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The opportunities and challenges from the wave of disruptive technological innovation that is impacting businesses took centre stage this week at Calgary Economic Development’s annual Report to the Community.

Embracing this disruptive change as a path to prosperity was the topic of an engaging panel discussion moderated by Mary Moran, Calgary Economic Development President and CEO, in front of more than 600 people at Arts Commons.

Peter Tertzakian, Chief Economist and Managing Partner at ARC Financial, set the stage for the panel with a presentation titled Calgary’s Opportunity Amidst Disruption that change is constant and cities have the ability to adapt and prosper.

“We don’t need to change what we do, we need to change how we think,” Tertzakian said.

The topic was picked up by the other panel members – Duncan Logan, the CEO of Silicon Valley tech accelerator RocketSpace and Brent Allison, the CEO of Calgary-based IT solutions provider Long View Systems – for an engaging conversation.

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Challenges remain for the business community following a painful recession and Mayor Naheed Nenshi closed the event by reinforcing the importance of economic growth and diversification to a thriving and vibrant city.

“Calgary needs to be a great place to make a living, to grow a business, as well as a great place to live,” Nenshi said.

The Report to the Community coincided with the official launch of the $100 million Opportunity Calgary Investment Fund to support transformative investments in Calgary and Moran was able to report that by noon Wednesday a dozen companies had started the application process.

More than a dozen Calgary companies took part in Innovation Alley to showcase some of the inventive products and services that are emerging  from the innovation ecosystem.

For more year-in-review highlights, check out the 2017 Annual Report.


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