This year's Green Citizen Symposium was a huge success — thank you to all who attended! Recordings from all sessions are available to you below.

Presented by:

PROGRAM

Tuesday, Nov 7 - Thursday, Nov 9, 2023

 

Tuesday, Nov. 7
1 - 2:15 p.m.

Keynote - Fostering Social and Health Equity in Public Greenspaces

Learn about the insights and lessons learned from the Park Perceptions and Racialized Realities project, a community-engaged research project that used visual methodologies to illuminate the experiences of residents in public greenspaces in two underserved neighborhoods in Toronto. Through collaboration with community and an interdisciplinary approach, this project tackles questions of justice, safety, access, and belonging in greenspaces. Attendees will learn of the importance of equitable greenspaces in fostering health and wellbeing and strategies for knowledge mobilization and action-oriented research.

Tuesday. Nov. 7
2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Workshop - Addressing Biodiversity Loss and Climate Change: Emerging Opportunities for Students, Citizens and Professionals

Climate change and biodiversity loss threaten our future. What role can we play - as citizens, workers, and caring humans — in addressing these crises, and what skills do we need to make a difference, in whatever career we pursue? Join an interactive exploration of the challenges posed by these major environmental threats — and the exciting opportunities for change that are emerging.

Tuesday. Nov 7
5 - 6:15 p.m.

Keynote - The Sustainability Case for Smart City Technology

Smart city technology attracts hundreds of millions in investment each year, but has also been the subject of criticism, particularly around applications like facial recognition and other forms of public space surveillance. Yet smart city tech has clear benefits in some areas, especially climate and clean energy applications, provided these technologies are adopted with adequate guardrails. The lecture will look at established and emerging cases, as well as cautions.

Tuesday, Nov. 7
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Workshop - Evergreen's Approach to Advance Sustainability and Climate Resilience in Communities & Public Spaces

Climate resilience and sustainability embedded into data and tech approaches are at the core of two of Evergreen's most ambitious national programs. The Community Solutions Network provides capacity support activities to Canadian municipalities and Indigenous communities related to resident-driven, smart cities approaches and built a digital platform to share innovative solutions. In addition, Evergreen's AI for Resilient City program had developed a scalable data visualization and analytics tool that allows governmental stakeholders to recognize the most impacted areas by the effects of extreme heat. Join us for an interesting conversation, as we dive into some of the constraints and solutions that these programs are supporting communities with to advance climate resilience initiatives and decision making. Following the presentation(s), we will launch into an interactive dialogue, where participants will get a chance to learn and share and explore opportunities to build momentum and continue advancing this work.

Wednesday, Nov. 8
1 - 2:15 p.m.

Keynote - A World Transformed by Insect Technology

The session strives to inform the audience of the broader impact of insect agriculture to create and promote sustainable agriculture globally and to identify the role of technology and the consumer in leading this change forward.

Wednesday, Nov. 8
2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Workshop - Unleashing Creativity: Navigating the Pathway to Innovative Ideas

Interested in discovering the source of groundbreaking ideas and how to uncover them? Join us at our Innovation and Ideation Workshop. This engaging session will guide you through creating innovative concepts. Combining a keynote talk with interactive tasks, we will take attendees on a journey of creativity, introducing methods and techniques that foster innovative thoughts.

Wednesday, Nov. 8
5 - 6:15 p.m.

Keynote - Corporate Responsibility, Sustainability and Environmental-Social-Governance (ESG) - The Evolving Story

In our turbulent times, companies face a wide number of corporate responsibility challenges. In this keynote session, Professor Webb provides an overview of the array of evolving corporate responsibility approaches businesses are adopting to address their environmental, social and economic impacts. In addition to the case study presented by TD Insurance on the TD Scholarship for Indigenous Peoples, the session will explore a range of corporate responsibility-related laws, standards, and strategies used to address present and future challenges. The underlying proposition of the session revolves around the idea that a systematic multi-actor, multi-instrument, multi-process approach to societal governance holds the most promise for a sustainable, prosperous future for citizens, governments, businesses and others.

Wednesday, Nov. 8
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Workshop - Resiliency Planning for Small Businesses

Join TD Insurance's Business Continuity Management Workshop for Small Businesses! Learn essential strategies to ensure your business can weather unexpected disruptions. Gain insights to protect your operations and help your business become resilient.

Thursday, Nov. 9
1 - 2:15 p.m.

