Chad Park on Finding our Future, Together at TEDxYYC

Think Outside the Silo: How New Collaborations Will Smooth Canada’s Path to a Low Carbon Economy

By Brent Gilmour, David Hughes, Mike Morrice, Elizabeth Sheehan

It won’t exactly be a sleepy summer for many of Canada’s bureaucrats and policy makers, as federal and provincial officials roll up their sleeves to hammer out the nation’s first national climate change strategy.

Working groups are cranking away on conference calls, parliamentarians are hosting town hall meetings, and Environment and Climate Change minister Catherine McKenna has invited citizens to pitch ideas via her team’s Let’s Talk Climate Action web portal—and thousands have already done so.

A Message from Chad Park, Executive Director:

Well, this is it. My last newsletter address to you as Executive Director of The Natural Step Canada.

When I stepped into the role almost five years ago, I don’t think I could have imagined we’d be where we are today, both as an organization and as a broader sustainability movement. When we launched “The Next Natural Step” almost four years ago, we knew that the movement needed more system-level interventions. We knew that the organization had a great opportunity to build from its core strength of translating sustainability knowledge and science into meaning and purpose for people and organizations and to put this strength in service of the important work of fostering transformative collaboration.

But I don’t think we expected this.

Quarterly Update from the Natural Capital Lab

It’s been a busy few months since we last updated you on the Natural Capital Lab. Over the past three months, we’ve ramped up our stakeholder outreach and confirmed the NCL Leadership Team. Throughout this process, we’ve had the pleasure of speaking with many interested parties, with one group after the other emphasizing their unequivocal support for a collaborative approach towards making Canada’s natural assets visible in our economic system.

As we gear up to launch the second phase of this exciting initiative, we are pleased to announce two new additions to the Natural Capital Lab Leadership Team. The Team will be leading the Lab into Phase Two as we engage with, and invite experts working on natural capital to join two workstreams targeting the private sector, municipalities and provincial/federal governments.

Planting seeds and growing ideas

The following blog post was written by Abigail Hann, an IMPACT! Youth Sustainability Training alumna.

I didn’t know how much one weekend could change my life until I attended the 2014 IMPACT! Training in Guelph. Being surrounded by so many passionate young people left me feeling inspired, but also a little inadequate. They were already accomplishing so much in and beyond their own communities, and what was I doing?

The Natural Step Canada appoints David Hughes as President & CEO

I am writing you today along with Board Chair Peter Ladner to announce a new important milestone for The Natural Step Canada. And we wanted to let you know first.

For the past fourteen years I have committed to developing The Natural Step programs across Canada - the last five years in the role of Executive Director. We’ve come along way from a small group of volunteers with a commitment to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society to an organization that has developed a host of programs and partnerships working on some of the most important issues facing our country.

Meeting in the Radical Middle: Shaping a New Energy Futures Narrative

I have a big family - sixteen aunts and uncles and many, many cousins. Thanks to our grandparents we all seem to share a passion for debate.

One of the more heated and reoccurring discussions is on the topic of climate change. This is not surprising given I have generations of family members working in the Alberta oil sands as engineers, marketing executives, and environmental assessments experts. I also have family members who lead environmental organizations and who have been on the front lines of pipeline protests and the divestment movement.

Backcasting: Starting with the End in Mind

Sustainability expert, Pong Leung introduces backcasting, a key tool for the Energy Futures Lab

We are all familiar with the idea of starting with the end in mind. In fact, it is likely that you have seen the benefits of applying it individually or with your family, for example when exploring your career path or planning a family vacation. You likely started thinking about what a successful career or vacation would mean and then used that as a guide to make decisions in the near-term to help you get there.

What’s happening in Ukraine? Capturing stories of sustainability

The following blog post was written by Oksana Anasko, an IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training alumni.

Have you ever wondered what will happen if we run out of oil or if the poles melt, drowning cities, states, and entire countries?
We live in a world filled with challenges, including global warming, the refugee crisis, poverty, economic instability, disease, etc. Activists, select news outlets, and even Pope Francis remind us everyday that we´ll soon see the consequences of our actions.

“We need to change.” “We need to do something.”

Taking IMPACT! Inspiration Abroad

I never thought of business as an avenue for advancing sustainability, but participating in IMPACT! Sustainability Champions Training last year showed me what a powerful means this is to transforming our world. Since my participation in the program, I’ve seen my peers start green companies and raise awareness about environmentally friendly practices through sustainable products. (Shout out to the awesome Balance Project and Britannia Backyard Edibles--two amazing projects that found their roots in my Ottawa IMPACT! cohort.)

This was all inspiring to me, but it also left me wondering, “what can I contribute?”


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