CBC’s newest Dragon presents keynote at Island Economic Summit

State of the Island Economic Summit scheduled for Oct. 26 and 27 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo

Nicole Verkindt will be one of the speakers at the State of the Island Economic Summit Oct. 26 and 27 in Nanaimo.

Nicole Verkindt will be one of the speakers at the State of the Island Economic Summit Oct. 26 and 27 in Nanaimo.

Nicole Verkindt, CBC’s newest Dragon on the tech-focused web series NextGen Den, will speak about the importance of disruptive thinking, innovation and technology at the State of the Island Economic Summit Dinner this fall in Nanaimo.

The founder of OMX (Offset Market Exchange) and Round Up commentator on CBC’s The Exchange, Verkindt believes in the role of entrepreneurs to grow the economy and help solve global issues. She sees investment in technology as a driver for growth and leveraging technology as a defining competitive advantage.

Verkindt’s company, OMX, has changed the way industries do business when it comes to government contract work. Companies winning defence and security contracts with the federal government are required under Industrial and Regional Benefits Policy to undertake business activities in Canada at the same value of those contracts.

OMX’s online platform for accessing procurement opportunities in the domestic and international defence, aerospace, oil and gas, mining and construction industries facilitates access to partnerships, removing time and financial investment barriers. This has been a game changer, particularly for small business.

In the last 10 years the world has seen major disruption in a variety of industries largely due to entrepreneurial innovation and the use of technology.

As Tom Goodwin of Havas Media wrote in TechCrunch last year, “Uber, the world’s largest taxi company, owns no vehicles. Facebook, the world’s most popular media owner, creates no content. Alibaba, the most world’s most valuable retailer, has no inventory. And Airbnb, the world’s largest accommodation provider, owns no real estate. Something interesting is happening.”

Driven by rapid technological, economic and social change, disruptive innovation is a powerful economic force that is at once destructive and creative – whole industries and business models can be overturned in a short period of time.

In addition to Verkindt’s keynote address, a panel of experts will be exploring the disruptive economy in depth at one of the 16 informative summit sessions. Fez Rismani, founder of Daily Delivery: a service that disrupts a current system; Walt Judas, CEO of the Tourism Industry of B.C.: an industry that is being greatly affected by disruptive innovation; and Barbara Gray, financial analyst at Bradycap: a research firm that explores trends and effects of the disruptive economy – will take a deeper look at how this shift is affecting the Vancouver Island economy at the State of the Island Summit.

“The key, as we move forward, is resiliency and diversity,” says George Hanson, president of the Vancouver Island Economic Alliance. “The market and our buying habits and the entire way we do business is changing tremendously fast. I think there’s reason to be excited as long as we can be responsive to change.”

The disruptive economy is just one of many critical topics presented at the State of the Island Economic Summit scheduled for Oct. 26 and 27 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo. Tickets available online at viea.ca.