The Next Big Thing: Data with Nora Young

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In the last year, the term Big Data has started to buzz. The amount of data in our world is growing at an exponential amount, and both the private and public sectors are looking for ways to mine into decades worth of data for good reason.

Analyzing large data sets will become a key basis of competition in the near future; it has the potential to identify business trends, profile consumers and voters, prevent diseases, combat crime, determine real-time roadway traffic conditions and much, much more.

The question is, should we simply leave big data, with its personal and political insights, in the hands of corporations and government to sort out?

Nora Young, acclaimed journalist, author, speaker and the host and creator of CBC Radio’s Spark (, will be joining us to share why we shouldn’t.

Nora will discuss the debates and challenges around virtual data-sharing and its potential for building more responsive communities and governments. She’ll also explore issues and legalities around privacy and data control, and how we should harness the power of big data.

Nora Young

Nora Young is the host and the creator of Spark, CBC Radio’s national radio show and podcast about technology and culture. She was the founding host of the CBC Radio show Definitely not the Opera, where she often focused on new media and technology. Her work has also appeared online, on television, and in print.
As a journalist, author, and speaker, Nora explores how new technology shapes the way we understand ourselves and the world around us. Her book, The Virtual Self (, on the explosion of data about our behaviours, opinions and actions, was published by McClelland and Stewart in 2012.
Nora blogs at (, and does the indie podcast The Sniffer ( with her friend and colleague, Cathi Bond. Find her on Twitter, @nora3000 (

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SYPA (Stuff You'll Probably Ask)
You: What time do the presentations start?
Us: Doors open at 6:30pm and we begin the talks at 7:00pm. Before and after the talks, there are opportunities for conversations, and the enjoyment of drinks and hors d'oeuvres.
You: Hors d'oeuvres, you say? Is there dinner?
Us: We always organize some food and beverages for everyone, be it sandwiches or the like.