Accelerate: Collaborating for Sustainability Conference | 2013 Agenda


2014: Summary | Register | Speakers | Agenda | Location | Sponsorship | Promote
2013: Summary | Speakers | Agenda


Pre-Conference Event: FREE Webinar
Date: Thursday, May 16, 2013





The Emerging Social Innovation Field – FREE Webinar.

Presenters: Tim Draimin, Executive Director, Social Innovation Generation and Chad Park, Executive Director, The Natural Step Canada


Date: Monday, June 10, 2013
Location: River Run Centre, Guelph, Ontario





Registration and Facilitated Networking Session

Facilitator: Saralyn Hodgkin, Director, Collaboration Programs, The Natural Step Canada


Welcome and Conference Kick-Off

Greetings from the City of Guelph and our Presenting Sponsor.

A word from The Natural Step on why a conference on collaboration.

Host: Chad Park, Executive Director, The Natural Step Canada


  • Karen Farbridge, Mayor of Guelph
  • Barbara Turley-McIntyre, Senior Director of Sustainability and Citizenship, The Co-operators Group Limited
  • Tim Brodhead, Past-President, J.W. McConnell Family Foundation

Why Collaboration Matters: Exploring Collective Impact & Shared Value

Dynamic leaders from the business and not-for-profit worlds will share insights on why collaboration with like-minded groups and “strange bedfellows” can drive value and why it is key to overcoming systemic barriers to sustainability.

Moderator: Tim Draimin, Executive Director, Social Innovation Generation


  • Avrim Lazar, Former CEO, Forest Products Association of Canada; champion of the Canadian Boreal Initiative
  • David Hughes, President & CEO, Pathways to Education; former CEO of Habitat for Humanity



Catalyzing Change through Shared Purpose: the Human Dimension of Collaboration

Three internationally recognized sustainability leaders will share experiences and explore different approaches to building shared intention, including the co-operative and Benefit Corporation (B Corp) models, in the context of meeting fundamental human needs.

Moderator: Bob Willard, Author, The Next Sustainability Advantage



Networking Break


Collaboration Cafe

Conference participants will engage in a World Café style dialogue about their own organizations’ motivations and capacity for collaborating for sustainability.

Facilitator: Saralyn Hodgkin, Director, Collaboration Programs, The Natural Step Canada and Tamara Connell, Director, Sustainability Literacy and Communications, The Natural Step Canada


Systems Change: How to get to breakthrough outcomes

Collaboration is key to systemic change, but how do systems actually change? Moderated by author and systems thinking expert Dr. Bryan Smith, two international thought leaders share their experiences and insights into the barriers and keys to transformational collaboration.

Moderator: Dr. Bryan Smith, Co-author, The Necessary Revolution:  How Individuals and Organizations are Working Together to Create a Sustainable World






Date: Tuesday, June 11, 2013
Location: Delta Guelph Hotel & Conference Centre, Guelph, Ontario



Speakers/ Presenters


Morning Networking


Breakout Panel A: Think Big: How a Compelling Sustainability Vision Can Drive Innovation and Enable Collaboration

A panel of experts will explore how setting big goals based on a vision of sustainability (versus incremental improvements over an unsustainable past) can unlock real innovation by attracting and motivating stakeholders.

Moderator: Sarah Brooks, Senior Associate, The Natural Step Canada


  • Nadine Gudz, Director, Sustainability Strategy, Interface
  • Bruce Lourie, President, Ivey Foundation
  • Paul Uys, past VP Sustainability, Loblaws

Breakout Panel B: Social Innovation Labs – Lessons in Multi-Stakeholder Collaboration

This interactive session will explore different approaches to multi-stakeholder collaboration to address complex sustainability challenges, with a particular focus on labs. The session will draw on the practical experience of our panelists and also engage participants in a dialogue about what we are collectively learning about labs.

Moderators: Kelly Baxter, Chair, The Natural Step International and Saralyn Hodgkin, Director, Collaboration Programs, The Natural Step Canada


Breakout Panel C: Culture and Collaboration: The Importance of Embedding Sustainability into Organizational Culture

A panel of experts will explore the importance of embedding sustainability into organization culture, associated challenges, and what it all means in the context of multi-stakeholder collaboration.

Moderator: Barb Steele, Director of Partnerships, Network for Business Sustainability


  • Elaine Hanson, Director of Sustainability, Sheridan College
  • Bob Masterson, Vice President Responsible Care, Chemistry Industry Association of Canada
  • Reza Nasseri, Founder and CEO, Landmark Group of Builders
  • Guy McGuffin, President, G.M. Consulting & Past VP Sustainable Packaging, Walmart

Networking Break


Participatory Breakout A: A Gold-standard for Sustainable Business – What Would It Mean for Stakeholders?

Guided by leaders representing a variety of stakeholder groups, participants will explore together what a Gold-standard for sustainability would mean for investors, consumers, supply chain managers, community economic development strategy and employees.

Facilitators: Bob Willard, Author, The Next Sustainability Advantage and Pong Leung, Senior Associate, The Natural Step Canada


  • Bart Houlahan, Co-founder, B Lab
  • Toby Heaps, CEO, Corporate Knights
  • Laurie Simmonds, President and CEO, Green Living Enterprises
  • Joyce Sou, Manager, B Corporation and Social Impact Metrics, MaRS Centre for Impact Investing
  • Antony Upward, Sustainability Business Architect and Principal, Edward James Consulting Ltd.

Participatory Breakout B: Community-scale Collaboration

Guided by experts in community sustainability, participants will explore together how to engage citizens and organizations when implementing community sustainability initiatives on neighbourhood, community and regional scales.

Facilitator: John Purkis, Senior Associate, The Natural Step Canada


  • Cheeying Ho, Executive Director, Whistler Centre for Sustainability
  • Alex Dumesle, Manager, Eco-Business Programs, Partners in Project Green, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority
  • Mark Anto, Director of Strategic Development, Montréal Urban Ecology Centre
  • Ariel Muller, Principal Sustainability Advisor, Forum for the Future



Collaboration Open Space

Participants will be invited to choose the topics of conversations in an Open Space format to explore the topics and outcomes that are important to them and to develop collaborative opportunities.

Facilitator: Brendan Seale, Sustainability Manager, IKEA Canada


Closing Keynote: Transformation towards Sustainability - The Leadership Challenge

The closing keynote address will put the lessons of the Accelerate conference in the context of global trends and challenge all participants to enact the leadership qualities required to foster transformative collaboration.

Conference Close

Ending with a call to action

Host: Tim Brodhead, Past-President, J.W. McConnell Family Foundation