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Special Edition Cafe X: The Digital Credential Revolution in Higher Education
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Special Edition Cafe X: The Digital Credential Revolution in Higher Education

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L.R. Wilson Hall (Concert Hall)

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Michelle Pressé

Digital technology is changing the course of higher education.


Watch the live stream beginning at 3:00 pm


Join us for an engaging discussion on how technologies such as blockchain and digital badges are changing the face of higher education. Learn more about microcredentials, stackable courses and digital degrees, and how the use of these could disrupt Universities and College and offer new opportunities to both students and educators. Hear from our panel of experts about how these technologies are being used to revolutionize higher education everywhere from MIT to institutions across Ontario, and how they will change recruiting and hiring practices at companies around the world.

As well, hear about a pilot project run by McMaster University's Faculty of Engineering in cooperation with the University's Office of the Registrar to offer credentials using blockchain for its MacChangers program this April, as well as offering Canada's first digital degrees this June to engineering students.


Jennifer Lewington, Journalist

Jennifer is an award-winning journalist who reports on education, business and other topics for numerous outlets in Canada, including a regular column on business school news for the Globe and Mail. Her recent work includes a Maclean's article on the use of microcredentials within higher education in Canada.


Kim Hamilton Duffy, CTO of Learning Machine

Kim is Principal Architect for Blockcerts, an initiative led by Learning Machine and MIT Media Lab, providing open standards, open source implementations, and an ecosystem enabling decentralized, blockchain-based credentials. She is co-chair of the W3C Credentials Community Group (CCG), the community group driving the Decentralized Identifiers (DID) specification. 

Melissa Pool, University Registrar, McMaster University

Melissa is the University Registrar at McMaster University. A proud alumna who before returning to the institution worked in the private sector for leading global supply-chain organizations. At McMaster, Melissa works to transform registrarial services through her engagement in a number of technology projects ranging from the leadership of the Campus Solutions module of the Mosaic ERP implementation to her current involvement in delivering digital diplomas anchored in the blockchain for McMaster’s Faculty of Engineering.

David Porter, CEO of eCampusOntario

David leads 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.He was formerly Associate VP Educational Support and Innovation at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. Prior to that appointment, 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 development in higher education in 2012.

Ishwar K. Puri, Dean of Engineering, McMaster University

Ishwar is also an associate member of the departments of engineering physics and materials science and engineering, school of biomedical engineering, as well as founding academic director of the Computing Infrastructure Research Centre (CIRC).  Professor Puri obtained his Ph.D. (1987), and M.S. (1984) degrees in Engineering Science (Applied Mechanics) from the University of California, San Diego after obtaining a B.Sc. (1982) in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Delhi.