Sessions will include topics such as: Poverty in Canada, incorporating the global SDGs into business strategy, international development best practices, corporate governance and CSR, collaboration with First Nations, social impact investing, faith communities and social entrepreneurship, research corner, collective impact in action, creating resilient organization, B Corps, now is the time for CSR panel and more.

You will have the opportunity to pre-register for your sessions in September.

Additional information will continue to be added below.

Better business - better world means better business - strengthening businesses through innovative and strategic social responsibility

CSR Panel - Business with Purpose
Struggling economy, new governments, natural disasters, international conflict and other big changes. Why is NOW the time for Calgary businesses to engage in strategic and innovative social responsibility?
Houston Peschl
Houston Peschl is an instructor at the Haskayne School of Business and co-founder of Creating Eudaimonia, a leading sustainability consulting firm. He works with CSR leaders and businesses to scale their businesses profitably while embedding sustainability into business models.


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As COO of Strategic Group, Randy Ferguson focuses on property management, construction, leasing, marketing and value-added services. Randy was recognized by Venture Magazine as one of Alberta’s most influential people in 2002. Randy has served on a number of charitable and business associations, committees and boards, including as an advisor for the Haskayne School of Business.

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A socially conscious energy executive with a passion for renewables and clean tech, Carolyn Martin is a graduate of Stanford University Graduate School of Business (Executive Program in Social Entrepreneurship) and currently leads Sponsor Energy – an electricity and natural gas retailer powering homes and businesses by empowering communities.

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Harry joined Black Diamond Group in 2007 and has been instrumental in the overall growth of the Company in Canada, as well as entry into the United States and Australia. Harry is responsible for the Australia operations, and International initiatives.
Evolution of CSR: the B Corp Movement
Today, businesses cannot succeed in a world that is failing - it is in their best interest to ensure that social and environmental challenges are addressed and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a vehicle for companies to address these social and environmental challenges!
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Craig Ryan is the Director of Corporate Social Responsibility at Business Development Bank of Canada, the only bank in Canada dedicated exclusively to entrepreneurs. He leads its efforts to promote social entrepreneurship, as well as its choices of responsible policies and practices to meet strategic objectives. He holds a Master’s in Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School and is a guest lecturer at McGill University’s Desautels Faculty of Management.




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Tom Redl is the President & CEO at CHANDOS Construction, a market leader in the provision of value-added construction solutions out of Edmonton. Tom is involved in several community initiatives, serves as an instructor in U of A’s school of business and has a client-focused vision for CHANDOS that considers both internal and external partners.
How can Companies Succeed by Helping the World Not to Fail?
Today, businesses cannot succeed in a world that is failing - it is in their best interest to ensure that social and environmental challenges are addressed and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are a vehicle for companies to address these social and environmental challenges!
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Global Compact Network Canada - Helle Bank Jorgensen is the president of Global Compact Network Canada and is a globally recognized expert on how to combine sustainable development and successful business. She is a Board Facilitator for the UN Global Compact Board Program and is the CEO & Founder of B.Accountability and the chair of eRevalue.
What do the Global SDGs Mean for Alberta Organizations?
What would it look like if Alberta were to formally adopt the United Nations sustainable development goals as a sustainability framework? Imagine government, non-profits and business all using the same framework to measure our social, environmental and economic performance.
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Mel Wilson is an experienced corporate sustainability professional with a long and proven track record as an innovative problem solver, capable project manager and effective team leader. Over the course of his 20+ year career, Mel has led, managed or advised on hundreds of sustainability and risk related projects for leading companies across many industries, including oil and gas, electricity, mining and metals, retail, agri-business, as well as municipal, provincial, and federal governments. Mel has written numerous thought pieces on the Sustainable Development Goals and the role of government, business and civil society in their implementation. He will be the moderator for this panel session.


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Katherine van Koy has led the Calgary Chamber of Voluntary Organizations (CCVO) since its inception in 2003. CCVO promotes and strengthens the nonprofit and voluntary sector in Calgary and beyond by developing and sharing resources and knowledge, building connections, leading collaborative work, and providing leadership on critical issues affecting the sector.

