Network Speaker Series

New Media Manitoba’s Network Speaker Series brings world-class experts to the province (or virtually) to educate the local interactive digital media community on a broad range of IDM topics, from app development, to cybersecurity, game development, and much more.

Haven’t seen them yet? Now you can view the session recordings below from these highly talented speakers, and stay tuned for more incredible events.

If you’d like to coordinate a speaking engagement with us, or suggest someone you’d like to see, please connect with us.

Previous Speakers

Jen Goertzen

Co-Founder of Caribou &
Product Designer for BRYTER

When you work in tech, you can design or develop for almost any industry—and there’s no reason to choose only one. You can switch industries with every role and continue to grow as a professional. In this Network Speaker Series installment, Jen Goertzen of Caribou and BRYTER will offer insights into anticipating and adapting to changes you experience when you jump into a new role in a new space. Jen will share her experiences moving from companies of over 400 people to startups with 40, from designing for instant messaging to classical music.

Jen Goertzen is a UX designer and researcher from Winnipeg working in Berlin. She co-founded Caribou, a UX consultancy, in 2011. Over the course of her career, she has consulted with and worked in-house on teams at startups and organizations across a range of industries, including interactive retail experiences, classical music streaming, and most recently, a no-code automation platform. In all experiences, she finds space for questions, discussion, and design.

Watch her session about “How to grow into any role (that you want)!

Laura Mingail

Founder of Archetype & Effects

Laura Mingail founded Archetypes & Effects to help to bring to life the stories and experiences that entertain and evolve audiences and industries.

For more than a decade, Laura has developed and executed award-winning marketing campaigns, co-branded promotions, and new consumer products. She has consistently driven studio, distributor, broadcaster, and location-based operator results — spanning film, TV, music, immersive, and interactive media industries.

Laura frequently delivers talks focusing on the creation and monetization of emerging forms of storytelling and technologies. She has presented at leading events such as AI World Forum (Canada), Augmented World Expo (USA),  Guanajuato International Film Festival (Mexico), Series Mania (France), SXSW (USA), and the World VR Forum (Switzerland). She is also a contributing author for UploadVR and CMF Trends, a media commentator, an Advisory Board Member for SXSW’s Advertising & Brand Experience, XR and Experiential Storytelling Tracks, and a Board Member for the Toronto Ring of the International Brotherhood of Magicians

Watch her session aboutHow to Predict The Future of Entertainment

Julie Lottering

Director of Education and Training,
SideFX Software

How does technology impact what we make and when do artists take technology further than its original intent?
In this session, Julie Lottering from SideFX Software will help us look at the relationship between art and technology and how to remain creative, while being productive and efficient.

Proceduralism: A Creative Catalyst
Currently, the Video Game industry is pressed to make beautiful things faster. Houdini is often described as a creator’s catalyst, a tool that shifts the way that artists can express themselves. Many top studios are looking toward Houdini’s core capabilities, ‘proceduralism’ to help solve the problem of making beautiful things faster. Here we will discuss how ‘proceduralism’ has evolved over the years and the directions it will take in the future.

For Game Development: Game developers face a growing demand to build huge immersive worlds populated with vast amounts of content. In order to achieve great gameplay while meeting deadlines, a procedural approach using Houdini offers a smarter way to create quality games.

For Virtual Reality Development: Virtual and Augmented Reality creates a complete experience that takes the viewer to places they’ve never been before. Houdini provides a powerful set of tools that makes it easier to create and manage the content used to populate these amazing digital worlds.

For Motion Graphics: Designers, animators, and storytellers use motion graphics to create content that stimulates audiences using powerful and compelling visuals. Create a wide range of aesthetic and dynamic experiences using Houdini and its procedural node-based toolset.

Watch her session – Coming Soon

Katerina Cizek

Artistic Director & Co-founder
Co-Creation Studio

To give you a sense of the incredible work Katerina has been a part of check-out HIGHRISE and Filmmaker-in-Residence.

Both community-based and globally recognized, these two ground-breaking long-form digital projects garnered a Peabody award, a World Press Photo Prize, 3 Canadian Screen Awards, amongst others, as well as international critical acclaim.

“Co-creation carries with it a profound respect for each person’s unique expertise, and also the knowledge that we must share both the burden and the liberation of determining our future collectively. There is an urgency to the challenges we face in this moment in history, and no one person, organization, or discipline can determine all the answers alone.”
— Katerina Cizek and William Uricchio, Collective Wisdom

Watch her session about her latest project Collective Wisdom and “How co-creative methodologies help make a more equitable and just world.

Meagan Byrne

Co-founder and Game Designer
Achimostawinan Games

Meagan Byrne is a Métis game designer and the co-founder of Achimostawinan Games, a video game company dedicated to developing Indigenous games for an Indigenous audience. She is also Digital and Interactive Co-ordinator with imagineNATIVE, the world’s largest Indigenous film and media arts festival.

“I want to tell Indigenous stories from a modern perspective, and have them look towards the future rather than just the past,” Byrne has said, adding that she hopes to empower other Indigenous game designers to share their stories and give them the same opportunities she was given.

Meagan received an Academic Award for Excellence from Sheridan College and received the Kid’s Choice 2nd place for the game Tiny Planets. Her work has been in exhibitions since 2015.

Click here for more information about Protocols and Pathways.

Marina Diez

CEO and Creative Director
Three of Cups Games


Marina is a Spanish game designer based in London, UK. She’s CEO and Creative Director at Three of Cups Games, a games studio based in London. Marina is also involved in many community initiatives and activism. In November 2019, she founded a Discord server around mental health for women in the games industry. Today, the server counts more than 200 active members. Marina is also part of the BAFTA Crew and is a Women in Games Ambassador

Watch her session about “How to Encourage Ethics and Diversity in Work Environments.

Kaitlin Trembley

CAPY Games & DMG Toronto
Writer and Narrative Designer

Kaitlin Tremblay is a writer and narrative designer at CAPY Games. Previously, she was a Team Lead Narrative Designer at Ubisoft Toronto and the Lead Writer on A Mortician’s Tale (Laundry Bear Games, 2017).

Kaitlin is also a Co-Director of the video game non-profit feminist organization Dames Making Games, where she serves as DMG’s industry liaison and as a co-host for DMG’s narrative community-building workshops and events.

DMG is a not-for-profit organization that creates space for marginalized creators to make, play, and critique video games within a cultural context. They teach computing skills for artistic expression, offer production and exhibition facilities, and provide community support for the creation of new artworks.

Watch her session about “Strategies for nurturing (sustainably building and growing) narrative teams within studios, with a specific look at the role of community building and how team integration plays into this.

New Media Manitoba