About the Event
Since taking on the position of Lieutenant Governor in 2014, the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell has travelled provincially and internationally, with a focus on hearing and sharing stories of sustainability.
As Her Honour’s mandate reaches seven eventful years, the office will be hosting a one-day virtual conference. Shaping Sustainability in Ontario is an opportunity to explore not only what Her Honour has learned but how Ontarians are laying the groundwork for continued positive change for the future, bringing together some of her most memorable and fascinating experiences.
Join us for a day of discussion, critical thinking, and art as we take a deep dive into the work being done across Ontario to shape sustainability. This one-day conference will feature experts, thought leaders, and youth from around Ontario, all with a deep commitment to sustainability. Panels will explore various cross-sections of our society and how sustainable thinking can apply to all aspects of our lives, shaping where and how we live, work, and play.
Panel 1:Science and Sustainability
Dr Maurice Bitran
Senior Fellow, Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy
Dr Maurice Bitran is a scientist, educator, public policy expert, and former public-sector executive. As CEO and Chief Science Officer of the Ontario Science Centre, he led the organization to a renewed focus on public scientific literacy.
As an Assistant Deputy Minister in the Ontario Government, Maurice led the provincial portfolios on Environmental Policy (including Climate Change and the Great Lakes); Economic Development Policy and Programs (including the Next Generation of Jobs Fund and the Advanced Manufacturing Investment Strategy) and the Premier's Jobs and Prosperity Council. He was also Ontario's Chief Negotiator for the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with the European Union and Executive Director of the Ontario Research and Development Challenge Fund.
As a Senior Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, Maurice teaches courses on policy implementation and the role of science in public policy. He has had academic appointments at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Toronto, the Astronomy Department of the University of Florida, the Astronomy Department of the University of Chile, and NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies New York City.
Maurice has served as a director in the Association of Science and Technology Centres, Tourism Toronto, Ontario Genomics, and the Canadian Association of Science Centres.
A native of Chile, Maurice was selected as one of the Ten most influential Hispanic-Canadians in 2012, received the Public Service Award from Life Sciences Ontario in 2013, and the Leadership Award from the Transformation Institute for Leadership Innovation in 2019. He holds a PhD in Astronomy from the University of Florida (USA) and is fluent in English, French, and Spanish.
Dr James Orbinski, OC
Director of York University's Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research
Dr James Orbinski is a professor and the inaugural Director of York University's Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research. As a medical doctor, a humanitarian practitioner and advocate, a best-selling author, and a leading scholar in global health, Dr Orbinski believes in actively engaging and shaping our world to be more just, fair and humane. A champion of health and humanitarianism throughout his career, Dr Orbinski has extensive leadership, advocacy, and research experience in global health.
Dr Orbinski has worked to provide humanitarian medical relief in cases of war, famine, epidemic disease and genocide with Médecins Sans Frontières / Doctors Without Borders (MSF). He was elected as the International President of MSF from 1998-2001 and accepted the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to MSF in 1999. In 2004 he co-chaired the founding of the Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative—which has since launched six new drug treatments for tropical diseases and has 17 others in its research and development pipeline. He also co-founded Dignitas International, which researched health systems and clinical care, trained more than 12,000 Health Workers, and supported more than 370,000 people with full treatment for HIV and AIDS in Malawi. Dignitas also worked with First Nations communities in Northern Ontario on community-based interventions for diabetes.
Dr Orbinski is a Board member of Grand Challenges Canada and has been a member of several bodies committed to improving health equity both in Canada and around the world. He is an invited member of the Davos World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Health Care Systems and Cooperation. He was also an invited member of the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences 2011 Expert Panel on Canada's Strategic Role in Global Health. In addition, he is the author of the award-winning and best-selling book An Imperfect Offering: Humanitarianism in the 21st Century. In 2016-2017, as a Fulbright visiting professor to the University of California-Irvine, he worked on modelling the health impacts of climate change.
As the inaugural Director of the Dahdaleh Institute, Dr Orbinski aims to make the institute a leader and catalyst in addressing global health issues, reflecting York University's commitment to equity and trans-disciplinary research.
Dr Orbinski holds a BSc from Trent University, an MD degree from McMaster University, and an MA in International Relations from the University of Toronto. He is a member of the College of Family Physicians of Canada, an Officer of the Order of Canada and received the Meritorious Service Cross for his leadership in providing direct medical relief in Kigali during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Mr Mario Rigby
Mario is an eco-explorer who is well known for his two-year trek, walking and kayaking from Cape Town, South Africa to Cairo, Egypt. Mario was born in Turks & Caicos Islands and spent his childhood in Germany, before moving to Toronto, Canada at the age of 16. He has always had a tremendous drive to push the limits in athletics, exploration and anything else he puts his mind to, starting with a love for track and field in his early days and competing for his national team.
Mario’s expedition across Africa allowed him to connect with communities and share their message and stories with the world with a mission of bridging the gap between humanity and explorations through sustainable forms of travel.
