News and Events

ACM SPLASH Conference:

Software Programming Languages and Applications in the Service of Humanity

Auckland, New Zealand. Dec 5 - 10, 2022.

Panel: Software Profession Dimensions of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI)

Steven Fraser, Panel Impresario

Principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are important across academia, industry, and government, yet progress has been uneven. As individuals, we tend to evaluate others in terms of our own norms, beliefs, and standards. We also tend to find comfort in likeness. History has demonstrated that it is difficult to share power and the faces on organization charts often don’t change with any regularity. Change also encounters political obstacles, particularly when relying solely on “representationalism” to increase diversity. Dimensions of DEI tend to fall into two categories. Some dimensions are visible characteristics - age, color, gender, and physical ability. But others are less visible - education, ethnicity, experience, gender identity, heritage, language, national origin, occupation, political beliefs, mental ability, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, veteran status, etc. An understanding of the past can help us understand how DEI efforts have fallen short or failed.

The software profession benefits from diversity and inclusion because the community is challenged by situations requiring a multi-disciplinary approach. Effective software solutions often involve a blend of techniques and practices drawn from business, engineering, government, science, and the social sciences. End-user stakeholders are diverse and may include aviators, bankers, doctors, educators, engineers, government officials, and scientists. Without DEI, lives and economies can be at stake. While many practitioners may lack a formal education in software or computer science, DEI principles and their adoption remain relevant to all. 

This Systems, Programming, Languages, and Applications: Software for Humanity (SPLASH) Conference panel reflected on the questions that need be addressed to foster the adoption of DEI principles by individuals, organizations, and communities as the software field continues to grow.


In Room Facilitators


  • Dennis Mancl

XP2023: 23rd Inernational Conference on Agile Software Development

Copenhagen, June 13-17, 2022

Panel: The Future of Work: Agile in a Hybrid World

Steven Fraser, Panel Impresario

An agile organization adapts what they are building to match their customer’s evolving needs. Agile teams also adapt to changes in their organization’s work environment. The latest change is the evolving environment of “hybrid ” work – a mix of in-person and virtual staff. Team members might sometimes work together in the office, work from home, or work in other locations, and they may struggle to sustain a high level of collaboration and innovation. It isn’t just pandemic social distancing – many of us want to work from home to eliminate our commute and spend more time with family. Are there learnings and best practices that organizations can use to become and stay effective in a “hybrid” world?


  • Alistair Cockburn, Heart of Agile (USA)

  • Hendrik Esser, Ericsson (Germany) + in room facilitator

  • Sandy Mamoli, Nomad8 (New Zealand)

  • Nils Bred Moe, SINTEF Digital (Norway)

  • Jaana Nyfjord, Spotify (Sweden) 

  • Darja Smite, Blekinge Institute of Technology (Sweden)

XP2021: 22nd Inernational Conference on Agile Software Development

Virtual, June 14-18, 2021

Five Strategies for the Future of Work:
Accelerating Innovation through Tech Transfer

Steven Fraser

This experience report outlines five tech transfer strategies that I developed over a period of 25 years at four Global 1000 companies (HP, Cisco, Qualcomm, and Nortel) to mitigate R&D challenges associated with duplicated effort, product quality, and time-to-market. I continue to refine and use these strategies as an Innoxec consultant. My five strategies accelerate innovation through knowledge sharing, rather than through creating and licensing tangible intellectual property rights (IPR) such as patents, trade secrets, and copyrights. These five strategies are based on corporate tech forums, conference panels, exploratory workshops, research reviews (at universities and companies), and talent exchanges. My initial objective was to foster corporate adoption of software best practices, but I discovered over time that these strategies had broader impact on company innovation, including incubating cross-company R&D collaborations, capturing organizational memory, cultivating and leveraging external research partnerships, and feeding company talent pipelines.

