CHANGE BECOMES US. A black tie evening exchange about the future of Alberta’s digital economy.

The Canadian Cloud Council cordially invites you to attend the opening chapter of Change Becomes Us on November 28, 2018 in downtown Edmonton.

As the doomsday clock ticks closer to Permanence - our flagship annual event on March 28, 2019 - we are delighted to present a series of decidedly formal evening interchanges exploring the role of technology in advancing an open, secure and equitable digital economy.

Since the inception of the council in 2011, the cloud has evolved from being a disruptive technological solution to the catalyst of the sharing economies that will define the 21st Century. Cloud computing has rapidly emerged as the foundation for technological innovations that can drive a more connected, open, accessible, equal and sustainable society. But, like every resource in every previous wave of innovation, the technologies, economics and societies built on the cloud also risk becoming the exclusive preserve of a select few; shifting control from one generation of oligarchs to another, and keeping the vast majority of humanity consigned to their role as passive consumers; with no control over their destinies and no agency over their future.

Our emerging generation is hungering for a clear and common sense of purpose, but can we offer them one? Can the digital economy be rebooted to serve not just the top 1% of the top 1% but to serve the future of humanity? Can we finally reconcile growth with equality, profits with people, economics with environment? Can innovation finally serve the greater good?


“There are no second acts in American lives.” - Ernest Hemingway

Economic development, especially in resource economies, has historically been a balancing act between forced false choices – growth vs. equity; opportunity vs. outcomes; profit vs. people; economics vs. environment. Traditional approaches to economic policy have devolved into existential battles between two ideological solitudes, further entrenched in social and political divides that prevent meaningful discussion, policy and execution.

Alberta, for long the engine of Canada’s growth, faces not only these policy debates, but also a new uncertainty related to what has historically been its primary resource – non-renewable traditional energy sources. Optimism in the face of uncertainty is no policy, and Alberta needs to balance a continued focus on the oil sands with a diversified and renewed focus on the other two critical natural resources every sovereign has at its disposal – land and people.

The planned and purposeful application of emerging technology to economic development, through a true partnership between entrepreneurs, governments and societies, can create new employment opportunities, new pathways to success, and new communities linked through technology into common social and economic pursuits.

Financial institutions, particularly through credit, become critical to this new model for economic development, by supporting the various drivers of innovation, making opportunities available to a broad ecosystem of citizens and residents, and reflecting emerging patterns of value and consumption that are different from what existed even 10 years ago. Innovation in finance, when partnered with technology-driven economic development, can truly revolutionize how societies are defined, formed and function, and how value is defined, created, and shared.

What progressive digital initiatives are being leveraged in Alberta to improve not only the survivability of private business or government, but also the survivability of the province at large? How are public-private sector partnerships being leveraged to accelerate the rate of innovation and economic diversification across the province? Is it realistic to think Alberta can transform itself from a resource-based economy to a knowledge-based economy in time to effectively compete in the digital age?

These are the questions that will be asked and sought to be answered at the first chapter of Changes Becomes Us.


The willing participants of Change Becomes Us’ inaugural roundtable discussion include:

Paul Bellows, CEO of Yellow Pencil | Owen Brierley, President of Edmonton Digital Arts College | Mark Bryant, CIO of PCL | Alyson Hodson, CEO of Zag Creative I Sam Jenkins, Partner at Punchcard Systems I Ashif Mawji, Venture Partner at Rising Tide | Stephanie McLean, Former Minister of Service Alberta | Brian Stewart, Deputy CIO at University of Alberta | Tina Thomas, Executive Director of Strategy and Innovation at Edmonton Public Library | Daryl Vleeming, CIO of Aurora Cannibas

The evening will be hosted by Robert Brennan Hart and Edward Wilson-Smythe of Canadian Cloud Council near-infamy.

DJ Dephboi will be providing what promises to be an elegant and hypnotic soundtrack; heavily inspired by early era Kraftwerk, Can and Brian Eno.

Proudly sponsored by our friends at DocuSign.


Change Becomes Us is a formal evening of unbridled elegance, gravitas and truly meaningful conversation about the future. Put on your red shoes, turn on the bright lights and get ready to dance the blues.

The evening will unfold in magical spectacle in the projected order as follows.

6:30 PM A welcoming address

6:45 PM A state of the nation keynote address

7:00 PM A roundtable exchange about the future of Alberta’s digital economy

8:00 PM A cocktail reception and formal interchange featuring only the finest quality handcrafted cocktails, hors d’oeuvre’s and vinyl recordings.

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