The Appeal of the Real: From Online to Offline (and back again!)

Panels & Conversations
Nov 13, 2019 4:15 PM
Hosted By The Innovation Studio
Glenn Gould Studio | 250 Front St W

Moderated by Ramona Pringle (director of Ryerson’s Creative Innovation Studio and CBC Tech Columnist) this panel dives deep into the gold rush of pop up experiences and real-world venues that are inspired by the magic of the online world. From the Museum of Ice Cream, which set off an explosion of Instagrammable destinations, to escape rooms (the fastest growing form of entertainment), to the experiential design of the Apple Store being billed as the future of retail, we look at how online and offline have blurred, why “IRL” is having its resurgence, and offer practical tips on how brands, creators and even public institutions can leverage offline spaces to build their online following, expand their audiences and reach new customers.


Alex McLeod | Toronto-Based Visual Artist

Alex McLeod is a Toronto-based visual artist who creates work about interconnection, life’s cycles, and empathy through the computer as a medium. Prints, animations, and sculptures are produced as gateways into alternative dimensions, oscillating between the real and the imagined.

McLeod holds a BFA from the Ontario College of Art and Design, and a Masters in Digital Media from the Yeates School of Graduate Studies at Ryerson University, Toronto. He has exhibited extensively at the Provincial, National and International levels, in both group and solo exhibitions. His work is held in private and public collections including The Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC) and the Museum of Contemporary Art (Toronto).



Michael Ishak | VP of Marketing and Sales, StickerYou

Michael leads StickerYou’s marketing strategy, including all digital marketing campaigns, affiliate programs, social media, content, PR, direct mail, distributor network marketing, trade shows, sponsorships and brand activations. He also oversees both divisions of the sales department, custom sales and the promotional products reseller division. Michael is an e-commerce ninja, in constant pursuit of optimal operational efficiencies and ensuring a world-class customer experience.

Having previously served as Associate Publisher of an international lifestyle and fashion publication headquartered in NYC, Michael has spearheaded omnichannel marketing campaigns for companies such as Audi, Chanel, Cirque du Soleil, Formula 1, Heineken, IBM, L’Oreal, LVMH, Microsoft, Netflix, Twitter, and Virgin.



Matt Rubinoff | Founder at stackt

Matt is the founder and visionary behind STACKT. Prior to this project he came from an extensive background in marketing, strategic partnerships and event production. He is an avid world traveler and has been involved in international real estate transactions for 20+ years. The combination of proven expertise in real estate and marketing drove him to envision the stackt concept and bring it to life. Comprised of over 120 shipping containers, stackt is a modular development, which can be easily erected, changed and moved as needed. Following stackt’s first location in Toronto, Matt envisions this concept popping up in other locations. This will be done by reimagining under utilized land and continuing to foster community connection through culture and innovation.




Courtney Murfin | Interpretive Planner, Royal Ontario Museum Toronto, Canada

Courtney is an Interpretive Planner and visitor experience developer at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, Canada. As the country’s largest and most comprehensive museum, the ROM’s exhibition experiences create knowledge, inspire learning, encourage gathering, and spark exchange within the intersecting worlds of art, culture, and nature.

In her 10 years in the field, Courtney has worked on a wide variety of exhibitions, apps, and digital projects – from bizarre animals, new dinosaur discoveries, and modern mining, to archaeological sites, the art of tattooing, and China’s historical palace. Courtney works with curators, exhibit designers, and media producers to outline the storyline, target audience, and tone of a project, and develop communication and interpretation vehicles for its content.

In doing so, her focus is on changing audiences, their needs and wants, and how interpretive storytelling strategies must change as a result. To do this, she goes to the visitors directly as much as possible, using beta testing and design thinking principles to achieve new and innovative ways to engage a diverse public.



Ramona Pringle SMWTO Speaker 2019

Ramona Pringle | Associate Professor, RTA School of Media at Ryerson 

Ramona Pringle is an Associate Professor in the RTA School of Media at Ryerson University, and Director of The Innovation Studio, a creative network comprised of three incubators, the Transmedia Zone, Design Fabrication Zone, and Fashion Zone, as well as the Global Campus Studio, a unique digital studio devoted to fostering international co-productions through the use of contemporary collaboration tools.

As a writer, producer, researcher, and journalist, Ramona’s work examines the evolving relationship between humans and technology. She is a technology analyst and columnist for CBC, where she tackles current affairs and explores the impact of technology and social media on all aspects of people’s lives, from work to relationships.

Ramona was the writer and director of the interactive documentary “Avatar Secrets, the interactive producer of PBS Frontline’s “Digital Nation,” and editor in chief of “Rdigitalife”.

Ramona’s projects have been featured at festivals and conferences including i-docs, Power to the Pixel, TFI Interactive, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Hot Docs, SXSW, NXNE, Social Media Week, TEDx, and in publications including the New York Times, Mashable, Cult of Mac and the Huffington Post.

Ramona has a Master’s Degree from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunications Program.