Coun. Campbell Watt, Jason Cox and Kelly Hopkins listen to futurist Nikolas Badminton at the first FutureBiz Penticton Conference. Steve Kidd/Western News

Penticton businesses get a look at what is to come in the future

Business community responds positively to FutureBiz conference

Attendees at the first FutureBiz Penticton conference got a look at the future, courtesy of futurist Nikolas Badminton.

Talking about what he called “exponential technologies,” Badminton explored how artificial intelligence is going to play a role in the growth of cities, self-driving cars, alternate energy sources and more.

“What is going to happen in the next 12 years, or even in the next 20 or 30 years?” asked Badminton, adding that in the short-term, we overestimate the changes that are coming on the other side of the coin, and the effect of these changes.

Marketing and content specialist Kelly Hopkins said it was food for thought, to “look a little bit further in the future and see where we can start putting some of our resources as a city and see where we can start putting some of our attention and intention.”

City Coun. Campbell Watt was a bit reserved, saying he needed more than a one-hour presentation.

“I think there is stuff in there that the city should be starting turning their attention to,” said Watt. “It certainly takes some thought and conversation.”

Jason Cox, a local entrepreneur and unsuccessful mayoral candidate, said it’s a conversation that has been stirring for some time.

“I think there were things from this that we heard through the election, not only where we have been, but where we are going. I would have loved to see this happen two months before the election instead of weeks after, just to get people thinking about how we move forward and looking to the future, not the past,” said Cox, adding that the speakers had tied together what is going on in Penticton, while Badminton had stirred ideas about how to leverage what already exists with what is coming down the line.

Thom Tischik, executive director for Travel Penticton, has already been thinking about artificial intelligence, though not necessarily from the perspective of self-driving cars.

“I think the subject of artificial intelligence is a bigger item than we all realize, with the amount of data-mining that happens all around us,” said Tischik, adding data-driven customer profiling into the mix.

That’s going to be more and more important for the tourism industry according to Tischik, as companies us it to push information to consumers, based on, in this case, their profile as a traveller.

Diana Stirling, owner of LocoLanding, said that anytime the business community can get together for this kind of discussion about all levels of the economy, and thinking about the future is a good thing.

“We don’t often get the perspective from a futurist, we don’t get the opportunity to have the PIB and city on a panel together,” said Stirling.

Steve Kidd
Senior reporter, Penticton Western News
Email me or message me on Facebook
Follow us on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Just Posted

Talks continue on structure of regional fire departments

Okanagan-Similkameen directors heard under the current structure the CAO’s title would need to change

PRICK! sees increase in patients

The rainbow friendly service offers STI and HIV screening monthly

First Things First evoking the power of song and play

Environmental group educating through entertainment

Robbie Burns supper celebrates 260th birthday of the Ploughman Poet

Penticton Scottish Festival Society hosts annual celebration

Penticton Vees win in 10-round shootout in Merritt

The win is the Vees’ sixth win and third shootout in a row.

Video: 100 days until the David E. Kampe Tower opens

Penticton Regional Hospital started the 100-day countdown until the new tower opens to the public

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read