer, speaker, and creator of AlterConf and Fund Club. She’s one of the foremost experts on diversity in the tech industry. She’s currently writing two books: The Diverse Team and The Inclusive Event. Her work has been featured in the New York Times, Scientific American, Wired, NPR, and more. Ashe will be speaking on the topic of open, diverse, and inclusive communities.


Hillary Hartley is Ontario’s first Chief Digital Officer. Previously, Hillary was the Deputy Executive Director of 18F, the U.S. government’s digital office, and a former Presidential Innovation Fellow. She was also previously the Director of Integrated Marketing at NIC Inc., which helps state and local governments embrace new internet-based technologies and approaches necessary for government modernization. She has extensive expertise in technology, digital strategy, design thinking, and public engagement. As Ontario’s Chief Digital Officer, she will partner with government ministries in delivering major digital projects. Ms. Hartley will also help accelerate transformation across government by setting new service standards for digital products, attracting and empowering digital talent, and aligning partners around delivering the best possible customer experience.

Tracks and track leads

Policy and Advocacy

CC BY 4.0 Kennisland/Marcel Oosterwijk

Track: Policy & Advocacy (Copyright reform, advocacy strategies, OER policies, etc)

Leader: Lisette Kalshoven, Advisor copyright, heritage and open education at Kennisland, Vice President of COMMUNIA.

Lisette works on getting more heritage online and reforming EU copyright to better suit the needs of the 21st century.

From Lisette, “ Community members should expect in depth discussions of the pressing points on open education policy and the upcoming and ongoing copyright reforms, such as those in the EU, South Africa, Singapore and Canada. How can we secure more users rights, how can we be better at influencing international treaties like TTIP, CETA, and TTP and can we have an honest conversation about WIPO? It is going to be a rollercoaster – tweet me @LNKalshoven if you want to get started early”

Contributors: Claudio Ruiz, Timothy Vollmer, Cable Green, Delia Browne

Community & movement

Track: Community & movement (CC network strategy, appreciation culture, stronger ties for the community in different domains, mentoring, strong diversity, etc

Leader: Kelsey Wiens, Creative Commons Canada Public Lead

Kelsey is a long time member of Creative Commons community with experience building open movement communities across Africa. Kelsey is one of the co-authors of the Global Network Strategy presented for consultation. Find her at @Bello_Velo talking about puppies, functional pockets and whisky.

From Kelsey, “Time for a barn raising, Ubuntu, Hunhu, Harambee, Minga, gotong-royong, Talkoot. Excited for sessions on the new CC Network Strategy? Looking for discussions, activations, workshops on mentoring, cultures of appreciation, building strong ties across the Open Movement, and hearing from diverse voices across the community? Looking for your community? We’re your people, join us!”

Contributors: Claudia Cristiani, Batbold Zagdragchaa, Simeon Oriko, María Juliana Soto, SooHyun Pae

Spheres of Open

Track: Spheres of Open (GLAM, Open Education, OER impact, open data, open design, open hardware, open agriculture/farming, etc)

Leader: Evelin Heidel (a.k.a. Scann), CC Argentina

Scann is a long time volunteer of Creative Commons. Works mainly with Open GLAM initiatives and with the DIY Book Scanner project.

From Scann: “Come to this track with the tool of your preference to break the chains that lock culture & knowledge. Bring your goggles to explore the visions of the future for Open Education, GLAM, Open Data, Open Access, Free Culture and the variety of movements working on the open. Save your soul from the Open Washing Church, come to this track!”

Contributors: André Rocha, Mahmoud Wardeh, Cable Green, Delia Browne

The Future of the Commons

Track: The Future of the Commons (Future of the digital commons, future of digital archives, how does CC fit in the broader Commons movement, Commons and economy, open innovation, Open business models, etc.)

Leader: Alek Tarkowski, Coordinator of Creative Commons Poland
Alek has been part of Creative Commons for over a decade, as a coordinator of Creative Commons Poland and active member of the global network. He works on open policies and copyright advocacy (through Communia).

From Alek: “We will be asking the big questions: what have we achieved, and where are we going? We want to discuss the frontiers and fringes of CC. And place CC within the broader commoning movement, to better define our role in an ever changing world.”

Contributors: Claudia Cristiani, Jane Park, Alexandros Nousias, Paul Stacey, Anna Mazgal, SooHyun Pae

Usable Commons

Track: Usable Commons (health data, 3D printing, legal infrastructure, open infrastructures for collaboration, patent data, etc)

Leader: Jane Park, Director of Platforms and Partnerships at Creative Commons.

Jane leads CC’s work with content platforms to create a more vibrant and usable commons.

From Jane, “Participants should expect thought-provoking and productive sessions on how to make the digital commons more discoverable, usable, and human-centered. From attribution in 3D design to better CC search to fostering more collaborative environments online, the Usable Commons is about organizing and streamlining the commons to work for people.”

Contributors: Ryan Merkley, André Rocha, Alexandros Nousias

The full list of sessions and speakers is available here.


If you want to get in touch with any of the track leaders, please email us at