Transformative Strategies for Disruptive Times

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9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Truth and Reconciliation Through Right Relations: The workshop is for pre-registered participants. (Kinnear Centre – Room 205)
4 – 6:30 p.m. Conference Registration in Kinnear Centre, first floor (Registration Desk will be open throughout the conference.)
6:30 – 9 p.m.

Welcome Reception at The Banff Centre. Formal remarks start at 7 p.m. (Kinnear Centre – first floor – Rooms 103 and 105)
The Return of Wild Buffalo to Banff National Park: Ecology, Culture, Social Movements and Reconciliation. Speakers are Dr. Leroy Little Bear, founder of the University of Lethbridge’s Department of Native American Studies, and Harvey Locke, Principal, Harvey Locke Consulting, Co-founder and Strategic Advisor, Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative and Trustee, Eleanor Luxton Historical Foundation. In addition to conference attendees, a number of local NGO, corporate, Indigenous and government representatives will be in attendance.



All plenary sessions will take place on the first floor of the Kinnear Centre, Rooms 103 and 105.
6:45 – 7:30 a.m. Optional Morning Activity: Forest Bathing with a local guide. This activity is limited to 12 participants on a first come, first served basis. Meet at the entrance to the Professional Development Centre. No bathing suit required!
7:30 – 8:30 a.m. Day One Breakfast Conversations: These conversations are an optional opportunity to learn about issues and initiatives that may not be fully covered in the conference. No pre-registration required. Click here for details.
8:30 – 9 a.m. Conference Opening. Welcome by Sykes Powderface, Stoney Nakoda Elder. Welcome and Orientation by Conference Co-chairs Jason Bates, The Calgary Foundation, and Karen Wilkie, Carthy Foundation, and Conference Facilitator, Julian Norris, Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity
9 – 9:45 a.m. Extreme Collaboration as a Strategy for Systemic Transformation: Keynote Plenary by Adam Kahane, Reos Partners
9:45 – 10:30 a.m. Partnerships for Change – Exploring New Collaborative Strategies to Address Complex Challenges in Alberta: Plenary Panel with Adam Kahane; Chad Park, The Natural Step; Jodi Hilty, Y2Y; and Dr. Leroy Little Bear, University of Lethbridge. Julian Norris will moderate.
10:30 – 11 a.m. Networking Break
11 a.m. – Noon Transformative Collaboration for Canada’s Wild Places: This conversation will highlight a multi-sector collaboration which is working to ensure protection of at least 17% of Canada’s land and fresh water through a network of parks, protected and conserved areas, and other effective conservation measures, by 2020. Speakers are Danika Littlechild, Ermineskin Cree Nation; Nadine Crookes, Parks Canada; and Janet Sumner, CPAWS Wildlands League. Lorne Johnson, Schad Foundation, will moderate. The Schad Foundation is sponsoring this session.
Noon – 1 p.m. Lunch with opportunities to tour The Banff Centre, including the Walter Phillips Gallery and the Banff Centre Yurt
1 – 2:15 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  • Low Carbon Disruption – Learning from Business: A Business Conversation with Environmental Grantmakers and Energy Thought Leaders around Low Carbon Disruption. (Room 101) Join the dialogue as we learn from Canadian business and climate/energy thought leaders working at the heart of low carbon disruption. What roles are foundations, environmental groups and business playing in low carbon disruption? What partnership opportunities exist for CEGN members? What impact investment opportunities exist for foundations in the clean technology field? How do business leaders view environmental grantmakers that fund industry critics? Be prepared to be agitated, to ask wicked questions of our business leaders and to share your thoughts on grantmakers, business and NGO environmental leadership working together. The intention is to lay out an honest conversation around shared sustainability goals, and to listen with curiosity free of judgement.
    Speakers are: Gordon Lambert; Sara Hastings-Simon, Pembina Institute; and Judy Fairburn. Ed Whittingham will moderate. The Alberta Real Estate Foundation is sponsoring this session.
