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2016 / 2017 Sustainability Speaker Series

Submitted by kpham on Mon, 09/26/2016 - 9:52am

A speaker series to explore the future of energy, food, water and health

Calgary and Beyond: Sustainability in the Next 20 Years is a speaker series of events that serve as a catalyst for finding sustainable and scalable solutions to complex social, ecological and economic challenges of local and regional importance. Each event features a panel of speakers who will explore the barriers to and opportunities for shifting perspectives and moving towards a more sustainable future. The events focus on energy, water, food and health, and the interconnectedness of the topics. Events are free and open to the public to encourage open dialogue between a diversity of groups and disciplines so that issues can be explored from many perspectives. Each event provides audience members with an opportunity to contribute to the conversation and ask questions. Panelists include researchers, local practitioners, industry experts, entrepreneurs, community organizations and government representatives.

The series is an Office of the Provost initiative, led by the Academic Sustainability Implementation Committee in partnership with the Office of Sustainability, to take action on UCalgary's recently launched Institutional Sustainability Strategy

Submitted by kpham on Mon, 09/26/2016 - 3:10pm

Renewable Energy: Who's Got the Power (Oct. 20, 2016)

Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016  |  4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.  |  University of Calgary Dining Centre, Blue Room

Renewable energy systems are increasingly disrupting the energy industry. As the price of renewable energy drops, government, institutions and individuals are looking to renewables as a way to power our lives. Renewable energy seems like a scalable solution to fossil-fuel dependency. We are seeing solar farms rising up in California, hydroelectricity production in neighbouring provinces, wind turbines in the prairies and rooftop solar panels on buildings around Calgary including UCalgary's Child Development Centre. 

However, transition is rarely easy. The evolution of these technologies has outpaced the electricity grid, policy makers and regulators. The question of how to integrate renewable energy into our society remains. Join a panel of experts for a roundtable discussion about what a renewable energy future could look like and to explore questions such as:

Where will we get our energy in a low-carbon future? Who will produce it and how will it be distributed? What are the drawbacks? How much will it cost and who will pay? Will clean technologies help democratise the grid and put power in the hands of consumers, or will it need to be administered from the top down? 

The panel

Mary-Ellen Tyler, Associate Professor, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary

David Kelly, Founder and CEO, SkyFire Energy Inc.

Kristina Groves, Consultant, Energy & Environment, Alberta Solar Co-op Project Ambassador, 4X Olympic medalist

Connor Donaldson, Business Development Advisor, Power Distribution & Transmission, Enbridge

Moderator

Noel KeoughAssistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Design, University of Calgary

Water: Too Much or Too Little? (Nov. 24, 2016)

Thursday, Nov. 24, 2016  |  4:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.  |  University of Calgary Dining Centre, Blue Room

Southern Albertans’ relationship with water has changed strikingly in recent years, enduring a withering drought and a hundred-year flood. Our cities are often situated on river banks, like Calgary at the confluence of the Bow and Elbow rivers, making them vulnerable to floods yet creating the illusion of plentiful water. This leads us to overlook the fact that the prairies are prone to drought and watersheds strain to meet the growing demands of our population. These contrasting vulnerabilities are just some of the complex challenges we face in our region.

Join our panel of experts for a roundtable discussion that explores the future of water over the next 20 years in Calgary and beyond. Our speakers will discuss a variety of issues related to water in southern Alberta watersheds, including:

  • Scarcity
  • Water rights and government allocation
  • Flood mitigation
  • Water treatment and pollution of municipal water
  • Wetland conservation and wildlife habitats

If you drink water, this is an event for you!

The panel

Arlene Kwasniak, Canadian Institute of Resources Law, Professor Emerita of Law, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary

Leland Jackson, Scientific Director, Advancing Canadian Wastewater Assets and Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Calgary

Paulette Fox, President, Harmony Walkers, Inc. and Board Member of Oldman Watershed Council, Water Matters Society and Milk River Watershed Council of Canada

David Laidlaw, Research Fellow, Canadian Institute of Resources Law, Faculty of Law, University of Calgary

Moderator

Brian Moorman, Associate Dean of Research and Infrastructure, Faculty of Arts, Professor, Department of Geography, University of Calgary

Food: A Grassroots Future? (Jan. 26 2017)

Thursday, Jan. 26, 2017  |  4 p.m. - 7 p.m.  |  University of Calgary Dining Centre, Alberta Room

We all eat food and have a vested interest in it, but do we fully understand the costs and challenges associated with our consumption? As consumers, we are increasingly taking an active interest in where our food comes from and how that impacts the environment, our communities and our health. Local urban and peri-urban agriculture production is resurging, but how does this fit into our global food system and what are the challenges in securing a sustainable food system in our city and beyond? 

Join our panel of experts for a roundtable discussion that explores the future of food over the next 20 years in Calgary and beyond. Our speakers will address a variety of issues around food in southern Alberta, and how they fit into the global food system, including:

  • Urban agriculture
  • Food security
  • Food regulations
  • Sustainable dining

If you eat food, this is an event for you!

The panel

  • Marit Rosol, Tier II Canada Research Chair in Global Urban Studies, Associate Professor, Department of Geography, University of Calgary
  • Kris Vester, Owner & Operator of Blue Mountain Biodynamic Farm, President of Slow Food Calgary, Alumnus
  • Kristi Peters-Snider, Sustainability Consultant at the City of Calgary, Office of Sustainability
  • Scott Pohorelic, Chef & Instructor at SAIT Culinary, former Head Chef of River Cafe

Moderator

  • Julie Van Rosendaal, CBC Radio One host, author of 7 best-selling cookbooks, columnist and editor for numerous newspapers and food magazines across Canada

Meet UCalgary student clubs and community partners actively promoting sustainable food at their booths prior to and following the panel discussion. 

Health (Coming March 9, 2017)

Thursday, March 9, 2017  |  4 p.m. - 7 p.m.  |  University of Calgary Dining Centre, Alberta Room

Details of the topic and panelists will be confirmed closer to March. If you would like to receive an invitation to this event once it becomes available please express your interest to the Office of Sustainability by emailing sustain@ucalgary.ca 

Get Involved

Express interest in joining a panel and speaking at a future event by contacting:

Express interest in volunteering to support a future event by contacting:

      • Tori Grant, Sustainability Program Assistant, Office of Sustainability
        vgrant@ucalgary.ca | 403-220-4428