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Biodigital Convergence Webinar Series

Policy Horizons Canada, in collaboration with SynBio Canada, is launching a series of webinars on the convergence of biological and digital systems. The webinars provide an overview of disruptive innovations in the field of biodigital, and explore their potential implications. 

The content discussed in the biodigital webinar series is part of Policy Horizons Canada’s ongoing foresight work. The content, discussion, and presentations do not represent the views of the Government of Canada. 

The expertise of the participants and content generated may be used as part of the research for the biodigital study. However, no information from these sessions should be considered final content for the study.  For more information on these webinars, please contact  Avalyne Diotte or Pierre-Olivier DesMarchais.

Webinar Information

Webinars Google Folder

  • We have Google folders for each of the Webinars. This will facilitate sharing useful information between us.
  • Please send us the documents you would like to share with webinar attendees ahead of time so we may upload them to the proper folder. 


  • We ask that attendees not record or take screenshots of any part of the webinar without the permission of the presenters and Policy Horizons Canada. 
  • We may record some webinars, but only if we have the explicit permission and consent of the presenter. 
  • All recordings will be available on the Google folder in the week following the presentation.

Rules of Engagement

  • We do not attempt to predict the future, but rather explore it.
  • We invite the exploration of all possibilities. 
  • Please do not hesitate to share your thoughts; there are no wrong answers.  
  • We are not here to debate the plausibility but rather explore many potential implications, challenges, opportunities and scenarios. 
  • All suggested outcomes will be treated as plausible, and we will strongly discourage debates on the likelihood of their occurence. 


  • Be mindful that we are working online. Policy Horizons and SynBio Canada are not responsible for external problems that may arise, such as internet connectivity or uninvited individuals attending the session. We will do our best to avoid any issues within our control. 
  • Attending these webinars requires registration. We will provide a link to register for each webinar session. Following registration, we will provide a Zoom link for each registered participant. Participants may share the registration link with their network if they would like to encourage others to register and participate. 
  • As part of the Federal government, Horizons does not endorse comments or content shared via the webinars, nor does it engage the government of Canada in any way. This also applies to the content generated during foresight exercises such as influence cascade diagrams.

Upcoming Events

Session 7: The Ethics of Gene Editing

September 17th 2020, 10:00-11:30 am EST


Dr. Francoise Baylis, Research Professor, Impact Ethics, Faculty of Medicine, Dalhousie University

Dr. Vardit Ravitsky, Professor at the Bioethics Programs within the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine of the School of Public Health at the University of Montreal

Session 8: The Bioeconomy

October 1st 2020, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EST


Jeff Passmore, CEO Passmore Group

Session 9: AI/Machine learning & Automation for Engineering biology

October 15th 2020, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm EST


Dr. Richard Fox, Executive Director, Data Science, Inscripta

Session 10: Gene Drives

October 29th 2020, 2:00pm – 3:30pm EST


Dr. Natalie Kofler, Founder, Editing Nature

Dr. Todd Kuiken, Environmental scientist and Senior Research Scholar with the Genetic Engineering and Society Center at North Carolina State University

Previous Events

Session 1: The Biodigital Convergence + About Foresight

April 30, 2020, 2:00pm – 3:00pm EDT


Pierre-Olivier DesMarchais, Foresight Analyst, Policy Horizons Canada
Avalyne Diotte, Foresight Analyst, Policy Horizons Canada
Dr. Benjamin Scott, President, SynBio Canada

Recommended Reading

Session 2: DNA Writing

May 7, 2020, 2:00pm – 3:30pm EDT


Leslie Mitchell, Co-founder, Neochromosome Inc.
Andrew Hessel, President, Humane Genomics Inc.

Recommended Reading

Session 3: DIY Bio

May 21, 2020, 2:00pm – 3:30pm EDT


Derek Jacoby, Victoria Makerspace
Kevin Chen, Bricobio, Hyasynth

Session 4: Microbiome

June 4, 2020, 2:00pm – 3:30pm EDT


Gregor Reid, Seed
Trevor Charles, Metagenom Bio

Session 5: Biodigital in a Post-COVID World

June 18, 2020


Dr. David Edgell, Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry, Western University
Dr. Pérez Escudero, Crowdfight Covid-19

Session 6: SynBio Education

July 2, 2020


Julie Legault, Founder, Amino Labs
Patrick Diep, Program Director at The Canadian Synthetic Biology Education Research Group