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Alex MacWilliam is a Partner and the Leader of the Canada Environment and Climate Change Practice Groups at Dentons LLP, the world’s largest law firm, and the Chair of the Alberta Environmental Appeals Board. He advises Canadian and international clients on all environmental issues including sustainable development, compliance and regulatory matters.

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Court Ellingson joined Calgary Economic Development in 2014 and is their VP of Research and Strategy. He works with government, non-profit and the private sector on the implementation of Building on our Energy: The 10-year Economic Strategy for Calgary. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and in 2008 to 2014 he has worked in community economic development as a Sr. Consultant with Millier Dickinson Blais (currently MDB Insight).

Collaboration & engagement - social impact through forward thinking multi-sector collaboration and engagement

The Impact of Impact Investing
How do you measure the impact of the three pillars of responsible investing: Environment, Societal and Governance?
Patti Dolan
Patti Dolan is a Portfolio Manager with Dolan Wealth Management | Raymond James. Her area of expertise is in responsible investing, and analyzes companies by their financial stability, the economy, and how they company is treating the environment, their societal impact, and how they govern themselves. Patti will be the moderator for this session

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Lorraine Becker is the Executive Director for Canadian Coalition for Green Finance.
After 20 years in the oil and gas industry, Lorraine is an “environmentalist” turned “accidental capitalist”, working to help businesses solve environmental problems in such regions as the North Sea, South America, Azerbaijan and Kazakstan. She is a founding member of the Alberta Association for Conservation Offsets, and an expert on environmental policy and sustainability.

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Stephanie Robertson
is the CEO & Founder of SiMPACT Strategy Group. She is a social entrepreneur and thought-leader in social impact measurement and valuation. As founder and CEO of SiMPACT Strategy Group Inc (SiMPACT), Stephanie is involved in a wide variety of impact measurement and social performance valuation initiatives in the private, public and social profit sectors.

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Michael Robinson is an associate professor of finance at the University of Calgary. Dr. Robinson teaches investments, portfolio management, new venture finance, and corporate governance to undergraduate, MBA, Executive MBA, and executive education students.
Using Strategic Mapping to Drive Toward Collective Impact
Join a community roundtable on designing a collective impact initiative directed at early learning & childcare as it relates to poverty reduction. Learn about using a strategic mapping process to support collective impact development, and learn more about poverty reduction efforts in Calgary.
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Jill Andres is a changemaker in residence at MRU's Institute for Community Prosperity. She is also the founder and principal of Creating Value.




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Sarelle Azuelos is a Social Issues Coordinator at the Women's Centre.




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Janet Eremenko is a Community Facilitation & Engagement Specialist at Vibrant Communities Calgary.


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Blythe Butler is a network weaver at First 2000 Days.
Bridging the Gap Between Aboriginal and Mainstream Businesses
What does the Truth and Reconciliation Commission mean for Calgary businesses? How can mainstream Calgary businesses engage more effectively with their Aboriginal business colleagues? Learn from a community member involved with the TRC and a local Aboriginal entrepreneur.
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Colby Delorme is the President of The Imagination Group. An entrepreneur since the age of 18, he created and operated two successful companies before the age of 21 and joined The Imagination Group of Companies in 2002.

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Sandra Sutter, a Cree Metis woman from the Prairies, is the Aboriginal Partnerships Manager for Tarpon Energy Services and CGT Industrial and the Executive Director for the Circle for Aboriginal Relations (CFAR) Society. She has been involved in the financial, utility, non-profit, accounting and oil and gas sectors in her professional and volunteer life since moving to Calgary in 1988. Sandra is a life long learner with a deep passion for Indigenous community.

