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Forum focuses on how businesses can adapt, thrive

Resilience and adaptation is the theme of this year's Power Smart Forum, with an emphasis on how "business as usual" no longer cuts it.

"The point is, doing business the way we did business 20 years ago will not take you 20 years into the future," says Cathy Duncan, program manager for the Forum.

Taking its own message to heart, BC Hydro has revised this year's Power Smart Forum to focus more on climate change issues while increasing the number of external, non-BC Hydro speakers to the lineup.

In the past, 70% of the speakers were from BC Hydro. This year, it's about 25%, and most are moderators.

"The feedback we've been getting is that folks are keen on diversification – so we have a range of people speaking and sharing information," said Duncan.

An impressive lineup

This year's plenary panel on Resilience and Adaptation: Adjusting to a Changing Climate in B.C., includes senior speakers from the City of Vancouver, Simon Fraser University, Stantec Consulting, and the Fraser Basin Council.

The keynote speaker – Gwynne Dyer, author of Climate Wars – heads a session called Hot, Hungry and Hostile: the Geopolitics of a Warming World.

Grill the District Energy Experts features practitioners from public, private, and non-profit backgrounds, as do many other sessions.

Some workshops offer professional credits

The Forum includes the usual selection of practical workshops offering tools and technical tips, and outlining BC Hydro's programs and offers.

One stream is specifically tailored to the needs of industrial companies; many sessions offer professional credits.

In addition, the Tradeshow on Tuesday, October 18 will feature the latest technology from Power Smart Alliance members, presenters and sponsors.

"People want to plan their energy management in conjunction with how they consume water and gas," says Duncan. "So we're definitely offering similar sessions again this year, and trying to be holistic in our approach. We're working to support B.C. businesses to maintain their competitiveness in an era of climate change.

"They need to be resilient, to take a look at their business cases, and consider how they plan to take things to market, what they plan to take to market, and how they need to adapt in order to truly compete in the marketplace ahead."

Get program details online

Duncan recommends starting with the Program-At-A-Glance to determine the best options for attending the conference.

Attendance is free (you're only charged if you register but fail to cancel), and registration can be done online or by mail.

Register early for a shot at a fishing trip

Early registration (before September 23, hurry!) gets you entered into a draw for a fishing trip for two.

The Forum, previously an annual event, will now only be offered every other year – so this is your last chance to attend until 2013.

"With what we're seeing around the globe – hurricanes and other extreme weather – we're convinced we're on the right path with our programming choices this year," says Duncan. "Delegates are going to be able to access information on Power Smart programs but they're also going to be able to hear a lot more information than they have in the past on climate change.

"I think we'll see a very satisfied delegate after this Forum; I'm looking forward to the feedback."

  • Power Smart Forum Program-At-A-Glance
  • Power Smart Forum industrial program stream
  • Register now