2020 Event Panel Descriptions

Monday November 16 2020

9:00 am – 10:00 am

Welcome and Lessons for the Next Economy

Sponsored by RBC

  • Kerry Slavens, Director of PR, South Island Prosperity Partnership
    Jim Hayhurst, Investor & Entrepreneur
  • Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO, South Island Prosperity Partnership
    Matt Morrison, CEO, Pacific NorthWest Economic Region

Join Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO of South Island Prosperity Partnership and Matt Morrison, CEO of the Pacific North West Economic Region (PNWER) as they kick off Rising Economy Week. They’ll discuss the launch of the region’s Economic Recovery Strategy, the massive collaborative effort behind it and their vision for a more resilient, inclusive future.

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Cascadia’s Next Economy: The Future of Sustainable Mega-Regions

Pacific Northwest Track

  • Erik Schatzker, Editor-at-Large, Bloomberg TV (Moderator)
  • Emilie de Rosenroll, CEO, South Island Prosperity Partnership
  • Governor Christine Gregoire, CEO, Challenge Seattle
  • Greg D’Avignon, President & CEO, Business Council of British Columbia
  • Gerri Sinclair, B.C.’s Innovation Commissioner

As population growth, trade patterns and economic and cultural links strengthen between cities in the Pacific Northwest, there is a growing recognition of the importance of the Cascadia mega-region on the world stage. Our panel explores the rise of mega-regions and the challenges and opportunities for people living on both sides of the Canada-U.S. border.

Tuesday November 17 2020

9:00 am – 10:00 am

The Digital Tsunami: Is it Too Late to Future-Proof Our Economy?

Sponsored by Douglas Magazine.

  • Jeff Spencer, Founder, Atreides
  • Samarth Mod, CEO & Founder, FreshWorks Studio
  • Brandon Lee, Consul General
  • Nirav Desai, CEO, Moonbeam
  • Sue Paish, CEO, Digital Technology Supercluster

From e-com and automation to AI and quantum computing, we’ve entered an age of deep technological disruption, and COVID. Our panel explores which industries are most impacted, which trends are emerging and how companies can pivot and thrive as part of the new resilience economy.

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Virtual Stakeholder Listening Session with Canada’s Ambassador to the United States Kirsten Hillman and US Acting Ambassador to Canada, Chargé d’Affaires Katherine Brucker.

Pacific Northwest Track

  • Matthew Morrison, CEO, Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (Moderator)
  • Kirsten Hillman, Canada’s Ambassador to the United States
  • Katherine Brucker, US Acting Ambassador to Canada, Chargé d’Affaires
  • Dave Cowen, CEO, The Butchart Gardens
  • Patrick Kole, Vice President, Idaho Potato Commission
  • Ryder Lee, CEO, Saskatchewan Cattlemen’s Association
  • Gerry Bruno, Executive Advisor to the CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority
  • Laurie Trautman, Director, Border Policy Research Institute
  • Bruce Agnew, Director, Cascadia Center and ACES NW Network
  • Ian Robertson, CEO, Greater Victoria Harbour Authority
  • Bridgitte Anderson, President & CEO Vancouver Board of Trade

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

The She-cession: How COVID 19 is Killing Gender Diversity

Sponsored by Urban Systems

  • Starr McMichael, President, Starboard Enterprises (Moderator)
  • Ehren Lee, Water Strategy Consultant, Urban Systems (Introduction)
  • Jody Rechenmacher, Consultant & Principal, Urban Systems
  • Sylvia Fuller, Professor, University of British Columbia
  • Ruth Mojeed, the Inclusion Project
  • Tina Strehlke, CEO, Minerva BC

The pressures of COVID-19 have hit women disproportionately hard — a third of Canadian women are considering quitting jobs and 1 in 4 U.S. women are reducing hours and leaving the workforce due to COVID-19 pressures. Our panel discusses why women’s advancement is backsliding, the serious impact of the “she-cession” and how we can create greater economic social equity.

Wednesday, November 18 2020

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Health, Safety and Innovation for Smart Borders

Pacific Northwest Track

  • Matthew Morrison, CEO, Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (Moderator)
  • Gerry Bruno, Executive Advisor to the CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority; Co-Chair, Future Borders Coalition
  • Solomon Wong, President & CEO, InterVISTAS
  • Laurie Trautman, Director, Border Policy Research Institute, WWU

At its height, international trade across the Canada/U.S. border reached $800 billion a year, with more than 300,000 people crossing the border daily. Then the COVID-19 pandemic happened, severely impacting trade and travel.
This timely panel explores how we can expand border cooperation and use improvements in technology, processes, facilities and innovation to drive economic recovery and prosperity and ensure the safe and secure flow of goods and people across the Canada/U.S. border.

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

The Green Recovery: How Do We Build Back Even Better?

Sponsored By One Planet

  • Fred Haynes, Mayor, District of Saanich (Introduction)
  • Bruce Williams, CEO, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce (Moderator)
  • Nikki Macdonald, CEO, The Winsor Group
  • Andrew Pape-Salmon, Adjunct Professor, University of Victoria
  • John Cook, President & CEO, Greenchip Financial
  • Jill Doucette, Founder & CEO, Synergy
  • Yamila Franco, CFO, Nyoka Industries Inc.

Cleaner air, healthier water, enhanced carbon management and broadened biodiversity not only reduce the vulnerability of communities to pandemics and improve resilience but have the potential to boost economic activity in bold, new directions. Our panel discusses the widespread potential of a clean, green approach to the future and the areas of our economy we need to start nurturing and investing.

