The Deetken Group welcomes Colin Spear to the team!


The Deetken Group is excited to welcome Colin Spear to the team.

Colin recently joined The Deetken Group as an Associate. With a combination of economic rigour, advanced data analytical techniques, and policy analysis experience, he is well-equipped to address complex client concerns ranging from economic and financial modeling to operations optimization to policy evaluation. Prior to joining Deetken, Colin worked at the University of Zurich conducting research into the long-run determinants of economic development.

Colin came to Vancouver from Colorado via San Diego (where he founded and operated a community supported bakery), Barcelona, and Zurich. He loves spending time outdoor and playing guitar, and is planning on getting a kayak paddling certification this summer. Colin holds a BA from Fort Lewis College and a Masters in Applied Economic Analysis from Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.

Stay tuned for Colin's full bio coming to the Team section soon!

The Deetken Group welcomes Suiki Zhang to the team!


The Deetken Group is pleased to announce the addition of a new member to our team, Suiki Zhang.

Suiki recently joined Deekten as the Office and Operations Lead after gaining experience in managing her own start-up which included facets such as operations , sales, marketing and financial management. She is also a recognized communication expert in many phases of effective communication, a television host, radio host, event and wedding emcee, script writer and event coordinator.

Suiki holds a Bachelor of Science from University of British Columbia, majoring in Behavioural Neuroscience and minoring in Commerce. With a great passion for languages, she is fluent in English, Mandarin Chinese and Cantonese and also studied French and Japanese. In her free time, she enjoys indulging in delicious food around the city.

Stay tuned for Suiki's full bio coming to the Team section soon!

The Deetken Group welcomes Serge Gosselin to the team!


The Deetken Group is excited to announce the addition of a new member to our team, Serge Gosselin.

Serge brings a wealth of knowledge in data science, software engineering, computational geometry, and quantitative finance.  As a Senior Associate, Serge will be a core leader of Deetken Horizon, our machine intelligence team, and will further build our data science and computational analysis capabilities.   

Serge’s education and experience includes a PhD with research focused on unstructured mesh generation in engineering simulations from the University of British Columbia (UBC), a Master of Applied Science in numerical shape optimization, both from the University of British Columbia, and a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering from Université Laval. He also has a strong interest in finance, having passed the level 1 and level 2 examinations of the CFA program and is fluent in French. He previously held positions where he worked on projects ranging from automated trading algorithms to thermal management simulations.  

Serge is an avid skier, hockey player and hobbyist mechanic.

Stay tuned for Serge's full bio coming to the Team section soon!

Introducing Deetken Horizon, the machine intelligence team at The Deetken Group

For many of us the term “artificial” or “machine” intelligence conjures up images of kind-hearted Sonny from I, Robot or the deceptively doe-eyed Dolores from Westworld. For some, an AI/MI future is dark, even apocalyptical, with aggressive machines taking over the world and relegating us to second class citizens… or worse.  For others, AI/MI promises a future utopia where daily drudgeries are performed by robots and humans are left to explore higher pursuits.

Whether we like it or not (or we’re just not sure what to think), machine intelligence is already a big part of our lives. (Learn more about MI in everyday life by reading one of our blogs.)

“Machine intelligence” refers to processes where computers perform some of the cognitive functions that we typically associate with the human mind, like learning, reasoning, and problem solving.  

In the way that tractors, assembly lines and robots have automated the agriculture and manufacturing industries, machine intelligence holds unprecedented opportunities to bring automation to the services industries.  This can help organizations work better, faster and cheaper.

The Deetken Group is proud to introduce Deetken Horizon, our machine intelligence team.  Deetken Horizon uses machine intelligence tools and techniques to harness the potential of automation for services industries, like healthcare, insurance, finance and law.

We have used MI to help clients improve their customer service and retention; to accelerate their sales to cash cycle; to reduce financial, operational and occupational safety risks; to measure the effectiveness of partners and suppliers; to free up time to work on high value activities; and, ultimately, to make better decisions, faster. 

The Deetken Horizon team is excited to tell you about our work. Click here to watch our latest video and to learn more about who we are and what we do.  You can also visit our MI webpage on The Deetken Group's website for more information about our team and some of our recent projects.

Video: Experience a typical day at The Deetken Group

At The Deetken Group, each day brings a new challenge.

Our management consulting team has a core set of skills - economic modelling and analysis, strategy development and planning, organizational design, advanced analytics, and other areas - to help clients solve complex problems. We've learned that no two problems are ever alike and we are constantly developing and refining our approaches to helping provide clients with the best possible solutions.

Our asset management team is now fully committed to impact investing in the areas of healthcare, clean renewable energy, small business and micro lending, and social housing with a focus on Latin America and the Caribbean. We recently launched the Deetken Impact Fund, one of the first impact funds in Canada with an international focus.

With so much going on, we've put together a short video so you could get to know us better. Click here to join us for "A Typical Day at The Deetken Group".

The potential of machine intelligence

What is machine intelligence?

For those of you that have an interest in the world of technology, whether personal or professional, you have almost certainly encountered the term “machine intelligence” in recent years.  Machine intelligence is not a new concept. In 1959, Arthur Samuel defined machine intelligence as “the ability of a machine to generalize knowledge from data without being explicitly programmed.” (1)  In other words, machine intelligence refers to the ability of a system to recognize patterns and to make predictions based on these patterns without human intervention. The computer “learns” by continuously gathering data to improve the accuracy of its predictions.  Since the term was coined, programs have been created that have simplified the use of machine intelligence, allowing machine intelligence tools to be widely applied to anything to do with the processing of data.