  • Changing Complex Systems: Creating the Conditions for Social Innovation within Foundations. (Room 205) Many foundations have long-standing histories of funding socially good and worthy projects which have evolved to a systemic change approach through social innovation. While social innovation is not new to the philanthropic community, what is less understood is the impact that this shift in approach is having on the foundations themselves. Join with a group of diverse funders as they share their experiences about what conditions needed to be created internally and externally to allow for social innovation to come forward within their individual organizations and the communities they serve, and how investing in systems change is also transforming the foundations. This session will also include facilitated discussions among participants about the challenges and opportunities for funders wishing to support transformative social innovation, especially when they are part of the system.
    Speakers are: Lori Hewson, Suncor Energy Foundation; Beth Hunter, McConnell Foundation; Terra Kaethler, Vancouver Foundation; and Thea Silver, Ontario Trillium Foundation. Steve Williams, Constructive Public Engagement, will moderate. The Vancouver Foundation is sponsoring this session.
  • Decolonizing Relationships for Transformational Environmental Change. (Main Plenary Space) While many areas of shared priority exist between environmental organizations, the philanthropic community and Indigenous peoples, our history and relationships are inevitably and sometimes painfully intertwined with Canada’s colonial legacy. Through presentations from and dialogue with Indigenous nations and ENGOs involved in innovative partnerships to achieve shared conservation goals, this concurrent session will explore the ongoing process of decolonizing our relationships, not just to each other, but to the planet. Drawing on learnings from these collaborations, we seek to deepen dialogue about success factors that may contribute to effective Indigenous – ENGO partnerships and ultimately the transformational shifts in relationships required to better care for the planet.
    Speakers are: Helen Copeland, St’at’imc Chiefs Council; Jessica Clogg, West Coast Environmental Law and Revitalizing Indigenous Law for Land, Air and Water; Joanna Kerr, Greenpeace Canada; Veronique Bussières, SNAP Quebec (the Quebec chapter of the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society); and Eli Enns, Indigenous Circle of Experts. Tonio Sadik, Assembly of First Nations; and Mark Butler, Ecology Action Centre, will moderate.
  • Medicine Walk. (Space is limited and prior sign up at the registration desk is required for this concurrent session.) Supported by a knowledgeable guide, participants will learn about the fascinating historical medicines of the boreal forest from a Cree lineage, as well as the world of traditional medicine, the teachings and gifts from the land. Participants should wear comfortable shoes, as the walk will be through the forest. A windproof or waterproof jacket is recommended as are sunglasses and sunscreen and water. Those signed up for the Medicine Walk will meet their guide at the registration desk at 1 p.m. with a return to the conference by 2:30 p.m. Brenda Holder will lead the walk.
2:15 – 2:45 p.m. Networking Break
2:45 – 4 p.m.
  • Nurturing Sustainable Communities. (Room 101) Cities are changing rapidly. The social, physical, and ecological systems around which they’re built are bearing the burden and are under pressure. For individuals, cities represent the most direct interface with experiences of belonging, social prosperity, health and wellbeing and are also where exclusion, social inequality, and climate change will be most felt. In a world that is increasingly urban, with over half the global population (and approx. 85% of Canadians) now living in cities, what role can philanthropy play to ensure that cities are more sustainable and equitable? How can we unlock and align the full scope of our assets alongside public and private sector partners to drive urban innovation? And how might the UN Sustainable Development Goals provide a frame for this work? This session will explore these questions, and share practical examples of how the drive toward more sustainable cities is reshaping the role of philanthropy in Canada and around the world.
    Speakers are: Catherine Brown, Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation; Rob Buffler, Banff Canmore Community Foundation; Jayne Engle, McConnell Foundation; and Stefan Schurig, F-20. JP Bervoets, Community Foundations of Canada, will moderate. Community Foundations of Canada and CEGN are sponsoring this session.
  • Supporting Reconciliation Through Your Investments. (Room 202) This session will explore reconciliation through an investor lens. Topics that will be addressed include: Indigenous Peoples’ rights, free, prior and informed consent, impact investing and building economic opportunities in Indigenous communities. The session will also provide an opportunity to hear about the efforts of Indigenous communities and leaders to protect Indigenous Rights and the environment and to discuss what respectful business and investment relationships look like. Finally, the session will provide examples of how Canadian foundations are fostering innovative partnerships with Indigenous organizations and investors and exploring the connections between investment, values and reconciliation.