Keynote - Climate Change and Wildfire Management

This keynote will discuss the current wildfire situation in Canada and how we manage wildfires in Canada. Attendees will learn about climate change and the influence of climate change on wildfires. Discover effective strategies to manage wildfires in a warmer world and explore the importance of co-existing with this phenomenon.

Thursday, Nov. 9
2:30 p.m. - 4 p.m.

Workshop - Migration, Environment and Climate Change

Climate change, environmental degradation and disasters are reshaping contemporary human mobility patterns around the world. This workshop will improve knowledge and understanding of climate induced migration and present examples, as well as ongoing initiatives that are addressing migration, environment and climate change. Attendees will also learn about youth engagement in climate change and migration related discussions.

Thursday, Nov. 9
5 - 6:15 p.m.

Keynote - Applying the Climate Lens: A New Tool for Storytelling

Climate change is the biggest story of our lives, yet we are not seeing it on screen. Bringing it to the forefront of storytelling is important work — it might feel daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. From Good Energy, this talk will lay out the foundation for narrative change, the process through which media has influenced social progress and evolution in the past. This conversation will help writers investigate how climate might impact characters’ emotions and actions and case studies of existing climate appearances in TV and film. Lastly, attendees will practice applying the Climate Lens™ through interventions ranging from modeling solutions to brief mentions, to climate-driven characters and plots, exploring the rich array of human emotions (beyond despair) that climate change can evoke.

Thursday, Nov. 9
6:30 p.m. - 8 p.m.

Workshop - Ethical Storytelling: Rewriting the Climate Narrative

This workshop will delve into the power and responsibility of crafting narratives around the climate crisis that are informed, inclusive and impactful. Together, we will unravel the layers of colonial power structures influencing how the climate crisis is impacting communities globally. By deconstructing how social and economic power structures shape climate narratives, this workshop blends the art of ethical storytelling with cultural humility, paving a new path for impact communication.

SPEAKERS

Keynote

Rae Binstock

Associate Director of Workshops, Lead Consultant, Good Energy

Rae Binstock is the Associate Director of Workshops and Lead Consultant at Good Energy. She is also one of the authors of the Climate Storytelling Playbook, a writing guide for climate change stories. As a playwright and screenwriter, her work interrogates climate change and social justice through the lens of intersectional reckoning. Ms. Binstock has served as the Writers’ Assistant on both FX Networks and Apple+’s shows.  

Mike Flannigan

Research Chair, Predictive Services, Emergency Management and Fire Science, Thompson Rivers University

Mike Flannigan is the Research Chair for Predictive Services, Emergency Management and Fire Science at Thompson Rivers University and the scientific director of the Canadian Partnership for Wildland Fire Science. He received his BSc (physics) from the University of Manitoba, his MS (atmospheric science) from Colorado State University and his PhD (plant sciences) from Cambridge University. Dr. Flannigan has been studying fire and weather/climate interactions including the potential impact of climatic change and lightning-ignited forest fires for more than 40 years. 

Nadha Hassen

Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, in partnership with Park People

Nadha Hassen is a Mitacs Elevate Postdoctoral Research Fellow at Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, in partnership with Park People. Ms. Hassen research explores health and social equity in different environments and takes an interdisciplinary approach with a focus on intersectional anti-racism. Her doctoral research focuses on examining the experiences of racialized people in public urban greenspaces in Toronto and the links to mental health and wellbeing by exploring concepts like equity, access, safety and belonging. She is interested in community-based participatory research that collaborates with communities to understand the links between the built and natural environments, health and equity.

She has a Master of Public Health from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto, specializing in Social and Behavioural Health Sciences. As a health researcher, she has worked at both policy and community levels and enjoys thinking, speaking, writing and working at the intersections of research, education, advocacy, and social and environmental justice. She is also on the Board of Directors for 8 80 Cities, a non-profit organization focused on creating healthier, more equitable and sustainable cities for all people.


Scott Kirby

Manager of Environmental Partnerships and Initiatives, TD Insurance

Scott Kirby is an environmental advocate, proud dad, and for work is the Manager of Environmental Partnerships and Initiatives at TD Insurance. With a career dedicated to making a positive impact on our planet, he's found a true calling in blending professional expertise with a deep passion for the environment. Mr. Kirby has also been a member of the TD Insurance Indigenous Peoples Committee for several years, where he had the opportunity to lead the Indigenous internship program and was on the project team that developed the TD Scholarship for Indigenous Peoples. When he's not at the office, you'll often find him exploring nature, advocating for eco-friendly practices, or simply soaking in the beauty of our natural world.

