Waterloo Innovation Summit addresses climate change at Vancouver event
Speakers series generates dialogue and action on the world’s most pressing issues.
Speakers series generates dialogue and action on the world’s most pressing issues.By Natalie Quinlan University Relations
Artificial Intelligence could help the world get ahead of the risks of climate change, according to three Canadian technology giants including the University of Waterloo, Microsoft Vancouver and SAP Labs Canada.
Thought leaders from across the country gathered in Microsoft’s Vancouver headquarters to discuss climate change and technology’s role in helping Canadians adapt.
“It’s important to have Canada’s tech leaders come together right now especially when we’re seeing growing catastrophes with climate change,” said Tong. “We can use technology to help us really adapt with the oncoming crises, and hopefully help us offset some of the greater damages that we’ll begin to see.”
The Summit echoed the importance of leveraging artificial intelligence (AI) within the scope of climate adaptation as a method of model prediction for future extreme weather events.
“Climate change is real, but not only is it real, it’s irreversible, it is here to stay,” Waterloo’s Blair Feltmate said in his opening remarks. “It’s not that we’re not moving in the right direction in reference to adapting to climate change and extreme weather risk, it’s the rate at which we’re moving. For Canada, the trick on adaptation is to move faster. The stress on the system is increasing very rapidly, and we’re keeping up so-so.”
“The University of Waterloo is really proud to host the Canadian chapter of the Sustainable Development Solutions Network,” said Jean Andrey, dean of the Faculty of Environment. “This particular event is wonderful because it brings together big questions about technology and big questions about sustainability and as hosts, our job is to engage the other academics in this country and in fact, citizens at large on how to move Canada forward on sustainability and these, if they can come together, can help us solve a lot of our challenges.”
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The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Indigenous Initiatives Office.