“You begin saving the world by saving one man at a time. All else is grandiose romanticism or politics.” – Charles Bukowski

The Soft Machine is a series of intimate, invitation-only, thought exchanges examining the most critical digital issues facing humanity. 

Our new world expedition will begin in Calgary on April 30, 2020 and continue to Montreal on June 11, Toronto on October 8 and Edmonton on December 10. 

Join us as we welcome digital luminaries from Suncor, Enbridge, Enmax, Syncrude, University of Alberta, SAIT, ATB Financial, Alberta Energy Regulator and many others to actively participate in the evolution of Canada’s digital economy; and lead us towards an enlightened future built on the endless possibilities of technology-driven innovation.



The Canadian Cloud Council is founded in Calgary, Alberta by Robert Brennan Hart, the ERA Digital Foundation’s Executive Director; with the objective of advancing Canada’s cloud computing industry and building a more open, competitive and accessible Canadian technology ecosystem.


The organization is incorporated as a national not-for-profit under Industry Canada. Inaugural board members include Chris Moore, Former CIO of City of Edmonton; Javier Lozano, Former CIO of Calgary Airport Authority; Jim Clarke, Former CIO of Savanna Energy; Martin Kratz, Senior Partner at Bennett Jones and Alistair Croll, Founding Parter of Year One Labs. The organization hosts its first two major conferences in Edmonton and Ottawa and becomes recognized as Canada’s preeminent cloud industry association by Forbes, Toronto Star, The National Post and other major media publications.


The Council hosts its third major conference “Cloud Matters” in Banff, Alberta and is recruited by the Treasury Board of Canada to develop a substantial set of policy recommendations related to the Government of Canada’s long term cloud computing legislation. John Cousens, VP Public Sector Canada at SalesForce, and Canadian Cloud Council board member presents these recommendations to the House of Commons; several of which become foundational components of the government’s long term cloud roadmap; even to this day. Robert Brennan Hart is named as one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 as a result of his work the the council.


The Cloud Factory, one of the most notable technology conferences ever held in Canada is staged by The Council in Banff and kicks off a long continuum of globally recognized events. Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMWare and Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat deliver public keynotes in Canada for the very first time along with Tony Clement, President of the Treasury Board of Canada and the CTO’s of PayPal and NY Times. The event’s open source friendly debate is covered in TechCrunch and VentureBeat and VMware joins the OpenStack Foundation immediately following the event; forever shifting the shape and evolution of the foundation.


The Canadian Cloud Council launches Interzone; one of the most well attended independent enterprise technology conferences in the history of Canada. Steve Wozniak, the CEO’s of Citrix, WorkDay, NetApp and CTO’s of Twitter, Harvard University and GoDaddy all speak at the conference and Robert Brennan Hart is recognized by the United Nations Foundation as one of the globe’s Top 70 Digital Leaders; a designation he still holds today.


The second edition of Interzone is held in Vancouver; featuring the CEO’s of SAP and Hootsuite and the Mayor of Vancouver. SAP’s investment in the Vancouver community is accelerated as a result of the conversations at the event. The Council continues to be recognized as a major industry leader in the media; with several major publications being released in The Toronto Star, Sync, National Post and others.


After expanding the organization’s digital council across the globe and recruiting Robert Herjavec as honorary event chair, the Canadian Cloud Council returned to Edmonton for the inaugural edition of the association’s new flagship event – Control. Control brought to to the stage the presidents of Ceridian and Palo Alto Networks and Former CTO of US Department of Homeland Security and will be coming to Calgary in November. Control is one of the last remaining live forums for independent, unbiased and unfiltered discussions about the future of technology and is quickly becoming the preeminent enterprise technology event in Canada. 


Highrise hosts the opening three chapters of “Time & Life”; a black tie exchange about the future of Alberta’s economy in Edmonton and Calgary.  The company is born out of a shared mission to reconstruct the digital economy to serve the future of all of humanity.


