Speakers & Faculty

Engage and be inspired by a global array of thought leaders and change makers who will be joining us to share their insights and ideas about community change - and the critical role that citizens, organizations and government play in co-creating the future of cities.

 

Meet our Speakers

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John Helliwell

Economist and Co-editor of the World Happiness Report

 

Julian Agyeman Headshot

Julian Agyeman

Professor and originator of the ‘just sustainabilities' concept 

Shauna Sylvester Headshot

Shauna Sylvester

Director of Simon Fraser University's Centre for Dialogue

 

Mark Cabaj Headshot

Mark Cabaj

Internationally recognized community change evaluator

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David Korten

International Best-Selling Author, Activist and Co-founder of YES! Magazine

Jayne Engle Headshot

Jayne Engle

Leader of Cities for People - an initiative which fosters inclusive urban innovation

 

Ben Hecht Headshot

Ben Hecht

President and CEO of Living Cities.

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Cedric Jamet

Associate at Percolab - leader in Design, Facilitation & Collaboration

 

 

Meet our Faculty

Paul Born Headshot
Paul Born

Bestselling author about community change

Liz Weaver Headshot
Liz Weaver

Top trainer of collective impact

Sylvia Cheuy Headshot
Sylvia Cheuy

Exceptional community change activist

Mark Holmgren Headshot
Mark Holmgren

Top consultant and upside down thinking guru

Lisa Attygalle Headshot
Lisa Attygalle

Artist and communications specialist  

Jane Humphries Headshot
Jane Humphries

Strategic advisor
and facilitator

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Megan Wanless

Community engagement and theatre practitioner

Meet our Workshop Speakers

Kate Headshot
Kate Sutherland

Community and organizational change leader

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Marilyn Hamilton

City evolutionist & Founder of Integral City Meshworks

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Lindsay Daniller

Community initiatives and strategic development leader

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Yassaman Nouri

Social Impact Entrepreneur

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Erin Welk

Civic Social Innovation Lead, Urban Matters

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Darcy Riddell

Director of Strategic Learning with the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation

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Dr. John Helliwell

Featured Speaker: The Future of Cities is Happiness

The World Happiness Report 2017 identifies the key variables of well-being and happiness including caring, freedom, generosity, honesty, health, income and good governance. The keynote chapter of the 2017 Report was on the Social Foundations of World Happiness, while the special focus of WHR 2018 will be on migration, both among and within nations. Dr. John Helliwell, co-editor of the World Happiness Report will reflect on the role of citizens and governments in building cities of happiness. 

John studies well-being, especially in its social context. He gained an international reputation for his pioneering work in incorporating social concepts into economic theories of development and growth through involvement in the editing of the United Nations World Happiness Report, which has sparked a worldwide discussion on well-being, society, and government policy.

John is Senior Fellow of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research and co-director of CIFAR’s program on “Social Interactions, Identity and Well-Being”. He is also Professor Emeritus of Economics at the University of British Columbia, a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and was a member of the National Statistics Council from 2001-2015. He was previously visiting special advisor at the Bank of Canada in 2003-04, visiting research fellow of Merton College, Oxford, in 2003, of St. Catherine’s College, Oxford, in 2001, and Mackenzie King Visiting Professor of Canadian Studies at Harvard in 1991-94.

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Shauna Sylvester

Featured Speaker: Co-developed Dialogue

Shauna Sylvester is the Director of the Simon Fraser University (SFU) Centre for Dialogue and Co-Founder and Senior Advisor of SFU Public Square. Shauna is a skilled facilitator, social entrepreneur and commentator on international issues. She has led local and international dialogues on mental health, equity, urban resilience, intercultural dialogue, affordable housing and human rights and she served as the lead facilitator for the Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing in Vancouver. Shauna will share how dialogue plays a vital role in navigating our changing world.

Prior to leading SFU Public Square and Carbon Talks, Shauna served as the Founding Executive Director of Canada’s World—a national citizen engagement initiative on foreign policy.

