- “The Paris Agreement: Lessons for Canada” by Velma McColl, Earnscliffe Strategy Group
- “Is Oil a Dirty Word?” by Chad Park, The Natural Step Canada
- “Energy Transition: Why Prices Matter” by Nancy Olewiler, Simon Fraser University School of Public Policy
- “The Optimistic Environmentalist on the Renewable Energy Revolution” by David R. Boyd, author and environmental lawyer
- “A New How: Shifting Energy Futures Conversations” by Alex Ryan, Alberta CoLab
- “Daring Greatly to Shape our Future Together: An Indigenous Energy Perspective” by Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations
- “Change: Of Course…but Maybe” by Wal van Lierop, Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital
Velma McColl is a principal at Earnscliffe Strategy Group, where she works on a range of economic and social issues and specializes in energy, environment, and green technologies. She has worked collaboratively with businesses, academia, think tanks, non-profit organizations, and the public sector. Velma is a co-founder of both the Canadian Clean Technology Coalition and Women in GR, and she plays a leadership role with several organizations, including Sustainable Prosperity and the Ryan’s Well Foundation.
Chad Park is executive director of The Natural Step Canada and director of the Energy Futures Lab. The Alberta-based Energy Futures Lab is a multi-interest collaboration, bringing leaders together to identify, test, and scale initiatives that tackle climate change, energy security, and sustainable development. Chad has advised dozens of businesses and communities in Canada and internationally, including the Co-operators, Nike, Rio Tinto Alcan, and the Alberta Urban Municipalities Association. In 2012, he received the Clean 50 award, recognizing fifty individuals in Canada who have advanced the cause of sustainability and clean capitalism.
Nancy Olewiler is a professor at Simon Fraser University’s School of Public Policy , where she researches natural-resource and environmental economics. She has published in academic journals, written two widely used textbooks (The Economics of Natural Resource Use and Environmental Economics), and produced reports for Canadian federal and provincial governments. Nancy is a commissioner on Canada’s Ecofiscal Commission; a former member of the Climate Leadership Team in BC; a past board member of BC Hydro, Powertech, and TransLink; and a member of the National Statistics Council, where she also chairs the Macroeconomic Accounts Advisory Committee.
David R. Boyd is an environmental lawyer and expert on human rights and the environment. With Mayor Gregor Robertson, he co-chairs Vancouver’s drive to become the world’s greenest city by 2020 and 100 percent renewable by 2050. He was the executive director of Ecojustice, has argued cases before the Supreme Court of Canada, and has worked as a special advisor on sustainability for Prime Minister Paul Martin. David is the award-winning author of over 100 reports and articles on environmental law and policy as well as seven books, most recently The Optimistic Environmentalist: Progressing Toward a Greener Future.
Alex Ryan, a senior systems design advisor with the Government of Alberta, co-founded the Alberta CoLab and leads a cross-ministry design team to institutionalize systems thinking, design, and foresight within government policy and planning processes. The CoLab addresses issues such as energy strategy, integrated resource management, stakeholder engagement, social innovation, health-system transformation, and early childhood development. Alex previously taught operational and strategic design at the US School of Advanced Military Studies and helped institutionalize design within militaries in the US, Australia, and Canada. He is a co-founder of the Systemic Design Research Network and co-chair of the Relating Systems Thinking and Design Symposium.
Shawn A-in-chut Atleo, a hereditary chief from the Ahousaht First Nation, was elected in 2009 as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations, and re-elected in 2012. Previously, A-in-chut served two terms as regional chief for First Nations across British Columbia. He forged the historic Leadership Accord among First Nation leaders in BC and the Transformative Change Accord between First Nations and various levels of government. In 2008, A-in-chut was appointed chancellor of Vancouver Island University, and he is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Wal van Lierop is president and CEO of Chrysalix Energy Venture Capital and an energy-technology veteran. Since co-founding Chrysalix in 2001, Wal has sourced, invested in, and advised numerous start-ups building innovative solutions for the new energy economy. He founded or co-founded clean-energy organizations including New Ventures BC and SET Ventures in Amsterdam. He is a member of the Cleantech Group’s advisory board, leader of the BC Cleantech CEO Alliance, co-founder of the BC 2030 Tech-Hub initiative, a member of the Vancouver Greenest City Action Team, a frequent political advisor, and the author of several books and scientific articles.
The Walrus Talks is a national series of events produced by the charitable, non-profit Walrus Foundation as part of an educational mandate to provide forums for conversations on matters vital to Canadians.
Each event offers lively, thoughtful, inspiring, riveting, smart, new thinking from scientists, writers, performers, scholars, and leaders of business and the arts.