    Speakers are: Delaney Greig, SHARE, Danielle Levine, Raven Capital Partners; and Kukpi7 Judi Wilson, Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs. Nicolina Farella, McConnell Foundation, will moderate. SHARE and CEGN are sponsoring this session.
  • Disruptive Media for Disruptive Times. (Main Plenary Space) This will be a dynamic conversation with a group of experts who are charting a new path forward for media in these challenging times; they are thoughtfully and provocatively covering complicated issues and reaching new audiences with their projects and programs. Some speakers are raising questions about media itself, others are exploring how to break through the noise and create content on undercovered issues. What are they trying and where are the sparks of hope for reinvigorating thoughtful in-depth media discourse on issues we care about? How can media projects bring people together around a common conservation and democracy agenda? What role can philanthropy play, what partnerships underlie these new strategies, and what new ideas can they offer us and our grantee partners?
    Speakers are: Laurel Angell, Montana Engagement Project and Prairie Populist; Hannah Hoag, The Conversation Canada; Emma Gilchrist, DeSmog Canada; and Maureen Googoo, Ku’ku’kwes News. David Beers, University of British Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, will moderate. The Wilburforce Foundation is sponsoring this session.
  • Solidifying National Climate Progress. (Room 205) This panel of climate policy experts will share their insights on the opportunities and challenges of implementing the Pan Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change (PCF). Panelists will assess the various policy priorities as they explore the politics of climate policy, the cost of losing momentum on the PCF, how best for this government to spend political capital, and the role of the provinces amongst other things. The panel will touch briefly on progress being made to date with a greater emphasis on what needs to be done going forward to ensure the PCF is fully implemented and Canada’s climate targets are met. Funding from members of CEGN’s Low Carbon Funders’ Group is supporting NGO capacity and co-ordination across the Framework’s policy priorities and this pooled funding approach will also be highlighted.
    Speakers are: Anne Bérubé, Equiterre; Catherine Abreu, Climate Action Network; Dale Marshall, Environmental Defence; Dan Woynillowicz, Clean Energy Canada; and Simon Dyer, Pembina Institute. Jen Lash, New Venture Fund, will moderate. The McConnell Foundation and the Trottier Family Foundation are sponsoring this session.
4 – 5 p.m. Investing for Transformation: The opportunities for funders to align their investing with their mission are burgeoning. How do we unlock this still largely untapped revenue to help advance a sustainable future? Speakers are: Jason Dudek, Catherine Donnelly Foundation; Sandra Odendahl, The Atmospheric Fund; Robert Walker, NEI Investments; and Rob Weary, The Nature Conservancy. Andrea Moffat, Ivey Foundation, will moderate.oundation, will moderate.
5 – 5:30 p.m. CEGN AGM: All conference participants are invited to attend
6:30 – 10 p.m. Reception and Dinner at the Mount View BBQ. Reception is from 6:30 – 7:15 p.m., followed by dinner and entertainment. Buses will transport participants to and from the Banff Centre, with the first bus departing at 6 p.m. from the Professional Development Centre. The last bus departs at 6:30 p.m. Note that personal vehicles are not permitted at the venue.


7 – 7:45 a.m. Optional Morning Activity: Morning Bird Walk with Peter Poole and Bruce Lourie. Meet at the front of the Professional Development Centre, Banff Centre
8 – 9 a.m. Day Two Breakfast Conversations: These conversations are an optional opportunity to learn about issues and initiatives that may not be fully covered in the conference. No pre-registration required. Click here for details.
9 – 10 a.m. Energy Democracy & Resilience in Indigenous Communities: Catalyzing Sustainable Energy Futures. Learn about how philanthropy can bolster Indigenous agency and industry in clean energy opportunities. Speakers are: Kim Scott, Kishk Anaquot Health Research (KAHR); Melissa Quesnelle, Naatoi’Ihkpiakii; and Desmond Bull, Louis Bull Tribe. Chris Henderson, Lumos Energy, will moderate. The Catherine Donnelly Foundation is sponsoring this session.