Shauna has written and edited several publications related to foreign policy, social and environmental issues and has provided policy advice to governments and foundations on subjects as varied as climate change, human security, media and democratic development. From 1997 to 2006, Shauna co-founded and served as the first Executive Director of IMPACS—the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, a media and democracy organization that operated in Canada and in conflict and post-conflict zones around the world.

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David Korten

Featured Speaker: Change the Story, Change the Future

In the current dominant narrative of our society, we measure the success of cities, people and systems based on their contributions to the economy. David Korten suggests, to the contrary, that they should be valued for their contributions to the health and happiness of living people, communities, and nature. He will challenge us to rethink every aspect of conventional thought and practice regarding the role of citizens, cities, economies, and creation as we navigate the path forward for our cities.

 Dr. David C. Korten is the co-founder and board chair of YES! Magazine, founder and president of the Living Economies Forum, an associate fellow of the Institute for Policy Studies, a full member of the Club of Rome, and member of the governing board of Toward Ecological Civilization.

David worked for more than thirty-five years in preeminent business, academic, and international development institutions before he turned away from the establishment to become a leading critic of what he calls the global suicide economy. He now devotes his life to advancing the global transition to a living Earth economy for an Ecological Civilization organized around deeply democratic self-governing living communities in which people work in co-productive partnership with the rest of nature to meet the needs of all.

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Ben Hecht

Featured Speaker: Building Living Cities

The Living Cities movement in the United States is building a new urban landscape. For the past 25 years, this innovative partnership has brought together cross-sector leadership and diverse voices to dramatically improve the economic future of cities and low income citizens. Living cities does this work through four key practices: open sourcing social change; investing in collective impact; capital innovation through the blending of private and public funding sources; and public sector innovation. Ben Hecht, CEO of Living Cities will share how to co-create a city and citizens that build equity and disrupt the status quo.

Ben Hecht is the President and CEO of Living Cities, a collaborative of 18 of the world’s leading foundations and financial institutions who work together to boldly fight poverty in America’s cities. Under Ben’s leadership, Living Cities has established a new data-driven model of social change that brings together local business, government, philanthropic and community leaders to disrupt long obsolete systems and focus on achieving needle-moving results. The organization’s $40 million loan fund has been selected as one of the world’s top 50 impact investment funds for six consecutive years. Its network of local public sector leaders from more than fifty cities are spreading and adopting a new culture of municipal innovation and re-imagining the relationship between government and citizens. 

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Dr. Julian Agyeman

Julian Agyeman is a Professor of Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning at Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, USA. In August 2017 he will be a McConnell Cities for People Fellow as well as visiting professor at McGill University School of Urban Planning. Julian is the originator of the concept ‘just sustainabilities’ which refers to the full integration of social justice and sustainability.

Julian is a prolific writer with over 160 publications. He is a Series Editor of Routledge Equity Justice and the Sustainable City and Just Sustainabilities (Zed Books). His latest book is Food Trucks, Cultural Identity and Social Justice: From Loncheras to Lobsta Love (co-edited with Caitlin Matthews and Hannah Sobel: MIT Press 2017).

Learn more about Julian at http://julianagyeman.com/

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Mark Cabaj

Designing for the Future of Cities

Mark has spent twenty-five years as a social change practitioner, policy maker, funder and consultant in Canada, the USA and Europe. He is a former Vice President of Tamarack, and was the Executive Director of Vibrant Communities Canada - one of the country’s first and largest Collective Impact Initiatives. Mark is now President of Here to There Consulting Inc. currently focusing on developing practical ways to understand, plan and evaluate efforts to tackle complex issues (e.g. neighborhood renewal, poverty, community safety, environmental sustainability). This includes playing a strong role in building the practice of developmental evaluation - using evaluation to inform the work of social innovators working in fast moving contexts - as well as practical methods for social innovation, systems change and collaborative action.

