Keynote, PLenary & Workshop Speakers

FEATURED SPEAKERS

Tony Armstrong

Tony Armstrong

CEO, Locality

Biography

Plenary session “The Power of Community”

Wednesday, September 26

Tony joined Locality as CEO in July 2014. Locality helps communities improve peoples’ lives through community enterprise, community asset ownership and social action – campaigning for a ‘local by default’ approach to public services.

Previously Chief Executive of Living Streets (since 2008), the national charity for pedestrians, Tony has motivated people around the UK to take action to improve their local environments and local economies, campaigning for better quality streets, and has influenced policy to make walking safer and easier.

Before joining the third sector, Tony was a civil servant for 9 years and held a number of senior policy adviser roles in Government. He worked on neighbourhood regeneration and renewal and health improvement and was one of the original members of staff of the Government’s Neighbourhood Renewal Unit from 2001. He was responsible for national work on neighbourhood management, and health inequalities and the development of Local Strategic Partnerships.

Matthew Green

Matthew Green

City Councillor, Hamilton

Biography

Plenary session “Building a Fair Economy from the Ground Up”

Tuesday, September 25

Matthew Green was elected in 2014 to serve as Councillor for Ward 3 (Hamilton Centre) in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. He is the first Councillor of African-Canadian decent in Hamilton’s history.

Matthew is a graduate of Political Science from Acadia University. He continued his learning at McMaster University and has completed Executive Education courses in the Marshall Ganz course on Leadership, Organizing, and Action from the Harvard Kennedy School and Governance for Non Profits from the Harvard Business School. Since being elected he has given keynote speeches and attended panels for many organizations including the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, the Broadbent Institute, the Ontario Federation of Labour, Toronto District Labour Council, C.U.P.E Ontario and the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists.

Matthew has been awarded the inaugural Friends of Labour Award from Hamilton District Labour Council, a J.C. Holland Award from Hamilton’s Black History Committee, and a community appreciation award from the Hamilton Native Womens’ Centre.

As a City Councillor, Matthew’s advocacy has focussed on ecological, economic, and social justice. Matthew passed the Blue Dot Motion, making Hamilton the first city in Ontario to adopt an environmental bill of rights. Matthew’s advocacy opposing police carding and racial profiling had a direct impact on provincial policy resulting in more stringent regulations on how local police interact with our community. He is a strong advocate for affordable, dignified housing, actively supporting inclusionary zoning, and serves as Vice Chair and Treasurer for City Housing Hamilton. He fought for improved consumer protections for residents by taking on the payday loan industry’s predatory lending practices and made Hamilton the first Ontario City to licence payday loan outlets.

He currently lives in Ward 3, the community he serves, with his partner Jayde and his absolute purpose in life, his son Langston.

Maeva Vilain

Maeva Vilain

City Councillor, Montreal

Biography

Plenary session “Building a Fair Economy from the Ground Up”

Tuesday, September 25

Maeva Vilain is a city councillor in Jeanne Mance, one of the Plateau Mont-Royal districts in Montreal. Elected under the banner of Projet Montréal, she is on the team of Mayor Valérie Plante, who has been running the city since November 2017. Maeva sits on the Committee on Economic Development and Housing as well as that of the Inspector General.

She was the political attaché to the NDP MP Alexandre Boulerice from 2011 to 2017. She worked on safeguarding Canada Post and electoral reform. She has also been a journalist for Radio-Canada International, specializing in international news and the integration of newcomers to Canada.

Maeva was born and raised in Paris (France). She graduated from the Institute of Political Studies in Lille (France) and has a certificate in journalism from the University of Montreal. She immigrated to Montreal at the age of 23. She is the mother of two young children.

Matthew Brown

Matthew Brown

City Councillor, Preston (UK)

Biography

Plenary session “Building a Fair Economy from the Ground Up”

Tuesday, September 25

Councillor Matthew Brown is a leading voice of economic localism and community wealth building in the UK.

Since April 2018, Councillor Matthew Brown leads Preston’s City Council and represents the Tulketh ward. Prior to his election in 2002, he has had portfolios that include community engagement and inclusion, social justice and policy initiatives.

Matthew has been widely credited as the driving force behind the ‘Preston model’, an economic model that re-directs procurement from external suppliers to local producers as a response to central government funding cuts that have ravaged the city’s budgets since 2011. Recently, Matthew and the Preston model have gained traction with economists searching for alternative economic theory and practice. He has been featured in The Guardian, the Mirror and Ed Milliband’s live Reasons to be Cheerful event.

Matthew was recently named a Fellow of the Democracy Collaborative, a US-based research institute dedicated to developing new strategies for a more democratic economy.

Colette Murphy

Colette Murphy

Executive Director, Atkinson Foundation

Biography

Plenary session “Building a Fair Economy from the Ground Up”

Tuesday, September 25

For Colette Murphy, philanthropy has always been more about the power of people than the power of money to change the world.

A Canadian who was raised in the US, Colette cut her teeth as an activist working alongside refugees who found their way to Toronto in the 90s. Since then, she’s earned a North American reputation as a reliable ally, a tenacious advocate for social and economic justice, and a creative collaborator across traditional lines. Best known as an organizational capacity builder at United Way Toronto and a champion for inclusive local economies at the Metcalf Foundation, she has also worked behind-the-scenes on innovative poverty reduction, anti-racism and leadership development initiatives over the course of her career.

As the Executive Director of the 75-year old Atkinson Foundation, Colette focuses on strengthening movements for decent work, shared prosperity and democratic renewal. These efforts are inspired by the example set by Joseph Atkinson who knew poverty before he knew wealth as the publisher of Canada’s largest daily newspaper, the Toronto Star. To this day, the foundation’s public policy agenda and investment strategies reflect Mr. Atkinson’s deep personal concern for the lives and livelihoods of working people, and his pragmatic vision of a just society.

Colette and her partner David have two children, Celeste and Malachy. They live in a Toronto neighbourhood that has perfected the art of the street party.

Dale Prest

Dale Prest

Ecosystem Service Specialist, Community Forests International

Biography

Plenary session "A sustainable environment and an economy that works for all"

Tuesday, September 25

Dale works with Community Forests International to value the ecosystems services provided through good forestry. He has a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Dalhousie University and is finishing up a M.Sc at St. Francis Xavier University where he is investigating the long-term impact of clearcut harvesting on forest soil carbon storage in the Acadian Forest. Dale comes from Mooseland, NS, where he grew up logging in family owned woodlots.

Lois Corbett

Lois Corbett

Executive Director, Conservation Council of New Brunswick

Biography

Plenary session "A sustainable environment and an economy that works for all"

Tuesday, September 25

Lois recently returned home to NB, after 30 years away working on environmental policy elsewhere, to join Conservation Council of New Brunswick as Executive Director. Lois was most recently a Senior Policy Advisor to three Ministers of the Environment in Ontario since 2003 before establishing her own consulting practice. She was previously the Executive Director at the Toronto Environmental Alliance where she helped Toronto City Council adopt its progressive Smog Action Plan, ban the use of cosmetic pesticides, develop its Climate Change Action plan and its waste diversion plan, as well as amendments to its sewer use by-law and building permit process. At TEA Lois also successfully developed the campaign that saw provincial political parties’ commit to phase-out coal-fired electricity in Ontario.

Lois’ first job in the environmental movement was at the Conservation Council of New Brunswick in 1981 where she was employed as a summer student. She holds a Bachelor of Arts from Saint Thomas University in Fredericton, NB

SESSION LEADS

Rural scape