8th International Virtual Workshop on Software Engineering Research and Industrial Practice - in conjunction with the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) 2021

Exploring the Dimensions of University-Company Collaborations:
Research, Talent, and Beyond


Steven Fraser and Dennis Mancl

June 4, 2021


Our presentation (based on a paper with the same title), will explore the benefits of university-company collaborations beyond research and talent – primarily from a US and Canadian perspective. Company connections to specific universities may initially be based on research relationships or talent acquisition needs. Additional collaborative dimensions may include marketing, sales, public policy, local economic development, and philanthropy. University-company partnerships are complex and fragile. To build effective and enduring partnerships, we describe collaboration scenarios to: incubate collaborations, connect experts, assess and communicate collaborative value, and grow relationships. Our talk (and paper) presents a set of recommended activities to achieve a greater sustained impact for innovation and learning: orchestrate collaborative events, measure and track results, facilitate learning, catalyze research through philanthropy, leverage regional development and government incentives, incubate a collaborative ecosystem, and make collaboration results more visible and actionable.

Presentation available on YouTube:



2021 Strategies for “Socially Distant” University-Company Collaborations


8th International Virtual Workshop on Software Engineering Research and Industrial Practice - in conjunction with the ACM/IEEE International Conference on Software Engineering (ICSE) 2021


Steven Fraser, Panel Impresario


• Sheri A. Brodeur, Director of Corporate Relations, MIT Industrial Liaison Program
• Randy Katz, Vice-Chancellor for Research, UC Berkeley
• Xue (Steve) Liu, Professor McGill University and VP R&D Samsung AI Center
• Stefanie Molthagen-Schnöring, VP for Research & Transfer HTW Berlin
• Sheng-Ying (Aithne) Pao, Professor National Tsing Hua University (NTHU) and CEO Startup Garage
In the early months of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic suddenly transformed the way the world works and collaborates. With all work-related travel abruptly curtailed and most company professionals and academics working from home, the daily work environment shifted to an ecosystem enabled by online communication and collaboration tools. In 2021, workflows continue to evolve for both universities and corporations – to better support R&D, education, and ideation. This panel will discuss how COVID-19-inspired innovation ecosystems have changed – for better or worse – university-company collaborations. Panelists will share personal observations, challenges, results, and ideas for the future.


Virtual Collaboration Techniques to Catalyze Open Innovation

McGill University School of Computer Science Seminar


McGill University, Montréal (Virtual Webcast)

November 13, 2021.


Steven Fraser


As we face the challenges of pandemic-enforced separation, now more than ever, effective strategies for open innovation and collaboration “at a distance” are essential for software industry professionals. This seminar will focus on the strategies and benefits for collaborative open innovation by both companies and universities. For companies, university relations programs are a way to expand a company's ability to innovate, calibrate its research in emerging technologies, leverage government incentive programs, and build visibility for the company's brand. For universities, an open innovation collaboration model is a great way to connect researchers, students, and administrators with companies. University research collaboration goals often include attracting new funding, understanding real-world challenges to evolve curricula, networking to foster increased research excellence, and cultivating employment opportunities for graduates. Leveraging 25+ years of multi-site R&D, virtual collaboration forums, and university relations experience at Nortel, Qualcomm, Cisco, HP, and Innoxec – Steven Fraser will explore strategies, collaboration techniques, benefits, and potential challenges for open innovation. The seminar will conclude with a summary of “best case,” “worst case,” and “most likely case” company-university collaboration scenarios.


XP2020 21st Intl Conference Agile Software Development

Virtually Copenhagen, Denmark

June 8-12, 2020

COVID-19's Influence on the Future of Agile


Steven Fraser, Panel Impresario



• Aino Vonge Corry

• Steve McConnell

• Rachel Reinitz


As a result of the global COVID-19 Pandemic, the way we work, collaborate, and live has changed dramatically. Many of us are currently “working from home” in quarantine to reduce our pandemic exposure and the risk of infection for our colleagues and families. Collaboration is increasingly facilitated by a variety of internet-based tools – substituting screens for face-to-face interactions. How do does this impact our productivity and the future of Agile?

Link to Panel Report