Chris Brown

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Calgary is the place where bright minds and big ideas come together with an unmatched spirit to solve global challenges. As Senior Director with Calgary Economic Development, Chris is focused on positioning Calgary for long-term success by retaining, expanding, and attracting talent, capital, and companies. Chris stewards efforts related to the Energy and Environment sector, Agribusiness, and Aerospace and Logistics sector, as well as, leading the Team Calgary corporate partnership program. Chris is an active professional engineer with APEGA and holds a Masters degree in Renewable Energy from the Netherlands.

Before this role, Chris worked in the Oil and Gas industry for 10 years in various sales, engineering, and management positions in Canada, Singapore, United States, and Qatar. In 2022, Chris was accepted as a Fellow at the Energy Futures Lab.

Aline Coutinho

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Aline is an economic sociologist, a postdoctoral fellow at the Smart Prosperity Institute  (SPI), and a sessional lecturer at the University of Ottawa, Canada. She designs equity,  diversity and inclusion (EDI)-oriented research, solutions, and tools to assist Canadian  policymakers in identifying best paths to transition to an inclusive and equitable net-zero carbon economy.

Sydney Kjellander

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Sydney Kjellander is a Senior Business Officer, Innovation Ecosystems, at PrairiesCan. Her work is focused on advancing cleantech and green economy opportunities in Alberta, such as hydrogen, critical minerals, carbon management, circular economy, electricity and more. Prior to her current role, Sydney was the Managing Director of the Alberta Clean Technology Industry Alliance (ACTia) where she supported Alberta’s cleantech startups with access to ecosystem resources and investors. She has worked globally across multiple sectors and has a hands-on and diverse background – from field research in the Arctic, to business management and contaminated sites consulting. Sydney has been an Energy Futures Lab Fellow since 2020, leveraging her understanding of the cleantech sector and her role as a funder to help advance innovative energy transition solutions. Sydney has an MBA in Entrepreneurship and a BA in Geography, both from the University of British Columbia.

Steve Saddleback

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Steve Saddleback is a member of the Samson Cree Nation located in Maskwacis, Alberta, Treaty Six Territory.

He is a Partner at Opimoyaso Group, a 100% owned Indigenous Firm and a Senior Advisor, External Relations to the First Nations Major Projects Coalition. Steve has worked for national and international organizations in finance, real estate investment, banking, economic development, government relations, advocacy for a non-profit, education and career development, and fiscal relations. He was Co-Chair (IRC Representative) of the First Nations Site Rehabilitation Program alongside the Government of Alberta and was a partner of an oil and gas lease construction company in Northeastern British Columbia.

Steve is a board member of Renfrew Educational Services, Clean Resource Innovation Network, Equitable Origin and is an advisor to IndigeSteam. He is additionally a Fellow of the Energy Futures Lab.

Steve is adamant about working towards meaningful involvement of Indigenous communities in all areas of the economy with a focus on the energy sector.

Sheila Schindel

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Since starting her clean tech journey in 2005, Sheila has accumulated nearly two decades of experience in grant program operations and fund management for academia and companies of various sizes. This provided opportunities to grow and support innovation across a variety of sectors, and work with teams in building sustainable relationships with public, private, and governmental organizations.

As part of the Integrated Markets team at Innovate BC, she works to accelerate and de-risk the adoption of domestic innovations and assist key areas of the provincial economy to decarbonize, increase competitiveness and strengthen health and safety. Sheila has also increasingly been drawn to pursue a greater understanding of human behaviour and its impact on the path forward in the energy transition.

Sheila holds a BSc in Psychology from Bishop’s University, and a Masters in Biotechnology (MBiotech) from the University of Toronto.

Maggie Hanna

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A low carbon energy systems thinker, futurist, and consultant, Maggie Hanna has 40 years of experience in resource exploration (minerals, oil and gas), energy systems, and innovation. She provides a current read on relevant energy transition topics encompassing scientific, technological, commercial, social, policy, regulatory, economic, business model and environmental aspects with approximate timelines. She has a broad understanding of worldwide energy systems and a strong grounding in systems thinking. She provides numerous startups with connections, technical friendship, stewardship, and guidance.  Her favourite phrase is “What if…”

Maggie was gratefully adopted into the Roan Family of the Ermineskin Cree Nation 3 decades ago.

Maggie has also been engaged as a speaker, panelist, educator, and writer exploring all energy transition topics. She is a Fellow at the Energy Futures Lab (EFL), an Associate at Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research group (CESAR) at the University of Calgary, blogger at “How the Future Can Go Really Really Well”,  and is active on LinkedIn.

Jordan Flagel

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Jordan joined the EFL in 2021 after working for years in the rainforests of Guyana and Belize, and after briefly working with the Canada West Foundation and United Nations. He started TREE in 2017, which is now known as Treebridge Conservation and Consulting, which provides ESG strategy/reports and is currently working to develop a holistic blue carbon offset project in Belize to sequester carbon, help local communities, and conserve biodiversity.

Gary Millard

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Gary is an environmental scientist helping navigate the energy transition. Gary received his B.Sc. in Environmental Science from the University of Calgary and is a Professional Geologist. He worked as an environmental consultant working on contaminated sites before joining Shell. After a decade cleaning up contamination, he moved into prevention through environmental compliance in the oil sands. Most recently, Gary is examining clean technology and other innovations for the oil sands and the energy industry. Outside work, Gary volunteers with Bike Calgary, an advocacy group improving infrastructure and support for cycling.


Brad Nickel

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Brad is an engineer who enjoys talking to people. Over the years he’s worked in asset management and the design of high voltage power lines, but has also gained experience working in internal audit. His current role is policy advisor in government relations. Before working in utilities, Brad spent a couple of summers walking around the bush in northern Saskatchewan prospecting for Uranium. He believes the simplest solutions are the best.

Chelsea Donelon

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Chelsea Donelon, Manager, Energy Innovation leads TransAlta’s assessment and development of net-zero generation technologies aimed at achieving the company’s long-term decarbonization objectives. They engage directly with developers of emerging technologies such as hydrogen and batteries to look for opportunities to partner on innovative projects designed to develop and scale these and other emerging, non-emitting technologies.

Prior to leading the Energy Innovation team, Chelsea served as a specialist advisor to TransAlta’s Chief Executive Officer on provincial and federal carbon and net-zero policy. Before joining TransAlta, Chelsea served as a senior policy analyst with the Alberta Government’s Electricity and Sustainable Energy Division, supporting several high-profile policy initiatives including the Coal Transition Team, the Renewable Electricity Program and the Solar Infrastructure Procurement, among others

Chelsea earned a master’s degree in Economic Development from the University of Cambridge in 2016 where she graduated at the top of her class. Chelsea’s unshakeable resolve and unquenchable thirst for greening Alberta’s electricity grid is limitless. Chelsea is deeply passionate about TransAlta’s pursuit of providing 24-7, clean electrons to consumers.