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Jayne Engle

Creating Canada's Urban Future

Jayne Engle is program director at the McConnell Foundation where she leads Cities for People, an initiative which fosters inclusive urban innovation with partners across Canada and beyond. Cities for People has three focus areas: increasing equality; strengthening the city as a commons; and enabling city labs and networks. Jayne has worked 25 years in participatory city planning, urban revitalization policy, and adaptive reuse real estate development in North America and Europe. Her experience spans a Peace Corps tour of duty in Central Europe post-fall of the Berlin wall, to economic development in US cities, to multi-sectoral collaborations across Europe in order to improve co-creation and social impacts of post-industrial landscapes and inter-city learning. She is passionate about bridging innovative local action on the ground with policy and systems change. She holds a BS from Eastern University, an MBA in real estate and urban land studies from Temple University in Philadelphia, a Master of Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Pittsburgh, and a PhD in Urban Planning, Policy and Design from McGill University. She serves on the global advisory board of Participatory City, on the board of directors of Beyond Borders, as an honorary member of the Montreal Urban Ecology Centre, and as a jury member of the Intelligent Communities Forum. @JayneEngle @cities4people

Cedric Jamet

Cedric Jamet

Leader in Design, Facilitation & Collaboration

Cédric works with groups, organizations and communities in order to help them navigate strategic challenges and foster their capacity to negociate change. His approach is grounded in dialogic methodologies and collaborative practices, in order to create and facilitate conversations allowing the emergence of collective intelligence and leadership in the service of wise action. Cedric has a M.A. in Human Systems Interventions at Concordia University, and is particularly interested in participatory research methodologies.

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Paul Born

Co-Founder & President | Tamarack Institute

Paul Born is the cofounder and President of Tamarack Institute, a leader on issues of place, citizenship engagement, collective impact, and community innovation. The author of four books, including two Canadian best sellers, Born is internationally recognized for his community-building activities that have won awards from the United Nations and as a senior fellow of Ashoka, the world’s largest network of social innovators.

Paul Born grew up in the Fraser Valley of British Columbia as the son of Mennonite refugees. This in part is what made him deeply curious about and engaged in ideas that cause people to work together for the common good, work that he describes as collective altruism.

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Liz Weaver

Vice-President | Tamarack Institute

Liz is the Vice-President of Tamarack and leads the Tamarack Learning Centre. Previously, she led the Vibrant Communities Canada team where she provided coaching, leadership and support to a network of community partners across Canada. Liz is one of Tamarack’s most in-demand trainers. She has developed and delivered curricula on a variety of workshop topics including: collaborative governance, leadership, collective impact, community innovation, influencing policy change and social media for impact and engagement

Prior to joining Tamarack, Liz was the Director for the Hamilton Roundtable on Poverty Reduction, which was recognized with the Canadian Urban Institute’s David Crombie Leadership Award in 2009. In her career, Liz has also held leadership positions with YWCA Hamilton, Volunteer Hamilton and Volunteer Canada. In 2002, Liz completed a Masters of Management through McGill University and her thesis Storytelling and the Voluntary Sector was published. Liz was awarded a Queen’s Jubilee Medal in 2002 for her leadership in the voluntary sector and in 2004 was awarded the Women in the Workplace award from the City of Hamilton.

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Sylvia Cheuy

Director, Deepening Community | Tamarack Institute

Sylvia leads Tamarack’s Deepening Community Learning Team and offers coaching, leadership and support to Tamarack’s community partners through learning events and in her role as Editor of Engage!, Tamarack’s award-winning e-magazine.  Prior to joining Tamarack full-time, Sylvia was the Director of Headwaters Communities in Action (HCIA), a citizens’ leadership group that fosters collaborative action in support of a long-term vision of well-being for Ontario's Headwaters region. Tamarack played a key role in launching HCIA and Sylvia's experience in the start-up and growth of this award-winning regional collaborative has given her first-hand experience in the joys and challenges of working collaboratively to advance a shared community agenda within a predominantly rural region.

