Neil Seeman
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Neil Seeman is Founder of the Health Strategy Innovation Cell, Senior Resident at Massey College in the University of Toronto, and Founder and CEO of The RIWI Corporation. He is co-author of five books, including, most recently, XXL: Obesity and the Limits of Shame (Univ. of Toronto Press, 2011). His writing and research focus on behavioral risk, healthcare innovation, information technology, and mental health.

He is a founding editorial board member of the National Post, and holds degrees from Queen’s University (BA), the University of Toronto (JD) and Harvard University (MPH). He has been listed in the Canadian Who’s Who (Univ. of Toronto Press) since 2002 for his contributions to public policy. He has co-founded several companies, including Clera Inc. and the RIWI Corporation. Neil advises start-ups, Fortune 100 companies, private equity, and NGOs. TVO’s "Allan Gregg in Conversation" has identified Neil as among “the world’s foremost thinkers on social, cultural, political and economic issues.”

Entries by Neil Seeman

Your Confidential Emails Aren't As Secure As You Think

(1) Comments | Posted December 16, 2014 | 5:23 PM

Pity Amy Pascal, co-chairman of Sony Pictures Entertainment. An anonymous group calling itself Guardians of Peace exposed her thousands of emails to the world.

Ms. Pascal is a member of a large club of senior executives, many of whom are anonymous. Perhaps due to embarrassment, they...

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The Cyber Security Crisis Must be Confronted

(1) Comments | Posted December 10, 2014 | 6:51 PM

Everyone in the technology business knows that many web meet-ups deliver negative value -- like getting into discussions about the coolest 'start-up goatees' -- but at various recent events we have learned that the world is a very dangerous place and technology will protect us.

Despite being involved in businesses...

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Remembering the 'Non-Brag' Christmas Card

(0) Comments | Posted December 7, 2014 | 9:08 PM

1957 -- a grand year to behold! Thank you Margaret for being such a wise friend, calming me in my sadness and my pain over the past year. My husband Phil has just lost his job. Is your aunt's heart health on the mend? Does she still make those delicious...

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How Frederick Banting Might Attack Ebola

(0) Comments | Posted December 2, 2014 | 8:39 AM

A happy accident landed us in our new offices in Sir Frederick Banting's old workspace in the University of Toronto's Banting and Best Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. It "oozes history," as one infectious disease expert, Dr. Kamran Khan, told me excitedly when he...

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What it's Like for Disabled and Elderly People to Take the TTC

(15) Comments | Posted November 8, 2014 | 12:02 AM

You know that feeling when you're hurried to get to work or an appointment downtown but the subway trains are all packed? So you fidget with angst until a less jam-packed car zooms into the station?

Now, multiply that stress by 20 times. That's what it feels like to...

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How To Give Thanks If You're Under 30

(0) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 6:44 PM

Contrary to media myth, today's younger generation is not disaffected or lost. They are less Sartre and more like Plato: giving back is suddenly cool again. There is a sense of urgency to change the world for good.

The data speak for themselves: in Canada, younger...

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Nigeria's Optimism Amid Ebola's Threat

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2014 | 6:25 PM

Ken Saro-Wiwa, the late Nigerian author and activist, insisted that the observer "cannot merely X-ray society's weaknesses, its ills, its perils. He or she must be actively involved shaping its present and its future." Today, in Nigeria, observation has swelled into optimism about burgeoning prosperity, born of a...

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Ten Body Lessons for Entrepreneurs

(0) Comments | Posted July 2, 2014 | 1:09 PM

Etymology offers insights into deity-associated bodily terms to understand the lessons of the Ancients and apply these lessons to entrepreneurship.

Atlas
Atlas is the name given to the uppermost spinal vertebra that supports the head. In Greek mythology, Atlas was a Titan, brother of Cronus, and thus...

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Why Should I Care About the Ontario Election? No One Else Does

(13) Comments | Posted May 15, 2014 | 2:15 PM

I will vote if I want to, vote if I want to, and if I do vote, you would likely not vote if the same thing happened to you. So what happened to me? Like millions of Ontarians, I don't care about Ontario politics; Why should I? I care about...

