Conference Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Darcy Winslow is the President and co-founder of the Academy for Systems Change, an international non-profit focused on advancing the field of awareness-based systemic change in order to achieve economic, social, and ecological wellbeing. The Academy designs, develops and delivers a range of programs to support, coach and build community among emerging and existing leaders who are at the pioneering edge of systems change work. Unlike conventional leadership training organizations, the Academy’s approach fosters deep understanding of the powerful connection between change within the individual and changing the systems in which they work. Darcy also worked at Nike, Inc. for 21 years and held several senior management positions, most notably starting the Sustainable Business Strategies in 1999, Global Director for Research Design and Development, General Manager/VP for Nike’s Global Women’s Footwear, Apparel and Equipment division, and Senior Advisor to the Nike Foundation.

Charles Eisenstein is a speaker and a writer focusing on the themes of civilization, consciousness, money, and human cultural evolution. His viral short films and essays online have established him as a genre-defying social philosopher and counter-cultural intellectual. Eisenstein graduated from Yale University in 1989 with a degree in mathematics and philosophy and spent the next ten years as a Chinese-English translator. His books include “The Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible” (North Atlantic Books 2013) and his most recent “Climate – A New Story” (North Atlantic Books, 2018).

Melanie Goodchild is moose clan, Anishinaabe, from Biigtigong Nishnaabeg First Nation. She is the founder of Turtle Island Institute, an Indigenous social innovation think & do tank and she is a Research Fellow at the Waterloo Institute for Social Innovation and Resilience. She is a PhD candidate in Social and Ecological Sustainability at the University of Waterloo where her work focuses on Indigenous knowledges, systems thinking and complexity. Melanie works as an advisor to several social and environmental change initiatives including NASA’s Earth Sciences Capacity Building Program.

 

Speakers

Aaron Bennett is Director & Senior Research Analyst at Jarislowsky Fraser. He joined the firm in 2014 to cover North American Energy and Forestry Products equities. Aaron is also Co-Chair of the firm’s Sustainable Investment Committee, which supports the Management Committee and the Investment Strategy Committee in the implementation of the firm’s Sustainable Investment Policy. Prior to joining the firm, Aaron worked for the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan in a variety of related roles for the Natural Resources sector. He also sat on the boards of many private investee companies in the energy space and was a founding and active member of the organization’s Responsible Investing Committee.

For the past decade, JP Bervoets has worked to foster collaboration and build partnerships across sectors to advance community wellbeing and sustainable development. As Vice President at Community Foundations of Canada, JP works to connect Canada’s 191 community foundations with partners from the public sector, private sector and civil society. He is also supporting CFC’s SDG practice and working alongside a network of partners to host Alliance 2030, a new national network to connect and amplify Canadian leadership on the SDGs.  Prior to joining CFC, JP held various positions in the international development sector in Canada, and internationally with North Star Alliance, a groundbreaking public-private partnership founded by the UN World Food Programme and TNT Express.

Meaghan Calcari Campbell has been a Program Officer at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for 15 years with the privilege of working in British Columbia and Canada during that time. Her portfolio is largely focused on habitat protection and all the tools in that toolbox, and she has worked in deep partnership with many of British Columbia’s First Nations, other levels of government, industry users, and environmental and community groups. Previously, she was at Conservation International, where she evaluated community-based conservation and economic development projects in the Philippines and Indonesia. She facilitated a marine conservation funder working group in the Biodiversity Funders Group. Meaghan also served as board secretary for the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network. She currently serves on the board of directors at the Environmental Grantmakers Association. 

Merv Child, a member of the Dzawada’enuxw First Nation, has been working with the Nanwakolas member First Nations in various capacities since 1996, and has served as the Nanwakolas Council Executive Director since February 2007. Merv is a 1994 graduate of the Faculty of Law at the University of Victoria and was called to the British Columbia Bar in 1995.  On behalf of the member First Nations, Merv is responsible for senior level engagement with federal and provincial agencies, and third parties, on a host a land and marine resource management issues. Merv also served on the Board of the Coast Opportunities Funds for 12 years, including 7 years as its Chair.

