Day by day

Posted on May 3, 2021 by

Earlier this week an old song by Doug and the Slugs — called Day by Day — came up on my Spotify play list. If you grew up in the ’80s it is one of those ear worms that grabs you whenever you are near it. In the mid-’80s, I was worried about finding a job while staring at student debt with a double-digit interest rate – yes millennials, student debt was costing us about 13 per cent per year. I didn’t know what the song was about, but it resonated with my day-by-day existence at the time. In today’s pandemic life, once again, it feels very much day to day.

To break that day-to-day cycle, I started looking at what is coming up next week, next month and next fall and there is so much to be excited about. Today, I was told that our internal IT@UofT 2021 conference has more than 880 people registered!  WOW – a virtual conference, during a pandemic with that level of participation?! This is wonderful and something to get excited about. We chose to rebrand this year to “IT@UofT” because we feel we are at an inflection point. It is sad to see the “TKF” brand go (there is a session on the history of TKF), but IT@UofT signals a change to a more collaborative, one-team approach. If you look at the program, information technology (IT) professionals from across the tri-campus community are presenting, but so are non-IT people who use technology in their day to day.

I am really looking forward to our keynote presentations. Gillian Hadfield, the inaugural director of the Schwartz Reisman Institute of Technology and Society will kick things off May 5 at 10:20 a.m. with Reining in the tech: powerful technologies and society in the 21st century. She has done some interesting work on ensuring our governance structures balance the benefit of technology innovations with the risks that they may bring to society. This will be followed on May 6 at 10:05 a.m. by Jesse Hirsch speaking on Participatory cyber security and inclusive computing. He is always an entertaining and thought-provoking speaker. The conference closes the afternoon of May 6 with, what I suspect will be an inspiring talk, by Tania DeSa on The power of owning your own value.

There is also an amazing expert panel being led by our Chief Information Security Officer Isaac Straley about cyber security in the broader public sector. I am sure this will have great value, but it might also be scarier than a Stephen King novel! Somewhere in there, I will lead a panel of my peers from University of British Columbia, University of Alberta and McMaster University discussing Higher education Chief Information Officers (CIOs) and the pandemic.

So, if you are feeling it is all just day by day, look on the horizon, great things are developing.

Bad news don’t ruin my appetite
Don’t let the papers tell me if it’s wrong or right
I just do what I do and I do it
Day by day by day by day

Live a life, might take it slow
Made mistakes but oh that’s the way it goes
I just know what I know and I know it
Day by day by day by day

Day by day I’m feeling stronger
Day by day I’m lasting longer
Day by day you help me make my way

– Doug and the Slugs