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.

Natasha Evdokimoff

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Natasha is a strategist and storyteller who has a knack for cutting through clutter that tends to clog up clear communication. She holds a BA in English Literature and BMgt in Marketing from the University of Lethbridge. After cutting her professional teeth as an advertising executive, Natasha became a creative consultant, content developer, and writer and editor for corporate, private and academic clients across North America, landing most recently as a Senior Communications Advisor for a major utility company in Alberta. She has experience as a communicator and facilitator in multiple fields, including energy, finance, technology, safety, real estate, travel and tourism, telecommunications, hospitality, health and wellness, and leadership training. When she’s not writing, Natasha enjoys cooking, reading, movies, yoga, and trying to maintain her winning streak on Wordle.

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 is a recent graduate of the Master of Environmental Management program at the University of New Brunswick, and holds 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 a lead strategist with the Energy Futures Lab. He provides strategic input into the overall design of the initiative as well as playing a key role in the delivery of various specific components, including Fellow gatherings and managing the AI and Machine Learning stream of work in the Lab.

Juli Rohl

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After three years as an Energy Futures Lab Fellow, Juli joined the support team to help bring Lab initiatives to life in addition to delivering community roadshows. With deep roots in petroleum geology and experience in business strategy and systems thinking, Juli knows that Alberta can be a leader in the global energy transition. As a mother and lifelong resident of Treaty 7 Territory, Juli has an immense passion for helping Alberta navigate the energy transition in a way that will allow current and future generations to thrive.