Changing Culture in Today’s Businesses

Brad CluteDenise HearnJanet AnnesleyNeil Camarta
Regional Sustainability and Community Investment Coordinator, Mountain Equipment Co-opHead of Business Development, Variant Perception ResearchSenior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Husky EnergyPresident and CEO, Field Upgrading
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Capitalism is the greatest system in history to lift people out of poverty and create wealth. However, our modern version of capitalism is stifling innovation and prosperity for all.
Hear from Denise Hearn on today’s challenges with competition, innovation and market freedom for all. What needs to change within the culture of today’s businesses to promote a capitalism that works for the majority, not the few? Then join Brad Clute from MEC, Janet Annesley from Husky Energy, and Neil Camarta of Field Upgrading as they respond to Denise on the changes taking place and the changes still to come.


Transforming Problems into Opportunities

Apoorv SinhaKelcie Miller-Anderson
CEO, Carbon Upcycling Technologies Inc.Founder, MycoRemedy
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The world is facing unprecedented environmental challenges.  Climate change, pollution, and environmental degradation all seem like daunting tasks.  What if we could pivot these problems into opportunities? Can we enrich the soul of the next economy by investing in technologies to accomplish this pivot? There are two visionary Alberta entrepreneurs who answer these essential questions with a resounding yes. 

Apoorv Sinha is founder of Carbon Upcycling Technologies, which is piloting a novel
process to combine carbon dioxide with hydrocarbon waste – fly ash from coal power,
raw coal, graphite, or petroleum coke from the oil sands – into a portfolio of highly useful nano-materials. CO2 no longer needs to be a dirty word.

Kelcie Miller-Anderson created MycoRemedy to deploy fungal systems to restore contaminated soil both cheaply and without toxic residues. Mother Nature now has a powerful ally to return her land in good health.

Innovation in Development

Roman Katsnelson Abe Brown Stephanie Jackman
Principal & Consultant, KRD Consulting GroupExecutive Director, Inn from the ColdFounder & Board Chair, REAP Business Association
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Development is defined as the process of economic and social transformation that is based on complex cultural and environmental factors and their interactions. Better communities often emerge and develop due to collaborative initiatives and innovative solutions. Our presenters will share some innovative ideas that leverage Collaboration, Integration of Social and Market Approaches, and Impact Evaluation.

Abe Brown is leading a collaborative for ending child and family homelessness, and will share some ground-breaking work Inn from the Cold is currently doing in support of ending child and family homelessness.

Stephanie Jackman will share her experience of innovative adaptation of procurement processes which offers new levers for creating an economy that works for all.

Roman Katsnelson will speak about how social economic organizations – whether private, public or third sector – work in contexts of complexity, where strategies have to be adaptive and impact is emergent. Responsive evaluation approaches that go beyond the bottom-line help to learn from the impact the organizations are making.

A Dish, a Spoon and the Soul of the Next Economy

Robert Watts
VP Indigenous Relations, Nuclear Waste Management Organization
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Within the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s (TRC) set of 94 recommendations released in their 2015 report, Recommendation 92 called for the business community to engage in meaningful consultation with Indigenous people, long-term sustainable economic development partnerships, and education for managers and staff on the history of Indigenous people, intercultural competency, human rights, and anti-racism.
How can business meaningfully engage with indigenous communities and businesses? How might partnerships be established that bring lasting value to all parties?

Bob will focus on lessons learned from projects in Canada, and propose some ways of thinking and interacting based on Indigenous thought and other best practices which may inform the ingredients for the foundation of the next economy.

Sustainable Development Goals for All

Steve Rickard Yvonne Jeffery Mel Wilson Ed Temple
Former District Governor, Former RAGM President, Rotary 5360Manager, Communications, Community Investment & Sustainability Vermilion Energy Inc.President,
M.J. Wilson & Associates Inc.
Associate Partner,
Tricon Solutions
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After several years in the making, the United Nations released Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in September 2015. Since then many governments, not for profits, businesses, and academic institutions around the world have begun collaborating and working on plans to achieve the goals by 2030.

In this session our panellists will talk about how Canadian businesses and other organizations can align their sustainability strategies with the SDGs. We will also discuss how the SDGs provide a common vocabulary across sectors, opening up opportunities for collaboration between players in different sectors. Finally, we will discuss opportunities for local sustainability and CSR practitioners to get involved in making the SDGs a reality.

Panellists will include Steve Rickard of Rotary, Yvonne Jeffery of Vermilion Energy, and Mel Wilson of MJ Wilson Inc. Ed Temple of Tricon Solutions will be the session moderator.

Community Innovation Challenge

(formerly Lion’s Den)


Neil Camarta is the founder of a technology start-up company in Calgary focused on finding “cheaper and cleaner” ways of producing energy. Neil also sits on several boards, including the FSHD Canada Foundation, which he founded.
Neil holds a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Alberta.

