What’s the first place that comes to mind when you think about technology? Most would think of Silicon Valley, but what about Vancouver?
Vancouver is rapidly becoming one of the quickest growing tech hubs in Canada, and many companies like Microsoft, Amazon, SAP, and Hootsuite settling in B.C. reaffirm that this may just be the beginning.
By attending the BC Tech Summit this year, I got to see B.C.’s exciting tech sector. The BC Tech Summit is the largest technology conference in Western Canada, and this year the summit brought together over 200 speakers and thousands of delegates from different places around the world, creating a lively event experience throughout the full three days.
It was a great experience sitting at the front and hearing keynotes delivered by Anthony Salcito (Vice President of Worldwide Education, Microsoft), Jared Cohen (CEO, Jigsaw), and Brent Bushnell (Founder, Two Bit Circus). Beyond that, the panels were all organized into tailored content streams including: Data is the New Economy, Breakthrough in the Digital Age, Innovating Success in the Global Economy, and Entrepreneurs, Building with Passion, Data and Purpose. The summit agenda had a great variety of events to choose from, and the inner “techie” in me was excited to get the conference started and meet like-minded people!
Although there was a wide-range of panel sessions and talks, I spent my time attending and learning from the sessions that covered topics such as Space Flight, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, IoT, Blockchain, Big Data, and Quantum Computing. Nearly two full days of learning, talking, and networking had me drained at the end, but I left the summit feeling hopeful about where technology was heading, and motivated to be part of the revolution.
As I recently completed my BBA degree in Business Technology Management, hearing such influential and hardworking leaders throughout the three days made me feel motivated to enter the workforce.
I have many key takeaways from the 2018 BC Tech Summit, but I will highlight three top takeaways:
1. Where are we in time?
With so much growth and change around the world, those who do not keep up with latest trends may still think we are on the verge of creating flying cars. But in reality, we are in the age of big data, blockchain, AI, and the digitization of processes including agriculture, finance, and healthcare.
2. Technology is a major catalyst for change in our economy
In the talk on the Internet of Things (IoT), Lynette DuJohn, Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Digital Officer at Vancouver Airport Authority discussed how YVR Airport is transforming global logistics by using IoT for tracking its planes, people, and bags. Likewise, many companies are using technology to revolutionize their industry.
3. Be adaptive and embrace change or be left behind
We must learn to accept change when new technologies are introduced. Embracing change will allow for continuous learning, improved productivity, and elevated organizational culture.
Pritesh Pachchigar is a BBA Candidate who is graduating June 2018 in Operations Management and Management Information Systems, with a specialization in Business Technology Management. Throughout his undergrad, Pritesh has embodied the Beedie School’s ethos of experiential learning and its six “Be More” statements. Along with working for the Federal Government and completing an internship in the finance sector, he is a leader at SFU. Pritesh is a Beedie Ambassador, the Founder of the Beedie Urban Development Program, a Board Member for the SFSS, a national case competitor, and has held many advisory positions on campus. Connect with Pritesh on LinkedIn (www.linkedin.com/in/pritesh-pachchigar), Twitter (@Pachchigar27), or via email at email@example.com.