Cascadia Innovation Corridor
Virtual Forums

For 2021, we are continuing with the virtual forums launched in the fall of 2020 to bring together the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Community strengthen cross border collaboration and advance the work and commitment of our steering committee.

As we look to the future and ways to restore our economic health, we must remain open to strategic collaboration across the entire Cascadia mega-region. The Cascadia Innovation Corridor is a recognized asset, particularly given the increased focus on technology, digitization and remote workplaces, and more regional supply chains in a post-pandemic economy. This series will explore opportunities to leverage this region and its strengths for the economy of tomorrow.

Now more than ever is the time to work together to bring these long-term goals to life for the benefit of all who live in the region.

Thank you for your ongoing support of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, and for all your individual and collective efforts addressing the challenges facing our communities and our organizations. We hope you will join us for our virtual forums and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with you.


Chris Gregoire, CEO, Challenge Seattle
Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia
Co-chairs, Cascadia Innovation Corridor Steering Committee


The 2020-2021 Cascadia Innovation Corridor Virtual Forums build upon the four years of gatherings and work to strengthen collaboration across the Cascadia mega-region.  Like the conferences before, the virtual forums bring together business, academic, and government leaders from both sides of the border to explore new strategies for the region to come together, maximize our shared competitive advantages, and elevate our global economic position. It is an opportunity to engage with regional, national and international experts on how we can work together to strengthen Cascadia’s position as an international hub for innovation, spur job creation, and restore our economic health in the context of today’s challenges, particularly COVID-19.



Meeting the Net Zero Decarbonization Challenge

Wednesday, June 23, 2021 | 12:00pm – 2:00pm (PST) | Zoom (link will follow to registered participants)

Register here.

In response to our federal Clean Canada plan to be net zero carbon emissions by 2050 and B.C.’s legislated 80% reduction target, considerable efforts must be made by governments, academia, and private sector to create, find and implement innovative solutions to reduce atmospheric carbon. The Cascadia region, with its wealth of clean energy assets, nature-based carbon capture opportunities and culture of environmental stewardship is well-poised to be a North American leader in this effort.

The University of VictoriaCanada’s Digital Technology Supercluster and the Cascadia Innovation Corridor have teamed up to welcome you to join this virtual event to engage in an expert panel and ideation workshop to discuss these challenges and the related opportunities.


ULI Northwest: Cascadia – The Next 5,000,000 People

Episode 3 / Regional Planning & Megaregion Analysis

Tuesday, June 15th | 12:00pm – 1:00pm (PDT) | Zoom (link will follow to registered participants)

Register here.

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) and the Cascadia Innovation Corridor (CIC) will examine the vision and prospects for responsible growth patterns in the Cascadia bioregion in this compelling virtual series. The Next 5,000,000 refers to the striking number of people that will call Cascadia their new home by ±2050. Opportunity-seekers, lifestyle-chasers, immigrants, domestic migrants and climate refugees will flow into Cascadia, putting even more pressure on the I-5 corridor. We have a unique chance to prepare for this by fostering an equitable, intelligent, well-connected megaregion, from the Lower Mainland of British Columbia to the Portland Metropolitan area.


The CIC’s recent study, Cascadia Vision 2050, is the point of departure for this speaker series. Only by fully engaging local jurisdictions, businesses, and residents, can the report’s initial assumptions and proposals be explored and fashioned into tangible strategies and actions for natural resource preservation, affordable housing, job creation, and infrastructure investments.


Speakers include:

  • Christine Gregoire, CEO, Challenge Seattle & Former Washington State Governor
  • Eric Sparks, Partner, Boston Consulting Group
  • Lynn Peterson, Council President, Oregon Metro



2021 Virtual Forums

June 2

On Wednesday, June 2nd, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Community hosted our third 2021 virtual forum, Cascadia’s Transformative Tech: Innovating Across Borders. The Cascadia region has a deeply rooted reputation as a hotspot for tech and innovation from aerospace to personal computers to gaming, cloud computing and virtual reality. Today, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor is a global cluster of tech talent and capital and has grown leading firms in quantum computing, blockchain and augmented reality.

All of these technologies serve a global – and local – client base and enable innovative solutions and economic growth across sectors including agriculture, resource development, life sciences and transportation.

This forum included a virtual conversation with tech leaders whose firms exemplify the benefits and opportunities created by the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. Together, we explored how quantum, blockchain and augmented reality are defining the region, how these technologies are supporting our traditional sectors and the environment, and how they are influencing the workplace as we transition through the pandemic.