Ms. Annesley joined Husky as Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs in May 2017 and is responsible for the development of Husky’s strategies and engagement approach with internal and external business stakeholders on sensitive or high profile issues having potential for significant strategic business and reputation impact. She is also responsible for developing relationships and communicating corporate initiatives to investors, governments, Aboriginal communities, stakeholders, and employees in a transparent and effective manner. Prior to joining Husky, Janet was Chief of Staff to Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources in Ottawa. From 1999 to 2009 she worked at Shell in a variety of Corporate, Downstream and Oil Sands communications, stakeholder engagement and government relations roles. She also served as Vice President of Communications at the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, which represents Canada’s upstream oil and gas industry.

Ms. Annesley holds a Bachelor of Applied Communications degree from Mount Royal College, and Masters of Business Administration degrees from Queen’s University and Cornell University. Ms. Annesley is an Accredited Business Communicator and Gold Quill Award winner with the International Association of Business Communicators. She has served on a number of Calgary-area not-for-profit boards, including the Calgary Elizabeth Fry Society, the Calgary Counselling Centre and the Friends of Kananaskis.

Denise Hearn has always been interested in human flourishing. She has managed a variety of projects in this vein including: building new impact investment models in Canada, presenting to over 50,000 people while designing nationwide educational curriculum, and helping to create the world’s first Trustmark for Sharing Economy companies in the UK.

To better understand the systematic drivers of inequality, Denise participated in the Alt/Now: Economic Inequality residency program at the Banff Centre. She is now co-authoring The Myth of Capitalism: Monopolies and the Death of Competition, which looks at inequality and worker's rights through the lens of industrial concentration.

Currently, Denise is Head of Business Development at Variant Perception - a global macroeconomic research and investment strategy firm. She has an MBA from the Oxford Saïd Business School, where she co-chaired the Social Impact Oxford Business Network, and a BA in International Studies from Baylor University. Denise resides in Seattle with her husband.

Brad Clute is Mountain Equipment Co-op’s Regional Community Investment and Sustainability Coordinator for Western Canada. Under Brad’s leadership MEC sustainability programs have won numerous awards including a provincial Emerald Award and a Calgary Award both for corporate environmental achievement, as well as a Better Business Bureau Ethics Award. Their sustainability and community investment programs are an example of how businesses can both prosper and have a positive impact on the community and the planet.

Along with regularly serving on advisory committees for both government and the non-profit sector, Brad is currently board chair of the Alberta Council for Environmental Education, past president of the Calgary Area Outdoor Council and a founding member of the Outdoor Recreation Coalition of Alberta.

Brad believes that business, when done ethically, can be a powerful tool for positive change in the community, and he’s dedicated to proving it.

Kelcie Miller-Anderson is an innovator and social entrepreneur based in Calgary. She currently splits her time speaking to future leaders and on her environmental startup, MycoRemedy.

One of her very first words was “Why” and since the day she asked her first question she hasnt stopped. She is passionately curious and loves to use science and innovation to solve big problems. An acclaimed innovator and social entrepreneur, Kelcie started her research into developing novel remediation methods for the Alberta Oil Sands at just 15 and by 21 she had founded her first company, MycoRemedy.

She is a dedicated envrionmentalist and fierce industry advocate, with her sights set on changing the way the world remediates. Kelcie has been recognized several times as an up and coming leader in both oil and gas and sustainability as well as receiving numerous awards for her work as an environmentalist, innovator, and scientist. She is one of Canadas Top 20 Under 20, Next 36, and a Manning Youth Innovation award winner.

Passionate about creating change, she believes one of the best ways to create the largest impact is by empowering the next generation of changemakers. She aims to encourage the next generation to treat their age as an advantage and embrace their curious side.

Apoorv is a chemical engineer working in the field of CO2 utilization and advanced materials through Carbon Upcycling Technologies (CUT). Apoorv is also involved in managing the research initiatives at Zerocor Technologies, a Calgary-based oilfield technology company. Apoorv has been named as a Clean 50 Emerging Leader and has participated in various ventures, like the Energy Futures Lab, Alberta Cleantech Innovation Alliance, etc.

Stephanie Jackman will share about how social procurement leverages existing purchasing power to increase community benefits, which can include local economic development, targeted employment or training of marginalized people, and environmental benefits. This innovative adaptation of procurement processes offers new levers for creating an economy that works for all.

REAP was started by Stephanie Jackman in 2006. A marketer by trade, Stephanie had a deep desire to tell the stories of Calgary's most progressive organizations to create demand for better ways of doing business. By showing the way forward, she believed that REAP could lead the movement to green and localize our economy. Today REAP is a community of 150 businesses that collectively represent $21 billion in revenue, 4300 Calgary area jobs, $15 million in donations to local charities, and millions of tonnes of waste and CO2 diverted each year.

Stephanie’s work in pioneering a more sustainable economy has been recognized by Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40, Calgary Herald’s 20 Compelling Calgarians, Pathways2Sustainability Leader in Commerce, imagineCALGARY’s Partner in Action, and the Calgary Nonprofit Innovation Award.

Abe Brown will speak about innovative and collaborative strategies for ending child and family homelessness, and will share some ground-breaking work Inn from the Cold is currently doing in support of ending child and family homelessness.


