Keynote, PLenary & Workshop Speakers

*The following speakers have been confirmed for the EconoUs2017 program. More speakers to be announced soon!

KEYNOTE SPEAKERS

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph

Ambassador for Reconciliation Canada

Biography

Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, O.B.C. is a true peace-builder whose life and work are examples of his personal commitment. A Hereditary Chief of the Gwawaenuk First Nation, Chief Joseph has dedicated his life to bridging the differences brought about by intolerance, lack of understanding and racism at home and abroad. His insights into the destructive impacts these forces can have on peoples’ lives, families and cultures were shaped by his experience with the Canadian Indian Residential School system. As one of the last few speakers of the Kwakwaka’wakw language, Chief Joseph is an eloquent and inspiring Ceremonial House Speaker. He shares his knowledge and wisdom in the Big House and as a Language Speaker with the University of British Columbia, an internationally recognized art curator and as co-author of “Down from the Shimmering Sky: Masks of the Northwest Coast”.
Shaun Loney

Shaun Loney

Author and Social Enterprise Developer

Biography

Shaun is a longtime member of the Canadian CED Network, an Ashoka Fellow (first in Canadian Prairies) and an Ernst and Young‘s Entrepreneur of the Year (2014). He has co-founded and mentored 11 social enterprises including BUILD Inc (2011 Scotia Bank EcoLiving Green Business of the year and 2013 Manitoba Apprenticeship Employer of the Year). Shaun was Director of Energy Policy for the Government of Manitoba (2002-2008 and political advisor to Gary Doer’s NDP (1997-2002). Shaun lives in Winnipeg, with his partner Fiona. Between them they have three teenage boys. Shaun is proud to be part of a strong and visionary social enterprise team that is flourishing across the country. Shaun recently published An Army of Problem Solvers, his second book following BUILD Prosperity: Energizing Manitoba’s Local Economy.

PLENARY PANELISTS

Béatrice Alain

Béatrice Alain

Director of Partnerships and Head of International Relations, Chantier de l'économie sociale

Biography

Béatrice Alain is the Director of Partnerships and head of International Relations at the Chantier de l’économie sociale. The Chantier de l’économie sociale has a long tradition of engaging in international dialogue, both to learn from best practices and to share experiences that have made Quebec an internationally recognized ecosystem that enables the development of the social economy. In recent years, Mrs. Alain has been particularly interested in ways and strategies that facilitate dialogue between stakeholders from different sectors and countries in order to strengthen the development of the social economy. From 2011 to 2016, she helped create and coordinate the RELIESS, an international transfer and liaison center on public policies for the social economy. More recently, she directed the organization of the Global Social Economy Forum-GSEF2016, an international event co-organized by the City of Montreal and the Chantier de l’économie sociale focusing on collaborations between local governments and actors of the social economy that took place in September 2016 and gathered more than 1500 people from 62 countries. Ms. Alain holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science and a master’s degree in international relations.
Dr. Gordon Slade

Dr. Gordon Slade

Chairman, Shorefast Foundation

Biography

Dr Gordon Slade is recognized as a global leader for his innovative expertise in the sustainable economic development of some of the world’s most unique and economically significant regions. Dr. Slade has been awarded the highest recognitions nationally and internationally for his work in preserving the unique cultural heritage of North America’s oldest region –the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador. Dr. Slade is particularly successful in delivering global multi-disciplinary projects that have significant and positive international outcomes from economic, cultural, environmentally sustainable and heritage perspectives. Dr. Slade’s latest project is the renaissance of the remote northern region of Fogo Island and Change Islands with the Shorefast Foundation in Newfoundland. He is developing partnerships with governments, communities, and local residents to preserve local traditions and knowledge, while developing a model for the sustainable management of rural communities internationally.
Nadia Kidwai

Nadia Kidwai

Journalist and Radio host, CBC Manitoba

Biography

Nadia was born and raised in Cardiff, Wales and graduated from Oxford University with a B.A/ M.A. in Politics & History. Since arriving in Winnipeg in 2004, she has worked in various sectors with a passion for diversity, multiculturalism, and community empowerment through grassroots community development, policy planning and research in the Government of Manitoba, journalism (CBC Manitoba, Winnipeg Free Press), and co-founding the Canadian Muslim Leadership Institute. Previously, Nadia was Chair of the Manitoba Women’s Advisory Council, advising the Minister Responsible for the Status of Women, and council member of Immigration Partnership Winnipeg.

Currently Nadia is a journalist and radio host with CBC Manitoba.

Most importantly, she is the mother of 2 young boys and therefore well versed in Star Wars, Minecraft and other equally important cultural phenomena.