John Lorinc

Journalist and Editor

John Lorinc is a Toronto journalist and editor. He writes about cities, climate, business and local history for various publications, including The Globe and Mail, Corporate Knights and Spacing. He is the Toronto non-fiction editor for Coach House Books and the author of Dream States: Smart Cities, Technology and the Pursuit of Urban Utopias (Coach House, 2022). Dream States, which grew out of an Atkinson Fellowship, won the 2022 Writers Trust Balsillie Prize for Public Policy.

Craig Sifton

Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer, Aspire

Craig Sifton is the Chief Strategy and Commercial Officer of Aspire, a global technology pioneer in insect agriculture. Aspire targets markets that utilize insects for applications in nutrition and agrochemicals with a vision to alleviate global food insecurity. Aspire has raised more than $100 million dollars in venture capital and private equity and is currently operating the world’s largest, fully automated insect production facility in London, Ont. 

Mr. Sifton has spent the last 20 years in progressive financial and operational leadership roles, including more than a decade as a vice-president and chief financial officer in an array of food manufacturing, renewable agriculture and distribution environments across Canada’s agri-food landscape. 

Kernaghan Webb

Associate Professor, Toronto Metropolitan University

Dr. Kernaghan Webb is an associate professor in Toronto Metropolitan University's law and business department. He is also the director of the Toronto Metropolitan University Institute for the Study of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). He holds bachelors, masters, and PhD degrees in law. Dr. Webb was a special adviser to the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) and represented the UNGC in the ISO 26000 social responsibility development process, and is the Chair of the ISO 26000 Canadian Mirror Committee. He is Chair of the National Standards committee that is developing a Responsible Business Conduct due diligence and reporting standard for Canadian companies operating abroad, and Chair of the ISO standard pertaining to the general principles of the sharing economy (ISO 42500). He has been the recipient of national and international awards in recognition of his work. Dr. Webb has published extensively on regulatory and corporate responsibility issues. His work on regulatory offences has been cited and followed by the Supreme Court of Canada. He has been an advisor to and a consultant for the board/committee of, or otherwise represented government departments/agencies, private sector organizations, multi-stakeholder organizations and civil society organizations on issues associated with public policy, law and regulation.


Workshop

 

Zee-Shan Abbasi

Senior Manager, Enterprise Controls Performance, TD Insurance

Zee-Shan Abbasi is a versatile leader with a career journey spanning across the Telecommunications, Life insurance and Property & Casualty insurance industries. With diverse experiences in Operations Leadership, Innovation, Project Delivery, Business Continuity, and Risk & Governance, Mr. Abbasi deeply understands the broad impacts the environment has on everyday business and customers. Outside of work, he loves building and tinkering in his garage, coaching basketball, and spending time with his family.

Lauren Bradley

Senior Manager, SBI Strategy, Planning Performance & Management, TD Insurance

Lauren Bradley, MBA is a transformation leader with 25+ years of experience leading change in the financial services industry. Most recently, Ms. Bradley was proudly part of a large team that built and launched TD Insurance for Business. She is passionate about protecting the environment and successfully introduced paperless for TD Insurance's Home and Auto policyholders, saving thousands of trees each year. Ms. Bradley’s portfolio also currently includes BCM planning for her larger team. She is a proud mom, nature enthusiast and animal lover and enjoys the local trails with her rescue dog Beau.

Débora Castiglione

Project Co-ordinator, International Organization for Migration

Débora Castiglione is a Project Co-ordinator at the Migration, Environment, Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Unit at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Brazil. She has worked in the area of migration since 2018. 

Elisabeth Du Parc

Programme Support Officer, International Organization for Migration

Elisabeth Du Parc is a Project Officer within the Migration, Environment, Climate Change and Risk Reduction Division (MECR) at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva. She is in charge of better understanding the interlinkages between migration, environment, climate change and disaster risk reduction and urbanization, as well as with SDGs. Recently Ms. Du Parc led a project in collaboration with the Hugo Observatory and the City of Paris on climate migration. Previously she was a Data Analyst at the IOM Regional Data Hub in Nairobi, and, before that, at the Internal Displacement Monitoring Center.

Iulia Duca

Programme Support Officer, International Organization for Migration

Iulia Duca works as a Programme Support Officer within the Migration, Environment, Climate Change and Risk Reduction Division (MECR) at the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva. In her current role, Ms. Duca manages multiple portfolios such as the intersection of migration, environment, climate change and disaster risk reduction nexus with youth engagement, children`s rights, health, gender and Indigenous Peoples. Prior joining IOM, Ms. Duca completed several traineeships in different diplomatic Missions, including to the United Nations in Geneva.

