Virtual Conference: Five Big Ideas for Alberta’s Economic Recovery

“We can’t forecast our way to the future that we want,
we really need to begin with the end in mind.”
– Chad Park, Lead Animator with Energy Futures Lab

For years, the work explored within Energy Futures Lab (EFL) has flown mostly under the radar. Our community has collaborated on initiatives aimed at building a thriving, future economy. Now, a global shift is occurring and the Lab is seeing opportunities to expand our community and engage more broadly. On April 16th, the EFL held its first public online event, drawing over 250 participants from across Canada. The event was based on an article co-written by the Lab’s Managing Director and Lead Animator, Alison Cretney and Chad Park, titled Five Big Ideas for Alberta’s Economic Recovery. The article was incredibly well-received, so the Lab hosted an event, further exploring each of the five ideas. Since these are only five of many Alberta-based initiatives, the EFL will also launch a virtual “Big Ideas” series to continue highlighting work being done within the Lab.

Our presenters offered a dynamic range of voices and expertise, covering topics relating to geothermal energy, lithium, hydrogen, artificial intelligence and alternative uses for bitumen. Below, you will find recordings from each session. In listening, we invite you to contemplate the role each of these fields will play in not only recovering Alberta’s economy, but in building a new vision of the future.

Learn more about our presenters: Sean Collins, Alison Thompson, Bryan Helfenbaum, Liz Lappin, Maggie Hanna, Hossein Shahandeh and Greg Bennett.

Near the end of the event we concluded by asking our audience: What actions do you feel you can take to help facilitate this energy transition? We were flooded with thoughtful and constructive answers as participants expressed a desire to adopt new technologies, seek out learning or engage researchers in developing scalable pilot projects. So as we continue responding to challenges arising as a result of COVID-19, we also remember that breakdowns really can create breakthroughs. In these times of crisis, we look for moments of opportunity.

Emma Gammans is the Communications Specialist for The Energy Futures Lab