John Cook is an investment management executive, entrepreneur and registered portfolio manager. He co-founded Greenchip Financial Corporation in 2007 and is currently President and CEO. Prior to Greenchip, John was President of the MaRS Discovery District, where he led corporate development and strategy from 2001-2005. John has also held executive positions at AIM Funds Management Inc. and BPI Financial Corporation.

 

Valérie Courtois is a registered professional forester who specializes in Indigenous issues, forest ecology and ecosystem-based management and planning.  She is a member of the Innu community of Mashteuiatsh, located on the shore of Peikuakami, or Lac-St-Jean. Valérie holds a degree in forestry sciences from the Université de Moncton.  She has served as a forestry advisor for the Assembly of First Nations of Québec and Labrador, forestry planner for the Innu Nation, and as a consultant in Aboriginal forestry, including certification and spatial planning, and caribou planning. In 2007, she was awarded the James M. Kitz award from the Canadian Institute of Forestry for her early-career contributions to the forestry profession. Valérie has been the Director of the Indigenous Leadership Initiative since 2013.  The ILI works to strengthen Indigenous Nationhood and support Indigenous-led conservation, including Indigenous Guardians.  

Darcy Dobell’s longstanding interest in the relationships between people and place has fuelled a professional career that encompasses public service, non-profit leadership, and consulting. She has worked with federal, provincial, and local governments, Indigenous groups, NGOs, community associations, academic institutions, and businesses, bringing expertise in strategic planning, negotiations, communications, and facilitation to help diverse groups work together to protect nature and advance human well-being. Darcy has a particular interest in collaborative planning and management aimed at rebuilding healthy and abundant oceans in Canada, and she currently advises the CEGN Ocean Collaborative. Darcy also serves on the Boards of Directors of Coast Opportunity Funds, Ocean Networks Canada, and the BC Parks Foundation. Her academic background combines science and literature, and she has put both into practice as author and editor of a number of science textbooks and other publications.

Grant Hogg has an H.BSc in Biology from Trent University and an MBA from the Schulich School of Business. Before joining the federal government, Grant worked for the Ontario Science Centre as a science instructor, in the private sector (communications and marketing), and in the non-profit sector for youth and international development as well as environmental non-profit organizations. Grant joined the federal government in 1998.  He has worked in Health Canada and Environment and Climate Change Canada as a policy analyst and manager in a variety of areas including wildlife conservation, the Sydney tar ponds, the Chemicals Management Plan, Indigenous environmental protection, and as the Director of the Environmental Emergencies Program. Grant is currently the Executive Director of Conservation Partnerships Stewardship where he oversees conservation funding and incentive programs. 

Natalie Irwin is Director of Stakeholder Engagement at Efficiency Canada. Prior to joining us, Natalie managed the successful trade-ally program for EfficiencyOne, the franchise holder that operates Efficiency Nova Scotia for the province. As a Professional Business Relationship Manager®, her role encompasses stakeholder engagement with North American energy efficiency organizations, partners, and associations. Natalie is also active volunteer and in 2018 was awarded the Chapter Volunteer Leadership Award from the Atlantic Chapter, Canada Green Building Council and in 2016 received the Best Super-Connector Award by Halifax Partnership for her work with their Connector Program. Natalie holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Acadia University.

Lorne Johnson is Senior Program Director, Ivey and Schad Foundations, where he serves as a senior advisor to the granting programs. Lorne has almost 25 years of experience in forging collaborative solutions to sustainability challenges in Canada. He has established a reputation as someone who brings enthusiasm, humour and a solid dose of pragmatism while getting things done.  Early in his career, Lorne played a leadership role in establishing the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) in Canada including facilitating stakeholder negotiations for several regional standards processes, serving as a board member and chair, and acting as the Executive Director while overseeing the redesign of the organization’s business strategy and revenue model in the mid-2000s.  During his ten-year term with World Wildlife Fund Canada (1998 to 2007), Lorne established and led partnerships with several forest products companies.  In his final two years with WWF-Canada, he headed-up their government relations efforts as their Ottawa Bureau Director.

