Food for Thought: Okanagan College’s applied research expo unites innovators across timely topics

By College Relations | April 11, 2023

Food for Thought

Are you hungry for knowledge and innovation in the field of applied research? Do you want to learn from experts and peers who are tackling some of the most pressing challenges and opportunities in our society? If so, you won’t want to miss the 7th annual Okanagan College Research Innovation Partnerships Expo, or ‘RIPE’, on May 2.

RIPE, hosted by OC’s Learning and Applied Research department, is a free virtual event for community members, industry, educators, researchers and students to network and learn about the impact of applied research. Also open to the public, attendees can register and participate in any or all of the sessions.

This year’s theme is Food for Thought, and it will feature presentations from institutions across Canada on topics ranging from food security, sustainability, health, education, technology, and more.

“The Research Innovation Partnerships Expo is a platform for collaboration, inspiration, and engagement among researchers, educators, industry partners, and community members who share a common passion for applied research and innovation,” said Dr. Andrew Hay, Provost and Vice President Academic for Okanagan College.

“We’re delighted to once again bring people together in dialogue, learning and celebration around Applied Research. This year’s lineup of speakers, participants and projects is really exciting. We hope participants come away inspired, with new insights into what’s happening at Okanagan College and institutions across the country.”

This year’s keynote address is presented by Richard Worzel, C.F.A., one of Canada’s leading futurists and innovation specialists.

Worzel has helped hundreds of organizations across various sectors to anticipate and adapt to the future, including Coca-Cola, Microsoft, Lexus, IBM, and many more. He is also a best-selling author of several books on the future, such as The Next 20 Years of Your Life and Doomsday: Plus or Minus.

In his presentation, Worzel will explore the theme of Food for the Future: How Tomorrow’s Trends Will Affect the Food & Beverage Industries.

He will cover topics such as:

  • How high will inflation go, and how long will it last? What are the implications for food prices, production costs and consumer demand?
  • How will demographic trends, such as the aging boomers, the Millennial and Gen-Z generations, and high levels of immigration, affect consumption patterns and preferences?
  • How will technology transform the way we select, prepare and deliver nutrition? What are the opportunities and risks of innovations such as lab-grown meat, vertical farming, personalized nutrition and online delivery platforms?
  • How will climate change impact food security, sustainability, health and quality? What are the best practices and strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate risks?

Worzel will also focus on how these trends will affect the food and beverage industries in Okanagan in particular. He will provide practical insights and recommendations on how to leverage these trends to create competitive advantage, enhance customer loyalty, and foster innovation.

For the full conference details and to register online, visit

Tags: RIPE, Learning and Applied Research



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