In 2019 Mario cycled across the entire length of Canada from British Columbia to Newfoundland solo, and recently Mario kayaked the length of Lake Ontario, raising funds for a local youth focused charity. His goal was to inspire people locally and globally to get out, be brave, and see the world.
Most recently, Mario completed an adventure back in his home country of Turks and Caicos. Mario traversed the 8 islands of Turks and Caicos using human powered activities including, running, hiking, swimming, paddle boarding, biking and kayaking.
Mario is an advocate for the inclusion of diversity in the outdoors and encourages people to explore the outdoors through sustainable forms of travel. He believes his life lessons are worth sharing and hopes to inspire others to have more courage and address global issues that affect us all.
Ms Rochelle Byrne
Executive Director, A Greener Future
Rochelle founded A Greener Future in 2014 after coordinating a shoreline cleanup in her community and deciding that one cleanup per year just wasn't enough. The experience of picking up garbage eventually led her towards the zero-waste movement. She lives a waste-free lifestyle with her husband, Mike, and five-year-old son, Linden.
Rochelle has completed eight years of environmental post-secondary education. She has held several employment positions related to environmental education at Fleming College, the Riverview Park and Zoo, and the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters. Rochelle is the 2017 Environment Award recipient for the City of Pickering and the first woman to stand up paddle 430 km across Lake Ontario, raising awareness about plastic pollution.
Panel 2: Sustainability and the Arts
Ms Karen Carter
Co-Founder of the BIPOC Fellowship
Karen Carter is a cultural sector executive who enjoys working in creative and educational environments. She has over 25 years of experience working and volunteering in a range of arts, culture, and heritage settings. She is the former Executive Director of Heritage Toronto, a City of Toronto agency responsible for the education and promotion of Toronto's heritage.
She is the founding Executive Director of Myseum of Toronto and co-founder of Black Artists' Networks in Dialogue (BAND), an organization dedicated to promoting Black arts and culture in Canada and abroad.
She is also the founder and president of Karen Carter and Associates Cultural Consulting, a firm that focuses on building community-centred cultural organizations, projects, and initiatives. She is the founder of C-Art, a Caribbean Art Fair launched in January 2020 in Mandeville, Jamaica. C-Art is a new approach to the contemporary art fair model connecting artists from the Caribbean to the international art world. Karen's most recent project is as co-founder of the BIPOC Fellowship to help support the development of a more diverse cultural landscape in Canada.
Mr Kevin Loring
Artistic Director of the Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre
Kevin is N'lakap'amux from the Lytton First Nation in British Columbia. He is an accomplished Actor, Playwright, Director and founding Artistic Director of Savage Society, a non-profit charity dedicated to telling Indigenous stories. Loring is currently the Artistic Director of Indigenous Theatre at the National Arts Centre of Canada. He is also the founding and current Artistic Director of Savage Society, a non-profit charity that produces Indigenous Productions.
A versatile artist and leader, Loring has served as the co-curator of the Talking Stick Festival, as Artist in Residence at the Vancouver Playhouse Theatre, as Artistic Director of the Savage Society in Vancouver, as a Documentary Producer/Writer and co-host of Canyon War: The Untold Story, and as the Project Leader/Creator, and Director of the Songs of the Land project in his home community of Lytton First Nation. Loring created the Songs of the Land project in 2012.
Kevin has a long history at the National Arts Centre. As well as performing in numerous productions as an actor, he was also a company member of the National Arts Centre English Theatre Acting Company and was the Playwright in Residence there in 2010.
He is the recipient of many awards and accolades, most notably the 2009 Governor Generals Literary Award for his play Where the Blood Mixes and a Governor General's Performing Arts Mentorship Award. Additionally, he was a G.G. Literary Award finalist for his play Thanks for Giving in 2018.
Mr Edward Burtynsky
Visual Artist and Speaker
Edward Burtynsky is one of the world's most accomplished contemporary photographers. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes represent over 40 years of his dedication to bearing witness to the impact of humans on the planet. Burtynsky's photographs are included in the collections of over 60 major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, the Tate Modern in London, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California.
Burtynsky was born in 1955 of Ukrainian heritage in St. Catharines, Ontario. He received his BAA in Photography/ Media Studies from Ryerson University in 1982, and in 1985 founded Toronto Image Works, a darkroom rental facility, custom photo laboratory, digital imaging and new media computer-training centre catering to all levels of Toronto's art community.
Early exposure to the sites and images of the General Motors plant in his hometown helped formulate his photographic work. His imagery explores the collective impact we as a species are having on the surface of the planet, an inspection of the human systems we've imposed onto natural landscapes.
As an active lecturer on photographic art, Burtynsky's speaking engagements have held at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.; the Art Gallery of Ontario, the TED conference and numerous other locations. His images appear in various periodicals each year, including, but not limited to, The Smithsonian Magazine, Harper's Magazine, National Geographic, The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Walrus and Vogue.
Burtynsky's distinctions include the TED Prize, the Governor General's Awards in Visual and Media Arts, The Outreach award at the Rencontres d'Arles, the Roloff Beny Book award, and the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award. He sits on the board of directors for CONTACT: Toronto's International Photography Festival and The Ryerson Image Centre. In 2006 he was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada, and in 2008 he was awarded the ICP Infinity Award for Art.
