RALEIGH – Innovate Raleigh is hosting its eighth annual summit this week, bringing together more than 300 entrepreneurs, small business owners and economic development leaders to discuss emerging trends that will inevitably affect the city.

The conference particularly focuses on artificial intelligence, climate change, population growth, sustainable development and rural-urban collaboration. These topics encompass the broader theme “Triangle 2050.”

Bridget Harrington, Innovate Raleigh’s executive director, says the summit aims to identify ways in which Raleigh can be a “city of the future” and “foster a welcoming culture of entrepreneurship and innovation.”

“We wanted to explain how global trends will impact our region over the next 30 years, and how we can continue to foster an innovative culture that’s shaping the future in the face of these changes,” Harrington says. “We’ll be bringing in some thought leaders to challenge our thinking and share what they’re working on.”

Innovate Raleigh Summit takes place October 3 from 1-7 p.m. at Union Station. The agenda starts with three talks on inclusive growth, environmental challenges and sustainable development, presented by Sidewalk Labs Associate Director of Public Realm Siqi Zhu, Southeast Climate Adaptation Science Center Research Scientist Dr. Adam Terando and Curbed Urbanism Editor Alissa Walker.

Then, attendees will get to choose from three sessions focused on different topics:

  • A moderated discussion on sustainable development with Alissa Walker and Siqi Zhu (mentioned above), as well as Raleigh City Council At-Large Member Nicole Stewart.
  • Three technology-focused talks: Author and HowStuffWorks Founder Marshall Brain on the future of transportation, RIoT Director of Growth and Communications Sarah Glova on new markets and the Internet of Things, and Pryon CEO Igor Jablokov on augmented intelligence and robots.
  • A “future of innovation” discussion focused on a range of topics, including clean water, inclusive healthcare, the gig economy and the talent pipeline. The speakers for this session are: André Blackman of OnBoard Health, Veronica Creech of the City of Raleigh, Molly Demarest of American Underground, Juan Carlos Erickson of GoTriangle, Dan Gonzalez and Anne Jones of District C, Margaret McNab of Freelance League of NC, Dipak Mahato of SeaChange Technologies and Susan Sanford of the Research Triangle Cleantech Cluster.

Around 350 attendees are expected, the venue’s cap. Tickets are almost sold out. Registration costs $150 (or $40 for students).