Sara Bateman

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With 15 years in public and corporate social investment and the non-profit sector, Sara Bateman brings a broad perspective of philanthropic and non-profit organization challenges and opportunities. As a graduate of the Social Innovation Graduate program at the University of Waterloo, Sara brings an adaptive strategy and ecosystem-thinking lens to her work. This helps to see the details and the big picture at the same time.

She now runs a consultancy working with clients to develop emergent strategies for system change initiatives, developmental evaluation and learning experiences. A self-professed nerd about impact and evaluation, Sara helps clients identify the data and key patterns that are important to demonstrate impact and change in their community and in their organizations.

Sarah Brooks

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Sarah has been with The Natural Step for over fifteen years, focusing on developing and stewarding processes and practices to address messy challenges. She supports the overall Lab design and facilitation, including the Fellowship Arc and the EFL’s Alberta’s Energy Future Innovation Challenge. Sarah also leads engagement strategy for the Canada Plastics Pact and stewards solutions portfolio development for clients around the world.

Prior to her work with The Natural Step, Sarah was a natural building instructor, working to enable communities to create structure from locally available, minimally processed materials. She has worked with people from over 22 countries in this capacity. Sarah holds a master’s degree in “Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability” from the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden and an undergraduate degree in Geography from Mount Allison University.

Brian Nicholson

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With experience working at all levels of government in Canada Brian manages political and public sector engagement for the Energy Futures Lab and provides strategic government relations guidance to The Natural Step Canada team. This includes advocating for policy recommendations flowing from the Lab’s various initiatives, while seeking to encourage a well-informed and healthy political dialogue on energy transition and climate issues in Canada. Following an academic emphasis on international relations and the geopolitics of Northeast Asia, Brian’s professional career has largely focused on economic development in Alberta’s energy and industrial sectors.

Ailsa Popilian

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Ailsa is a natural storyteller and communicator whose work has focused on connecting people and industry with forward-thinking solutions within the environmental and energy sectors.

Ailsa’s interest in the intersection of energy and environment was sparked while doing communications and marketing for an environmental consulting firm specializing in remediation. She went on to hold marketing and communications leadership roles at a national, environmental non-profit organization. She brings her experience and enthusiasm for written and visual communications, problem-solving, strategy and planning, and community engagement into her role within the Energy Futures Lab.

Ailsa holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Calgary and a Post-Graduate Certificate in Marketing Strategy from Cornell University’s Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management.

Laura MacTaggart

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Laura comes from a small farm near Lacombe, Alberta where she fell in love with the land and her community. Laura is passionate about an equitable energy transition and loves to act as a facilitator and community builder to bring together diverse voices.  After two years as a Fellow, Laura joined the EFL support team to assist with the Labs ongoing Truth and Reconciliation journey, Energy Futures Roadshows and youth engagement. Laura holds a Master of Indigenous Community Planning from the University of British Columbia and is honoured to have been an ally and worked with BC First Nations to support community-driven planning.

Mark Cabaj

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Mark is President From Here to There Consulting and Associate of Tamarack – An Institute for Community Engagement. Mark’s current focus is building the practice of Developmental Evaluation integrating real-time feedback and learning in emerging, complex, and fast-moving environments.

Keren Perla

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Keren directs and stewards the Energy Futures Policy Collaborative – a multi-leader partnership diving into the intersection of systems change, policy and investment. Keren’s career and specialties have focused on pioneering new ways to solve messy challenges through the use of disciplines such as systemic design, foresight, and design facilitation. She is Co-founder of the Alberta CoLab – the first public sector social innovation lab to launch at a provincial level – and alumni of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 under 40.

Matt Mayer

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Matt has extensive experience applying systems-thinking, facilitating sustainability strategy and advancing leadership in all sectors across North America. He both advises and supports the design and delivery of the Energy Futures Lab. He has a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Victoria and an MSc in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability from the Blekinge Institute of Technology in Sweden.

Emily Blocksom

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Emily has always been fascinated by the natural world. Growing up on a small island off the west coast of British Columbia, she learned early in life of the important connection between healthy communities, economies, and the environment. She is passionate about working collaboratively across sectors to support the implementation of sustainable environmental practices. Emily holds a master’s degree in Environmental Management from the University of New Brunswick, and an undergraduate degree in Geography from the University of Calgary.

Pong Leung

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Pong is a founding member of The Natural Step Canada team and was part of the original group that created the Energy Futures Lab. He leads and provides strategic input to select Lab initiatives as well as playing an advisory role in the Lab’s strategic direction.