I research and specialize in democratic institution-building, political economy, and the role of exponential technologies in responding to state fragility, financial volatility, and population displacement.
As a political refugee and a social justice activist, I’m passionate about justice, human rights, social impact, sustainability and good governance. In the past decade, I have been studying and participating in causes and organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, UNHCR, Laborstart, Index on Censorship, The Canadian Union of Public Employees, Occupy Movement, World Social Forum, Panama Papers, Persian Spring, Arab Spring, Rojava Revolution, and Black Lives Matter.
During my career, I have had diverse and enriching experiences working in various fields of society, industry, and media while running active R&D for interdisciplinary projects. From 2007 to 2010, I served in different management and executive roles for the United Nations‘ education program for refugees in Turkey. From 2010 to 2015, I studied journalism and data science while experimenting with different concepts of consensus and community mobilization at Street Journalist, Bridge Journal, and Re-Road, which collectively evolved into a peer-to-peer civic engagement platform with a primary focus on the MENA region’s populations, geopolitics, and foreign policy.
Expanding my network and knowledge at the intersection of data science and sustainable development eventually paved the way for the creation of Datacracy. My first startup project (AI/ML) aimed at providing data science solutions to the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Later on, I contributed to the architecture design of AxonWork, a blockchain-based human resource solution for the future of work. Since 2018, I’m working on a super-app project called EziFund at the intersection of Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). The next project in line is Observatory, a banking API infrastructure for the banks.
Among other activities, I’ve always treated culture as a priority and designed different pilots for the creative economy. That’s the intuition behind building the Tirgan Publication platform in 2019 to support independent artists and initiatives. As a result, thousands of pages published online and in print to showcase the diversity and richness of art and culture in Canada, and across Iranian diaspora. In my role as Editor in Chief, I followed an ambitious editorial agenda to transform Tirgan Magazine into a transnational outlet for volunteers, world-class scholars, emerging artists, leaders, and legends. Tirgan is now an example for many and continues to serve the community as a cornerstone of the Iranian diaspora and Canadian cultural mosaic. Each Tirgan Magazine begins with a message from Canadian leaders, including but not limited to Justin Trudeau (Canada’s 23rd Prime Minister), Andrew Scheer (previous leader of the Conservative Party of Canada), Thomas Mulcair (previous leader of the New Democratic Party of Canada), Douglas Ford (the 26th premier of Ontario), John Tory (the 65th Mayor of Toronto), Lisa MacLeod (minister of tourism, Culture, and Sport), Kathleen Wynne (the 25th premier of Ontario).
As a lifetime student, I follow my journey at York University to actively keep my connection alive around three disciplines: political science, data science, and cognitive science. In 2019 I joined Canadian Science Policy (CSPC) Magazine as Editor in Chief to showcase some of the greatest minds, both established and emerging, in the Canadian science policy landscape. Title of the inaugural issue, “CSPC: A Decade of Impact,” was inspired by CSPC’s impact on the policy space since its inception and as a means to reflect and expand our scope for decades to come. Contributors include but not limited to Rob Myers (BMO Financial Group Isaac Newton Chair in Theoretical Physics), Preston Manning (Founder, Manning Foundation for Democratic Education), Paul Dufour (Senior Fellow, Science, Society and Policy, UOttawa), Rémi Quirion (Chief Scientist of Québec), Iain Stewart (President, National Research Council), Natan Obed (President, Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami -ITK).
Since 2019, I have joined the founding council of the Global Centre for Risk and Innovation (GCRI) and serve as the Executive Director and Chair of the research and development committee. The GCRI is an interdisciplinary hub that connects economists, financiers, engineers, and information technologists under the same umbrella to create future capacity building and innovation. We are not-for-profit and home to a worldwide network of cross-industry leaders driving innovation and new growth – representing small specialty companies, large global corporations, government labs, and everyone in between. Working horizontally, members can offer under-served consumers a powerful combination of tech solutions and supportive relationships with trusted partners — all with the goal of building financial health in sustainable societies.
I also sit on the advisory board of AI Forum and continue to advise foundations, academic institutions, corporate leaders, elected officials, and think tanks on their strategies to meet optimal, ethical, and sustainable goals.