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If You Want an Amazing Job You Have to Ask the Right Questions

(7) Comments | Posted May 10, 2014 | 10:55 AM

Our company's "ask technology" is always on. We pose questions to hundreds of thousands of randomized people across every country and territory of the world. Tens of millions of people have provided us answers.

But I am fascinated by questions vastly more than answers.

Socrates was a genius because he...

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Don't Attribute Posts That 'Go Viral' To Neuroscience

(0) Comments | Posted April 15, 2014 | 10:03 AM

Internet titans such as Google's Larry Page now invoke neuroscience in human decision-making online. This is personally thrilling, because of my Internet work and my lifelong curiosity and support for neuroscience. Although neuroscience is the study of the nervous system, business leaders around the...

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We Should Adopt Open Data, With Caution

(0) Comments | Posted February 27, 2014 | 5:32 PM

A protean army of computer scientists, hackers and citizen researchers think we are living in an era of data access prohibition. February 22 was heralded as international open data day. The unofficial mission objective was to 'liberate data sets' -- a phrase popular with those whom we call...

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The Three Letters That Run Global Commerce

(0) Comments | Posted February 10, 2014 | 12:11 PM

The prelude to Chinese New Year was ominous. The very foundation of the Internet quaked across the country.

What we call the Internet is founded on numerous technology standards. Without standards, there is no "information super highway" or Amazon or Facebook.

A week before Chinese New Year, someone spoiled...

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Attack Plagiarism but Defend Student Creativity

(4) Comments | Posted February 1, 2014 | 1:01 AM

Hours before my wife's water broke -- our son was born in 2005 -- I learned of a case of mosaic plagiarism in my class. My nerves twanged. When the water broke, it poured; stress over a potential plagiarism confrontation whilst careening in a new mini-van toward the hospital can...

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Massey College, Mastery and Senator Segal

(0) Comments | Posted January 3, 2014 | 4:57 PM

Senator Hugh Segal, CM will retire from the Upper Chamber to embrace the post of Master of Massey College in the University of Toronto. To most Canadians this may seem like just another rung in the ladder of accomplishments of Mr. Segal, who has figured prominently...

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'Tis the Season to Speak Virtuously

(0) Comments | Posted December 10, 2013 | 12:25 PM

"What did ya get?" "What did ya get?" I remember a holiday party as a child where two teenage boys hopped onto the telephone in the basement after a pious meal to ask their friends what new electronic gadgets they had each received as holiday gifts. The Commodore 64 was,...

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Don't Mistake 'Likes' on Facebook For Real Social Change

(0) Comments | Posted November 19, 2013 | 9:41 AM

It is almost 10 years (2004) since journalist James Surowiecki first described the "wisdom of the crowds." It was one heck of a powerful idea. It is demonstrably true that 100 people who do not know each other -- or, say 10 bankers with independent voices...

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If You Think You're an Iconoclast You're Probably a Fool

(0) Comments | Posted October 18, 2013 | 9:03 AM

I was this month called a "research iconoclast" with a "big idea" by ESOMAR's Research World, a leading global journal for marketing intelligence and decision-making. Hmmm...is this a compliment in today's business world? "Rough work, iconoclasm, but the only way to get at truth," said US...

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Why Your URL Bar Matters, and Why Silicon Valley Should Take Note

(3) Comments | Posted July 23, 2013 | 4:09 PM

If you use the Internet, you've likely used something in the last month, but it's not something at the top of your lips: the URL bar. It's also called the "address bar" or the "direct navigation bar" among techies. Here's why it matters -- a lot.

The Uniform...

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The Danger of Taking Facebook "Likes" Too Seriously

(6) Comments | Posted April 26, 2013 | 7:11 PM

"The problem with measurement," Dennis S. O'Leary once said, "is that it can be a loaded gun: dangerous if misused and at least threatening if pointed in the wrong direction." Today, in the era of social media and "Big Data", researchers and consultants salivate...

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