TECHSTOCK 2017, held on Thursday, September 14, was a resounding success, hosting 60 exhibitors and seeing more than 400 attendees. The theme of driving change through social impact, explored how technology and social innovations are making a profound impact on our society and driving change in areas such as sustainability, health, education and gender equality.
The exhibition halls and agri-tent showcased companies and organizations ranging from a mobile escape room, clean energy technologies, support for teens, recycled shopping bags and bee keeping.
“We met with a large number of guests and talked about our distinct farming concept and how it reduces impact on the planet,” says Nicholas Hsu, co-founder of Rafferty Farms. Rafferty Farms is a local food producer employing vertical aquaponics, a combination of aquaculture (raising fish) and hydroponics (the soil-less growing of plants) integrated into a single system. The fish waste provides an organic food source for the plants, and the plants naturally cleanse the water for the fish.
The event kicked off with a sold out panel presentation comprised of Mel Wilson of MJ Wilson and Associates Inc.; Kelly Schuler, President, Brave Communications; Terry Booth, Partner, Collins Barrow; and Court Ellingson, VP Research & Strategy, Calgary Economic Development. The panel explored the importance of the sustainable development goals that are helping to positively transform our world for future generations, and how social enterprises are working to create change through innovation. The panel shared advice and insight on navigating business, funding, brand and storytelling as a social enterprise.
TECHSTOCK is an annual event presented by Innovate Calgary, and runs as part of Beakerhead, a week-long smash up of art, science and engineering.