Turning Point – Supporting the Transition Towards a Circular Economy

Check out the recording from this past event below! 

The Council of the Great Lakes Region and the Council of Canadian Academies (CCA) held a joint educational webinar on February 3rd.

This webinar included an expert discussion regarding CCA’s Turning Point report, requested by Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) and informed by the Expert Panel on the Circular Economy in Canada. The report explores what a circular economy is, how it works, and what it could mean for Canada while also examining the opportunities and challenges Canada will face in planning a circular economy transition.

During this webinar, two members of the Expert Panel provided insight on the following topics:

    • High-level overview and summary of the Turning Point report and key findings 
    • Emphasis on working locally and regionally to support the transition towards a circular economy across the US-Canada border
    • The importance of an enabling trade environment for recyclable materials  

There was also a Q&A session at the end for attendees to ask our panelists relevant questions regarding the webinar content. 

Event Moderator: 

Mark Fisher, B.Sc, ICD.D

President and CEO, Council of the Great Lakes Region

Mark Fisher became the President and CEO of the Council of the Great Lakes Region (CGLR) in 2014, which comprises CGLR Canada, CGLR USA and the CGLR Foundation.

Immediately prior to joining CGLR, he served as a foreign policy advisor in the Privy Council Office, which supports the Prime Minister of Canada and the federal Cabinet, where he focused on advancing Canada’s interests in North America and the Asia-Pacific region.

Mark has extensive experience advising senior government, corporate, academic and NGO leaders on a range of pressing socioeconomic and environmental issues facing their sector, as well as the pathways and dynamic collaborations required to address them.

In addition to CGLR, he is an elected school board trustee with the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board, is a member of the International Joint Commission’s Great Lakes Water Quality Board, and is a director on the board of Easter Seals Ontario.

Mark is also a recipient of the Royal Canadian Legion Cadet Medal of Excellence.

Event Panelists: 

Tima Bansal, (Panel Chair), FRSC

Professor, Sustainability and Strategy, Ivey Business School, Western University (London, ON)

Tima Bansal is a Professor of Sustainability and Strategy at the Ivey Business School. She also founded and continues to direct Ivey’s Centre on Building Sustainable Value and the Network for Business Sustainability, a growing network of more than 8,000 researchers and managers from nations around the world committed to advancing sustainable business.

She has received significant accolades for her scholarship in business sustainability: in 2019, she was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada; in 2017, she was presented with the Organizations and Natural Environment Distinguished Scholar Award by the Academy of Management; in 2012, she was awarded a Canada Research Chair to pursue her efforts to make business both profitable and sustainable; in 2008, she was awarded the title of Faculty Pioneer for Academic Leadership by the Aspen Institute, a global forum for business and society headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Her research targets the interplay between business strategy and sustainability. Her TedX talk describes some of her recent ideas. She has published in several top research journals, including the Academy of Management Journal, the Academy of Management Review, Organization Science, and the Strategic Management Journal. She has co-edited two books about business and the natural environment. Her research has also been cited in the popular press, including the Globe and Mail, the National Post, the Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, and The Independent.

Barbara Swartzentruber, (Panel Member)

Executive Director, Smart Cities Office, City of Guelph (Guelph, ON)

Barbara Swartzentruber is Executive Director of the Smart Cities Office at the City of Guelph. As one of the winners of the Canada’s Smart City Challenge, the City and County of Wellington, are collaborating with public and private sector partners to create Canada’s first Circular Food Economy. Building on the principles of a circular economy and leveraging the power of data and technology, they are re-imagining a sustainable regional food system that increases access to healthy nutritious food for all, prevents food loss and waste, and creates circular businesses for an inclusive green economy.

Barbara has more than 30 years of experience in public sector innovation at the local, provincial and national levels in the areas of smart cities, citizen engagement, digital economy, rural broadband, open government, data and technology. She has taught public policy, community development and advocacy at several Canadian universities.

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