Digital Policy Hub

A collaborative space for emerging scholars and innovative thinkers to share and develop research on the evolution and governance of transformative technologies.

About the Hub

The Digital Policy Hub at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) is a collaborative space for emerging scholars and innovative thinkers from the social, natural and applied sciences. It provides opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students and post-doctoral and visiting fellows to share and develop research on the rapid evolution and governance of transformative technologies.

The program hosts fellows for time periods ranging from four to 12 months in residence at the state-of-the-art CIGI Campus and working remotely, linking to CIGI’s existing network of more than 100 fellows from around the world. Participants join common seminars and other innovative activities that cut across research, analysis and policy, while advancing their career development.

The Hub is founded on transdisciplinary approaches (i.e., research that cuts across disciplines and engages fellows with policy makers and industry professionals) that seek to increase understanding of the socio-economic and technological impacts of digitalization and improve the quality and relevance of related research. Such an approach also broadens the capacity of participants to conduct work across disciplines.

Research Focus Areas and Approaches

Transformative technologies are rapidly reshaping our world. Many are widely known — although often not well understood (for example, new hyper-connected social media platforms such as TikTok, mRNA vaccines, electric vehicles, blockchain, quantum computing and artificial intelligence large language models). In parallel, the digitalization of almost everything has created a more interdependent, data-driven world.

While broad technological change is nothing new, many current developments are moving at an accelerated pace, on a global scale and with little or no coherent governance framework nationally or internationally. There is, therefore, a pressing need for transdisciplinary understanding on governance issues across the range of technologies and digitalization.

The Hub’s research focuses address this need, centring on digital ethics and rights frameworks that assist in identifying and mitigating the gaps between rapid technological disruption and diffusion, and the lack of governance frameworks at the national and international levels.

Core research areas include:

  • data, economy and society;
  • artificial intelligence;
  • outer space;
  • digitalization, security and democracy; and
  • the environment and natural resources.

Notice

Call for Applications!

Applications for the Digital Policy Hub 2024-2025 academic year cohort are now open. The deadline for applications to be considered is Friday, March 1, 2024, at 11:59 p.m. EST. To learn more about the criteria and to apply, please click here.

The Digital Policy Hub team will be hosting two virtual information sessions to provide an overview of the program, application requirements and research output. Those interested in the program can register to attend either session. There will be an opportunity to meet several members of the Hub team and ask questions.

  • First info session: Thursday, February 8, 6:00–7:00 p.m. EST. REGISTER 
  • Second info session: Thursday, February 15, 12:00–1:00 p.m. EST. REGISTER

Partners

Thank you to Mitacs for its partnership and support of Digital Policy Hub fellows through the Accelerate program. We are also grateful to the John Holmes Trust for the support of fellows whose research focuses on Canadian foreign policy.

Digital Policy Hub Cohorts

  • Ozan Ayata - Headshot
    Ozan Ayata
    Digital Policy Hub Master’s Fellow

    Ozan Ayata currently serves as a cybersecurity analyst at the Department of National Defence. His research as a Digital Policy Hub master’s fellow will focus on how public-private partnerships can effectively prepare for and mitigate the risks posed by emerging technologies to international security.

  • Dana Cramer
    Dana Cramer
    Digital Policy Hub Doctoral Fellow

    Dana Cramer is a Digital Policy Hub doctoral fellow researching policy and governance approaches for emerging technologies.

  • Ori Freiman - Headshot Mac
    Ori Freiman
    Digital Policy Hub Post-doctoral Fellow

    Ori Freiman is a post-doctoral fellow both at McMaster University’s Digital Society Lab and with the Digital Policy Hub at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. His research focuses on building trust in central bank digital currencies.

  • Ivan Nunez Gamez - Headshot
    Ivan Nuñez Gamez
    Digital Policy Hub Undergraduate Fellow

    Ivan Nuñez Gamez is an undergraduate fellow at the Digital Policy Hub, where his research will examine current strategies enacted by the federal government to counter technical foreign interference.

  • Andrew Heffernan
    Andrew Heffernan
    Digital Policy Hub Post-doctoral Fellow

    Andrew Heffernan is a part-time professor of international relations and comparative politics at the University of Ottawa where he also holds a Ph.D. in political science. He is a post-doctoral fellow at the Digital Policy Hub where his research will examine climate governance and mis- and disinformation around climate change.

  • Shuna Ho - Headshot
    Shuna Ho
    Digital Policy Hub Visiting Fellow

    Shuna Ho is a Digital Policy Hub visiting fellow and an assistant professor of international business and strategy in the Faculty of Management at Dalhousie University.