Speakers include:

  • Andrew Chrostowski, Chairman and CEO, RealWear
  • Mickey Maher, Senior Vice President, Partnerships, Dapper Labs
  • Dr. Stephanie Simmons, Founder and Chief Quantum Officer, Photonic Inc.
  • Ray Walia, CEO, Launch Ventures
  • Pamela Saunders, Public Relations and Social Impact, Microsoft Vancouver and Co-Chair, Cascadia Innovation Corridor Sub-Committee on Technology
  • Governor Christine Gregoire, CEO, Challenge Seattle and Co-Chair, Cascadia Innovation Corridor
  • Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia and Co-Chair, Cascadia Innovation Corridor




May 18

On Tuesday, May 18th, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Community hosted our second 2021 virtual forum, Modern Ecocities in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor. As the Cascadia region anticipates welcoming as many as 4 million more people in the coming decades, cities, businesses and post-secondary institutions across the Pacific Northwest are exploring how to work together to build more modern, sustainable communities. Through meaningful partnerships, municipalities, citizens and local industries can create more livable urban spaces and close their sustainability gaps. The Cascadia Corridor has already embarked on shared sustainability endeavours such as the Pacific Coast Collaborative and the Hydrogen Highway. How do we continue to advance partnerships and participation in the development of the future?

The forum focuses on developing more sustainable cities and the training and educational tools available to support those efforts, including micro-credentialing. Speakers included Manager, Municipal Programs at BCIT’s Centre for Ecocities, Cora Hallsworth who introduced the concept of modern ecocities and bridge into a discussion among city sustainability leaders, industry and educators from B.C., Washington and Oregon on new approaches and ways to collaborate to achieve shared sustainability goals.

Speakers include:

  • Dr. Tom Roemer, Vice President, Academic, BCIT and Co-Chair, Sub-Committee on Best and Diverse Talent, Cascadia Innovation Corridor
  • Dr. Amy Morrison, President, Lake Washington Institute of Technology, and Co-Chair, Sub-Committee on Best and Diverse Talent, Cascadia Innovation Corridor
  • Cora Hallsworth, Manager, Municipal Programs, BCIT Centre for Ecocities
  • Brad Badelt, P.Eng., Assistant Director, Sustainability, City of Vancouver
  • Michelle Caulfield, Interim Director, Office of Sustainability and Environment, City of Seattle
  • Steve Eccles, Regional CEO and Dean, Northeastern University, Vancouver
  • Duane Elverum, Executive Director and Co-Founder, CityStudio, Vancouver
  • Dr. Andrea Frisque, Senior Associate and Building Performance Engineer, Stantec
  • Donnie Oliveira, Deputy Director, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
  • Governor Christine Gregoire, CEO, Challenge Seattle and Co-Chair, Cascadia Innovation Corridor
  • Greg D’Avignon, President and CEO, Business Council of British Columbia and Co-Chair, Cascadia Innovation Corridor




ULI Northwest: Cascadia – The Next 5,000,000 People


Episode 1 / Designing the Cascadia Megaregion 

Friday, April 16th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm (PDT)

Featuring Jonathan Barnett (Professor Emeritus of Practice in City & Regional Planning, Univ. of Penn.), author of Designing the Megaregion


Episode 2 / Accelerating Connection and Recovery

Wednesday, April 28th, 12:00pm – 1:00pm (PDT)

Featuring Rep. Seth Moulton (MA 6th District) and Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA 1st District), co-sponsors of the American High Speed Rail Act


February 2 

The Cascadia Innovation Corridor’s first virtual forum of 2021, Cascadia life sciences leading in the global fight against COVID-19, was co-hosted by David Grossman, M.D., M.P.H. National Senior Medical Director for Community Health at Kaiser Permanente and Lesley Esford, Ph.D., life sciences industry expert, and Co-Chairs of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Sub-Committee on Life Sciences. The forum featured many local life sciences leaders from the front lines of the COVID-19 battle, including two panel discussions, one of which focused on Cascadia’s involvement in the development of COVID-19 diagnostics, R&D and testing implementation experiences in the region and the second focused on vaccine research and therapeutics development for COVID-19 happening in B.C. and Washington State.

Researchers, life sciences companies and health care professionals in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor have played a leading role in the global fight against COVID-19. The development of treatments, diagnostics, vaccine technology and the coordination of vaccine trials continues to advance at a rapid pace due in part to local leadership and collaboration across the Pacific Northwest.



2020 Virtual Forums

November 20 

On Friday, November 20th, the Cascadia Innovation Corridor’s hosted the Sustainable Agri-foods and Agri-tech in Cascadia virtual forum. The forum explored COVID-19’s impact on supply chains for local producers, buyers, and our emergency food system, as well as how the growing agri-tech sector is expanding opportunities for local farmers.

The session was hosted by the Co-chairs of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor sub-committee on sustainable agriculture, Dr. Rickey Yada, Dean of UBC Faculty of Land and Food Systems and Chad Kruger, Director, Western Washington College of Agricultural, Human and Natural Resources Sciences.





