A subtle but vital dimension of the new Calgary is earning a reputation as a dynamic business market of innovators, entrepreneurs and now, disruptors – business professionals who are putting a bold new focus on the new ways of doing things.
Like Calgary’s high-energy business go-getter (and disruptor) Graeme Edge.
“My business partner, Rachel Maxwell, and I wanted to shake up the world of executive search business and we were interested in some of the changes which were happening in energy with respect to renewables and electric vehicles,” he recalls.
“We believed the global energy system was quickly entering an era of huge changes driven by a combination of powerful disruptive technologies, social and policy factors and a need to address carbon emissions and pollution at a global level.
“But at the time we were not seeing a lot of action to capitalize on these changes at a local level,” he adds.
About a year and a half ago, Edge attended a London conference of visionaries and entrepreneurs. It triggered a timely and exciting Calgary idea. Inspired by the seminars and presentations about the transitioning global energy system, he had a vision that it’s time for post-downturn and recovering Calgary to transition as a leader in the exciting, new global energy sector.
“We saw an opportunity to harness our network and skills in bringing people together by creating a global movement of energy and technology thought leaders who wanted to see a more collaborative energy narrative about accelerating exponential clean energy-related technologies and solutions.
“We don’t have all the answers on how we do this but we can improve the chances of this happening by bringing a diverse group of people together: an Energy Disruptors movement.” Together with his wife and Energy Disruptors co-founder, Michelle Edge, they created a world-class launch event in Calgary.
“The name is bold,” he admits, “but we chose it because we are on the precipice of a significant shift in the global energy system.”
He explains that the idea wasn’t instantly embraced by industry. “Some people thought we were a threat to an industry which is the backbone of our province. But this is a positive opportunity to bring the best of the oil and gas industry to the table and try to reframe the discussion around energy.
“Fortunately, ATB Financial and Shell believed in our vision really early on and have been incredibly supportive in getting behind the Energy Disruptors idea.”
After much planning and co-ordination, the i’s are dotted, the t’s are crossed and the Energy Disruptors: Unite 2018 conference – a two-day Calgary special event – is all set to take place in the Big Four Building at Stampede Park on May 15 and 16, 2018.
The Energy Disruptors team has scheduled an unprecedented lineup of international and local speakers, including one of the world’s most inspiring and iconic change-the-world entrepreneurs, Sir Richard Branson.
“Ultimately, we believe we need to maximize the potential of our hydrocarbon resources in a responsible way, while also looking to invest in new disruptive energy-related technologies of the future,” Edge emphasizes with a passion. “There is an opportunity for Calgary, Alberta and Canada to capture some of the top of the economic value chain as the world starts to move to distributed power, disruptive battery technologies, and the move in urban areas towards connected, autonomous, shared and electric vehicles.”
For more information and details about EDU2018, visit www.energydisruptors.com.