Peter Kendall is the Executive Director of The Schad Foundation, a private family foundation focused on youth conservation education and large scale terrestrial protection. In addition, Peter serves as President of Earth Rangers, a Canadian charity dedicated to educating children and their families about biodiversity, inspiring them to adopt sustainable behaviours, and empowering them to become directly involved in protecting animals and their habitats.  Peter also sits on the Board of Directors for a number of non-profit organizations including Nature United and One World Schoolhouse.\

 

Jen Lash, Executive Director of the Sisu Institute and Advisor, New Venture Fund, has worked on conservation issues in Canada for over 25 years. In her capacity at Sisu Institute and as advisor to the New Venture Fund, Jen provides strategic, communications and funding support to climate and energy campaigns across Canada. She specializes in convening groups and individuals and working with them to build and implement strategies that will address the climate emergency we are facing today. Through this work, Jen has helped build a national climate movement in Canada that has resulted in the creation of the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change and built support amongst Canadians for ambitious climate action. Jen lives in Sointula British Columbia.

Valerie Lemieux is strongly committed to social change and to strengthening the charitable sector. She believes in the power of investing in charities through strategic philanthropic donations and through impact/social investments. She is proud to facilitate those activities through her work as Executive Director at the Catherine Donnelly Foundation and previously at an innovative social lender, the Canadian Alternative Investment Cooperative (CAIC). Prior to engaging in the philanthropic and social investing sectors, Valerie worked in public relations/communications with the labour movement and in television broadcasting.

 

Pat Letizia is Executive Director of Alberta Ecotrust Foundation and works to create environmental solution space with community, industry, and government, building a learning community of collaborative partners that work together to invest in environmental projects, programs and organizations. Focused on systems, Pat is known for her big picture thinking, enthusiasm and candour; pragmatically getting to the heart of issues. She has significant experience in local, provincial and national arenas of environmental philanthropy, policy and program design and is regularly invited to contribute her ideas and expertise in a range of advisory and leadership roles.  She has learned first-hand that collaboration can lead to significant impacts and is a powerful tool for co-design and shared agendas. She has also learned that it’s time consuming, costly and can be slow and messy. She is going to share her experience in leading Alberta Ecotrust through a strategic pivot towards deeper collaboration on systemic solutions – from social labs to LC3.

As the Operations and Grants Manager for the Okanagan Basin Water Board, James Littley is passionate about supporting work to enhance and restore water quality, and to improve water conservation, as well as enhancing biodiversity and ecosystem function. He currently sits on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers Network. He has a B.A. in Political Science and Human Geography from UBC Okanagan, a Certificate in Local Government Administration from Capilano University and an M.A. focussed on local government sustainability policy in B.C., also from UBC Okanagan. In his free time, James enjoys camping, hiking and kayaking with his kids, and teaches them that they are a part of nature and not separate from it.

Elizabeth McCallion is the Grants Manager at the Peter Gilgan Foundation, a private foundation created by philanthropist and business leader Peter Gilgan. Donations totaling more than $160 million have been directed to a variety of causes including health and wellness, education, international development and environmental protection. The Foundation’s current priorities include enhancing life opportunities for children and families, and contributing to a comprehensive climate solution. Elizabeth helps to develop and strengthen relationships with new and existing partners. Prior to joining the Foundation, Elizabeth worked in the public sector in Ontario and abroad, overseeing projects and partnerships to fight climate change, build international relations, and advance economic development. She holds a BCom from McGill and an MSc from Birkbeck, University of London.

© Leise Jones Photography

Andrea Moffat is the Vice President of the Ivey Foundation whose mission is to help create a shared vision for Canada’s future that integrates the economy and the environment, achieves resource efficiency, and fosters innovation and investment for a smarter, sustainable economy.  Previously, Andrea was the Vice President of the Corporate Program at Ceres, where she led Ceres work with business on sustainability issues such as climate, energy, water, and supply chains.  With more than 20 years of experience, Andrea has lead engagements with more than 80 companies to help them meet sustainability commitments and achieve greater performance results. She was the lead author of The 21st Century Corporation: The Ceres Roadmap for Sustainability and the corporate benchmarking reports based on this framework and has contributed to a wide range of other publications. Andrea is a board member of the International Institute of Sustainable Development, and the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network.

