Winning Team Announced: 2017 Wideman Prize Competition – Ontario

The Wideman Education Foundation is excited to share the results of the 2017 Wideman Prize Competition – Ontario!

The event marked the first year WEF has expanded the Wideman Prize Competition beyond the province of BC, working in collaboration with PMI Toronto, to make the competition a success. The competition was led by the organizing committee, Osmary Torres, Ariel Saltz, Latif Hassanzay & Mitchell R.  Fong from PMI Toronto.

View photos from the competition by clicking here, and don’t forgot to read more about the winning team’s abstract below!


Winning Team: “ICT and Technological Diversity”

Osmary Torres, Linda Vella, Dinos Kassianos, Leon Lam, Sanchit Sharma, R. Max Wideman, Lynn Shannon, Marc Blanchette and Bob Heggie

Abstract from the winning team:

“ICT and Technological Diversity” (ICT Information and Communication Technology)

“Diversity can be defined as the differences in people, culture, race, ethnicity, religion, etc.  The Canadian government adopted a multiculturalism policy in 1971 and became the first country in the world in doing so. (Canadian Multiculturalism: An Inclusive Citizenship, 2012).  This policy has helped reduce discrimination against immigrants, aboriginals and various other groups.  According to the Ministry of Tourism (2017): Ontario is the most multicultural province in Canada – about 40% of those who immigrate to Canada each year choose to settle in Ontario.  These statistics clearly show us that diversity is very important to all levels of government in Canada and particularly, the province of Ontario.

Also, a focus on diversity helps the Canadian government provide services to all Canadians irrespective of their gender, race, ethnicity,  etc. , and helps create an inclusive environment.  Research shows that having a diverse workforce can allow companies to achieve a competitive advantage (Pless and Maak, 2004).  To honour Canada’s 150th birthday, the Ontario government is taking a number of initiatives to promote diversity and inclusiveness.  These initiatives include events targeted to people with disabilities such as sporting events, educational events for youth and adults on Canadian history and “collaborative projects that foster new partnerships and innovative ways to engage and empower youth” (What’s happening in Ontario, 2017).

The topic of our project is Information and Communication Technology (ICT) and Technological Diversity, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) can help reduce a number of diversity related issues and help enable innovation and growth.  The scope of our project is how assistive ICTs can help reduce diversity related issues with disabilities, education and virtual teams.  During this project, we used a social media analysis tool named Netlytic through which we collected data from Twitter on what is being discussed about assistive ICTs for disabilities, education and virtual teams.

  1. Disabilities: The major issues associated with ICT tools for people with disabilities are lack of awareness and training and limited availability of products and services.  Hardware tools such as braille keyboard, foot mouse, etc., and software tools such as social media visual aids, etc., can help people with disabilities operate their daily lives and engage socially.
  2. Education:  The major issues with education include lack of access to education, high cost of education etc.  ICT solutions for education include virtual classrooms, mobile learning and multi-language websites that provide flexibility and ease of access.
  3. Culturally diverse virtual teams: The biggest issue faced by virtual teams is miscommunication and ICT solutions for virtual teams include email, team rooms, etc., as they foster collaboration and help improve performance of virtual teams

Overall, ICT tools and especially, social media can help reduce diversity related issues by engaging and empowering people with disabilities, raising awareness and supporting collaboration amongst individuals and teams.  However, it is critical to have the support from governments, organizations and the public in order to successfully implement ICTs.”

A few photos from the competition gallery . . .


Keerthan Sivanesan, Farrukh Nafees, Jonathan Delgado, Pavithra Thamapalan, Sutharsan Uthayakumar and Sangeevan Selvanathan


WEF_Competition_Ontario_2017_Photo2Ariel Saltz and R. Max Wideman


Latif Hassanzay, Ariel Saltz, Osmary Torres and Bilge Arikan



Divya Sharma, Osama Ahmad, Mohamed Baig and Ryan Haque