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Wilton Littlechild, Ph.D., is a Cree chief, residential school survivor, and lawyer who has worked both nationally and internationally including with the United Nations to advance Indigenous rights and Treaties. He has also – through leadership with the Truth and Reconciliation Commission – raised awareness of former Canadian policies that decimated the livelihood and culture of Indigenous Canadians.
Collaboration is Effective and Messy!
Managing business in an economic downturn, ending poverty and ending homelessness are complex issues.  There is lack of consensus and certainty in achieving intended results.  It takes a broad cross-section of stakeholders to work together to achieve the agreed upon goals. Come to hear about some examples in business and social sector and learning in the process and share your experiences in Calgary and area.
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Diana Krecsy (RN, BN, M. Ed) joined the Calgary Homeless Foundation as President and CEO in May 2014. Diana has more than 20 years of leadership experience, spanning health services, non-profits and academia. Diana's prior roles include having served as CEO of the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Alberta, NWT and Nunavut, CEO of the Calgary Drug Treatment Court Society and having been a Tenured nurse educator at Mount Royal University (formerly MRC). She is currently an appointed member of the GOA Interagency Council on Housing and Homelessness and leads CHF as a partner in the RESOLVE Campaign. Diana will be the moderator for this panel.

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Chad Zelensky (BSP, MBA) is a creative mastermind and chief mixologist behind Calgary-based Lowen's Nature Skincare, a cosmetic company specializing in using locally sourced, evidence based ingredients to manufacture unique and effective products.

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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.
Human Centered Design for Social Impact
This hands on Acumen session will introduce you to the concepts of human-centered design and how this approach can be used to create innovative, effective, and sustainable solutions for social change. This course has been created to reach those who are brand new to human-centered design, so no prior experience required.
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Danielle Gibbie has an innate curiosity for using the power of business to address complex social challenges and create sustainable change. She also works for an organization called Acumen. Danielle is the General Manager for the D. Keith MacDonald Foundation, a philanthropic fund that grants and makes impact investments to solutions that address the root causes of poverty in East Africa.

Danielle Carruthers
Danielle Carruthers is passionate about igniting entrepreneurial spirit for social good in changemakers around the world, and currently works for Acumen. Danielle is founder of theSedge.org, and co-founder of Changemakers Association, both online communities that teach social entrepreneurs how to design and grow innovative, financially sustainable and impactful initiatives.

Erin Poeta
Through her work for Acumen, Erin Poeta helps boards of directors make right decisions on executive pay and corporate governance, and supports boards as they engage with shareholders to address sensitive issues. Erin also works in the social enterprise space in a number of capacities including impact investing both locally and internationally.

Issues focus - social and development issues and business oriented solutions

Economic Development as a part of Community Development
Learn about building a stronger Calgary through economic development and best practices with respect to direct poverty alleviation in Canada. How do these approaches build upon each other?
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Court Ellingson is the vice president of Research and Strategy at Calgary Economic Development. He works with government, non-profit and the private sector on the implementation of Building on our Energy: The 10-year Economic Strategy for Calgary. He holds a Bachelor of Commerce degree and in 2008 to 2014 he has worked in community economic development as a Sr. Consultant with Millier Dickinson Blais (currently MDB Insight).

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Derek Cook has over twenty-five years of experience developing policy and programs and delivering services in the public and non-profit sectors. He is a registered social worker, was the Executive Director of the Calgary Poverty Reduction Initiative and is now the Director of the Canadian Poverty Institute at Ambrose University.
Ensuring the Future Prosperity of Alberta
This fishbowl-style discussion will invite the audience to join in the conversation with panelists from the Energy Futures Lab, a diverse group of leaders committed to transitioning to the energy system that the future requires. This session will explore pathways to securing a prosperous future for Alberta in a low carbon world.
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Matt Mayer is an Associate of The Natural Step Canada. He has worked with a wide array of clients in their efforts to take a strategic and stakeholder-centric approach to moving towards sustainability. He continues to contribute to the design and delivery of the Energy Futures Lab and is leading this in the recently announced Circular Economy Innovation Lab. Matt will be the moderator for this session.

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Apoorv Sinha is Co­-Founder of the logistics start­up TOHL (Tubing Operations for Humanitarian Logistics) and he is also leading the commercialization of various technologies in his capacity of Research Manager at zEroCor Tubulars, a Calgary­-based oilfield service company, and leads Carbon Upcycling, a startup focused on the production of carbon nano­particles from sequestered CO2.

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Dick Ebersohn is The City of Calgary’s Program Manager for Climate Change, which will provide strategic oversight and direction for climate change activities in Calgary.

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Justin Smith is Director of Policy at the Calgary Chamber of Commerce, and an enthusiastic policy wonk, particularly when it comes energy and finance.