Tim Morris wears a few different hats related to the funding of freshwater protection in Canada. He is the Project Director for the BC Freshwater Legacy Initiative, a unique initiative that invests in leadership capacity and innovation at the watershed scale to advance water sustainability in British Columbia. Tim is also a co-coordinator for the BC Water Funders Collaborative, and he provides strategic support to the Our Living Waters 2030 Fund, a national fund that supports collaborative projects undertaken by the Our Living Waters network. Over the last 15 years, Tim has worked to protect Canada’s lakes and rivers, providing strategic support and advice to governments, funders and freshwater NGOs. Tim has a Masters of Laws focused on water law and policy.

For Colette Murphy , philanthropy has always been more about the power of people than the power of money to change the world. A Canadian who was raised in the US, Colette cut her teeth as an activist working alongside refugees who found their way to Toronto in the ‘90s. Since then, she’s earned a North American reputation as a reliable ally, a tenacious advocate for social and economic justice, and a creative collaborator across traditional lines. Best known as an organizational capacity builder at United Way Toronto and a champion for inclusive local economies at the Metcalf Foundation, she has also worked behind-the-scenes on innovative poverty reduction, anti-racism and leadership development initiatives over the course of her career.

Andrea Nemtin is a Partner at Rally Assets, where she works to accelerate the shift of capital towards social and environmental solutions by helping organizations and individuals align their assets with their values. She has an accomplished career in strategic philanthropy, impact investing and social innovation. As the Founding President and CEO of Inspirit Foundation where she led her team to launch a series of critically needed programs including the foundation’s first roadmap towards a 100% impact-investing portfolio. In 2017 Andrea received a governor Generals Meritorious Service Award for her contribution to Inclusion in Canada. Prior to inspirit Andrea spent 15 years as the President and CEO at PTV Productions, creating socially impactful, award winning broadcast and interactive media. She began her career in changemaking running social marketing campaigns at Adbusters Media.

Darcy Riddell is Director of Strategic Learning with the McConnell Foundation, where she supports learning across foundation initiatives and social innovation capacity-building programs. She is a leader in building the global field of systems change practice and philanthropy. Over the last 20 years Darcy has worked as a strategist, campaigner and process designer to advance social change and sustainability with non-profit leaders, environmental advocacy organizations, and across sectors. She completed a PhD from Waterloo, focused on disruptive social innovation in Canadian forest campaigns, and has published on systems change strategies, evaluation, and scaling impact.  Darcy sits on the board of the Catherine Donnelly Foundation, and is an advisor to the Energy Futures Lab and Social Innovation Canada. She is an instructor for SFU’s Certificate in Social Innovation in Vancouver, B.C., where she lives with her two children.

Shannon Rohan has worked in the responsible investment and social finance space for 15 years. In her role at SHARE, Shannon works with asset owners including pension funds, foundations, and Indigenous trusts, helping them devise responsible investment policies and oversee their implementation.  Shannon also leads strategic projects for SHARE including the Valuing Decent Work Initiative and the Reconciliation and Responsible Investment Initiative.

 

Rod Ruff is the Program Director at Alberta Ecotrust Foundation. In his role he is responsible for managing the Foundation’s suite of charitable programs which fund nonprofit environmental projects and strengthen the ability of the voluntary sector to affect positive social and environmental change. Rod also leads strategic projects for the Foundation which includes partnering with the City of Calgary and City of Edmonton as part of the Low Carbon Cities Canada initiative, and Project Blue Thumb – Canada’s first social innovation lab aimed at addressing water quality issues. When he isn’t at work, or spending time with his wife and daughter, you can find him nestled in a book, fly fishing in the Bow River, or hunting in the prairies near his hometown of Medicine Hat.

Garry Sault is an Ojibway elder from Mississauga’s New Credit Nation. His people signed over 20 pre-confederation treaties with the Crown which cover most of the Golden Horseshoe. He is a veteran and served in the United States Navy. He resides on the New Credit First Nation with his wife of 40 years and enjoys spending quality time with his grandchildren. Garry is a storyteller and has welcomed chiefs, premiers, environmentalists, and many more to the traditional territory of the Mississaugas of the New Credit.