Sylvia is a skilled facilitator who draws from her training in a variety of methodologies to encourage people to think creatively together. She has a proven track record for securing funding to support innovative community projects. While serving on the Board of Community Living Dufferin (CLD) she was instrumental in securing $2.8 million in funding for CLD's new shared home with Theatre Orangeville. Sylvia recently completed her Masters Diploma in Social Innovation at the University of Waterloo where she explored opportunities to create change within regional food systems.

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Mark Holmgren

Director, Vibrant Communities Canada | Tamarack Institute

Mark joined Tamarack in January 2016 to lead its Vibrant Communities initiative and sits on Tamarack’s team of Directors. His background includes providing executive leadership to two Edmonton-based, inner city human service agencies focused on addressing poverty and homelessness; as well as providing consultation to a number of groups on issues relating to social housing development, organizational change, strategy development and leadership. Most recently Mark served as CEO of Bissell Centre (www.BissellCentre.org) where he led a team of 130 staff delivering Housing First services, assertive street outreach, family and children services, and programs in the areas of mental health, addictions, homelessness prevention, FASD interventions, and employment services.

Known for his big picture view and his ability to work on the ground, Mark has a long history of leading and contributing to social innovations that benefit low income people. Examples include leading the collaborative design of the Community Bridge (homelessness prevention); developing a multi-purpose centre with housing attached for inner city seniors; leading the development of three social enterprises; and, developing innovative approaches to employing marginalized populations.

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Lisa Attygalle

Director, Engagement | Tamarack Institute

Lisa works with cities and organizations to improve the way they engage with their communities. This includes helping them with their engagement strategies, key messaging, communications plans, use of technology, social media and branding. She also heads up all of Tamarack’s technology and online spaces, and constantly advocates for simplicity in infrastructure, frameworks and design. Prior to Tamarack, Lisa was a Senior Marketing Automation Strategist at Quarry Integrated Communications, where she worked with clients to personalize their online marketing and design the best possible experience for users. She now loves applying the principles of marketing, advertising, customer loyalty, and user experience to community initiatives. Hailing from Australia, Lisa worked as a communications officer on major water infrastructure projects as the liaison between Government, Engineering and the Community. On the side, Lisa is an artist and also a co-owner of Seven Shores Community Café in Waterloo, Ontario.

 

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Jane Humphries

Director, Learning Services | Tamarack Institute

Jane leads the Tamarack Learning Services team providing strategic direction for the design and development of learning activities. Learning Services invests in community leaders to co-generate knowledge and become a collective force for social change. 

Jane is a trusted and strategic advisor in leadership development and community building with more than 20 years of experience in the philanthropic sector. As the past VP, Knowledge and Foundation Development for Community Foundations of Canada she oversaw the national professional development program for Canada’s 191 community foundations. Jane’s particular expertise focused on creating executive leadership development programs and embedding social innovation in the work of community philanthropy.   

 

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Megan Wanless

Senior Community Animator, Engagement | Tamarack Institute

Megan is a Senior Community Animator at the Tamarack Institute and works across the organization to improve and deepen engagement for over 23,000 members within Tamarack’s learning communities and online platforms. Specializing in engagement, Megan animates Tamarack's online spaces and helps leverage Tamarack's integrated communications systems to ensure we deliver the best and latest in community change to change makers across the country and beyond. 

Prior to Tamarack, Megan worked in the field of international development, earning a Master of Social Science degree from the University of Edinburgh and worked in Malawi to engage with communities around sexual and reproductive rights using applied theatre. With a Bachelor Arts Degree in Theatre, Megan has been leveraging theatre as a tool for community change for many years and has had the pleasure of practicing it in communities within Canada as well as South Africa, Uganda and Malawi.

 

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Kate Sutherland

Founding Faculty and Executive Coach, Simon Fraser University

Kate Sutherland is founding faculty and executive coach for Simon Fraser University’s Social Innovation Certificate and THNK School of Creative Leadership. With 25 years experience as a consultant in community and organizational change, her current focus is growing the capacity and nimbleness of leaders and change agents. Her latest book, We Can Do This! 10 Tools to Unleash Our Collective Genius, makes accessible the wisdom and insights from ten key frameworks used by professional facilitators and consultants for transforming groups, systems and self. 

