• RAINFOREST SUMMITS 

    Measuring Edmonton's Progress Towards Innovation

Every 6-months, Rainforest Alberta hosts two Rainforest Summits, one in Calgary and one in Edmonton. These events are full-day, immersive sessions that measure the current state of innovation and look for opportunities to build a stronger, more resilient innovation ecosystem. 

Rainforest Summit History

The first Rainforest Summit was held in Banff in September 2016 and brought together 60 of the leaders from across the province. 6-months later, Calgary held it's second summit, and in September 2017, Edmonton joined the movement. Since September 2017, Summits have been held the same week in Alberta's two biggest cities every 6-months. 


During each session,  members will learn about the genesis of the Rainforest analogy, why innovation is so important to modern economies, and dive into a measurement of the quality of the innovation ecosystem. Each session includes:
  • Learn about the Rainforest and why Innovation is important for Alberta.
  • Report on Rainforest initiative progress since September 2016. 
  • Examine results from the most recent Rainforest Scorecard Assessment.
  • Brainstorm initiatives to improve the state of innovation in Alberta based on strengths and improvement opportunities, patterns in Scorecard data, strategic issues and technological or political trends.. 
  • Review and discuss the Social Contract and its role in encouraging innovation.
November 2018

Edmonton's ThirdSummit was in Novemnber 2018. A fresh group of 81 of Edmonton's  innovation leaders experienced the full-day Summit immersion. The top three things covered include:

  1. We unpacked the Rainforest principles and compared them to “farm” principles found in production environments.
  2. We examined the Scorecard results for strengths and improvement opportunities. The total score of 650out of 1000 is a slight improvement compared to the previous two summit immersions.
  3. We prioritized improvement opportunities and developed initiatives meant to address those with the highest leverage to strengthen the Alberta innovation ecosystem.
The results of the Scorecard Assessmnet can be found here.
March 2018

Edmonton's second Summit was in March 2018. Kicked off by a pre-event mixer featuring words of welcome from Mayor Don Iveson, a fresh group of 60 innovation leaders experienced the full-day Summit immersion. The top three things covered include:

  1. We unpacked the Rainforest principles and compared them to “farm” principles found in production environments.
  2. We examined the Scorecard results for strengths and improvement opportunities. The total score of 557 out of 1000 is approximately flat to the first summit.
  3. We prioritized improvement opportunities and developed initiatives meant to address those with the highest leverage to strengthen the Alberta innovation ecosystem.

You can download the complete event description here.

September 2017

The inaugural Summit in Edmonton, this is where it all began. 60 leaders, mainly from the Edmonton area, came together to measure and improve the culture surrounding innovation in Edmonton. 


Three things we covered during the day:

  1. We introduced everyone to the concepts of innovation we gather under the umbrella concept of the Rainforest. The concepts are both metaphorical, scientific, and data-based. Getting a handle on the metaphor and science is critical to understanding innovation. 
  2. We worked with the Rainforest Scorecard for assessing ecosystem attributes that contribute to innovative cultures. This makes these fuzzy concepts empirical so we can see where we are. We discovered that Edmonton was measured to a score of 573 out of 1000.
  3. We pulled from the knowledge of Alberta and the assessment data to identify improvement ideas for each of the six Rainforest Scorecard attributes. In one day, we can’t do an exhaustive assessment or strategy process with 60 people, but this is a good introduction that will generate practical improvement approaches you can get started on immediately. 

You can see the complete event overview here.