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From smart cities to Indigenous culture and classical music: Check out these January events

(photo by Laura Pedersen)

Welcome back! The start of a new year naturally invites discussions about the future – and, at the University of Toronto, the subjects range from technology to medicine to the city. 

Here are some of the events happening in and around U of T in January: 

Jan. 8 

“Why Smart Cities are maybe so 2017” is the name of a discussion at U of T’s Transportation Research Institute. As Sidewalk Labs' Quayside development in Toronto gains international attention, key urban theorists discuss what the project involving the Google sister company means for innovation in urban mobility and for social relations in the city. 

The integration of artificial intelligence into medical practice and diagnostics is on the agenda at this talk at the Centre for Ethics, with Sunit Das, Vinyas Harish and Felipe Morgado of U of T's Faculty of Medicine. 

Jan. 9

Indigenous Elder Wendy Phillips welcomes those who want to explore Indigenous knowledge systems, culture, healing and teachings at the January Indigenous Learning Circle. This evening of community building, food and song takes place at U of T Scarborough.

Jan. 16

Watch teams of emerging classical music composers and performers compete at songSLAM, which premieres new music and has composers compete for cash prizes. Teams present a new song for voice and piano in any language while the audience votes for the winners. Presented by Women on the Verge in partnership with U of T Voice Studies and the U of T New Music Festival. 

Data security and public policy are the topics of this talk by John Chen, BlackBerry's CEO and executive chairman, in conversation with McKinsey & Co.'s John Kelleher, who is also a senior fellow at U of T's Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy at U of T. This event is co-hosted by the Munk School and Rotman School of Management. 

Jan. 18

Hear about the contemporary rhetorics, pre-histories and politics of the smart city phenomenon at the Urban IQ Test Symposium. The keynote panel is Jan. 18, followed by symposium panels the next day – all part of the Home and Away lecture series at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.  

Jan. 20 

Enjoy a break from the city with a day of food and fun up at Hart House Farm. Learn the art of pie-making and enjoy the property’s facilities, including trails, ponds and a wood-fired sauna. 

Jan. 23

Dress in your most colourful outfit and come to the annual Rainbow Tie Gala, where U of T Scarborough celebrates its vibrant community of LGBTQIA2S+ and supporters. The night of performances, guest speakers, activities, food, drinks, and dancing is open to all, no RSVP required. 

Hear about the ethics of regulating fake news and freedom of expression at this talk by Étienne Brown, a visiting postdoctoral fellow at U of T’s Centre for Ethics. 

Jan. 24

Mindfest is a free mental health and wellness fair on U of T's downtown campus that is open to the public. Aiming to increase awareness of mental health and mental illness, as well as providing resources and services, the fair includes fun workshops, informative exhibits and inspiring speakers like Tony George, a U of T professor of psychiatry who will be talking about cannabis legalization and psychiatric disorders.  

See some ghostly hijinks on stage at the revenge-filled comedy, Blithe Spirit, opening today and running until Feb. 3 at U of T Mississauga’s Theatre Erindale. 

Jan. 25

Taste what Toronto has to offer at Winterlicious, running from Jan. 25 to Feb. 7. Gallery Grill at Hart House is among the participating restaurants, offering their three-course prix fixe menu that serves up dishes with local ingredients. 

Jan. 26

Students and recent graduates are invited to attend the annual Next Steps conference, a day of career exploration panels and networking opportunities on the downtown campus. With industry panels and discussions on internships, PhD pathways and more, kick-start the rest of your life. 

Jan. 30

“We All Belong: Creating Spaces for Dialogue & Change in Health Care” is the name of a conference at U of T’s Faculty of Medicine. The focus is on the roles of diversity and inclusion in health care, with a keynote presentation by U of T alumna Nanky Rai. ASL interpretation is provided.