Chris Dudley

Director, Entrepreneurship, Seneca Polytechnic

Chris Dudley has more than 35 years of combined corporate business, entrepreneurial and academic administrator experience.  He has worked in the post-secondary sector since 1993, initially teaching a variety of business and management courses at the post-secondary level for 10 years.  In 2007, Mr. Dudley accepted the position of Academic Chair at Seneca, with responsibilities for business management full-time studies programming.  In 2014, he took on the role of founding director of HELIX, Seneca’s on campus entrepreneurship incubator. Mr. Dudleys' educational background includes a college advance diploma in marketing at Centennial College, a bachelor of administration at Western University and a master of business administration at Laurentian University.

James Haslam

BCM Advisor, TD Insurance

James Haslam is veteran in the Financial Services industry with over 25 years of experience, with 13 years in the field of Business Continuity Management. Mr. Haslam has witnessed first-hand the increasing effects of environmental change on our workplace, and in disaster management. When he's not at work, you can find him enjoying the wind and waves of Lake Ontario in his Outrigger canoe.

Manpreet Kaur Kalra

Founder and Social Impact & Equity Advisor, Art of Citizenry

Manpreet Kaur Kalra is the Founder and Social Impact & Equity Advisor, Art of Citizenry. Her work focuses on the interconnectivity of economic, social and climate justice within sustainable international development initiatives. ManpreetShe works with impact-driven organizations to co-create solutions that promote equitable, anti-racist and innovative environments by rethinking how businesses approach and communicate impact through storytelling. She has led workshops and delivered keynotes at universities and organizations around the world including Cornell University, University of Southern California Global Policy Institute, University of Arts London, and the World Fair Trade Organization. She currently serves as a founding member of the Fair Trade Federation’s Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Committee.

Paulo Meneghel

Founder and CEO, Emerge Healthcare Co.

Paulo Meneghel began his entrepreneurial path at Seneca HELIX in 2016 and now fills the role of founder and CEO at EMERGE Healthcare Co. Mr. Meneghel's venture has effectively established a platform that allows healthcare providers to transition to a virtual format, thus expanding their patient outreach. His professional background is diverse, with experiences ranging from being a college professor to offering consulting services for Global Innovation Skills Development Canada (GISDC) and participating in a wide variety of international development projects. Recognized for his entrepreneurial spirit, Mr. Meneghel is a recipient of many awards, including the Youth Entrepreneur of the Year Award from VentureLab.

Angela Parillo

Program Officer, Evergreen

Angela is a Program Officer at Evergreen and works on several programs related to smart cities and climate resilience. While at Evergreen, She has explored the role of public spaces (from municipal buildings to school grounds to parks) in building climate resilient communities. Angela has a professional background in not-for-profits and land conservation. Angela holds a Master of Science from McGill University and an honour’s degree from Queen’s University. 

Michael Polanyi

Policy and Campaigns Manager, Nature Based Climate Solutions, Nature Canada

Michael Polanyi is an experienced social and environmental change agent with a background in policy research, advocacy and community organization. Since arriving at Nature Canada in 2021, Mr. Polyani has focused on advancing more transparent and accurate reporting of the climate-related impacts of logging. Before joining Nature Canada, he coordinated the Toronto Environmental Alliance's climate change work. Prior to that, he was a researcher at Queen’s Park, a national anti-poverty program coordinator at KAIROS and a community engagement worker with the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto.

Mr. Polanyi has led and supported numerous peace, justice and environmental campaigns since leading a campaign at McMaster University to boycott South African products and bring awareness to apartheid goods in the mid-1980s, to securing the City of Toronto’s climate emergency declaration in 2019. Mr. Polyani received a doctorate in Environmental Studies from York University in 2000, where he explored the possibilities and limitations of multi-stakeholder change processes.

Josh Welch

Program Officer, Evergreen

Josh has been a Program Officer at Evergreen Brick Works since 2022. He has been actively working on several programs at the organization that focus on climate resilience and building community-based networks across the Country using technology and governance to take action on climate change and environmental sustainability. 

Josh comes from a strong background of municipal government work in climate action and conservation where he developed and implemented climate and energy management plans and worked to improve climate resiliency in the community. Josh is a graduate of the University of Toronto with a Masters in Environmental Sciences (MEnvSc) and believes that technology and collective drive will be the driving impact that mitigates and adapts to the worst outcome of climate change.