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Luciano Dalla-Longa has over 25 years of business development, strategic planning, finance and accounting, tax, and regulatory experience in both the private and public sectors, most recently as Executive Director, Energy Business Development, Economic Development and Trade with the Government of Alberta.

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Daniel Clarke is Chief Executive Officer of CSV Midstream Solutions Corp, which has the objective of Creating Shared Value and sustainable development within the energy sector.
First, do no harm
Whether you are a business, NGO or an individual, involved in community development, we all want to help people. Sometimes though we inadvertently do harm. Learn more about common pitfalls and best practices when engaging in international development projects.
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Mark Crocker is the founder of Stopover. Mark Crocker practices in the field of Sustainable Community Development.

Mark trains people to work in a new culture and help alleviate poverty. For over 25 years he has trained 10s of thousands of volunteers to head overseas and make a difference.
Financial Inclusion & Development
Why is financial inclusion so important for development? Learn about global initiatives and a local project.

Angie Redecopp is a former corporate lawyer with Borden Ladner Gervais and development director with International Justice Mission Canada. Angie is now an associate professor at Ambrose University where she teaches in the business program and development studies minor. Angie will moderate this session and will be joined by representatives of international and local initiatives in the area of microfinance and social business.

Rogerio Oliveira
Rogério Olivereira is a social business entrepreneur and is the co-founder and country director of Yunus Social Business Brazil. Oliveira has 14 years of xperience in leading teams in the areas of product development, innovation, sales & marketing, general management and start-ups implementation with companies such as BRMALLS, Warner Bros., Johnson & Johnson, and Nestle.

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Joan Farkas is an Issue Strategist with the Economic Resiliency Portfolio for the City of Calgary in the Calgary Neighbourhoods business unit. She is the City Liaison to Vibrant Communities Calgary, supporting the implementation of “Enough for All, Calgary’s Poverty Reduction strategy. Joan is also a member of the Financial Empowerment Collaborative that is working to improve financial inclusion for all Calgarians.

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Ed Temple is the Director of Philanthropy (Alberta) for Opportunity International, a compassionate microfinance organization. Ed has served with an NGO in China working in Community Health Education, volunteered with the Homelessness Task Force and Changing the Face of Poverty groups in several cities, and assisted in the opening of extreme weather shelters in the cities of Burnaby and Kamloops in BC. Ed is passionate about the value and importance of creating access to banking tools so that the unbanked can work their way out of poverty with dignity and purpose transforming their lives and their communities.
Nothing About us Without us!
The input people most directly affected by solutions to an issue—those with lived experience—is critical in the development and implementation of effective solutions. For years, Poverty Talks! has provided valuable input on public policy matters, social issues and more recently, the implementation of Enough for All, Calgary’s poverty reduction strategy. Effective businesses engage their stakeholders in helping to solve service issues. Come to hear firsthand experiences, successes and challenges of ongoing meaningful engagement.
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Darrell Howard is a Community Facilitation and Engagement Specialist with Vibrant Communities Calgary. She works closely with Poverty Talks!, an advisory committee of Vibrant Communities Calgary’s Board of Directors. Poverty Talks! strives to raise awareness about poverty-related issues in our community and to ensure that those with lived experience meaningfully participate in social change efforts.

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TracyRay Lewis has a Bachelor's of English degree, however, is still a lifelong learner. She has been with Poverty Talks! for 3 years and is a Humanities 101 facilitator at ST. Mary’s University, an anti-poverty advocate and is an independent researcher on oppression topics.
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Nigel Kirk has been an voice for the homeless community for eight years, teaching Calgarians to "Rethink Homelessness." He focuses on Human Rights for those without housing and emphasizes that "Dignity should not be tied to a set of Keys." He has been serving as a member of Poverty Talks since 2010 and the Vibrant Communities Calgary Board of Directors since 2014.

Randy Pages is a peer outreach worker with Grateful or Dead and a member of the board for Aawear. Member of the client action committee at the CHF. And on the BPAC (bottle picker advisory committee) for Calgary Can. While spreading the word of harm reduction is never ending, Randy is never too busy to play some magic.