November 25, 2011 - Edmonton, Alberta - What happens when a group of expert and creative thinkers, from a rich diversity of rural, urban, regional, national and international locations, and disciplines ranging from the social sciences, sciences, business, engineering, public policy and culture, examine a strategic and complex issue from a long-term future year perspective?


The Global North was the topic tackled at the fourth annual Jasper Innovations Forum held November 22 to 25, and convened by Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures (AITF).


For Bev Buckway, Mayor of Whitehorse, the results were invigorating and affirming. “I was absolutely delighted to have been invited to the Jasper Innovation Forum,” said Buckway. ”The future of the Global North is a topic vitally important to the people living in the north. The discussions, although not specifically focused on the Yukon, helped me to think about the choices we need to make today to ensure our bright future. My presence allowed me to provide a Yukon perspective and to hear from northern representatives and global experts who are grappling with similar issues.”


Axel Meisen (AITF’s Chair of Foresight) and Lois Macklin (AITF’s Principal Business Advisor, Foresight) conceptualized, convened and managed the Forum. They consider the Global North to be of strategic value to Alberta and Canada. “Alberta has traditionally been a major supplier of goods and services for the North,” says Meisen. “This supplier role is at risk with climate change and the opening of the Arctic Ocean to navigation and supply from the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.


“Rich in natural resources (particularly oil, gas and minerals), the future of the North is complex due to the interaction of various social, economic, political and international forces.  It is in Alberta’s interest to understand developments in the North and, in some cases, to help shape them.” 

AITF, whose mandate is to build globally competitive commerce in Alberta, has looked at a variety of subjects from a long-term perspective. In terms of the Global North, AITF sees itself playing an important role in anticipating and generating benefits for Northern people, Alberta, and Alberta-based businesses.

In the coming months, a report will be written and made available to the public. The report will form the basis for future considerations by AITF, its sister organizations in the Alberta Innovates system, and various private and public sector organizations.



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About Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures
Part of Alberta's research and innovation system, Alberta Innovates - Technology Futures (Tech Futures) helps build healthy, sustainable businesses through a suite of programs and services offered to entrepreneurs, companies, researchers and investors. Tech Futures is a one-stop shop providing technical services and funding support to facilitate technology commercialization, develop new knowledge-based industry clusters and establish an entrepreneurial-based culture in Alberta.

For more information or to book media interviews contact:

Mary Pat Barry
Vice President Communications
Alberta Innovates – Technology Futures
Tel: (780) 668-6476