SPEAKERS & ADVISORS
WHY ENGAGE WITH LEADING CHANGE CANADA?
Leading Change is a platform for you to share your insight and experience with 150 of the brightest young sustainability leaders, ages 19-35.
INDUSTRY AND POLICY EXPERTS
We’re looking for leaders from business, government, and civil society to share their insight and experience with the next generation of changemakers. Speakers can participate as keynotes, panelists, social lab facilitators, and mentors.
SHARE YOUR STORY - YOUTH SPEAKERS
No longer eligible or interested in participating as a Leading Change delegate, but you’ve been up to some amazing things since we last saw each other? We’re always on the lookout for inspiring youth speakers to share their experiences at both the Leading Change Forum and at GLOBE.
LEADING CHANGE 2018 SPEAKERS
Meredith Adler, Executive Director, Student Energy
Meredith Adler is Student Energy's Executive Director. She oversees the strategy and operations of the organization and building a movement of students across the world committed to a sustainable energy future. Prior to taking over this role in 2015, Meredith acted as the Global Community Manager for Student Energy, where she developed the chapters model and managed online content and communities. Prior to joining Student Energy, Meredith was Communications Coordinator for Clean Energy Canada where she project managed the Tracking the Energy Revolution report series, and kept all communications trains running on time. Before that she could be found doing anything from running a youth trail construction crew in the Cascades, to coaching a campus tours team, to working on youth leadership programming in Latin America. A degree in Geography from The University of British Columbia kick-started Meredith’s obsession with energy and environmental policy.
Kehkashan Basu, United Nations Human Rights Champion
Winner of the 2016 International Children’s Peace Prize,17 year old Kehkashan Basu, has been impacting the global fraternity since she was 8 years old with her work on peace, children’s rights, ESD (education for sustainable development), gender equality and climate justice. In 2013, at the age of 12, she was elected for a 2 year term as UNEP’s (United Nations Environment Programme) Global Coordinator for Children & Youth making her the youngest person and the first minor, ever, to be elected into this position. A passionate advocate of children’s rights, Kehkashan is a United Nations Human Rights Champion and a UN Child Ambassador for the SDGs.
Kehkashan is the founder of youth organization, Green Hope Foundation, which seeks to empower children and youth globally and engage them in the SDG2030 process through ground level community-centric projects on climate justice, stopping land degradation, promoting sustainable consumption, biodiversity conservation, gender equality, renewable energy and working for social justice. Green Hope now has over 1000 members across Canada, USA, the Middle East, India and Nepal and has engaged thousands of young people and adults through its workshops and conferences in the implementation of the sustainable development goals. Kehkashan is also the Youth Ambassador of World Future Council, a Climate Reality Leader and the Honorary Advisor for the NGO Committee on Sustainable Development in New York.
Terry Beech, Secretary to Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard & MP for Burnaby North
Terry is an accomplished entrepreneur, educator, and philanthropist. He entered the public service 15 years ago, as the youngest elected counsellor in the city of Nanaimo. He was named one of Maclean’s Top 30 Under 30 in 2004, one of Business in Vancouver’s top 40 Under 40 in 2013, and was selected as an Action Canada Fellow. Terry is currently the Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, and an elected MP for Burnaby North. Terry is passionate about improving Canada’s competitiveness, growing a greener economy and providing sustainable opportunities for future generations.
Stephanie Bertels, Director, Centre for Corporate Governance & Sustainability at Simon Fraser University
Stephanie Bertels is the Director of SFU's Centre for Corporate Governance and Sustainability. She founded and leads the Embedding Project, a public-benefit research project that works with dozens of global companies to help them embed sustainability into their operations and decision-making by convening cross-sectoral processes and developing publicly available, practical resources and tools. An engineer by training, she holds a PhD in Strategy and Global Management and Sustainable Development.
Matthew Chapman, Campaign Coordinator, Climate Reality Project Canada
Matthew Chapman joined the Climate Reality team as Campaign Coordinator in 2016. His experience in the fields of fine arts, education, and international business have shaped his understanding of the challenges and opportunities our society and civilization face. He is passionate about making sure Canada lives up to its renewable potential and begins a meaningful transition towards a healthier, more efficient, and more sustainable future.