In 2018 Burtynsky was named Photo London's Master of Photography and the Mosaic Institute's Peace Patron. In 2019 he was the recipient of the Arts & Letters Award at the Canadian Association of New York's annual Maple Leaf Ball and the 2019 Lucie Award for Achievement in Documentary Photography. Most recently, he received a Royal Photographic Society Honorary Fellowship (2020). He currently holds eight honorary doctorate degrees.
Mr Henry Kim
Former Director and CEO, Aga Khan Museum
Henry S. Kim is a museum professional who has managed museums and capital projects for over 25 years in the U.K. and Canada.
A classical archaeologist and ancient historian by training, he is known for developing museum display strategies that highlight cultural connections and encourage cross-cultural dialogue.
He was the Director and CEO of the Aga Khan Museum from 2012 – 2020, where he was responsible for its construction and opening. He managed its teams of experts and practitioners and personally led major gallery, education and new creation artistic projects. He oversaw the museum in achieving record attendance numbers and global reach, profoundly impacting various audiences, from patrons and friends to students, educators, and the general public, through the museum's vibrant and thought-provoking programming and activities. He oversaw the development of fundraising programs that grew its annual fundraising to $8.5M in under six years.
Educated at Harvard and Oxford, Kim served as curator of Greek coins and a university lecturer in Greek numismatics at Oxford. He began his career at the University of Oxford, where he taught, curated collections, and managed capital projects at the Ashmolean Museum from 1994 to 2012. From 2004 to 2011, Kim was the Project Director for the Ashmolean Redevelopment Project, a £70 million redevelopment and transformation of the museum. He then created the University Engagement Programme, a three-year project sponsored by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation to expand the use of the museum's collections in teaching across the university.
Panel 3: Grassroots-Led Sustainability
Mr. Daniele Zanotti
President and CEO, United Way
In his over 20 years of experience in the public and non-profit sectors, Daniele’s work is guided by one core value- to work in and with communities across all sectors to create positive change.
As CEO of United Way York Region, he played a pivotal role in the merger of United Ways across the Toronto and York region in 2015. Under his leadership, the organization continues to apply an increasingly regional lens, joining Peel Region in 2018 to form United Way Greater Toronto, the largest United Way globally and the largest funder of social services outside of government.
This scaled-up approach improves opportunities for donors, volunteers, and partners across Peel, Toronto and York Region and builds capacity to expand local investments.
Daniele holds a Masters in Social Work from the University of Toronto and sits on advisory committees and boards across the region.
Ms Sara Wolfe
Director, Indigenous Innovation, Grand Challenges Canada
Sara Wolfe (she/her) is Anishnawbe and a member of Brunswick House First Nation. She has dedicated her entire career to Nation building and the advancement of Indigenous peoples and communities, from urban to remote regions, supporting Indigenous interests at local, national, and international levels.
She is a Registered Midwife and Nurse, entrepreneur, community researcher, and innovation enthusiast. She has served on multiple boards, committees, and advisory roles and currently leads the Indigenous Innovation Initiative at Grand Challenges Canada.
Mr John Pateman
CEO, Thunder Bay Public Library
John Pateman has worked in public libraries for 43 years in several different roles ranging from Library Assistant to Chief Librarian. He was Chief Librarian of three library systems in the UK: Hackney, a diverse inner London borough; Merton, a multicultural London suburb; and Lincolnshire, a large rural county. He is currently Chief Librarian and Chief Executive Officer at Thunder Bay Public Library.
John was part of the UK Government Policy Group at the Department of Culture, Media and Sport that produced Libraries for All: Social Inclusion in Public Libraries – policy guidance for Local Authorities in England, October 1999. He was part of the research team that produced Open to All? The Public Library and Social Exclusion (2000), influencing the Working Together Project (2004-2008) in Canada.
John is on the editorial board of Open Shelf, the Ontario Library Association online journal, and contributes a regular column, ‘Open to All?’ that explores barriers to library use and how to reduce or remove them. He is the Director of the Cuban Libraries Solidarity Campaign and received the National Culture Award from the Cuban government for his work supporting Cuban libraries.
John is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals and a founding member and collective editorial member of Information for Social Change. He is a member of the Centre for Freedom of Expression Public Library Working Group.
His publications include Developing a Needs Based Library Service (2003), Public Libraries and Social Justice (2010), Developing Community-Led Public Libraries (2013), Managing Cultural Change in Public Libraries: Marx, Maslow and Management (2019) and Marxism and Public Libraries (2021).
Founder and Executive Director, Trust 15
Marcia Brown is the founder and Executive Director of Trust 15, an extraordinary non-profit Youth Community Support Organization with a primary focus of impacting the lives of youths and young adults in racialized communities in and around North Etobicoke/Rexdale. Living in North Etobicoke for over 40 years, Marcia founded Trust 15 in 2010. She recognized a significant need in her community for personal and educational support for young people that expanded beyond the classroom.