October 27 

Wildfires and urban smoke know no borders – A cross-border collaboration on research and management approaches: The October 27th forum featured forestry management researchers, government officials, conservationists and academics from all along the West Coast of Canada and the U.S.A. for a discussion on wildfires and urban smoke.  The conversation canvassed topics including the risk of wildfire in urbanized wet forests, how universities can help guide the translation of forest management science into climate-smart public policy, and how to minimize future carbon emissions, wildfire damage and smoke impacts on health while also supporting a growing bioeconomy.




October 9

Cascadia Vision 2050 report which offered recommendations on how the mega-region can serve as a global model for sustainable growth.

With new analysis from Boston Consulting Group, the report and forum examined challenges faced by today’s high-growth mega-regions associated with maximizing opportunity while managing environmental impact, the availability of affordable housing and congestion. Forum participants explored a bold approach to sustainable growth in Cascadia which proposed building hub cities on underdeveloped lands and connecting them to the larger centers via high-speed transit.

This report and forum examine how the Cascadia region can sustainably manage its growth while continuing to elevate its global significance as a center for opportunity, inclusivity, innovation and investment. Cascadia can build a more sustainable future and set a global example by being the first to address these challenges with a cohesive, mega-regional approach to growth.





September 15   

Innovating International Travel, co-hosted by Dr. Laurie Trautman of Western Washington University and Matt Morrison of the Pacific Northwest Economic Region, Co-chairs of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor’s sub-committee on efficient cross-border movement. As we collectively manage the health and economic impacts of COVID-19 in our region, Cascadia is well-positioned to provide leadership and build confidence in the development of new, safe global standards for international travel. The first of our virtual forums explored how the assets and ongoing pilot projects in the Cascadia region can be levered to create new solutions and the opportunity for border regions to help craft international health preclearance protocols.




2019 Conference Speakers Included:


– Brad Smith, President & Chief Legal Officer of Microsoft

– Susan Mullaney, President of Kaiser Permanente Health Plan of Washington

– Kevin McAllister, CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes

– Brad Tilden, CEO of Alaska Airlines & Chairman of the Board of Airlines for America

– Sue Paish, CEO of Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster

– Lisa Brown, Director of Washington State Department of Commerce

– Marilyn Strickland, CEO of Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce

– John Cook, Co-Founder & Publisher of Geekwire

– Farhan Mohamed, Editor-in-Chief & Partner of Daily Hive

– Emily Parkhurst, Publisher & Market President of Puget Sound Business Journal


2018 Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference Materials

Regional leaders convened for the third annual Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference, held in Vancouver, British Columbia on October 9-10, 2018. The conference built upon cross-border connections that have been developed over the previous two years. Highlights included: a Seattle to Vancouver seaplane service, ongoing feasibility studies of high-speed rail connecting Portland, Seattle and Vancouver, collaboration among polytechnic institutions throughout Cascadia, and the Cascadia Urban Analytics Cooperative.


     Press Release: Regional Leaders Convene to Strengthen Canadian and US Cross-Border Ties in Cascadia Innovation Corridor


     Agenda: 2018 Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference


     2018 Conference Speakers

2017 Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference Materials

The second annual Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference was held in Seattle, Washington on September 12-13, 2017 with a growing list of partners including Microsoft, The BC Tech Association, The Business Council of British Columbia, The Washington Roundtable, The Seattle Chamber of Commerce and the Washington Tech Association.


     Agenda: 2017 Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference


     Media Feature: Seattle Times


     Blog: Today in Technology: The border that has an arch instead of a wall


     Article: Students’ create something really incredible in broader aim to help two cross-border cities thrive together


2016 Emerging Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference Materials

The Emerging Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference held in Vancouver, British Columbia brought together business and government leaders to explore the potential for joint partnerships in education, transportation, university research, human capital and other areas over the weekend of September 19-21, 2016. The conference was jointly hosted by the Business Council of British Columbia, the Washington Roundtable and Microsoft Corp.

Leaders on both sides of the border acknowledged the opportunity to create a single interconnected region that could be more competitive in today’s global economy and took immediate action today to deepen relationships and strengthen partnerships.


     Press Release: New Regional Effort Aims to Establish Cascadia Innovation Corridor


     Working Paper: Cascadia High-Speed Rail Opportunity


    Province of British Columbia and Washington State Memorandum of Understanding


     News Release: Province of British Columbia


     News Release: Washington State


     Blog: An idea whose time has come: A new Cascadia Innovation Corridor connecting Vancouver and Seattle


     Blog: Next Generation Washington: Our perspective on this year’s state legislative agenda


Cascadia Innovation Corridor Conference

A Cross-Border Initiative
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