Sarah Dearman, Sustainable Packaging Program Director, CocaCola Canada
Sarah Dearman is the Sustainable Packaging Program Director for The Coca Cola Company in North America where she is leading efforts to make the Company’s vision for a World Without Waste a reality. She collaborates internally and externally to reduce the environmental footprint of Coca Cola’s iconic packaging from design to sustainable sourcing and recycling. Prior to joining Coca-Cola seven years ago, Sarah led sustainability programs for the State of Georgia. She has a Physical Science degree from the University of Maryland. Sarah serves in advisory roles with several non-profit organizations including The Recycling Partnership where she is currently the Board Chair, Closed Loop Fund, Sustainable Packaging Coalition and Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.
Mike Gerbis, CEO, GLOBE Series, CEO, The Delphi Group
Mike Gerbis is the CEO of the GLOBE™ Series. Mike oversees the overall direction and program of the GLOBE Forum and Innovation Expo, which is North America’s largest and longest-running sustainability event and host to 8,000 participants – many of them senior leaders from the business, finance, environment and government communities – from over 50 countries. Mike is also CEO of The Delphi Group, a strategic consultancy providing solutions and support in the areas of corporate sustainability and climate change. For more than two decades, Mike has advised corporations, institutions and government on how to create long-term value through innovation and by addressing environmental, social and economic risks and opportunities.
Mike was named top consultant in Canada’s Clean50 for 2016, and was also included in Canada’s Clean16 for 2016. He holds a Master of Environmental Engineering degree from McMaster University and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Chemical Engineering from Queen’s University. He is a sought-after speaker and has presented at some of the most prestigious sustainability conferences and events in the world. He is also the co-founder of two not-for- profit organizations, The Climate Reality Project Canada and the Emerging Leaders Forum. He regularly engages and educates youth and business leaders through initiatives such as SHAD Valley International and TEC Canada.
Sarah Keyes, Sustainability Principal, CPA Canada
Sarah Keyes is a Principal at CPA Canada. In this role, she leads research efforts addressing sustainability issues and how they relate to organizational decision-making, reporting and corporate governance. She is a subject matter expert in climate change with a strong understanding of the interconnections between climate change and business strategy, risk and performance. Prior to CPA Canada, Sarah worked as an auditor in Mining & Extractives at PricewaterhouseCoopers and as an energy consultant at MNP.
Marcelo Lu, President, BASF Canada
Marcelo Lu provides strategic oversight on all business activities within Canada, working across the organization to bring BASF’s corporate purpose “We create chemistry for a sustainable future” to life. Marcelo has been the driving force behind sustainability-focused activities and has been instrumental in spearheading BASF’s partnership with the Canadian chapter of the UN Global Compact, Bullfrog Power, as well as the company’s involvement in the Carbon Impact Initiative as a founding member. Prior to moving to Canada, Marcelo was Vice President, Business Management Polyamides and Precursors, for BASF in Asia Pacific. Throughout his career he has worked towards integrating sustainability into business strategies and procurement practices while holding various positions within BASF Group. Prior to joining BASF, Marcelo held several consulting positions at International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private sector development arm of the World Bank, in Washington, DC.
Nicholas Parker, Founding Managing Partner, Global Acceleration Partners Inc.
Nicholas Parker has pioneered sustainable venturing ideas and initiatives around the world for over three decades. He’s currently Chairman of Parker Venture Management Inc. through which he makes catalytic investments (presently in solar fintech and analytics) and provides strategic advisory services, particularly to private wealth holders. Nicholas is also Founding Managing Partner of Global Acceleration Partners Inc. (“GAP”) a financial enterprise accelerating cross-border deployment of technologies and business models into emerging economies, especially China, to achieve “exponential impact” against major sustainability challenges.