Carolyn Scotchmer is the Executive Director of TD Friends of the Environment Foundation (TD FEF) where she oversees the operations of the Foundation and leads a team of Regional Managers to support community-based environmental initiatives across Canada.  She is also responsible for the Canadian corporate environmental giving portfolio for TD Bank Group, to help deliver on the bank’s corporate citizenship platform, The Ready Commitment. Carolyn joined TD in 2012 to manage the Foundation’s giving in Ontario and the Atlantic Provinces and to help raise awareness of TD’s corporate environmental programs in the regions. Prior to joining the bank, she spent more than ten years in the charitable sector in Toronto and Calgary, developing and managing programs focused on community development through urban greening and community gardening.

Dallas Smith is the founder and President of Nanwakolas Council. He is a member of the Tlowitsis Nation where he holds the hereditary title of Wolkine Gaaxstalas (the wished for one who brings us strength). His 23 year career has spanned from a comprehensive Traditional Use Study of his people to Land and Marine use plans along with building strong relationships with Governments, industries, Engos and Foundations that would help him become a architect of both the Great Bear Rainforest and Great Bear Sea initiatives on the Coast of B.C.

 

Rosa van den Beemt is a Senior ESG Analyst and corporate engagement practitioner with over six years of experience in the responsible investment industry. At NEI Investments, Rosa drives ongoing corporate dialogue with issuers in the ICT, Telecommunications and Health Care sectors on ESG risks and opportunities ranging from cyber security and board diversity to access to medicine. She also coordinates NEI’s proxy voting program and votes NEI’s holdings in the Canadian and U.S. markets. Rosa serves on the Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR) Health Leadership Team, assisting in strategy-setting of collaborative investor engagement with the pharmaceutical industry, and sits on the Steering Committee of the Toronto Responsible Investing Working Group.

Chris Viani joined NEI in 2014 as a Business Development Manager working primarily with advisors in Ontario and British Columbia. In 2017 Chris was promoted to the role of Regional Sales Manager. Prior to working at NEI Investments, he worked for TD Waterhouse. He holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce with a specialization in Finance from McMaster University, the CIM designation and is a CFA Level 3 Candidate.

 

Karen Wilkie, who joined the Carthy Foundation in 2014, is the Program Director. Prior to this, Karen served as a policy and government relations strategist with The City of Calgary and as a researcher and policy analyst with the Canada West Foundation, a Calgary-based public policy think tank.  Her experience in government and the non-profit sector enable Karen to work on diverse issues ranging from complex social challenges to urban sustainability. She enjoys volunteering in the sector and currently serves as Chair of the Canadian Environmental Grantmakers’ Network.

 

Cathy Wilkinson, Senior Strategic Advisor, IBCC Cathy Wilkinson has long been a leader in boreal conservation policy, specializing in bringing diverse stakeholders together around common agendas.  Based in Ottawa, Wilkinson helped launch the International Boreal Conservation Campaign and played a central role in convening diverse support for the Boreal Forest Conservation Framework.

 

 

Conference Facilitators

Mike Kang is a Consultant with Reos Partners who is passionate about unlocking human systems’ potential to transform and have more positive impact on the challenges we face. Mike brings a mix of technical, social, and organizational expertise to help bridge the gaps between different perspectives on how to effect change. He has helped facilitate complex change initiatives in many contexts, including sustainability of water and sanitation services in Malawi, First Nations community health in Canada, and political polarization in Germany. Mike holds a Bachelors in Engineering Physics from the University of British Columbia and a Masters in Engineering for Sustainable Development from the University of Cambridge. 

Monica Pohlmann is a Principal with Reos Partners , an international social enterprise that has 20 years of experience in putting collaboration at the center of problem solving to drive impact on complex challenges.  Monica is passionate about building the social infrastructure of sustainability—the collective capacity to gain insights into complex challenges and discover new solutions that can be co-created and co-implemented.  She has extensive experience in guiding multi stakeholder initiatives aimed at addressing a range of complex challenges. She is project leader of the Emergency Aid Lab, which is supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and is focused on college student success. She provides strategy and design leadership to the Engineering Change Lab, as well as to the Rocky Mountain Institute’s eLab Leap, a Social Lab based in New York State focused on ensuring that low income households and communities benefit from a clean energy future. Monica holds a post-graduate certificate in Dialogue, Deliberation, and Public Engagement from Fielding Graduate University; a Masters of Environmental Design (Sustainable Community Planning) from the University of Calgary; and a B.S. from the University of Guelph

 

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