Many of us don’t realize that machine intelligence is a big part of our everyday lives. When ATMs are reading the written numbers on the cheques we deposit, Facebook is automatically tagging and identifying our friends and Siri is giving us those directions we asked for, we are seeing machine intelligence in action!

The potential of machine intelligence expands beyond the everyday.  IBM has created a robot named IBM Watson that is making groundbreaking progress in artificial intelligence. In 2011, IBM Watson competed on Jeopardy against former winners Brad Rutter and Ken Jennings. IBM Watson had access to four terabytes of storage but no internet access -- and won! (2)  In other words, IBM Watson was able to identify the question being asked, predict what the best answer by running probabilities against storage data, and provide a verbal answer faster and with a greater degree of accuracy than the experts themselves.

Today, IBM Watson is learning how to identify objects using visual recognition, a machine intelligence application. Check out this video of IBM Watson using visual recognition to identify a hand of cards. (3) 

IBM is not the only company making breakthroughs in artificial intelligence. Google Glass has teamed up with Dapper Vision to design a product called OpenShades. (4) OpenShades uses speech recognition and text-to-speech machine intelligence applications to answer questions about the physical environment. For example, when shopping at the grocery store you can take a picture of the dairy section and ask, “where is the 2% milk?”.  OpenShades will send the photo to Amazon’s Mechanical Turk, a crowdsourcing Internet marketplace, and Twitter to ask the public for help and the answer is read out loud to the user. OpenShades has tested the base models on users to demonstrate how this technology can benefit people who are visually impaired.

Imagine combining the OpenShades product with IBM Watson’s visual recognition capacities to create a product that could give visually impaired individuals real-time answers about their physical environment.

We have only started to scratch the surface when it comes to the potential of machine intelligence. It may be that the only limiting factor to find new ways of applying machine intelligence techniques is our imagination!





The Deetken Group welcomes Thomas Reimer to the team!

The Deetken Group is pleased to welcome Thomas (Tom) Reimer to the team.

Tom joined Deetken in mid-August as an Associate in our consulting group. He brings deep experience in applied advanced analytics and a strong skill set in data manipulation to the team. He has refined this expertise while working as a research assistant on various projects at the University of British Columbia (UBC), including a recent project focused on engineering a complex web scraping program.

Tom spends his free time hiking, backcountry skiing and volunteering in his community, including as a math tutor. He is also a member of the UBC’s Varsity Outdoors Club and Sailing Club. Tom has a BA in Economics and Math and a MA in Economics, both from UBC.

Check out Tom’s full bio in the About Us>Team section.

The Deetken Group welcomes Kelli Gruhl to the team!

The Deetken Group is pleased to welcome Kelli Gruhl to the team.

Kelli recently joined Deetken as Office and Communications Administrator. She brings significant experience from previous administration positions in the health sector, together with a unique perspective on communications and social media.

Kelli recently graduated from Queen’s University with a BSc in Biology and Health Studies. With a strong personal interest in business intelligence, Kelli is working towards building on her degree through data analytics studies. After living in Vancouver for about a year, Kelli has become a member of the Vancouver Women’s Australian Rules football league and spends her free time exploring the mountains in BC.

Check out Kelli's bio in the About Us>Team section our website, along with the rest of the Deetken team.  

The Deetken Group launches our new website

The Deetken team is proud to announce the launch of our new website:

Many of you may be familiar with bits and pieces of our work. We are pleased that our new website brings together our diverse experience and skills and showcases the connections – and distinctions – between our consulting branch and our asset management division. Our news section offers a space to share reflections on what we are learning through the work we are doing. The Deetken Blog, updated regularly, provides snapshots of some of the exciting things we are thinking about or doing.

For us, this is more than a website. It’s the story of who we are – as a company and as individuals. Please visit often and share widely!

Deetken writes and directs our first animated shorts!

You may not think that, as a management consulting and asset management company, Deetken would be in the animation business. Think again!

We recently completed a major project focused on improving employment outcomes for immigrants. As part of this project, Deetken developed three training modules (which can be accessed here) to help employment and settlement counsellors to improve employment outcomes for immigrants. To reinforce learning outcomes, Deetken developed animated shorts that tell the stories of two newcomers to Canada: Priya from India and Zeina from Syria.

Here’s a snapshot of each story:

Priya’s story

Priya has immigrated to Canada with her husband Ajay, who entered the country through the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and their teenage son, Anil.  Priya’s story illustrates the mix of emotions she experiences leaving India and settling into life in a small town in northern BC. Priya’s story focuses on her quest to find employment and the support she receives from an Employment Services Centre and an Immigrant Settlement Organization. Priya’s story part one, can be found here and part two here.

Zeina’s story

Zeina had been living with her children in a refugee camp in Jordan when she was selected for the Canadian refugee program.  As Government-Assisted Refugees, she and her children receive Permanent Resident status upon their arrival in Canada. Zeina’s story tells of both the sense of loss and the relief she feels leaving Syria and settling in Burnaby. We accompany Zeina in her search for employment and get a glimpse into the support she receives along the way. Click here for part one of Zeina’s story and here for part two.