Interview with Matthew Skogstad-Stubbs


 

Hi, my name is Matthew Skogstad-Stubbs and I joined SOSCIP in March, 2020 as the Marketing and Communications Officer. I manage the SOSCIP website and social media accounts (Twitter & LinkedIn). I produce the Platforms newsletter, create content for distribution on our various platforms, and participate internally as a member of the SOSCIP EDI Working Group.

 


 

Q: Tell us about your work at SOSCIP.

A: We are a core team of 10 at SOSCIP and my role is to celebrate advancements and achievements in AI & Data Science and showcase the successes of Ontario’s innovation ecosystem. SOSCIP’s web presence is curated to express the values of our organization and to highlight the opportunities of partnering with us and our members.

Because I follow and amplify the diverse voices in Ontario’s innovation ecosystem, I get a bird’s eye view of just how much is going on across a province where there are so many people that are creating opportunities and realizing them, every day. Going from the forest to the trees, I also have the chance to dive into the particulars of SOSCIP-supported projects and tell those stories. In that work, I’ve been impressed by the range of projects that SOSCIP supports, and by the ability for AI, ML and advanced modelling & simulation to fundamentally change the nature of R&D.

 


 

Q: What do you think are the most interesting and complex problems of our time?

A: Problems related to sustainability, resilience and disaster preparedness are top of mind. Not only are they interesting and complex problems, but they are also crucial to our collective future. SOSCIP is currently running a cleantech initiative in partnership with Mitacs and the projects that we are targeting are precisely about how to tackle the big problems of our time: climate change, water, energy, waste, and other species-level concerns.


Interesting and complex problems abound, whether it’s in medicine, physics, engineering, or marketing and communications. The curiosity and drive that people bring to everyday problems make them interesting. The nature of research in 2021 is that every problem worth pursuing at an academic or industry level contains complexity. Our innovators and researchers are lacking neither in curiosity nor drive and so I expect to remain constantly surprised and impressed by the state of innovation in Ontario.

 


 

Q: What drives you?

A: My family and friends are the most important drivers in my life. They keep me grounded and striving to improve. During the past Year of COVID, I have also been driven by a commitment to mental health: mine and those of the people around me. I was reminded by a friend the other day that when the feelings of anxiety and fear can be overwhelming, practicing compassion with oneself and with those around us is the surest way through.

 


 

Q: What are you looking forward to?

A: I love being outside and out-and-about on my bike and so I’m very, very excited to put the last three months of COVID-winter firmly in the rear-view mirror. The smell of spring has been in the air lately and to me, it smells like the promise of long bike rides and evenings in the park.


I’m also looking forward to the work that we have in front of us at SOSCIP. For me, that means continuing to build SOSCIP’s web presence so that we can bring together, and support, as many researchers, innovators, and entrepreneurs as possible.


We’re also starting a new series that will amplify the outstanding and diverse voices throughout Ontario’s innovation ecosystem. The series, that we’re calling SOSCIP Spotlight, will solicit leaders in our community on the topic of how technology adoption is impacting innovation and entrepreneurship. Every month we will sit down with a leader in Ontario’s innovation community to share their insights through our Platforms newsletter, on our website and social media platforms, and on our Youtube channel. I’m excited to share the first episode of this series with you shortly, so be sure to follow and subscribe!