10 – 11 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions

  • Reconciliation: Collaboration for Transformation. (Room 205) Join The Circle on Philanthropy as they invite leaders in the sector to share experience, knowledge, challenges and opportunities in working with an Indigenous focus. Susan Smitten of RAVEN Trust will share the story of the Pull Together campaign, a journey of collaboration, partnership and unity by following the lead of Indigenous peoples. Valine Crist will walk participants through Indigenous Climate Action’s decision to turn down funding due to extraction ties, an opportunity for us to understand the experience and challenges of an Indigenous organization fundraising in a western, colonial system. To further the learning, Tim Fox of The Calgary Foundation will highlight the importance of cultural competency in mobilizing systems change work related to The TRC’s Calls to Action.
    Speakers are: Tim Fox, Calgary Foundation; Susan Smitten, Raven Trust; Valine Crist, Indigenous Climate Action; and Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, Indigenous Climate Action. Shereen Munshi, The Circle on Philanthropy and Aboriginal Peoples in Canada, will moderate. The Circle is sponsoring this session.
  • The Walls We Build: Identity Politics and the Clean Economy Transition. (Room 202) With the precept – If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not out of your filter bubble – Social Currents is challenging environmental advocates to step out of our echo chambers and meet Canadians where they live and thrive online. This presentation brings lessons from Social Currents’ peer to peer engagement experiment creating and testing low carbon content that audiences outside the ‘green tent’ can trust. This is a critical long-term communication investment sustaining and growing Canadians support for climate policies.
    Speaker is Delyse Sylvester, Social Currents. This initiative is supported by a number of donors to the Clean Economy Fund.
  • No Conservation without Prosperity: The Imperative to Promote Economic Development and Conservation Together in the Rural and Indigenous Regions of Canada. (Main Plenary Space) Indigenous societies continue to resist the severance of their foundational relationships with land and sea. However, a continuum of recent disruptions – including relocation into sedentary communities, residential schools, and the collapse of animal product markets – has resulted in many livelihoods in Indigenous communities being divorced from dependence on healthy ecosystems. In the wake of this disruption, and facing poverty at levels not seen anywhere else in Canada, Indigenous peoples are looking to any and all economic solutions, including those that may compromise the integrity of their homelands. If Indigenous peoples and their partners are to achieve real and durable conservation outcomes, it is essential that the economic impetus for healthy ecosystems and associated sustainable livelihoods is revitalized. This session will explore examples of initiatives across Canada where Indigenous peoples, philanthropic organizations, and NGOs are advancing conservation initiatives that, in parallel, promote synergistic and sustainable economic development.
    Speakers are: Shannon McPhail, Skeena Watershed Conservation Coalition; Ashley Hardill, Coast Funds; and Sandra Inutiq, Qikiqtani Inuit Association. Steve Ellis  and Qajaaq Ellsworth of Tides Canada co-moderate. Tides Canada is sponsoring this session.
  • Disruptive Technologies & the Environment: Deploying Multi-sector Partnerships that Leverage Technology and Innovation to Solve Pressing Environmental Challenges. (Room 101) Rapid advances in technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), etc. will transform the environmental sector. These technologies scale rapidly and efficiently, offering the opportunity to meet large, wicked environmental challenges head-on. In this session, RBC will provide an overview of how it is leveraging innovation and technology capabilities to work with partners to solve problems related to climate change and clean water. Details of RBC’s approach will be provided including the importance of deploying multi-partner coalitions. The session will cover insights and lessons learned from specific projects utilizing this new approach through commentary from project leaders from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the Natural Step, the Gordon Foundation, and the Gaspé Beaubien Foundation.
    Speakers are: Carolyn Dubois, Gordon Foundation; Elizabeth Hendricks, WWF Canada; Kariann Aarup, the de Gaspé Beaubien Foundation; and Chad Park, The Natural Step.
    Navi Brar, RBC Foundation, will moderate the session.