Nick coined and introduced the “cleantech” concept to the finance and business community in 2002 while launching Cleantech Group (“CTG”), a market-leading research and advisory company that he chaired until the end of 2013. Under his leadership as “Mr. Cleantech”, CTG helped create a global ecosystem, mobilized over $6B in private equity and convened thousands of decision-makers, while serving influential enterprises, agencies and institutions in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America.
Before setting up GAP in 2014, Nick was Chair of Corporate Knights (“CK”), the award-winning media and financial research company for clean capitalism, best known for the Global 100 rankings launched annually at the World Economic Forum in Davos. During this period, he was also founding Chair and founding CEO of WaterTAP, a state corporation established to promote water technology, finance and policy innovation.
Prior to starting CTG, Nick accumulated over 15 years’ experience forming and investing funds worldwide through limited partnerships, family offices, corporate funds, endowments and public-private partnerships. During this time, he initiated the first trans-Atlantic “sustainability” private equity fund, the first pan-Asian fund, the first cross-border India fund and participated in the second solar IPO on NASDAQ, ever. In the 1990s, he built and sold one of the first environmental finance firms, including advising the EU, UN and WBCSD on capital markets and technology, as well as helping launch several of southern Africa’s first PE/VC funds.
In recent years, Nick’s contribution to advisory boards includes the Singapore Economic Development Board, Ontario Premier’s Climate Change Advisory Panel, Centre of Excellence for Commercialization of Research and the Clinton Global Initiative where he was principal energy and climate advisor. From 2003-08, he was pro bono Chair of E+Co, the award-winning impact investment company for clean energy enterprises in frontier markets. Nick is currently a Distinguished Fellow of the Asia-Pacific Foundation of Canada and a Board Member of the Centre for Mindfulness Studies.
Nick earned a BA Tech, Hons. (Carleton University, Ottawa) and an MBA in International Business (City University, London). He has lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Europe and North America while currently residing in Toronto. He’s authored or edited many publications and articles related to cleantech, finance and international business, starting with Investing in Emerging Economies in 1993, co-published by The Economist and the International Finance Corporation. Nick’s a keen swimmer, soccer fan, outdoor enthusiast, and happy parent.
Nelson Switzer, Chief Sustainability Officer, Nestle Waters
As the Chief Sustainability Officer of Nestle Waters North America, Nelson’s professional goal is to identify and open pro-table opportunities that preserve and enhance social and natural capital – through strategic management and communication. His creative and collaborative style allows him to zero-in on the real issues at hand, and matching solutions to corporate environmental, social and governance challenges. His unique experience as a strategic advisor – including work with global and local, public and private sector corporations – gives him a holistic perspective towards solving complex problems.
Matthew Toohey, Senior Sustainability Advisor, TransAlta
Matt leads sustainability initiatives, strategy and reporting at TransAlta Corporation & TransAlta Renewables in the role of Senior Advisor, Sustainability. TransAlta is a global power generation company with operations across Canada, the US, and Australia. Previous work experience within the energy sector includes corporate communications and investor relations with ARC Resources and consulting (energy management, low-carbon energy solutions and sustainability). Matt holds an MSc. in Renewable Energy and Enterprise Management from Newcastle University, UK and a B.A. in Communications from the University of Calgary. In his spare time, Matt supports TransAlta’s Eco-Action initiatives and is Vice Chair, Board of Directors for Calgary’s Connecting Environmental Professionals chapter.
Davinder Valeri, Director, Strategy, Risk & Performance at CPA Canada
Davinder is a CPA, CA, with extensive business operations leadership experience from a variety of organizations, including Ontario Power Generation and Atomic Energy of Canada Limited. She has held a variety of senior business consulting roles, most recently as Director of Global Infrastructure Advisory with KPMG LLP. With a deep understanding of energy, infrastructure and financing, she has been responsible for all facets of decision making to achieve organization goals and objectives. She has experience in strategic planning, business structures, project financing, internal audit, stakeholder relations and sustainability/climate change impacts. At CPA Canada, Davinder leads a team that conducts technical research to develop guidance and thought leadership on emerging and current issues related to strategy, risk, technology, finance, management, climate change and sustainability to support CPA members in business and government. and not for profit to be more resilient, adaptive and innovative.