Our Work

Virtual Forums

Hosted by members of the Cascadia Innovation Corridor Steering Committee, our virtual forums dig into important issues facing the mega-region

Cascadia Wildfire and Urban Smoke Working Group

Our Wildfire and Urban Smoke Working Group conducts regular virtual forums as part of an on-going series. The group includes researchers, policy experts, and technologists addressing issues related to forest fires, forest management (wildland and urban), public health, climate change, city planning, economics, emergency management, and ecology. Since April 2019, the group has held over 100 webinars, recordings of which are available here. We also have held an online symposium, “Wildfire Knows No Borders,” with eight speakers, part of the Cascadia Corridor’s series of Virtual Forums. 

If you would like to participate in the monthly webinars and other discussions and receive access to recordings and summaries of the webinars, please send an email to [email protected].

2024 forums

Cross-Border Opportunities for Indigenous Innovators

Monday, April 29, 2024

Join Canadian Indigenous innovators and startup leaders for this 45-minute webinar as they share the importance of Indigenous businesses to the economic vitality of the mega-region and discuss opportunities for entering cross-border markets. Panelists participated in a 12-week accelerator run by the NW Innovation Resource Center in partnership with Global Affairs Canada’s Trade Commissioner Services and Trade & Investment British Columbia.


  • Logan Ashley, CEO/Founder, Adaptive Homes
  • David Pereira, COO, Animikii
  • Nico Santo, Pacific Northwest Director, Trade and Invest BC
  • Diane Kamionka, Executive Director, NW Innovation Resource Center

2023 forums

Driving Equity Through Innovation Clusters

Wednesday, December 13, 2023

Innovative technology clusters create and leverage synergies across startups, academia, investors, corporations, and government to drive growth and equity. They do so in a variety of ways, including by prioritizing capacity-building and increasing access to technology for underserved or marginalized populations. This dynamic one-hour discussion will focus on how technology superclusters can drive equity in the Cascadia mega-region, as well as the priorities ahead.

Wildfires and Smoke in the Mega Region

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

A conversation with leading wildfire and smoke experts in our mega-region In the 2022 Cascadia Innovation Corridor report, “Moving to Climate Action,” wildfires were highlighted as a priority area for continued cross-border collaboration. Wildfires and smoke know no borders, so partnership is key as we address the climate crisis and protect the health, safety, and natural splendor of the mega-region. During this hour-long virtual forum, leaders in wildfire response, prevention, and recovery, forest health, and wildfire smoke shared their current priorities, highlighted where there is existing cross-border collaboration, and discussed additional opportunities to address common challenges together.


  • Hilary Franz, Washington State Commissioner of Public Lands
  • Ian Meier, Assistant Deputy Minister, B.C. Wildfire Service
  • Subject matter experts from EPA Region 10

2021 forums

Meeting the Net Zero Decarbonization Challenge

Wednesday, June 23, 2021

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 the 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 engage in an expert panel and ideation workshop to discuss these challenges and the related opportunities.

Cascadia’s Transformative Tech: Innovating Across Borders

Wednesday, June 2, 2021

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.

The third 2021 virtual forum, Cascadia’s Transformative Tech: Innovating Across Borders, 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.

Modern Ecocities in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

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 endeavors 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 second 2021 virtual forum, Modern Ecocities in the Cascadia Innovation Corridor, focuses on developing more sustainable cities and the training and educational tools available to support those efforts, including micro-credentialing. Speakers included the Manager, of 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.

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

Episode 1 / Designing the Cascadia Megaregion
Tuesday, May 18, 2021
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, 2021
Featuring Rep. Seth Moulton (MA 6th District) and Rep. Suzan DelBene (WA 1st District), co-sponsors of the American High-Speed Rail Act.

Episode 3 / Regional Planning & Megaregion Analysis
Tuesday, June 15th, 2021
Featuring Christine Gregoire, CEO, Challenge Seattle and former Washington State Governor; Eric Sparks, Partner, Boston Consulting Group; and Lynn Peterson, Council President, Oregon Metro.