 

 

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Marilyn Hamilton

Founder of Integral City Meshworks

Marilyn Hamilton PhD, CPA/CGA is a city evolutionist, PRAQtivist, Founder of Integral City Meshworks and author of Integral City Inquiry & Action: Designing Impact for the Human Hive and Integral City: Evolutionary Intelligences for the Human Hive. She has created practices and tools, plus theoretical frameworks for exploring the city with an integral, evolutionary and living system paradigm.  Producer of Integral City 2.0 Online Conference 2012, her passions are designing laboratories that enable the Human Hive - Gaia's most reflective organ - to live sustainably so people care for themselves, each other, their places and the planet. www.integralcity.com

 

 

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Lindsay Daniller

Director, Community Initiatives and Strategic Development, REACH Edmonton

Lindsay has been involved in a variety of community building work in her original home of South Africa and adopted home of Edmonton. In addition to being a seasoned consultant and facilitator with public, private and community organizations, she has been in a variety of leadership positions in organizations in both countries.

Over the past five years and as a member of the REACH Edmonton Leadership team, Lindsay has held the position of Director of Community Initiatives and Strategic Development. REACH Edmonton Council for Safe Communities aims to catalyze and support community action to make Edmonton a safer city. REACH brings together diverse people and organizations to create the conditions for communication and successful collaboration. In 2014 Lindsay became a Thought Leader with the Tamarack Institute and feels privileged to have been invited to share her insights on community engagement and development at Tamarack and FSG conferences and workshops.

 

 

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Yassaman Nouri

Social Impact Entrepreneur

Yassaman is a UBC BComm Finance graduate and a recipient of Queen Elizabeth’s Queen Jubilee medal for contributions that positively impacted communities domestically and internationally. She is originally from Tehran, raised in Vancouver and has worked in Iran, UK, China, Malawi, Tajikistan and Canada in diverse sectors including post-secondary education, international trade, international development, social entrepreneurship, impact investing, credit unions, non-profits, management consulting and government organizations.

Yassaman has had the privilege of contributing to organizations of all sizes from one-person-start-ups, to large global firms, on projects that range from strategy development to implementation and operation.

Yassaman currently serves on the community wealth board of Options for Homes as well as helping the Hamilton Community Foundation with their pilot impact measurement project. She teaches various courses related to social impact through Social Enterprise Institute, such as "How to use Systems Thinking to solve social problems", "How to use storytelling to connect to stakeholders", and "Tips and tools on building local and global impact communities".

 

 

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Erin Welk

Civic Social Innovation Lead, Urban Matters

Erin finds her passion where people, community, and environment intersect. She has over 12 years of experience working with municipalities to help them address climate change, adapt to growth or decline, and improve housing and transportation outcomes. These challenges are often complex, far reaching, and require a diverse set of input from community actors. As a result, Erin’s work centres around convening conversation and catalyzing action.

Erin leads in the development of Urban Matters’ portfolio of civic social innovation initiatives. She helps local governments move towards positive social and community outcomes by using organizational change management, partnership brokering, leadership development, and social enterprise incubation.
She is an avid world traveller, cyclist, and urbanist.

 

 

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Darcy Riddell

Director of Strategic Learning with the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation

Darcy is responsible for developing comprehensive learning, evaluation and strategy processes that foster change in complex systems. She is also the design lead for new practitioner-oriented certificate in Social Innovation at SFU in Vancouver. Over the last 20 years she has played diverse roles as an environmental activist, strategist, convener, and facilitator to advance social change. She has worked across sectors with non-profits, advocacy organizations, foundations, business, labour, universities and government, applying a potent mix of transformative process design, capacity-building and systems thinking to support innovation and institutional change. Darcy recently completed a PhD in Social and Ecological Sustainability focused on disruptive social innovation in complex systems, specifically the roles individuals can play in transforming systems, and has published on systems change strategies and scaling for social impact. She lives with her family in Vancouver’s first Co-housing development.