WORKSHOP LEADS

Laurie Cook

Laurie Cook

Director, Strategic Development and Custom Learning, Community Sector Council of Nova Scotia

Biography

Laurie Cook has had a varied career in journalism, film and television and now community development. She has worked as a community developer with the city of Halifax, and now works as Teawith the United Way Halifax on a project to strengthen neighbourhood hubs and increase their number. She is also co-founder of several community organizations in Musquodoboit Harbour including the re-development of an old school into a hub.
Kaitlin Lauridsen

Kaitlin Lauridsen

Senior Consultant, Centre for Race and Culture

Biography

Kaitlin is an educator with the Centre for Race and Culture. A passionate, young facilitator, Kaitlin is dedicated to asking the uncomfortable questions and encouraging her audiences to dig deeper and get curious. Kaitlin completed her Master’s in Public Health where her researched examined racism as a determinant of health. She continues her anti-racism work through a social determinants lens.
Sahar Ibrahim

Sahar Ibrahim

Educator and Project Administrator, Centre for Race and Culture

Biography

Sahar recently joined the Centre for Race and Culture as an Educator and Project Administrator after completing her B.A. in Medical Anthropology focusing on mental health and social wellness. Sahar is also one of Canadian Roots Exchange’s Youth Reconciliation Initiative (YRI) Leaders, and works with a team to create and facilitate spaces that aim to build bridges between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth. Sahar is a young, racialized woman.
Seth Leon

Seth Leon

Manager of co-operative services, Alberta Community and Co-operative Association

Biography

Seth Leon is the manager of co-operative services at the Alberta Community and Co-operative Association. He volunteers in his community as a volunteer tool librarian, and as a board member for Calgary Can. He is waiting patiently for the Montreal Canadiens to win their 25th Stanley Cup.
Colin Rioux

Colin Rioux

Director, Alberta Solar Co-op

Biography

Energy professional focusing on sustainable energy solutions

As a registered Professional Engineer with the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of Alberta (APEGA), Colin Rioux’s career started in natural gas production and business development with EnCana Corporation (formerly PanCanadian) in Drumheller, Alberta, and progressed to reserves and M&A evaluations on Canadian deep basin assets.

Liora Sobel

Liora Sobel

Social Enterprise Director and Founder , All About Kindness

Biography

Liora Sobel is the Social Enterprise Director and founder of ‘All About Kindness’, a social enterprise aimed at improving access to equitable employment opportunities for mothers, while improving the improving women’s experiences through life stages cycle. Liora brings over 10 years of management experience in not-for-profit organizations serving women and children and is a current board member of a VAW organization in Toronto, ON.

Maritza Sanchez

Maritza Sanchez

Executive Director, Jessie's - The June Callwood Centre for Young Women

Biography

Maritza Sanchez has worked for Jessie’s Centre for the past 20 years and is the current Executive Director. Her passion for leading this innovative organization and making changes to improve women’s access to equitable work, while parenting, stems from the challenges she faced as teen mother and her ambition and unfailing determination to be a great parent and devoted employee.

Jeff Loomis

Jeff Loomis

Executive Director, Momentum

Biography

Jeff Loomis is the Executive Director with Momentum, a Community Economic Development (CED) Organization in Calgary. Momentum partners with people living on low-incomes to develop sustainable livelihoods and works to develop local economies with opportunities for all. He serves in a number of volunteer capacities, including as a Board member of Prosper Canada and Vibrant Communities Calgary.

Bronwyn Oatley

Bronwyn Oatley

Associate Consultant , Eco-Ethonomics

Biography

Bronwyn is an Associate Consultant with Eco-Ethonomics, a top Canadian social innovation consulting firm. Formerly, she served as a Policy Advisor to the Social Enterprise Branch within Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development and Growth. Prior, Bronwyn served as a Senior Associate at the MaRS Discovery District, Canada’s largest urban innovation hub.
Ryan Turnbull

Ryan Turnbull

President, Eco-Ethonomics Inc.

Biography

Ryan founded Eco-Ethonomics in 2008 with the vision of transforming the economy by bringing social responsibility, impact and innovation to business, organizations, government and communities. Since that time, Ryan has consulted on over 250 projects with partners in the non-profit, for-profit and social enterprise sectors. Ryan holds a M.A. and B.A. in philosophy from Carleton University.
Carla Leon

Carla Leon

Manager, New Initiatives for EDGE

Biography

Carla Leon is the Manager of New Initiatives for EDGE – A Network for Ministry Renewal & Development within The United Church of Canada. EDGE works to spur innovation and impact within the network of United Churches across Canada, including through stimulating social innovation and social enterprise activity. Carla is the President and CEO of Small Business Solver, a enterprise that supports small business owners to grow their businesses.
Stephanie Jackman

