Industry Innovations with Microsoft

A conversation with Microsoft Canada’s John Weigelt and Natural Resources Canada’s Vik Pant.

Published On Oct 13, 2021


The rapid pace of innovation has given us a world yesterday’s sci-fi authors could scarcely predict: The sum of human knowledge in our pockets; instant video communication around the world, basically for free; robots and algorithms taking on work that was once thought impossible. But this rapid progress has also dramatically impacted the world in which we live. Resource extraction, carbon footprints, congestion and crowding—today’s crises are the direct results of our achievements.

The solution is likely to blend austerity—wiser, more efficient use of what we have—with innovation. And in both cases, the tools that brought us here can help us move forward.

Vik Pant and John Weigelt are no strangers to innovation. Weigelt, the National Technology Officer at Microsoft Canada, spoke at FWD50 in 2017, and took the stage with Pant—Chief Scientist and Chief Science Advisor at Natural Resources Canada—in 2020.

The two have been behind a number of applied AI efforts to improve traffic congestion, mine safety, and energy consumption. In this episode of Industry Innovations, we delve not only into the tradeoffs of technology, but also the role of the private sector in encouraging cross-department and cross-jurisdiction collaboration.

Learn more about Microsoft AI for Good, which provides technology and resources to empower governments and organizations working to solve global challenges to the environment, humanitarian issues, accessibility, health, and cultural heritage: