pioneering leadership. entrepreneurial spirit.
Design & Delivery Team
Alison has managed the operations of the Energy Futures Lab for the past 4 years and during that period has overseen its rapid expansion and success. Her career has been at the cross section of energy, environment and collaboration. Moving from oil and gas engineer, to climate and sustainability consultant, to social innovator, her focus is on forging collaborative solutions to our biggest challenges.
Erin is the Director of Partnerships for the Energy Futures Lab and an Associate with The Natural Step Canada. Erin supports the development of role model organizations as leaders in sustainable business and sustainable communities. Her specialties include sustainability planning processes and indicator development.
Pong is a founding member of The Natural Step Canada and Senior Associate. Pong has worked with a wide range of clients to share his expertise on sustainability, governance and organizational learning with a range of Albertan stakeholders.
Emma works with Energy Futures Lab as their Communications Specialist. Emma's professional experience ranges from educational programming and public speaking to historical research and strategic communications. As a communications professional, she is focused on exploring the relationship between energy literacy and storytelling. She believes that stories are a powerful tool in helping us tackle important issues with curiosity and empathy.
Kelley is driven by a passion for connecting people to simpler solutions, to new ideas, and to each other in order to generate strong communities and strive to make everyday life easier, healthier, and more sustainable. Her professional experience has exposed her to a diversity of perspectives and refined her skills in engagement and systems thinking. Kelley has an MBA from the University of Calgary and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta.
Juli is an Animator for the Energy Futures Lab. After 3 years as an EFL Fellow, Juli works with the Lab to support the initiatives, help deliver community roadshows, and acts as liaison between the EFL and the Circular Economy Leadership Coalition. 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. Juli earned both a B.Sc. in Geology and an MBA from the University of Calgary.
Sonia has a diverse history in performing arts, health sciences, and event coordination. She is a social innovator, a connector of the dots, and a researcher of human behaviour. At the root of all of her work is compassion and the desire to facilitate positive change, whether it’s within the life of an individual or on a global scale. She believes that digging into the belief systems and values of communities and families is key to raising the collective consciousness around guiding our planet onto a healthier path.
Matt is an Associate at The Natural Step Canada and 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 as well as the Circular Economy Lab.
Steve specializes in Corporate Social Responsibility design, evaluation, impact measurement, and data visualization for sustainability. He is a technology strategist designing and facilitating participant-driven public engagement events with over 20 years experience in the software industry.
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.
The EFL has the potential to be transformative for our industry and for Alberta. By breaking down the silos that keep us separated, we can work collectively to find solutions that lead to abetter energy future for us all.Lori Gammell, Suncor Energy Foundation
The energy system is the lifeblood of the global economy and the primary source of GHG emissions. There is no more critical challenge today than reconciling the energy environment dilemma.Dr Alex Ryan, Government of Alberta
Alberta has been left talking about our ethics and first mover efforts while the global conversation shifted onto carbon and real efforts to address climate change. We need a new narrative.Kyle Kasawski, Solarmax
It's time for Alberta to lead on the crucial challenge of energy transition. The Energy Futures Lab -- with its focus on collaboration and action across the system -- will help us to define our leadership, and marshall the public and political will we need.David Kahane, University of Alberta
Dr. Reg Crowshoe is a member of the University of Calgary Senate and prominent cultural and spiritual leader. Reg and his late father, Joe Crowshoe, have travelled extensively around the world bringing awareness and education about Blackfoot history, traditions and spirituality.
Judy is passionate about driving Canadian innovation to build a highly competitive energy industry, which positions Canada well in the global innovation race. Judy is the Executive Vice-President of Business Innovation at Cenovus and also serves on the Boards of Alberta Innovates, Sustainable Development Technology Canada, Public Policy Forum and Evok Innovations. Through these roles, Judy helps to bridge partnerships that shape and strengthen the innovation ecosystem in Canada.
Toby Heaps is the co-founder and president of Corporate Knights Inc. Toby has a Bachelor of Arts degree from McGill University in Economics, with a minor in International Development. From 1997-98, he spent one year in the Belgrade Field Program (LLB in Management Studies) with the London School of Economics and Political Science.
Don Iveson was elected the 35th Mayor of Edmonton in 2013. Since being elected, Mayor Iveson has set his sights on transforming Edmonton into a highly liveable, uplifting and globally competitive city that is recognized as one of Canada’s very best. Born and raised in Edmonton and tirelessly passionate about the place, Don has spent most of his adult life working to build Edmonton’s future.
Donna has served in the private, not-for-profit and public sectors. Highlights include: MLA for Calgary-Varsity and Alberta’s first Cabinet portfolio responsible for Electricity & Renewable Energy; Nexen Inc.’s first female vice president; working on energy projects in 35 countries; founding a capacity-building NGO in Yemen; publishing two books; launching Viewpoints Alberta; raising three sons.
Since joining Suncor in 1997, Gordon has served in senior roles including most recently, Executive Advisor Sustainability and Innovation and previously as Vice President Sustainable Development. Gordon began his career with Imperial Oil Limited in 1980. He is a frequent speaker on energy, the environment and innovation. Gordon currently serves on the Alberta Climate Change Advisory Panel. Gordon is also President of GRL Collaboration for Sustainability
Reza is one of Alberta’s most successful and innovative homebuilders. A strong advocate for energy efficient housing, his goal is see the mainstream adoption of affordable Net Zero energy homes. His contributions to the building industry and to the community have been recognized with numerous honours including the Alberta Order of Excellence.
Eric Newell served for 14 years as CEO Syncrude Canada Ltd. and later as Chairman and President. In 2004, he was installed as the 18th Chancellor of the University of Alberta. Eric actively contributes to his community and industry. He currently serves on a number of boards, including: Board Chair of the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation and Alberta Innovates – Energy and Environment Solutions.
Nicholas Parker is Founding Managing Partner of Global Acceleration Partners which addresses global megatrends shaping basic needs for resource-efficient clean energy, food, water and infrastructure by accelerating cross-border deployment of proven technologies and business models into high growth emerging economies.
Ed Whittingham served for seven years as Executive Director of the Pembina Institute, Canada’s leading energy and environment research organization. In September 2011 Ed was named to Canada’s 2012 Clean50 list, which honours 50 outstanding contributors to sustainable development and clean capitalism in Canada.
“The driving philosophy of the Energy Futures Lab is that we move forward, together.”
The Steering Committee
System thinkers and practitioners to support the Fellows in development of a fit for the future energy system
Mark Blackwell is currently the Entrepreneur In Residence at the General Electric Industrial Internet Accelerator in Calgary. Most recently Mark was the Chief Operating Officer of GNS3 Technologies, an enterprise networking start-up utilized by such organizations as the US Department of Defence, AT&T, Walmart, Google and Facebook. Mark also has experience as a venture investor while helping to run the Cenovus Energy Corporate Venture fund and investment banking with CIBC.
Kate Chisholm is Senior Vice President, Chief Legal and Sustainability Officer, leading Capital Power’s sustainability strategy and initiatives, legal, regulatory, compliance, environmental policy, government and external relations, risk management and internal audit. Capital Power is focused on providing responsible energy for tomorrow by creating a low-carbon energy future, and is committed to being a leader in environmental, social, and governance practices.
Cheryl De Paoli
Cheryl is Executive Director of the Alberta Real Estate Foundation. Her role is to connect people and ideas to the Foundation's funding areas of interest and connect to projects that make Alberta great. She is an avid learner and reader, certified facilitator, with degrees in business and commerce.
Mike Gerbis is CEO of The Delphi Group, a strategic consultancy providing innovative solutions in the areas of climate change, corporate sustainability, clean technology solutions and environmental policy. Mike is also CEO of GLOBE Series of Conferences (2016.globeseries.com).
George’s professional work is in environment and sustainable development governance and management focusing on energy and natural resources in Alberta and across Canada. He has held positions in government, international organizations, resource companies, consultancies, universities and NGOs. His joy is outdoor activities of all kinds.
Lori is manager of community investment, Suncor Energy Foundation, focused on social innovation. She works with inspiring people shaping new dialogue about the energy future, what it will take to get there, and how to achieve this collectively.
David Hughes became President & CEO of The Natural Step Canada on June 15th, 2016 after having served four years as a member of our Board of Directors. He is highly regarded as a strategic leader with a strong track record of scaling the impact of some of Canada’s leading charities.
Simon is a partner in PURE Reserve, a company focused on technology solutions to Alberta's issues that are both financially and environmentally viable. We are currently working on implementing a biocoal facility in Alberta with the support of a CCEMC grant.
David is the Director of the Canadian Energy Systems Analysis Research (CESAR) Initiative and a Professor at the University of Calgary. In CESAR he studies Canada’s past and present energy systems to model and analyze the options and implications for the next energy systems transformation.
As Executive Director of QUEST, Tonja has over 15 years of experience working in the energy industry. Having been with QUEST since its inception in 2007, Tonja has played an instrumental role in establishing QUEST's extensive national network and ensuring QUEST is known in the industry as a leading thinker on the energy transition and implementer of Smart Energy Communities.
Pat’s work as Executive Director of Alberta Ecotrust is to create solution space with industry, environmental organizations and others to share ideas and implement strategies that protect the environment and build healthier, stronger communities. Important priorities for Pat include a clean energy future.
Steve MacDonald is CEO of Emissions Reduction Alberta. He played a central role in the development of Alberta’s renewed climate change policy framework that establishes a comprehensive vision, strategies and outcomes to support environmental sustainability and economic growth for Alberta.
Lexi McKinnon is the Associate Director of Indigenous Leadership at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity. Lexi has also led the institution’s Truth and Reconciliation Framework. Lexi is passionate about systems change, social innovation and design thinking from the teachings learned through an Indigenous worldview. Lexi received her Bachelor of Arts in Canadian Studies and MBA in Aboriginal Business and Leadership.
Denita McKnight returned to Canada in 2018 to lead Shell Canada’s External Relations team. She has more than 19 years’ experience in a variety of communication roles at Shell including media relations, stakeholder engagement, crisis and issue management, internal and corporate communications and social performance. Denita continues to lead teams working across all spectrums of the energy industry, managing many facets of communication.
Chad is Vice President, Sustainability and Citizenship with The Co-operators. Chad has played a leadership role on several business sustainability and social innovation initiatives including having served as Executive Director of The Natural Step Canada. He was also the founding Director of the Energy Futures Lab.
Darcy Riddell has worked to change systems as an environmental activist, strategist, consultant, and educator for almost 20 years. She’s currently the Director of Strategic Learning at the McConnell Family Foundation. She has a PhD in Social Innovation, drawing on complexity, resilience, transitions literature and integral theory to understand leverage points for transformative change that bridge individual, institutional and global scales.
Alex Ryan is VP Systems Innovation and Director of MaRS Solutions Lab. He is the co-founder of Synthetikos - a boutique strategy consulting firm dedicated to helping large organizations and collectives to navigate complexity with agility. He was a former Senior Systems Design Advisor with the Department of Energy in the Government of Alberta. Dr. Ryan co-founded and leads Alberta CoLab, a cross-ministry strategic foresight and systemic design lab focused on energy and resource development.
Kali Taylor is the co-founder and Executive Director of Student Energy – a global not-for-profit that works to create the next generation of leaders who will transition the world to a sustainable energy future.
Dan Woynillowicz is the Policy Director of Clean Energy Canada, an initiative of the Centre for Dialogue at Simon Fraser University. Clean Energy Canada works to accelerate Canada’s transition to clean and renewable energy systems. They do so by telling the story of the global shift to clean and low-carbon energy sources and conducting original research, hosting dialogues, and inspiring and informing policy leadership.
Bill Whitelaw is the chief executive officer of JuneWarren-Nickle’s Energy Group (JWN). He has expanded the company’s product portfolio, developed new frontiers within the industry and ensured JWN remains progressive and industry-focused through the products and services it for provides for insight and intelligence. Bill also holds positions of executive vice-president, business information group, at Glacier Inc. and managing director of Evaluate Energy, an affiliated energy analytics and research company based in London, UK.