First, Marcia designed a concept of a youth-focused/youth-led after school program where students could receive help with homework as well as support from successful mentors: community leaders - who, in many cases, came from similar environments as the youth themselves. By encouraging students to pursue their educational goals and pairing them with successful mentors, the youth can witness the possibility of success regardless of their circumstances and thus be inspired to invest in their personal and professional development.
Marcia then directly engaged students in the area and walked door-to-door in her North Etobicoke/Rexdale neighbourhood asking parents to allow their children to participate in the new after-school program. Trust 15 would liaise with the student’s guardian to introduce the program and explain the benefits. Parent participation has and will always be strongly encouraged. All participants are required to maintain an acceptable level of attendance at school and remain on track for obtaining their Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD).
Earning the “Trust” from the community and the “15” girls that first signed up for the program is what led to the program’s name.
Marcia takes the time to personally know the youth in the North Etobicoke/Rexdale catchment area. She has unique insights into the needs, frustrations and aspirations of the local youth and their parents. Marcia has responded to youth in crisis at their schools, in their homes and on the streets. She is seen as a second mother and first choice protector of many of the youth in the community. Ms. Brown designed the Trust 15 programs to address a myriad of issues in a customized, creative and cost-effective manner. The programs are regularly updated as new threads and opportunities are identified through the youth, their families and their teachers.
Marcia is well-versed in the development of program missions and goals alongside creating clear benchmarks and objectives. She was a member of the Minister’s Advisory Council on Special Education, continually advocating for children with exceptionalities to ensure they are included.
Marcia’s advocacy work and constituency building are respected by all stakeholders and is acknowledged as someone who gets things done to serve the families and youth in the North Etobicoke/Rexdale area.
Panel 4: Sustainable Cities and Institutions
Mr Albert Wong
Albert was appointed Citizenship Judge by the Government of Canada in June 2014. Before this, he had over thirty-nine years of service in the Canadian Armed Forces. Albert served in various public affairs positions with the military across Canada: on a UN peacekeeping mission in Eritrea and Ethiopia; and with a Strategic Advisory Team in Afghanistan. He attained the rank of Lieutenant Commander. He served as the Chief Aide-de-Camp to the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario from March 2013 to October 2020.
Judge Wong is a 2012 recipient of the Chinese Canadian Legend Award, the 2015 Transformation Award for Public Service, the 2015 NAAAP 100 Award by the North American Association of Asian Professionals, and the Lifetime Achievement Award for Multiculturalism by the Cambridge Food & Wine Society in 2020.
An active community volunteer, Albert has made valuable leadership contributions to several organizations, including as Chair of the Mississauga Board of Chinese Professionals and Businesses (CPB). Currently, he supports various other community boards and organizations.
Ms Mary Rowe
President & CEO, Canadian Urban Institute
Mary is a leading urban advocate and civil society leader who has worked in cities across Canada and the United States. Mary comes to CUI with several years of experience as an urban advocate and community leader, including serving as Executive Vice President of the Municipal Art Society of New York (MAS NYC), one of America's oldest civic advocacy organizations focused on the built environment. A mid-career fellowship with the US-based blue moon fund led her to New Orleans, where she worked with national philanthropy, governments, and local communities to support rebuilding after Hurricane Katrina. Prior, Mary was President of the Canadian platform Ideas That Matter, a convening and publishing program based on the work of renowned urbanist Jane Jacobs.
Mary has been a frequent contributor to national and international city-building programs, including UN-Habitat and the World Urban Forum. She brings an extensive international network of practitioners from government, industry, community activism, and the city-building professions to strengthen CUI.
Her Worship June Caul
Mayor of Fort Frances
June Caul is a lifelong resident of Fort Frances, a retired teacher, and the municipality's first female mayor. June has a daughter and son who both reside and work in the community and five grandchildren.
June has been very involved as a volunteer in the community for over thirty years; she is a member of the Substance Abuse Prevention Team, the Right Relations Committee, Fort Frances Kiwanis Club, the Age-Friendly Community Committee, Youth Centre Committee, the Chair of her Church Council and Rainycrest Auxiliary and helps to organize the Annual Christmas Dinner each year.
June is a past member of the Assisted Living Action Group, SALT (Seniors and Law Enforcement Together) Committee and a past director of the Fort Frances Bass Championship.
Dr Dawn Lavell Harvard, Ph.D.
Director, First Peoples House of Learning
Dawn Lavell Harvard, Ph.D., is a proud member of the Wikwemikong First Nation, the first Aboriginal Trudeau Scholar, and has worked to advance the rights of Indigenous women as the President of the Ontario Native Women's Association (ONWA) since 2003. She is the Director for First Peoples House of Learning at Trent University and a full-time mother of three girls.
Following in the footsteps of her mother Jeannette Corbiere Lavell, a noted advocate for Indigenous women’s rights, Dawn has been working toward the empowerment of Indigenous women and their families. She was elected President of the Native Women’s Association of Canada for 2015-16 after serving as Vice-President for three years.
