Rising Economy Week reinforced the idea that to build back better from the pandemic, we need to collaborate across neighbourhoods, municipalities, regions — and international borders.
Rising Economy Week 2020 has been a fantastic five days of keynotes, panels, roundtables and more. We thank our audience of more than 1,000 people not only for tuning in but for engaging in thought-provoking dialogues with our speakers and each other.
It’s impossible to summarize all the themes and takeaways from Rising Economy Week. The sheer scope and diversity of the topics covered this week — from Economic Megatrends to Black Swans — brings home the point that the year 2020 has been unlike any other.
The word ‘unprecedented’ is becoming clichéd, yet not even during the Great Recession stemming from the 2008 financial crisis did unemployment reach such heights. This crisis has hit us harder. As Avery Shenfeld, CIBC’s Chief Economist, told us in his Rising Economy keynote on Economic Megatrends, “We long for 2021 being a year of the ‘precedented,’ as we are growing tired of the ‘unprecedented.’”
But we are not alone in this. Avery also left us with the words: “no island is an island” – and that even applies to those of us who live on an island.
A Solid Start
Looking back, I think this week has shown us we have a very solid start toward increased economic resiliency — which is our ability to bounce back from a major disruption like a pandemic. This will put us in a position to better withstand other unpredictable future disruptions, known as Black Swans, from climate change to new waves of technology that change the way we do business.
There’s a lot of work left to do and a challenging winter ahead for many of us, but what we do today is putting ourselves in a better position to emerge together even stronger.
I’d like to say how grateful we are for our strong partnership and Rising Economy Week collaboration with the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER), an incredible organization that fosters cross-border solutions to help create more prosperity on both sides of the border. This partnership has reminded us that Southern Vancouver Island is deeply connected to the Cascadia region and our fortunes are intertwined.
Thank you to our presenting sponsors, RBC and Western Economic Diversification Canada, and our supporting sponsors MNP, CIBC, Urban Systems, UVic, Babcock Canada and Spark Strategic Group, along with our media and community sponsors and the municipalities who proclaimed Rising Economy Week. Your belief in the future and your support helped make Rising Economy Week a huge success.
Finally, please download your copy of Reboot: Greater Victoria’s Economy Recovery Plan 2020-2022 to find out what our region is doing and how you can support our economic recovery initiatives. Let’s keep our progress going!
Emilie de Rosenroll is the CEO of South Island Prosperity Partnership and Chair of the Rising Economy Taskforce.