  • Madison Lee - Photo
    Madison Lee
    Digital Policy Hub Doctoral Fellow

    Madison Lee is a doctoral fellow at the Digital Policy Hub and a Ph.D. student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Ontario, specializing in the field of international political economy.

  • Emanuel Lukawiecki - Headshot
    Emanuel Lukawiecki
    Digital Policy Hub Master’s Fellow

    Emanuel Lukawiecki is a Digital Policy Hub master’s fellow examining possible adaptation strategies for the Canadian Armed Forces to respond to unconventional defence threats posed by AI.

  • Paula Martins - Photo
    Paula Martins
    Digital Policy Hub Doctoral Fellow

    Paula Martins is a policy advocacy lead at the Association for Progressive Communications. During her fellowship with the Digital Policy Hub, her research will delve into freedom of expression and digital rights.

  • Matt Photo
    Matthew da Mota
    Digital Policy Hub Post-doctoral Fellow

    Matthew da Mota is a post-doctoral fellow at CIGI’s Digital Policy Hub, where he researches the uses and governance of artificial intelligence and large language models within universities and public research institutions.

  • Laila Mourad - Photo
    Laila Mourad
    Digital Policy Hub Doctoral Fellow

    Laila Mourad is a Digital Policy Hub doctoral fellow and a Ph.D. candidate at York University who adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the international development, political economy, and gender studies fields. Currently, she is exploring how home-based labour in the “gig” economy can inform and shape our understanding of the evolving notion of “work” in the digital economy.

  • Michael Murphy - Headshot
    Michael P. A. Murphy
    Digital Policy Hub Post-doctoral Fellow

    Michael P. A. Murphy is a post-doctoral fellow both at the Digital Policy Hub and at Queen’s University’s Department of Political Studies and Centre for International and Defence Policy.

  • Maral Niazi PhD (7)
    Maral Niazi
    Digital Policy Hub Doctoral Fellow

    Maral Niazi is a Digital Policy Hub doctoral fellow and a Ph.D. student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs with a multidisciplinary background in political science, human rights, law and global governance. Her research with the Digital Policy Hub will expand on her doctoral research on the global governance of AI where she will examine the societal impacts of AI on humanity.

  • Fred-Okello_Photo
    Frederick (Fred) Okello
    Digital Policy Hub Master's Fellow

    Frederick (Fred) Okello is a master’s student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and a Digital Policy Hub fellow. His research focuses on "Technology for Development" as a tool for reducing poverty, digital and energy inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Ambika UNDP headshot square
    Ambika Opal
    Digital Policy Hub Visiting Fellow

    Ambika Opal is a visiting fellow at the Digital Policy Hub and manager of the Nunavut Data Strategy with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.

  • Elia Rasky - Headshot
    Elia Rasky
    Digital Policy Hub Doctoral Fellow

    Elia Rasky is a doctoral candidate at York University and a Digital Policy Hub doctoral fellow with research interests including Canadian politics, global political economy, and science and innovation policy.

  • Shirley Anne Scharf - Headshot
    Shirley Anne Scharf
    Digital Policy Hub Post-doctoral Fellow

    Shirley Anne Scharf is a visiting researcher with the CN-Paul M. Tellier Chair on Business and Public Policy at the University of Ottawa and a Digital Policy Hub post-doctoral fellow.

  • Javier Ruiz-Soler - Headshot
    Javier Ruiz-Soler
    Digital Policy Hub Visiting Fellow

    Javier Ruiz-Soler is a Digital Policy Hub visiting fellow who works in tech intelligence and advisory services, conducting research and analysis on leading-edge information technologies.

  • Tyler Stevenson - Headshot
    Tyler Stevenson
    Digital Policy Hub Undergraduate Fellow

    Tyler Stevenson is completing his bachelor’s degree in international economics with a minor in data science at the University of British Columbia and is an undergraduate fellow with the Digital Policy Hub.

  • Christelle Tessono - Headshot
    Christelle Tessono
    Digital Policy Hub Graduate Fellow

    Christelle Tessono is a technology policy researcher currently pursuing her graduate studies at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Information and a Digital Policy Hub graduate fellow.

  • Mahatab Headshot
    Mahatab Uddin
    Digital Policy Hub Post-doctoral Fellow

    Mahatab Uddin is an adjunct professor and post-doctoral researcher at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph and an expert on climate change law, intellectual property law, technology transfer and sustainable development. His research with the Digital Policy Hub as a post-doctoral fellow will focus on possible legal frameworks for AI-run climate-smart agricultural practices.