Dawn was co-editor of the original volume on Indigenous Mothering entitled “Until Our Hearts Are on the Ground: Aboriginal Mothering, Oppression, Resistance and Rebirth,” co-edited “Forever Loved: Exposing the Hidden Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada,” and co-authored “Mothers of the Nations.” She received her Ph.D. in Education from the University of Western Ontario, with a focus on the Academic Achievement of Aboriginal Women as Transformational Resistance.
Panel 5: Building Sustainable Businesses and Economies
Ms Annette Verschuren, OC
Chair and CEO, NRStor
Annette Verschuren is Chair and CEO of NRStor Inc., an energy storage development company. Formerly she
was president of The Home Depot Canada and Asia, overseeing the growth of the company’s Canadian
operations from 19 to 179 stores between 1996 and 2011. She also led The Home Depot’s entry into China.
Ms. Verschuren began her career as a development officer with the Cape Breton Development Corporation, a coal mining operation, in Sydney, Nova Scotia. She then worked with Canada Development Investment Corporation as executive vicepresident, privatizing crown corporations, before joining Imasco Ltd., one of Canada’s largest holding companies in financial services, retail and food services, as vice-president, corporate development.
Immediately prior to joining The Home Depot, Ms. Verschuren was president and co-owner of Michaels of Canada, a chain of arts and crafts stores, where she opened 17 stores in 26 months.
Ms. Verschuren is a board member of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group of Boston, Air Canada, Saputo and Canadian Natural Resources Limited. In addition, Ms. Verschuren is a board member of CAMH Foundation and the Rideau Hall Foundation and the MaRS Discovery District. Additionally, Annette Verschuren sits on the federal government’s Science Technology and Innovation Council. She co-chairs the Smart Prosperity Initiative which is mapping out a course to a stronger, cleaner economy for Canada.
Mr Yung Wu
CEO, MaRS Discovery District
Yung Wu is CEO of MaRS Discovery District, one of the world's largest innovation hubs. Since 2008, MaRS-supported companies have raised over $8.2B in capital, generated over $5.6B in revenue and currently employ over 20,400 people in health, cleantech, fintech and other sectors.
As a serial entrepreneur and investor, Yung has built breakthrough scale-stage companies in enterprise software, mobile analytics and big data, media and entertainment, technology services and pharma drug development. He is co-founder of two not-for-profit organizations, the Coalition of Innovation Leaders Against Racism (CILAR) and DifferentIsCool (DiSC). Yung currently serves on the boards of OMERS, the Toronto Region Board of Trade and Antibe Therapeutics Inc. (TSE:ATE). He is a member of Green Shield Canada and was recently appointed to Canada’s Net-Zero Advisory Body.
Yung has been recognized as one of Canada’s ‘Top 40 under 40’ and for leading one of the “50 Best Managed Private Companies” in the nation. Yung has a B.Sc. Computer Science, Economics and Mathematics from the University of Toronto and is a graduate of the Entrepreneurial Masters Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the Young Presidents Organization (YPO) and the Institute of Corporate Directors (ICD.D).
Ms Dawn Madahbee Leach
General Manager, Waubetek Business Development Corporation
Dawn Madahbee Leach is a proud member of the Aundeck Omni Kaning First Nation on Manitoulin Island where she has served as a member of her community’s Council. Since
1988, she has been General Manager of the Waubetek Business Development Corporation, an Indigenous Financial Institution that provides financing and economic services to Aboriginal entrepreneurs and First Nation communities throughout North-East Ontario and Southern Ontario. Under her leadership, Waubetek has proudly invested more than $100 million in 3500 Indigenous businesses who
experience a business success rate of 94%.
Dawn was instrumental in the development of the OECD’s first-ever international Indigenous report on “Linking Indigenous Peoples to Regional Development”. She also led the development of the National Aboriginal Economic Benchmark Report (2012) and the follow-up National Aboriginal Economic Progress Reports 2015 and 2019.
Dawn is a graduate of the University of Waterloo Economic Developers Program. She also studied at York University and Laurentian University where she earned a degree in Political Science with a minor in Law. Dawn serves on various Boards
and committees including the National Indigenous Economic Development Board where she serves as Vice-Chair . She has been recognized with numerous national awards and has been a speaker at international forums in Australia, New Zealand, Sweden, Paris, Germany, the US and the UN on Indigenous economic development.
Mr Jayson Myers
CEO, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada
Jayson Myers is the Chief Executive Officer of Next Generation Manufacturing Canada, Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, an initiative funded by the Government of Canada that is leveraging over $500 million in collaborative, industry-led projects aimed at building world-leading advanced manufacturing capabilities in Canada.
NGen’s projects are enabling industrial innovation across Canada and generating economic benefits in terms of new business opportunities and job growth. They are also contributing environmental benefits ranging from emission reductions, improvements in energy and resource management, the development of new bio-degradable and reusable materials, and circular approaches to product life-cycle management.
Jay is an award-winning business economist who specializes in industrial and technological change. Former President & CEO of Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters, Canada’s largest industry and trade association, he co-chaired Ontario’s Manufacturing Council, the Great Lakes Manufacturing council, and Canada’s Roundtable on Workforce Skills.