11 – 11:30 a.m. Networking Break
11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m

Concurrent Sessions

  • Amplifying Indigenous Voices and Building Capacity. (Room 205) This session will focus on Indigenous knowledge, sustainable lifeways, and how we can nurture each other and our cultures in time of uncertainty and change. We will discuss the importance of Indigenous rights and values in climate change discourse through building capacity and empowering the grassroots. While Indigenous Peoples model sustainable low-carbon lifestyles, climate change and the drivers of climate change are significantly impacting our food, water and energy security and sovereignty. As Indigenous Peoples, our health and ways of life are jeopardized by a global crisis and that means that our nations need to be at the center of solutions. Offering a participatory approach, we will host an opening circle and reflective exercises making this session interactive and engaging for everyone.
    Speakers are: Eriel Deranger and Valine Crist, of Indigenous Climate Action. Tides Canada is sponsoring this session. 
  • Funding Directed Networks: Opportunities and Challenges in Supporting New Bottom-up Campaign Accelerators. (Room 202) Recent research shows the “directed-network” campaign model is behind many of today’s most effective large scale advocacy efforts, from the Fight for $15 to the Canadian oil sands campaign, Australia’s largest national campaign on coal to recent gun law organizing in the US. The model is most effective when a small secretariat offers research, strategy, coordination, and funding but directs those resources to enabling diverse networks of NGOs and grassroots leaders to lead and execute campaign tactics. The model is proven to enable NGOs to build up enough power to challenge the momentum of highly entrenched interests, yet it is still rarely deployed in the funding world. This session will share stories from three successful directed-networks, the structures of secretariats accelerating high impact campaigns, and the challenges involved with securing funds, and balancing re-granting with campaigning with supporting a diverse network of organizations.
    Speakers are: Tzeporah Berman, New Venture Fund; and Jason Mogus, NetChange Consulting. 
  • Our Living Waters – Supporting Collaboration Amongst Funders and NGOs through Shared Measurement. (Room 210)This session is for anyone who looking for an effective tool to support and track the progress of collaboration, not just those focused on freshwater. Solving complex environmental problems requires us to work together, which has always been challenging due to a lack of tools, to 1) align the work of multiple groups – including funders and grantees – and, 2) measure whether our collective efforts are adding up to the change we desire. Our Living Waters, a collaborative network of groups across Canada working to achieve the ambitious goal of all waters in good health by 2030, has built a shared measurement framework that helps do both. This framework has also been used to inform a more detailed, provincially-focused framework by The Real Estate Foundation of BC. In this session, we will share the experience of creating this framework at multiple scales. Come learn about the methods we use, so you can use them to support your own collaborative efforts.  
    Speakers are: Andrew Stegemann, Our Living Waters; and David Hendrickson, Real Estate Foundation of B.C. 
  • Innovative Funding Mechanisms to Advance Local Conservation and Environmental Initiatives. (Room 101) Many local communities face the challenge of a long list of environmental priorities combined with a lack of internal capacity and limited funding to act on these priorities. And yet we know that action at the local level is required to achieve a sustainable future. In this interactive, fireside chat you will learn from two examples where philanthropic funds have been used to spur innovative, community-driven funding mechanisms designed to help build capacity and support local environmental and conservation priorities over the long-term. The session will feature two examples: 1) Community Conserve, a forum for Alberta municipalities to identify priority environmental issues and pool resources to address them; and 2) South Okanagan Conservation Fund in British Columbia, a dedicated local, community-based source of funding for the specific purpose of undertaking environmental conservation projects. Please join us to learn more about how these initiatives emerged, their unique approach, the importance of partnerships, and to hear recommendations for funders interested in supporting innovative, local initiatives.
    Speakers are: Guy Greenaway, Miistakis Institute for the Rockies; Jason Unger, Environmental Law Centre; and Bryn White, Okanagan Similkameen Conservation Program. Karen Wilkie, Carthy Foundation, will moderate. 
12:30 – 2 p.m. Earth-Bound: Indigenous Patterns, Partnerships and Reconciliation. Our closing lunch will feature keynote remarks from John Borrows, Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Law at the University of Victoria.
2 – 5:30 p.m. Optional Post-conference Hike: Those who have pre-registered for the hike are to meet their guides at the entrance to the Professional Development Centre at 2:15 p.m.


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