  • Ryan Westman - Bio
    Ryan Westman
    Digital Policy Hub Visiting Fellow

    Ryan Westman is a senior manager at Waterloo, Ontario-based eSentire and leads the firm’s threat intelligence team. He is also a Digital Policy Hub visiting fellow who will focus on the impact of poor digital defences on the Canadian economy.

  • Badriyya Yusuf - Headshot
    Badriyya Yusuf
    Digital Policy Hub Doctoral Fellow

    Badriyya Yusuf is a Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council doctoral candidate in international relations at Queen's University and a Digital Policy Hub doctoral fellow.

  • Naod Abraham - Photo
    Naod Abraham
    Digital Policy Hub Undergraduate Fellow

    Naod Abraham is a third-year mathematical physics student at the University of Waterloo with an interest in computer science. His research with the Digital Policy Hub will investigate the applications of machine learning for practically important problems.

  • Daria Bielik
    Daria Bielik
    Digital Policy Hub Master's Fellow

    Daria Bielik is a master of public policy candidate through a partnership with the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs & Public Policy and the Kyiv School of Economics. Her research as a fellow at the Digital Policy Hub will focus on the influence of large language models on student learning outcomes and academic performance in higher education settings.

  • Ori Freiman - Headshot Mac
    Ori Freiman
    Digital Policy Hub Post-doctoral Fellow

    Ori Freiman is a post-doctoral fellow both at McMaster University’s Digital Society Lab and with the Digital Policy Hub at the Centre for International Governance Innovation. His research focuses on building trust in central bank digital currencies.

  • Andrew Heffernan
    Andrew Heffernan
    Digital Policy Hub Post-doctoral Fellow

    Andrew Heffernan is a part-time professor of international relations and comparative politics at the University of Ottawa where he also holds a Ph.D. in political science. He is a post-doctoral fellow at the Digital Policy Hub where his research will examine climate governance and mis- and disinformation around climate change.

  • Paula Martins - Photo
    Paula Martins
    Digital Policy Hub Doctoral Fellow

    Paula Martins is a policy advocacy lead at the Association for Progressive Communications. During her fellowship with the Digital Policy Hub, her research will delve into freedom of expression and digital rights.

  • Matt Photo
    Matthew da Mota
    Digital Policy Hub Post-doctoral Fellow

    Matthew da Mota is a post-doctoral fellow at CIGI’s Digital Policy Hub, where he researches the uses and governance of artificial intelligence and large language models within universities and public research institutions.

  • Laila Mourad - Photo
    Laila Mourad
    Digital Policy Hub Doctoral Fellow

    Laila Mourad is a Digital Policy Hub doctoral fellow and a Ph.D. candidate at York University who adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the international development, political economy, and gender studies fields. Currently, she is exploring how home-based labour in the “gig” economy can inform and shape our understanding of the evolving notion of “work” in the digital economy.

  • Maral Niazi PhD (7)
    Maral Niazi
    Digital Policy Hub Doctoral Fellow

    Maral Niazi is a Digital Policy Hub doctoral fellow and a Ph.D. student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs with a multidisciplinary background in political science, human rights, law and global governance. Her research with the Digital Policy Hub will expand on her doctoral research on the global governance of AI where she will examine the societal impacts of AI on humanity.

  • Fred-Okello_Photo
    Frederick (Fred) Okello
    Digital Policy Hub Master's Fellow

    Frederick (Fred) Okello is a master’s student at the Balsillie School of International Affairs and a Digital Policy Hub fellow. His research focuses on "Technology for Development" as a tool for reducing poverty, digital and energy inequality in Sub-Saharan Africa.

  • Ambika UNDP headshot square
    Ambika Opal
    Digital Policy Hub Visiting Fellow

    Ambika Opal is a visiting fellow at the Digital Policy Hub and manager of the Nunavut Data Strategy with Nunavut Tunngavik Incorporated.

  • HarnoorvirSinghJosan - Photo
    Harnoorvir (Harnoor) Singh Josan
    Digital Policy Hub Undergraduate Fellow

    Harnoor Singh Josan is a computer science undergraduate student at the University of Alberta whose research at the Digital Policy Hub will centre on artificial intelligence, music and copyright policy.

  • Mahatab Headshot
    Mahatab Uddin
    Digital Policy Hub Post-doctoral Fellow

    Mahatab Uddin is an adjunct professor and post-doctoral researcher at the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph and an expert on climate change law, intellectual property law, technology transfer and sustainable development. His research with the Digital Policy Hub as a post-doctoral fellow will focus on possible legal frameworks for AI-run climate-smart agricultural practices.

Visiting fellows receive full financial support from the organization or workplace they are affiliated with during their tenure at the Digital Policy Hub.