Chris Turner - Author, Speaker, Thought Leader: The New Economy
"Chris Turner is one of Canada's leading voices on sustainability, livable cities and the global cleantech boom."
Abstract: A guided tour of the next wave in sustainability, looking at the extraordinary value proposition produced by the convergence of renewable energy, distributed smart grids, and electrified transportation. This new wave offers extraordinary opportunities for rural communities to take leading roles in building the infrastructure of the sustainable twenty-first century economy.
Biography: Chris Turner is one of Canada's leading writers and speakers on sustainability and the global green economy and the author of five books. His most recent book is "How to Breathe Underwater: Field Reports from an Age of Radical Change," a collection of his award winning essays and feature writing. His 2013 book "The War on Science" was a co-winner of the Writers Union of Canada's Freedom to Read Award. He was a Berton House writer-in-residence in Dawson City, Yukon in 2013. Chris lives in Calgary with his wife and two children, where he is working on a book about the oilsands.
Abstract: Businesses are under increasing pressure from customers, investors, employees, and regulators to embrace social and environmental responsibility. But Wall Street demands quarterly results, a stringent ROI, and a short payback period. How can these seemingly incompatible goals be accomplished concurrently? Until recently, there has been little evidence expressed in business language to show business executives the monetized benefits that are possible from more aggressive sustainability strategies. Based on Bob's latest book, The New Sustainability Advantage (2012), this presentation repositions smart, innovative sustainability strategies as a means to achieving existing company goals, rather than a seperate imperative to worry about. Bob applies business and leadership development experience from his 34-year career at IBM Canada to show how sustainability strategies can increase revenue, save expenses, avoid impending risks, and enhance brand value, resulting in profit improvements of 51% and 81% within three to five years for a typical company. That is smart sustainability strategies help companies survive the economic downturn, while positioning them to thrive in the new economy.
Biography: Bob is a leading expert on quantifying and selling the business value of corporate sustainability strategies and has given over a thousand presentations to corporate, government, university, and NGO audiences. His four books, two DVDs, business case simulator Dashboard and Worksheets, and extensive Master slide Set provide capacity building resources for sustainability champions. His most recent project is the Future-Fit Business Benchmark. He previously worked 34 years with IBM Canada, retiring in 2000. He served on the Board of the Natural Step Canada for 12 years, is currently on the Board of the Forum for the Future (U.S.), and is on the B-Lab Standards Advisory Council. He was inducted into the International Society of Sustainability Professionals' Hall of Fame in 2011, and has been named "Best for the World Overall" B-Corp the last three consecutive years. Bob has a PhD in Sustainability from the University of Toronto.
Brenda Herchmer, Campus for Communities
Abstract: How to Cultivate Relationships and Accelerate Prosperity: 10 Leadership Learnings. While it is clear the pathways to economic, social, and environmental sustainability are complicated, it is also clear that relationships, networks, and webs are an essential foundation for the cross sectoral collaboration, collective impact, and systems change that will be required.This session will share ten leadership learningsgathered as the result of working with over 60 communities across the country. Inspiring stories illustrate each learning while providing practical how-to's. More than anything the session provides a pathway for those who aren't sure where to start in terms of implementing the community building, citizen engagement, and "meshwork" that will be essential for sustainability.
Biography: Brenda Herchmer is the Principal Collaborator and Founder of a social enterprise called Campus for Communities. Author of three books, her primary work involves speaking, training, and consulting as it relates to community building and the leadership it requires.She recently served as the director of Alberta's provincial ACE Communities initiative and taught at Niagara College where she also founded and managed the Niagara Centre for Community Leadership. The Centre was acknowledged by the Association of Canadian Community Colleges as an “exemplary practice in community development” and was a finalist for the prestigious national Peter F. Drucker Innovation Award. Brenda is an avid blogger, and was acknowledged as a YWCA Woman of Distinction in Training and Education.
Adriane MacDonald, University of Lethbridge
Abstract: Empowering Decision Makers on the Road to Sustainability. Collaboratively implementing a community sustainability plan can be an immensely rewarding process that connects people as they co-create and strive for a shared sustainability vision. Engaging a diverse range of stakeholders builds a rich understanding of the community’s sustainability challenges and paves the way for an innovative and empathetic response to problem solving. While there are many benefits to partnering with community stakeholders this approach can also pose logistical and other challenges. Managing the diverse needs of various partners while trying to achieve the sustainability goals in the plan requires coordinated leadership. This talk summarizes over ten years of research on implementing community sustainability plans. With an emphasis on managing partnerships, the design of systems, such as renewal, communication, and decision making in implementation structures are explored in relation to their capacity to empower both decision makers and partners during the process.
Biography: Adriane MacDonald is a passionate educator and researcher in the areas of sustainability, partnerships, strategy and corporate social responsibility. An Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Management at the University of Lethbridge, Adriane researches multi-stakeholder partnerships implementing community sustainability plans in Canada and Internationally. For the last five years, Adriane has been a lead collaborator and researcher on the Sustainable Communities research project at the University of Waterloo. She has given several presentations on the topics of sustainable communities and partnerships to academic and government audiences. Adriane is in the final stages of her PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability from the University Waterloo. She also holds a Master’s in Local Economic Development. Outside of academia, Adriane has worked as a consultant in the private sector and as a business analyst for the Government of Canada.
Tenille, Engaging and Empowering Youth
Abstract: Light your spark. Build your staircase. Tenille's presentation uses songs and stories to talk about letting the true essence of who you are, light up the world with all experiences you encounter. Focussing on the power of insecurities, and the greater power of your identity, she shares personal stories to show her perspective of how to overcome the struggles you face, and then help others find their victory. It's easy to feel like you're the only person going through the trials you're facing, but being vulnerable and sharing your story to others can completely change the course of someone's life. We aren't meant to go through things alone; as humans, we crave connection and are built to feel like we belong. So, there is undeniable power in your testimony- that's how you change the world. One story, one light at a time.
Biography: Tenille is paving her own way in country music and quickly becoming a role model to many with her infectious way of inspiring people. In 2012, Tenille was honoured as the youngest recipient in history with the CCMA Slaight Music Humanitarian Award. She has been a past award winner for the Association of Country Music In Alberta's Fans' Choice and Female Artist of the year and was honoured with both the Queen's Gold & Diamond Jubilee Medals. She's the youngest ever Canadian Country Music Awards nominee for the 2011 Female Artist of the Year and was awarded Grande Prairie & District Chamber of Commerce- Business Excellence Award for Young Entrepreneur of the Year. She's a proud Ambassador for the Tim Hortons Children's Foundation and has raised over $775,000 for her local youth shelter, the Sunrise House, through her fundraising concert Big Hearts For Big Kids in the past six years. Her school tour program, Play it Forward, visited over 35,000 students in over 105 schools in 32 weeks on the road across Canada in 2012 and 2013. She awarded over 300 students with leadership funding to play forward to their school and beyond, and did a $10,000 draw for one of those leaders to give to a charity of choice and an initiative in their school. She's recently been working on new music in Nashville and is looking forward to releasing again soon.