The founder and visionary behind the last decade of evolution-shifting events joins forces with the Electronics Recycling Association to create ERA | io.  The ERA Digital Foundation is a global not-for-profit association predicated upon the belief that the innovation economy must be reconstructed to serve the future of all of humanity and not just a select few.  The Soft Machine, a national event series examining humanity’s collective digital future, is born; with its first chapter being held in Calgary, Alberta on April 30.


Steve Wozniak, Cofounder of Apple
Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP
Bruce Croxon, Founder of Lavalife
Gregor Robertson, Mayor of Vancouver
Mark Templeton, CEO of Citrix
Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware
Jim Whitehurst, CEO of Red Hat
Robert Herjavec, Founder of Herjavec Group
Michelle Zatlyn, Co-Founder of CloudFlare
George Kurian, CEO of NetAPP


New York Times
Los Angeles Times
Toronto Star
Calgary Sun
Sync Magazine
Alberta Venture
Media Planet
Venture Beat


A Nova Partnership for each regional event starts at $9,995 CAD and includes all of the following core benefits:

— Title sponsorship recognition on event website, media material and onsite signage

— Choice of: 20 Minute Keynote Presentation (C-Level only) – or – Participation in 60 Minute Roundtable Discussion (VP or C-Level Only)

— Three additional full event passes

— Three 1:1 ERA Digital Foundation facilitated executive meetings

— Interview with event speaker in IT World Canada, Betakit or other major digital publication

— Private pre-event luncheon for up to 25 high profile guests (guest list cp-curated between sponsor and ERA)

— Only one Nova Partnership available per event

The Sponsor may elect to donate 1,000 reusable computing devices in lieu of a cash sponsorship contribution.  The ERA will donate these devices to 100 community partners or charitable organizations.  


A Nova Express Partnership for each regional event starts at $4,995 CAD and includes all of the following core benefits:

— Corporate sponsorship recognition on event website, media material and onsite signage

— Participation in 20 Minute 1:1 Fireside Chat on the Main Program

— Two 1:1 ERA Digital Foundation facilitated customer meetings

— One additional full event pass

— Only one Nova Express Partnership available per event

The Sponsor may elect to donate 250 reusable computing devices in lieu of a cash sponsorship contribution.  The ERA will donate these devices to 50 community partners and charitable organizations.


A Beta Partnership for a single Soft Machine® digital event starts at $995 CAD and includes the following core benefits:

— Corporate sponsorship recognition on online event platform and corresponding marketing material

— 15 minute keynote address before or after ‘virtual roundtable’ featuring five distinguished digital luminaries and up to 150 online participants

— Two Beta Partnerships available per online event

The Sponsor may elect to donate 50 reusable computing devices in lieu of a cash sponsorship contribution.  The ERA will donate these devices to 10 community partners and charitable organizations.


The Soft Machine®’s exclusive dinner celebration is a legendary gathering of the best and brightest minds of our generation.

Starting at $10,000 CAD, we will plan, organize and curate a once-in-a-lifetime dinner celebration for up to 25 targeted guests. Many a lifelong relationship have been formulated and carved in stone over dinner and a glass of wine and past guests have included: Steve Wozniak and the CEO’s of SAP, Red Hat, Citrix, Hootsuite, Ceridian and Palo Alto Networks. Be here now, as they say.

Prices listed do not include applicable taxes and processing fees.


Meet and mingle with some of the boldest and most recognizable innovators, policy makers and change agents leading the digital economy. Our intimate and distinguished post-event cocktail parties are recognized globally for formulating life-long friendships, partnerships and even new, world-changing ventures.

Where else in the world can you share a glass of wine with the likes of Steve Wozniak, Bill McDermott, Ryan Holmes and Robert Herjavec?


Gone are the days of one size fits all, cookie cutter event sponsorship programs that provide nominal value to no-one in particular. Our media projects are once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to move the industry needle and many of our high profile speakers made the journey to Canada for the very first time to join us on the big stage.

Now is your chance to play a vital part in the reconstruction of the digital economy for the greater good of all of humanity. Every second counts.

© 2020, ERA | io