Keynote Speakers

David Suzuki

Dr. David Suzuki

David Suzuki Foundation

Dr. David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author, and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. He is Companion to the Order of Canada and a recipient of UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for science, the United Nations Environment Program medal, the 2012 Inamori Ethics Prize, the 2009 Right Livelihood Award, and UNEP’s Global 500. Dr. Suzuki is Professor Emeritus at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver and holds 29 honorary degrees from universities around the world. He is familiar to television audiences as host of the CBC science and natural history television series The Nature of Things, and to radio audiences as the original host of CBC Radio’s Quirks and Quarks, as well as the acclaimed series It’s a Matter of Survival and From Naked Ape to Superspecies. In 1990 he co-founded with Dr. Tara Cullis, The David Suzuki Foundation to “collaborate with Canadians from all walks of life including government and business, to conserve our environment and find solutions that will create a sustainable Canada through science-based research, education and policy work.” His written work includes more than 55 books, 19 of them for children. Dr. Suzuki lives with his wife and family in Vancouver, B.C.

Read more at the David Suzuki Foundation website.

A portrait head shot of Gregory A. Cajete​

Prof. Gregory Cajete

UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO, NATIVE AMERICAN STUDIES

Gregory Cajete is a Native American educator whose work is dedicated to honoring the foundations of Indigenous knowledge in education. He is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. He has pioneered reconciling indigenous perspectives in sciences with a Western academic setting. His focus is teaching “culturally based science, with its emphasis on health and wellness. He has served as a New Mexico Humanities scholar and as a member of the New Mexico Arts Commission. He worked at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, for twenty-one years, and is a is a practicing ceramic, pastel, and metal artist. He is the former Director of Native American Studies and currently a Professor in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico. 

Dr. Cajete is also a scholar of herbalism and holistic health. In this capacity, he has researched Native American, Chinese, and Ayurvedic healing philosophies and the cultural perspectives of health and wholeness. Dr. Cajete also designs culturally responsive curricula geared to the special needs and learning styles of Native American students. These curricula are based upon Native American understanding of the “nature of nature.” Dr. Cajete has also authored seven books which includes Look to the Mountain: An Ecology of Indigenous Education (1994) and Indigenous Community: Rekindling Teachings of the Seventh Fire (2015).

A portrait head shot of Una Chaudhuri​

Prof. Una Chaudhuri

NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, ENGLISH, DRAMA, ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES

Una Chaudhuri is a Collegiate Professor and Professor of English, Drama, and Environmental Studies at New York University. She is currently the Director of NYU’s XE: Experimental Humanities & Social Engagement. Her current research, teaching, and creative projects explore what she calls “ecospheric consciousness”: ideas, feelings, and practices that attend to the multi-species and geo-physical contexts of human lives. Una Chaudhuri is a pioneer in the field of “eco-theatre”—plays and performances that engage with the subjects of ecology and environment—as well as the related field of ecocriticism, which studies art and literature from an ecological perspective. Professor Chaudhuri was also among the first scholars of drama and theatre to engage with another rapidly expanding inter-disciplinary field, Animal Studies.

She has written and lectured widely on two concept she has theorized: “zooësis,” the discourse and representation of species in contemporary culture and performance, and “AnthropoScenes,” dramaturgies beyond the human. Professor Chaudhuri participates in collaborative art and research projects, including the on-going multi-platform Dear Climate, which has been featured in exhibitions in Dublin, New York (Storm King Arts Center), New York Public Library, Dumbo Art Festival), the Netherlands, Houston (Rice University).

A portrait head shot of Scott Frickel

Prof. Scott Frickle

BROWN UNIVERSITY, SOCIOLOGY

Scott Frickel is Professor of Sociology and the Institute for the Study of Environment and Society. He holds a Ph.D. from University of Wisconsin-Madison (2000). Before coming to Brown he held faculty appointments at Tulane University and Washington State University, where he was the Boeing Distinguished Professor of Environmental Sociology. His research and teaching interests center on the intersections of nature, knowledge, and politics. A growing feature of his current research involves developing new approaches for identifying and measuring socio-environmental change and developing theories to explain those patterns. He also studies inequality in science and technology and chemical residues as cultural, material, and political objects – both subjects of current book projects.

Professor Frickel is the author of five books, mostly recently with James R. Elliott, Sites Unseen: Uncovering Hidden Hazards in American Cities (Russell Sage Foundation and ASA Rose Series in Sociology, 2018) and an edited volume, with Matthew Albert and Barbara Prainsack, Investigating Interdisciplinary Collaboration: Theory and Practice across Disciplines (Rutgers University Press, 2016).

He is founding editor of the Nature, Society and Culture book series published by Rutgers University Press.

A portrait head shot of John Holmberg

Prof. John Holmberg

CHALMERS UNIVERSITY OF TECHNOLOGY, SPACE, EARTH AND ENVIRONMENT

John Holmberg is a professor of physical resource theory and he also holds Sweden’s first UNESCO chair in education for sustainable development. His background is in physics and in his doctoral dissertation he developed principles for a sustainable future, which received international dissemination through the Natural Step Foundation. His current research focuses on sustainability transitions and he is one of the founders of Chalmers Initiative for Innovation and Sustainability Transitions.

He founded the world’s first master’s programme in Industrial Ecology as well as the Challenge Lab, which won the GUPES Green Gown Award in 2016. Much of his time is devoted to more overall university development, for example, in the role of Vice President of Chalmers 2007-2016.

He has been an active advisor and expert at the international level, working with the United Nations headquarters in New York in the preparation of Agenda 2030, with UNESCO in Paris in the expert group for the decade of education for sustainable development and with the Swedish government in the Swedish Environmental Technology Council (Swentec) for instance. He has also advised various management groups in business and the public sector in sustainability transitions and is frequently invited to give presentations in the field.

Portrait head shot of Prof. Kent Moore

Prof. Kent Moore

UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO MISSISSAUGA, VICE PRINCIPAL, RESEARCH

Professor Kent Moore’s research is in Physics in UTM’s Department of Chemical & Physical Sciences. He focuses on investigating climate change and meteorology, using theoretical, computational, and observational techniques to understand the dynamics of the climate system so as to improve the ability to place currently observed changes to the climate in a long-term context. He is also an entrepreneur and has been involved in start-ups and investments.

Headshot of Erisilia Serafini

Ersilia Serafini

PRESIDENT OF SUMMERHILL

Ersilia Serafini has been President of Summerhill since 2009. Ersilia leads a team of over 100 individuals across Canada and focuses Summerhill’s commitment to deliver impactful, results-oriented programs that achieve measureable reductions in energy use.

At the community level, Ersilia acts as the President for the Clean Economy Fund; is a former Director of the Board of Ontario’s Independent Electricity Systems Operator (IESO); is an active member and Regional Forum Officer for the Young Presidents Organization. She also volunteers her time with the Parent Council at St. Cecilia Catholic School and the Foundation for Prader-Willi Research Canada.

Ersilia was recently ranked #14 on the list of Top 100 Female Entrepreneurs in Canada by Profit Magazine. She was also the recipient of the Next Generation Award at the 2012 Italian Chamber of Commerce of Ontario’s Business Excellence Awards. Ersilia was named a marketing icon in the making by Strategy Magazine in September 2007. She is also a member of the Climate Project, having been trained by Al Gore.

Ersilia completed an Honours Bachelor of Science at the University of Toronto with a double major in Biology and Environmental Science.