Jay is an advisor to both private and public sector leaders in the field of industrial innovation and has counselled Canadian prime ministers and premiers, as well as senior corporate executives and policymakers around the world. He is a member of the Advisory Board of the World Manufacturing Forum and is an international advisor to several of Europe’s advanced manufacturing initiatives.
A graduate of Queen’s University, the University of British Columbia, London School of Economics, and Oxford University, he has held fellowships at Nuffield College, Oxford and the University of Warwick.
PANEL 1: Dr Molly Shoichet, OC, OONT
Shoichet Labs, University of Toronto
Molly Shoichet is an expert in the study of polymers for drug delivery and tissue regeneration. She is the Michael E Charles Professor in Chemical Engineering and held the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Tissue Engineering (2001-2020). Professor Shoichet was recruited to the faculty at the University of Toronto in 1995 with an NSERC University Faculty Award, after completing her S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Chemistry, 1987), her PhD from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst (Polymer Science & Engineering, 1992), and three years at CytoTherapeutics Inc.
Professor Shoichet aims to advance the basic science and enabling technologies of tissue engineering and drug delivery. She is a world leader in polymer synthesis, biomaterials design and drug delivery in the nervous system (brain, spinal cord, retina) and 3D hydrogel culture systems to model cancer. Her research program is unique in its breadth, focusing on strategies to promote tissue repair after traumatic spinal cord injury, stroke and blindness and enhance both tumour targeting through innovative strategy and drug screening via 3D cell culture with new hydrogel design strategies. The impact of her brain research was recognised with the prestigious Margolese Brain Disorders Prize in 2020.
Professor Shoichet is the recipient of 54 prestigious national and international awards. She is the only person ever to be inducted into all three of Canada's National Academies: the Canadian Academy of Sciences of the Royal Society of Canada, the Canadian Academy of Engineering, and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. In 2011, Professor Shoichet was awarded the Order of Ontario, Ontario's highest civilian honour. In 2013, her contributions to Canada's innovation agenda and the advancement of knowledge were recognised with the QEII Diamond Jubilee Award.
In 2014, Professor Shoichet was appointed University Professor to recognise her dedication to the advancement of knowledge and her excellence as a teacher, mentor and researcher. In 2018, Professor Shoichet served as Ontario's first Chief Scientist and was also inducted as an Officer of the Order of Canada – one of the highest distinctions for a Canadian. Professor Shoichet was elected to the Royal Society (U.K.) in 2019 and awarded the NSERC Herzberg Gold Medal in 2020 – the top prize in science and engineering in Canada.
Professor Shoichet has published over 650 papers, patents, and abstracts, has given over 430 lectures worldwide and trained over 220 scientists in the past 26 years. She founded four spin-off companies and is actively engaged in transnational research and science outreach. In 2015, Professor Shoichet launched a national social media initiative, Research2Reality, which shines a spotlight on Canadian research, thereby engaging the public in the importance of research. Professor Shoichet served as an inaugural member of the Science, Technology & Innovation Council, providing strategic guidance to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Ontario Research & Innovation Council, the Board of the Ontario Centres of Excellence and the Board of the Ontario Science Centre. She was Senior Advisor on Science & Engineering Engagement at U of T.
Professor Shoichet now serves on the Boards of Martinrea Inc. – a nearly $4 billion auto parts manufacturer and MaRS – one of the largest tech incubators in North America.
PANEL 2: Ms Marilyn Field, MSM
Founder of Pioneering Arts Education Programs
Marilyn is a Canadian recognised internationally for empowering youth using arts education, especially those challenged by life, having lost her mother at age two.
Marilyn is an arts education visionary, executive and volunteer who has empowered over 220,000 children to unlock their potential as leaders. Internationally, she conducted a choir of children from 24 countries at the 100th anniversary of the Nobel Peace Prize, singing with Paul McCartney.
Since she retired from DAREarts, the charity she founded in 1994, Marilyn advises nationally and internationally on arts education through her new LEAD - Listen, Empathise. Act. Drive.
Her vision proves that when children create, they build the confidence and courage to see with the 2020 perspective and lead change. Particularly important is that marginalised and underserved youth find their voice. Results include increased school attendance, decreased substance abuse and youth with hope.
She has volunteered with many arts, culture, and health organisations, including on the boards of Opera Atelier, Toronto Senior Strings, The Ontario Speech Foundation, Theatre Orangeville; Esprit Orchestra (president), and the Canadian Opera Company.
She was awarded one of Canada's highest awards, the Meritorious Service Medal (MSM), the Queen's Gold and Diamond Jubilee Medals, and the Women of Courage Award. She is the 2013 inductee of the Caledon Walk of Fame along the Trans Canada Trail in Caledon East.
Since 2017, she joined her husband, JC Pennie, in creating Windrush Estate Winery in Hockley Valley, Ontario. Their all-VQA wines are winning international awards. Each bottle contains the fruit of the land, entrepreneurs' tenacity, and the passion of a shy visionary who triumphed over adversity. A portion of Windrush profits go to empower children to LEAD our world into a better future.