2:30 pm – 4:00 pm

The Future of Flight: A Post-COVID Reimagining of Sustainable Air Travel

Pacific Northwest Track

  • Rep. Vandana Slatter, Washington State House of Representatives (Co-Moderator)
  • Yolanka Wulff, Co-Executive Director, Community Air Mobility Initiative (Co-Moderator)
  • Bruce Agnew, Director, Cascadia Center and ACES NW Network
  • Roei Gonzarski, CEO, MagniX
  • Greg Mcdougall, Founder & CEO, Harbour Air
  • Joe Sparling, President, Air North
  • JR Hammond, Executive Director, Canadian Advanced Air Mobility Consortium
  • Adrienne Lindgren, State and Local Partnerships Lead, Urban Air Mobility Division of Hyundai Motor Group

Airlines and airports have struggled immensely during the COVID-19 pandemic as passengers stayed home and air travel slowed. Essential air service airports and small regional airlines across the rural U.S. and Canada have cut staff, flights, and are facing enormous economic shortfalls. With major infrastructure funding soon to be available in Canada and the U.S., how can electrification of regional airports and small airfleets for passengers and cargo boost the industry and save this vital industry? Between low-cost, green energy fuels and cutting edge electric technology, the Pacific Northwest has the talent and expertise to lead the world in electric aviation. Hear from policy experts, airline CEO’s, and electric plane manufacturers on the role that decarbonization can play in saving and reviving small airports across the region, maintaining vital links between communities.

Thursday, November 19 2020

10:00 am – 11:00 am

The Zoom Boom: The Future of Where We Live and How We Work

Pacific Northwest Track

  • Tom Banse, Public Radio Regional Correspondent, KUOW
  • Rep. Mary Dye, State of Washington House of Representatives
  • Nirav Desai, CEO, Moonbeam
  • Luke Mari, Principal, Development, ARYZE Developments
  • Rory Capern, Advisor

With the rise of virtual platforms like Zoom, many knowledge workers are flocking to new frontiers known as “Zoom Towns,” where they can live more inexpensively and achieve a work/life balance which many never dreamed of achieving. Our panel explores how this workforce migration is changing both the cities they are leaving — and the towns they are choosing on both sides of the US-Canada border.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

Profits with Purpose: How Capital is Catalyzing Recovery and Resilience

  • Peter Elkins, Entrepreneur in Residence & Founder, Esca Accelerator
  • Owen Matthews, Chairman, Alacrity Canada
  • David Ferran, Board Member, Founder & CEO, The Torrey Project
  • Elaine Kunda, Founder and Managing Partner, Disruption Ventures
  • Annika Lewis, Associate, Vanedge Capital

Throughout the pandemic, we’ve seen resilient companies fare better than non resilient companies. With record liquidity, we’ll cover what this means for the investment community and the businesses in highest demand. As we shift to designing our recovery, we’ll explore how investment can be directed for a more resilient future.

Friday, November 20 2020

10:00 am – 11:00 am

Restarting Tourism: A Roadmap to Rebuilding a Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable Visitor Economy

Pacific Northwest Track

  • Dave Cowen, CEO, The Butchart Gardens (Moderator)
  • Sarah Leonard, President & CEO, Alaska Travel Industry Association
  • Peter Armstrong, Founder & CEO, Armstrong Group and Rocky Mountaineer
  • Paul Nursey, CEO, Destination Greater Victoria

Tourism is a key economic driver for the Pacific Northwest (PNW) region, averaging $71.4 billion per year in visitor spending. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted this vital industry in a major way and highlighted the value of cross-border travel and tourism to both local jurisdictions and the PNW region.

For this panel, a bi-national panel of tourism professionals will identify the impact of COVID-19 on the region’s tourism industry and discuss a roadmap to recovery for the PNW. Panelists will address what needs to be done now to support this crucial sustainable and green industry, encourage public confidence in the safety of tourism and travel, and build resilience for the future of tourism in the PNW.

11:00 am – 12:00 pm

The Blue Economy: The Ocean as Our Next Frontier

Sponsored By Babcock Canada

  • Craig Norris, CEO, Victoria International Marinas (moderator)
  • Kate Moran, President and CEO, Ocean Networks Canada
  • Christian Rangen, Co-Founder & Partner, Engage // Innovate
  • Julie Angus, CEO, Open Ocean Robotics
  • Justin Sternberg, Program Director, Alaska Ocean Cluster
  • Joshua Berger, Founder & Board Chair, Maritime Blue

As Greater Victoria focuses on creating the Ocean Futures Innovation Hub, our panel explores how the West Coast can accelerate its Blue Economy to compete both nationally and with ocean nations like Norway, whose ocean industries account for about 70% of the country’s export earnings, and our own East Coast.

1:30 pm – 2:30 pm

The Future of Higher Education: Rising to Disruption

Sponsored By RBC

  • Mark Lovick, RBC (Introduction)
  • Dave Obee (Moderator)
  • Kevin Hall, President and Vice-Chancellor, University of Victoria
  • Sherri Bell, President, Camosun College
  • Philip Steenkamp, President & Vice-Chancellor, Royal Roads University

COVID-19 has been both a disruptor of the status quo and a driver of innovation for colleges and universities. Our panellists explore how higher education is responding to challenges of the 21st century, from rethinking skills development to reimagining online learning.