Stephanie Jackman

President and Founder, REAP Business Association

Biography

With a vision to create a greener local economy, Stephanie Jackman founded REAP Business Association in 2008. Today this network of 150 Calgary businesses represents $21 billion in revenue and 8,300 jobs. Together they are localizing procurement and using business as a force for change. REAP has received extensive recognition for its innovative approach to local economic development and its self-financing business model.
Chad Zelensky

Chad Zelensky

Owner, Lowen's Skincare

Biography

Chad Zelensky is the Creative Mastermind behind Lowen’s Skincare – a Calgary based niche cosmetic company. The company got its start when Chad, who happens to be a pharmacist with a pharmaceutical compounding background, devised a 100% natural diaper balm for his daughter Lowen to treat her persistent rash. The product line has expanded since, always keeping clean, healthy ingredients at the forefront of each formulation.
Louisa Ferrel

Louisa Ferrel

Co-owner, True Buch

Biography

Louisa Ferrel is the co-owner of True Buch, a Calgary-based kombucha company. Having lived the corporate life for over a decade, and gained many valuable life skills, Louisa is now working to build a socially responsible company and learning so much more along the way. Louisa is a strong believer in collaborating with other like-minded local businesses and is a passionate advocate for the Sunnyside community.
Megan Solamillo

Megan Solamillo

Community Social Worker, City of Calgary

Biography

Megan Solamillo, community social worker (CSW), City of Calgary, supports the CSW program’s CED plan for place based poverty reduction in targeted neighbourhoods. She has her BSW from the University of Western Ontario and MSW specializing in International and Community Development from the University of Calgary. Megan is not only passionate about CED in her work but also lives in Co-op housing and serves on her Co-op housing board.
Courtney Robertson

Courtney Robertson

Community social worker, City of Calgary

Biography

Courtney Robertson, community social worker (CSW), City of Calgary, has led the development of the CSW program’s CED plan for place-based poverty reduction in targeted neighbourhoods. Courtney holds a BA in development studies, a BSW and an MSW all from the University of Calgary. She also completed the Simon Fraser University CED program. Courtney serves as a board member for CommunityWise Resource Centre and Calgary Scope Society.
Philip Lozano

Philip Lozano

Thrive Community Economic Development Coordinator, Momentum

Biography

Phillip Lozano is passionate about connections and the surfacing of local knowledge, abilities, assets and resources within a community to create financial and social impact. Philip works with Thrive, where he has been partnering with community champions, entrepreneurs and local economy leaders around Calgary to catalyze place-based business ideas that build a resilient and inclusive economy for all. In a nutshell, he works with people who love their neighbourhood and want to utilize business to create more happiness. Philip believes the success of any sustainable enterprise is rooted in authenticity and knowing your true and total impact.
Brooks Hanewich

Brooks Hanewich

Co-founder of MatchWork and the current Executive Director of Gateway Association

Biography

Brooks is a co-founder of MatchWork and the current Executive Director of Gateway Association. He has worked in the social sector for over ten years focusing on employment services, business development, innovation and social enterprise. He is currently completing his MBA in Community Economic Development from Cape Breton University.
Karen McDonald

Karen McDonald

Co-founder of MatchWork and Executive Director at the Sage Seniors Association

Biography

Karen is a co-founder of MatchWork and Executive Director at the Sage Seniors Association. She recently completed her MBA at the University of Alberta and has worked on several social enterprise startup projects. Karen was recognized in 2011 by Avenue Magazine as a Top 40 Under 40 in recognition of her professional and volunteer work in the community.
Kenya Kondo

Kenya Kondo

Co-founder of MatchWork, founder of GetNeighbour.com and co-founder of MyNewly.com

Biography

Kenya is a co-founder of MatchWork and founder of the peer to peer marketplace GetNeighbour.com and co-founder of MyNewly.com. He currently is the Director of Tech Ecosystem and Industry Development at AEC. Kenya attained his MBA from Cornell University in 2015 and his BSc. in Math & Physics from the University of Alberta in 2005.
Stacey Gellatly

Stacey Gellatly

Director of Economic Development Programs, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade

Biography

Stacey Gellatly is the Director of Economic Development Programs at the Ministry of Economic Development and Trade. She oversees three new funding programs announced through the Alberta Jobs Plan in 2016: the Alberta Investor Tax Credit (AITC), the Capital Investment Tax Credit (CITC), and the Community and Regional Economic Support Program (CARES). These programs encourage investors to provide entrepreneurs with greater access to the capital they need to innovate and expand, encourage timely large-scale capital investments, and assist regions and communities in attracting investment, supporting industries that provide diversification, and improving local business environments. Together they aim to encourage investment, support diversification, and create  jobs.
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