Gathering highlights digital tech

·2 min read

THUNDER BAY, ONT. — The Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre recognizes the importance of technology in business as it hosted the Digital Transformation Conference 2022 (DTC) held Sept. 9.

“Because of how remote we are in Thunder Bay, it can be easy to get stuck in that bubble and not keep moving forward on people’s technology roadmap and keep doing things the same as they always have,” said Jeff Coull, director of information and communication technology at the Innovation Centre.

“If we want to remain competitive as the world only becomes more global, we need to keep supporting our businesses in the region and keep giving them helpful knowledge and the resources necessary to stay competitive to keep up with how quickly things are changing.”

The conference brings together tech leaders from across Canada to have panel discussions on various tech topics through a series of 19 events that encompasses 54 speakers.

Opening keynote speaker Scott Dougall, director of product development with Google Core Experience in Silicon Valley, was to address the conference about global competitiveness in a rural market.

Two closing keynote speakers, Andy Hay, a two-time Master Chef finalist and social media influencer, and Suzanne Christie from Shout Media held a fireside-style chat.

Coull says Christie would “frame up” Hay’s experiences through the local lens and what’s appropriate to do locally because he is global.

“He’s very big and may not be appropriate to things in our region and our budgets and our resources. Suzanne is going to look at Andy’s experiences and the positive things that he does on social media but through a local plan,” he said.

The forum provides an educational component for business leaders and small business owners to learn about what technology is being used today and what’s going to be used in the future in either their industry or on a specific broader topic.

Coull says all of the sessions would be panel discussions and feature up to four experts on that topic. Eight sessions focus specifically on digital transformation in a specific industry, such as natural resources, farming and agriculture and will be targeted at people working in that industry.

The conference was held Friday in Thunder Bay at the Delta Hotel.

Sandi Krasowski, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Chronicle-Journal