Cascadia Life Sciences Leading in the Global Fight Against COVID-19

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

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 healthcare 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 forums

Sustainable Agri-foods and Agri-tech in Cascadia

Friday, November 20, 2020

The Cascadia Innovation Corridor hosted the Sustainable Agri-foods and Agri-tech virtual forum, which 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.

Wildfires and Urban Smoke Know No Borders

Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Wildfires and Urban Smoke Know No Borders, a cross-border collaboration on research and management approaches, 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.

Connecting the Cascadia Corridor

Friday, October 9, 2020

The Cascadia Vision 2050 report 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.

Innovating International Travel

Tuesday, September 15, 2020  

Innovating International Travel was 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 leveraged to create new solutions and the opportunity for border regions to help craft international health preclearance protocols.

Chris Gregoire, CEO, Challenge Seattle
Chris Gregoire
CIC Co-Chair

Christine Gregoire is the CEO of Challenge Seattle, which is an alliance of CEOs from 22 of the region’s largest organizations who work together to tackle some of our most pressing civic challenges, such as homelessness and racial equity. As CEO of Challenge Seattle, Chris serves as the Washington co-chair for the Cascadia Innovation Corridor.

Previously, Chris served for two terms as Governor of the State of Washington with a $32B biennial budget and over 60,000 employees. In her first term as Governor, she created the Department of Early Learning and led on reforms to the K-12 system and investment in higher education.  Chris led the state in a historical investment in infrastructure including the building of the largest floating bridge in the world and the largest transportation tunnel to open up Seattle’s waterfront.  She addressed the water wars in the state and established the Puget Sound initiative to restore one of the nation’s major estuaries.  She led an historic number of trade missions, reformed the foster care system to protect children, and was among the first to lead in health care reform. During her second term, Chris led the state in major reforms, management, and budgeting to position the state as one of the most financially secure to come out of the “Great Recession”.

Prior to becoming Governor, Chris served for three terms as Attorney General for the State and prior to becoming Attorney General, Chris served four years as the Director of the State Department of Ecology.

In addition to being CEO of Challenge Seattle, Chris is a former chair of the Fred Hutch Cancer Research Center and former Member of the National Bipartisan Governor’s Council.

Gail Murphy, Ph.D., VP Research & Innovation, UBC
Shwetak Patel, Ph.D., WRF Endowed Professor, Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering, UW
Irem Tumer, Ph.D., Vice President for Research at Oregon State University
David Hoff, Senior Vice President, Government Relations and Community Investment, Ledcor
Paula Hammond, Senior Vice President, National Transportation Market Leader, WSP
Rickey Y. Yada, Ph.D., Academic Dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC
Chad Kruger, Director, Wenatchee TFREC & CSANR, WSU​
Rickey Y. Yada, Ph.D., Academic Dean of the Faculty of Land and Food Systems, UBC
Molly Jones, Vice President, Government Affairs, Payactiv
Pamela Saunders, Director of Communications & Engagement, Microsoft Vancouver
Laurie Trautman, Ph.D., Director, Border Policy Research Institute, WWU
Matt Morrison, CEO, Pacific Northwest Economic Region
Tom Roemer, Ed.D., Principal, Tioga Communications Inc.
Sonya Doucette, Ph.D., Professor, Bellevue College; Climate Justice Faculty Development Lead
Angela Becker-Dippman, Director, Energy & Environment Directorate’s Program Development Office, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL)
Andrew Hoan, President & CEO, Portland Metro Chamber
Bill Tam, Co-Founder, Canada’s Digital Technology Supercluster​
Ken Macartney, Executive Director, International Relations, Intergovernmental Relations Secretariat (IGRS) Office of the Premier, Government of British Columbia
Steve Mullin, President, Washington Roundtable
Rachel Smith, President & CEO, Seattle Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce
Kris Peters, Chairman, Squaxin Island Tribe
Ian Campbell, Hereditary Chief, Squamish Nation
Mike Fong, Director, Washington State Department of Commerce
Staci Simonich, Ph.D., Dean and Reub Long Professor, College of Agricultural Sciences, OSU Director, Oregon Agricultural Experiment Station
Laura Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Business Council of British Columbia
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