Abe Brown is the Executive Director of Inn from the Cold, the only 24/7 Emergency Shelter for families in Alberta. Inn from the Cold has consistently been named one of the Top 10 Charities in Canada by Charity Intelligence and has a vision where no child or family will be homeless in our community.  Abe is passionate about transforming outcomes for marginalized and vulnerable populations.

Roman Katsnelson will speak about how social economic organizations – whether private, public or third sector – work in contexts of complexity, and where strategies have to be adaptive and impact is emergent. CSR efforts and non-profit programs alike need responsive evaluation approaches that go beyond the bottom-line to help them learn from the impact they’re making.


As a founder of KRD, an Organizational Development consultancy in Calgary, Roman has provided collective efficacy supports to clients in the non-profit, public and private sectors for over 10 years. Prior to consulting, he held senior leadership positions in the IT, education, human services and community development sectors across the United States and Canada. Roman earned a summa cum laude degree in Philosophy in his 20s, and an MBA in Community Economic Development in his 30s. He is fascinated by the richness of what we humans get up to, and loves consulting work for the opportunity it affords him to put his skills in service of a diversity of missions and ideas. Roman is a student of Servant Leadership, Dialogic Organizational Development, and Learning-focused Evaluation. His commitment is to using collective learning to achieve transformation through every project.

A graduate of the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, and fellow at the Harvard Law School, Robert Watts has been involved in Indigenous issues for more than 30 years. He is adjunct professor and Distinguished Fellow at Queens University in the School of Policy Studies. He is also the Vice President of Indigenous Relations at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization. In addition, he advises corporations and governments on reconciliation and Indigenous strategy. Previously, he was Chief of Staff and Chief Executive Officer for the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) and Interim Executive Director of the Canada’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission. A former public servant he was an Assistant Deputy Minister with the federal government and senior executive with the province of Ontario. He has taught, debated and lectured at a number of universities in Canada and the United States. Robert is of Mohawk and Ojibway ancestry and resides at the Six Nations Reserve.

He is adjunct professor and Distinguished Fellow at Queens University in the School of Policy Studies.
He is also the Vice President of Indigenous Relations at the Nuclear Waste Management Organization.

Ed leads Tricon’s People & Culture business line. Ed is an Executive Coach and Coach Trainer who brings focus on developing leaders and teams for success in the midst of high demands and challenging environments. With a focus on expanding leadership capacity, entrepreneurial creativity, strategic thinking and change management Ed has trained hundreds of leaders. Ed has helped businesses of many sizes align their business offerings and strategies to their values and purpose.

Ed has an MA, is a Professional Certified Coach (PCC) and a Certified Executive Coach (CEC). He has provided executive coaching and strategic planning for Rogers Communications, TD Bank, Brookfield, Trican, and many other companies across a broad range of industries. He has a proven ability to successfully coach leaders to assess an organization’s critical mission requirements, identify deficiencies and potential opportunities, and develop innovative and cost- effective solutions for achieving corporate goals, on budget and with high customer satisfaction.

Mel Wilson, PhD is President of MJ Wilson Inc., based in Calgary. He has over 25 years experience in environment, health & safety and corporate sustainability management and auditing.  He is a former partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, where he led the firm's Sustainable Business Solutions practice. He has led or advised on hundreds of sustainability projects for large and small clients across multiple industries and government and in multiple jurisdictions. He continues to provide consulting and auditing services to key clients as well as leading the Calgary SDG Network, a dynamic group of 100+ Alberta-based sustainability professionals interested in supporting the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Yvonne is a strong advocate for the UN Sustainable Development Goals in their mission to create a world that is healthy and safe for all life. She leads sustainability for Vermilion Energy Inc., a culmination of roles throughout her career with a strong focus on care for communities. She credits her work as a Canadian army peacekeeper in Cambodia with sparking a lifelong inquiry into multi-sector collaboration. Creating shared value and purpose is the foundation of her approach, which she leverages in her advisory roles with organizations and events such as Soul of the Next Economy Forum and the annual Together symposium on the SDGs. Yvonne holds an MSc in Sustainability and Responsibility, a Graduate Certificate in Corporate Social Responsibility, and a BA in English and Management. She has also authored/co-authored several books, including Green Living For Dummies and the Everything Home Fix-It Book.

For over 30 years Rotarian Steve Rickard has been engaged in alleviating hunger, having founded the Calgary Microcredit Conference, served as chairman in the raising of millions of dollars for microcredit projects and he became the Chair Emeritus of the Rotarian Action Group for Microfinance and Community Development. Steve was president of his Calgary West Rotary club in 2000 and he became the District Governor in 2005 (Rotary's Centennial year).

Steve began his career as a real estate appraiser in 1979 and sold his company when he retired in 2012. During that time, he became an Accredited Real Estate Appraiser specializing in property tax agency and a Chartered Arbitrator in matters relating to real estate.

Steve married Marie in 1975 and they live in Calgary, as do their three kids and their respective five grandchildren.

Steve subscribes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals and is passionate about overcoming extreme poverty by 2030.