Looking back at Cybera Summit 2010: Driving Alberta’s Digital Evolution

By Hilary Darrah, Communications Officer, Edmonton

Cybera Summit 2010 was the first conference I have helped organize.

I have to admit, it was a quite an experience. As I worked behind the scenes with the communications team, I was impressed by the complexity of organizing the event, and all of the little details that needed to be considered and acted upon. I was a bit relieved when the event began. Once the first keynote speaker, Rahul Sood, began his address, the conference came to life, and developed an energy all its own. 

Although there were many organizational tasks to keep me busy, I was able to take in a few sessions such as the "Evolution of Collaborative Sciences, Ultra Efficient Data Centres and Environmental Infrastructure: Tools and Technologies". During the sessions, I learned about a few of the latest innovations in the technology sector. For example, Gary Bernstein, Director of Network and Communication Services at McGill University, shared plans to build the world's most efficient data centre. (For more information please click here.) Dr. Boyan Brodaric from Natural Resources Canada introduced me to the Ground Water Information Network, a project that may provide insight into the construction of one of Cybera's own projects —€” WEHUB.

On the second day, I managed to pop into Leonard Brody's keynote address. Now I'm tempted to try out his suggestion and see if Amazon really does know me better than my family by asking them to order a few books for me this Christmas. (Soon we will be posting his full address on our website, so those interested will be able to enjoy the presentation.)

One of my tasks during the event was the roam the crowd with a small camera crew during the networking break, asking delegates why they were eager to attend our event and which sessions they enjoyed the most. I even surprised people by asking what their favourite piece of technology was. David Black, one of our speakers for the "Techno-skeptics" session, chose the typewriter, while other attendees chose items ranging from a popular Smartphone to the Internet. Stay tuned to Cybera's website as we'll post a short video of everyone's responses in the coming week.

By far my favourite part of the conference was interacting with the speakers and attendees. Their enthusiasm was fantastic and the conversations and ideas coming out of the sessions were fascinating. Now that it's all wrapped up, and my thoughts turn to next year's event, I'm already looking forward to heading out to Banff for Cybera Summit 2011… but next year I can definitely do without the snow.