Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade, Government of Alberta at Report to the Community 2017

Few cities are experiencing the level of disruptive change as Calgary lately but even fewer are as well positioned to prosper in the fast-evolving innovation economy.

The enduring structural change in the energy industry globally is part of a broader era of disruption that incorporates the digital, virtual and physical worlds. It’s only the beginning of this change and the abrupt transformation Calgary experienced has been painful but it has also prepared us for the road ahead.

One of the key roles Calgary Economic Development plays is to facilitate important conversations about creating enduring prosperity in an evolving economy.

It will be the case April 25 at the Jack Singer Concert Hall at the annual Report to the Community when noted economist and author Peter Tertzakian details his three types of disruption – internal, external, and collateral – that impact companies in all sectors of the economy.

Tertzakian, who is optimistic about the role Calgary can play in the new energy world, will set the stage for a discussion with two of the disrupters – Duncan Logan, CEO of RocketSpace, and Brent Allison, CEO of Long View Systems – in our innovation ecosystem.

“Technology and innovation are driving forces across all sectors of Calgary’s economy and how they are impacting what are already highly competitive global industries as the industrial internet of things takes hold is a major issue for all businesses,” said Mary Moran, President and CEO of Calgary Economic Development.

Moran will moderate a 30-minute discussion between the three after Tertzakian’s introductory remarks on disruption. She will recap an historic year for Calgary Economic Development and offer her thoughts on initiatives such as Startup Calgary and the Economic Development Investment Fund.

A young, well-educated, globally focused workforce and a well-established innovation ecosystem from decades pursuing advances in the energy sector remain the key to Calgary’s ability to adapt in an ever-changing economy.

The opportunities are widespread across all sectors in the more diverse economy supported in the long-term economic strategy for Calgary.

Logan, founder of RocketSpace, the San Francisco-based accelerator for high growth, seed funded tech startups, opened his first Canadian campus in Calgary. Allison, meanwhile, leads Long View Systems – a nearly two-decade-old Calgary startup that today provides IT solutions and business services for leading clients throughout North America.

Both work in an environment where established companies and upstarts are developing the technology – and business models to deliver this innovation – in fields as diverse as artificial intelligence, advanced materials, 3-D printing, robotics, sensoring and cyber security.

The exponential advances in technology are transforming industry.

Tertzakian makes the case the energy company of today will look little like the energy company of the 2020s. He sees a lot of reasons for optimism in the evolution of the energy industry as technology such as blockchain help address everything from efficiency to environmental performance.

Continue the conversation by joining us at Report to the Community, April 25, 2018.

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