Preparing Cities for the Innovation  Economy

As the Canadian economy continues its transformation from resource-based to knowledge-based, cities have become increasingly important centres for job and wealth creation.  Emerging cities--fast-growing communities with highly educated and energized young adults like Maple Ridge -- are uniquely positioned to foster innovation and entrepreneurship that are critical elements of the innovation economy.

The 2018 Innovation in Emerging Cities forum focused on the building blocks of creating an innovation economy--how to create an "innovation culture" that will attract, develop and retain the talented workforce that is critical for the long-term success of technology and advanced manufacturing firms.  Last year, Steve Dotto addressed how new technologies are shaping our society while Dr. Salvador Ferreras explored the emerging connects between technology, post=secondary education and advanced manufacturing.  We also heard from Jesse Dougherty from Amazon Canada on the innovation culture that permeates one of the world's largest technology companies.

This year, Innovation in Emerging Cities will continue exploring how businesses and residents in Maple Ridge can prepare themselves to compete and thrive in Canada's increasingly knowledge-based economy.  Our keynote speakers and discussion panels will address a variety of topics including:

  • Supporting Diversity in Technology and Advanced Manufacturing
  • Regional Airports as Catalysts for Innovation
  • Innovation and Entrepreneurship
  • Examples of Innovation from the Third World
  • How the Cannabis Industry Drives Innovation
  • From the Kitchen Table to the Boardroom


New events for 2019

Based on the success of last year's innovation forum, we've decided to add new events that will help prepare residents and businesses in Maple Ridge to compete and succeed in the innovation economy.

Leader's Forum:
An evening hosted by the city of Maple Ridge that provides an opportunity for local political leaders to meet with business and community leaders to share their vision for the future development of Maple Ridge.

Career and Education Fair: March 14
This event will feature local employers, post-secondary education institutions, and emplo9yment agencies connecting residents to jobs, education, training options and more.

Lessons Learned: April 4
An informal evening event where local business leaders and tech entrepreneurs gather to share their stores of failure, what they've learned from their mistakes, and how they're applying these lessons today.  the goal of this event is to show that risk-taking, failure and the willingness to learn are all integral to the innovation process.