PANEL 3: Ms Dominique Souris
Co-Founder and Executive Director, Youth Climate lab
A tireless climate activist and youth advocate, Dominique is a recent graduate of the Balsillie School of International Affairs (BSIA), whose research and work is driven by her passion for innovative climate action.
As Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Youth Climate Lab, Dominique works with a global team of youth and partners to design, pilot, and scale initiatives that engage youth in developing new climate policy and entrepreneurship approaches. While a student at BSIA and in her role as a Graduate Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI), Dominique's research explored innovation in global climate finance governance and innovative financial mechanisms for refugee responsibility-sharing.
Dominique is also a World Economic Forum (WEF) Global Shaper and a Board Member for the Foundation for Environmental Stewardship. She also sits on the Leadership Council for the Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN)- Canada. This year, Dominique was named among the Top 25 under 25 Environmentalists in Canada and Top 100 Visionary Leaders and received the Young Alumni Award by the University of Waterloo, Canada.
Dominique is an avid traveller, having visited and worked in more than 36 countries.
PANEL 4: Mr David Miller
North American Director, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
David Miller is a leading voice in seeking out and promoting climate change solutions. His roles have included that as Mayor of Canada's largest city, Chair of the influential c40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, and President & CEO of World Wildlife Fund – Canada.
He is a lawyer who graduated from Harvard in Economics and has an Honourary Doctorate in Environmental Studies from Waterloo University. He is also a former Fellow at New York University Tandon School of Engineering.
While Mayor of Toronto (2003-2010), under his leadership, Toronto became widely admired internationally for its environmental leadership, economic strength and social integration. Miller is a leading advocate for creating sustainable urban economies and a strong and forceful champion for the next generation of jobs through sustainability.
Before joining the C40, Mr Miller served as President and CEO of World Wildlife Fund-Canada, Canada's foremost conservation organisation. The WWF creates solutions to the most serious conservation challenges facing our planet, helping people and nature thrive.
In his former capacity as Counsel, International Business & Sustainability at Aird & Berlis LLP, Mr Miller advised companies and international organisations on issues surrounding the creation of sustainable urban economies.
PANEL 5: Ms Tima Bansal
Professor, Sustainability and Strategy, Ivey Business School
Tima Bansal is a Professor of Sustainability and Strategy at the Ivey Business School. She is also the Director of Ivey’s Centre for Building Sustainable Value and the Executive Director (and Founder) of the Network for Business Sustainability, a growing network with over 35,000 researchers and managers committed to advancing sustainable business.
Tima teaches at all levels of business students, including undergraduates, MBAs, PhDs, and executives. She also facilitated executive seminars in managing diversity, valuing business sustainability, engaging stakeholders, and socially conscious consumerism. In addition, Tima has worked with leading organizations such as Maple Leaf Foods, Suncor, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, the National Research Council, and 3M. She also launched the Ivey Innovation Learning Lab, in which leading businesses aim to innovate the innovation process.
Since 1999, Tima has raised over $10M in government grants and $2M in corporate funding for sustainability-related research. Additionally, Tima has received significant accolades for her scholarship in business sustainability. Most recently, she was inducted to the Royal Society of Canada, which is among the highest accolade for academics and artists, and to the Academy of Management Fellows Group for her contributions to management research. She was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Hamburg. In 2012, she was awarded a Canada Research Chair to pursue her efforts to make business both profitable and sustainable; in 2008, she was awarded the title of Faculty Pioneer for Academic Leadership by the Aspen Institute, a global forum for business and society headquartered in Washington, DC.
Ontario Poet Laureate
Randell Adjei is an entrepreneur, speaker and spoken word practitioner who uses his gifts to Empower the message of Alchemy. He was recently appointed Ontario's first Poet Laureate.
Randell is the founder of one of Toronto's most prominent youth-led initiatives, Reaching Intelligent Souls Everywhere (R.I.S.E. Edutainment). In 2018, R.I.S.E. received the Toronto Arts Foundation's Mayor's Youth Arts Award.
Randell is the author of "I am Not my struggles," a powerful Anthology released in 2018. Randell was also named C.B.C.'s Metro Morning's Torontonian of the Year in 2015 and NOW Magazine's Local Hero in
May 2017. In 2020 Randell opened up for President Barack Obama at the Economic Club of Canada.
Hailing from Toronto, Ontario, Thompson Egbo-Egbo is a pianist with a gift for memorable but harmonically complex compositions that have at their core a deep, abiding groove.
A rambunctious and free spirit was channeled in a creative direction with piano lessons an inner-city music school. After graduating from high school, Egbo-Egbo earned a degree in Music from Humber College and studied electronic production and design at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
After college, Egbo-Egbo found performance work in the clubs and lounges of Toronto. An ever popular performer, many solo engagements turned in to long-term residencies at venues like The Shangri-La Hotel & Jacob’s Steakhouse.
In 2014, Egbo-Egbo released ‘Short Stories’, a collection of original solo piano compositions inspired by his residency performances.
Four years later, Egbo-Egbo issued ‘A New Standard’ for eOne, which sought to redefine the concept of the jazz standard, and included original takes on Radiohead, Bob Dylan and Laura Mvula tunes. The album was recorded in a trio format, with Randall Hall on bass, and Jeff Halischuk on drums, marking a departure from the solo playing for which Egbo-Egbo had become known.
The album’s release was the beginning of a busy year of touring, including sold out appearances at The Rex Hotel, the Poetry Jazz Cafe in Toronto and Artword Artbar in Hamilton. The end of the year saw the inclusion of the album on JazzFM’s Music Director’s Top 20 of 2018, landing at #6, among records by Kamasi Washington and John Scofield.
For ‘The Offering’, Egbo-Egbo has returned to the trio format.
Chief R. Stacey Laforme
Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation
R. Stacey Laforme is the elected Chief of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN). Born and raised on MCFN, Chief Laforme has served his community for over twenty years being first elected to council in 1999.
Chief Laforme has participated in a number of committees and boards throughout his seven terms served as a Councillor, including involvement with the MCFN’s Pan Am Games Secretariat (PAGS) as Chair of the PAGS Committee.
Chief Laforme is committed to increasing involvement and communication between Elected Council and both on and off-reserve membership. He is very active throughout MCFN’s Treaty Lands and Territory, which encompasses 3.9 million acres of Southern Ontario, not only as a Chief, but as a notable storyteller, poet and published author.
Chief Laforme has recently been appointed as honorary senior fellow for Massey College, joining the Duke of Edinburg and the Chancellor of Oxford as only the third person awarded the highest honor the college can bestow.
In 2018, De dwa da dehs nye (Aboriginal Health Centre) awarded Chief R. Stacey Laforme the Walter Cooke Wisdom Keeper Award in recognition of one’s capacity to exemplify significant and continuous service to our community by demonstrating integrity, generosity of spirit, humility, courage, collaboration, “The Good Mind”, and traditional ways of knowing and being.
Maayan Ziv is an activist, a photographer and an entrepreneur based in Toronto, Canada. From a young age, Maayan challenged norms and worked within her community to increase awareness of disability issues and improve accessibility.
Living with Muscular Dystrophy, Maayan is a passionate and relentless advocate for creating a more accessible world. In 2015, Maayan founded AccessNow, a crowdsourced app to map the accessibility status of locations worldwide. She has since been a regular media commentator in the media on topics such as disability and inclusion. In 2016, Maayan received the City of Toronto Access Award and the David C. Onley Leadership in Accessibility Award in recognition of her innovative solutions and commitment to improving the lives of people of all abilities.
As a photographer, she has worked with celebrities, fashion models and other influential individuals. Focusing on black and white emotive portraiture, editorial fashion, and gritty street scenes, Maayan has been recognized as an influential Canadian talent. A Queen’s Diamond Jubilee medal recipient, her work has been featured on television, in galleries and magazines. Sitting on a wheelchair gives Maayan a unique perspective that is evident in her work and as a freelance artist, her goal is to bring awareness to disabilities and the arts -something she prides to work at everyday.
Maayan also sits on the boards of the Toronto Arts Council and the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto. She earned a Bachelor's degree in Radio and Television Arts and a Master's degree in Digital Media at Ryerson University.
The Honourable Robert Rae
Ambassador and Permanent Representative-Designate of Canada to the United Nations in New York
Before his appointment by the Government of Canada, Mr. Rae served as Canada’s special envoy on humanitarian and refugee issues, continuing the important work that he began in 2017 as Canada’s special envoy to Myanmar while also addressing other pressing humanitarian and refugee issues around the world.
The former premier of Ontario and former interim leader of the Liberal Party of Canada, Mr. Rae was elected 11 times to federal and provincial parliaments between 1978 and 2013. He stepped down as a member of Parliament in 2013 to return to legal practice and, in particular, to work with Indigenous communities and continue his work in education, governance and human rights. His passion for social justice dates back to his early days in student politics and community service.
Before his appointment as permanent representative, Mr. Rae was senior counsel at Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP. In addition to his legal practice, he taught at the University of Toronto in the School of Public Policy and Governance, in the Faculty of Law and at Massey College and Victoria University, and he was a fellow of the Forum of Federations, Massey College and the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights. He has also worked as a mediator and arbitrator with ADR Chambers. A former partner at Goodmans LLP, Mr. Rae led the restructuring of the Canadian Red Cross and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and chaired the board of the Royal Conservatory of Music. He is the author of 5 books and a number of government reports.
Mr. Rae is a privy councillor, a companion of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of Ontario and has numerous awards and honorary degrees from institutions in Canada and around the world. He received his Honours Bachelor of Arts degree in Modern History from the University of Toronto and a Master of Philosophy degree as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University, and graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law.
Along with music, reading and writing, he loves tennis, golf and fishing. He is married to Arlene Perly Rae. They have 3 daughters and 5 grandchildren.