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Technology, Politics, Innovation
Your Future Home: Creating the New Vancouver is a timely and provocative exploration of the future of Vancouver as a response to the mounting concern on the changes taking place in the region, shifting the dialogue  from real estate  to the future state of the city. Thus, Urbanarium Society in partnership with the Museum of Vancouver (MOV)  will bring  an exhibition that will feature 20 different scenarios of Vancouver’s future landscape, while engaging the public to discuss four exceptionally pressing issues:  housing affordability, residential density, ease of transportation and quality of public space. The exhibition will take place from Jan. 21 through May 16, 2016 at the MOV. Organizers at the museum expect to welcome a few thousands attending Your Future Home throughout its duration. Urbanarium is a non-for-profit educational organization, created 30 years ago by architect and planner, Ray Spaxman, who was  inspired by  a then-newly opened planetarium in Toronto. He  envisioned  a place where people can  gather and have discussions about the future of the city and the region, as well as  exhibitions, lectures and workshops,  where visitors can learn about design and urban planning. After some inactivity, in 2013 Spaxman and  a group of architects,  planners and volunteers —  including, renowned Vancouver-based architect  Richard Henriquez, chairman of the board of directors–  revived Urbanarium.  Still a virtual space, Urbanarium’s website was launched a year later. “This  is by far, one of our  most ambitious programs yet, along with the debate series,” says  Jamaican-born Henriquez in a phone interview. He arrived first in Manitoba as a teenager  in the late 1950s, but has called Vancouver home since 1967. This exhibition aims  to expose the city’s  issues and “get people thinking about the choices that might have to make in the future as time goes on”. Henriquez  is the founding partner of Henriquez Partners Architects, recipient of numerous accolades, and the creative force behind iconic estructures, such as the Gaslight Square, the New Westminster’s Justice Institute of BC and the Sinclair Centre.


Your future home exhibition will feature  a 1,400-square-foot model, a sort of a real estate “sales centre,” advertising new condominiums. “Except that instead of showing off one building, we are showing off the whole city. (…) It’s a miniature model of Vancouver, ” Henriquez explained. This model will include photographs, infographics, animations, dramatic models, panoramic images relating to Vancouver’s downtown and suburban neighbourhoods. Visitors will have the opportunity to discuss the future scenarios, offer feedback and propose new solutions. The second part introduces about 20 different scenarios focused on ideas  about ways to improves  the city in the future. “They have to do with  affordability, public open space, transportation  and increasing density, which is a big concern for a lot of people.” Some of the case studies will also include the Arbutus Lands redevelopment, the  expansion of the CPR line to Marpole, possible changes in  Granville Island, and new ways of  heating buildings in the Downtown area and sustainability issues. One of the future scenarios will feature a 2,500-foot vertical city as a three-dimensional model, a representation of Granville Street turned on end to run vertically, to be displayed in the “Urban Grid.’ It’s a lesson about  scale and people’s  changing notions of scale over time. Among the various topics, high sky home prices is certainly the most urgent issue in Vancouver. “There  is a lot of pressure from outside people to get housing,”  says  Henriquez.  A foreign investor can buy six or eight apartments at a time  – most likely to remain empty. “Vancouver is like a bank (…)  It’s a safe place to park money.”  Henriquez says he thinks it’s the federal government’s responsibility to look into this matter. On a municipal level,  the City of Vancouver and developers are working together to create affordable  housing in the benefit of low-income individuals.  Developers are allowed to build condominiums at a higher density than usual, in exchange the City will get 20% of the suites for free. From an architectural point of view — although Henriquez doesn’t advocate for it — miniaturization of suites is another option. “In designs with very small spaces, everything is multiuse, so you can shrink the space and still live in.” Debates During the exhibition, members of the public will have the chance to participate in six Oxford-style  debates  among architectural, real estate and urban planning experts, by casting their votes with mobile devices. The debates  will take place at the Robson Square, except for first one to be held at  the MOV  on January 20th (Free admission by donation –currently sold out), which will focus on densification of neighbourhoods.  The debates will be a yearly affair, depending on their success. For more information visit: MOV’s website.  

Business, Society
The 7dayringproject is a brand new local initiative dedicated to promoting girls’ education, founded and run by two third-year UBC students in the Sauder School of Business, Taylor Davis and Peony Au. The inspiration for the project came from Davis’ trip to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia after her first year where she helped host business workshops for local entrepreneurs with UBC’s Arc Initiative. It was here that she met Salem Kassahun. Kassahun owns Salem’s Designs, creating and selling beautiful handcrafted Ethiopian jewellery, textiles, and gifts in Addis. What inspired Davis and Au to work with her is that in addition to being a strong businesswoman, Kassahun also seeks to benefit her community with every business decision she makes. From empowering her employees through training and fair wages to sponsoring the schooling and education of children in the community, she does her part to fight Addis’ overwhelming poverty and leave the world in a better place. Noticing the “7 day ring” in Kassahun’s shop one day, Davis learned it represents the seven days of the week and serves as a reminder that we have two choices every day: to make the most of it or let it pass us by. After buying a ring for herself, Davis says she “fell in love with the personal reminder to seize everyday.”

An initiative is born

In the spirit of social entrepreneurship, Davis and Au teamed up to bring the 7dayring to Canada. With their combined specializations in human resources, marketing, and accounting and their a mutual passion for “doing good” with business, the 7dayringproject was born! The process is simple: the project purchases Kassahun’s rings from Ethiopia, sells them in Canada, covers its distribution and operation costs, and donates the proceeds to the Girl Fund of Imagine1Day, an organization in Ethiopia dedicated to gender equity and girls’ education.

THE7DAYRINGPROJECT from Nano Clow on Vimeo.

With so many issues involving poverty that need addressing, I asked Davis and Au why they chose the cause of girls’ education to support. Davis took the lead, recalling Kassahun’s sponsorship of a young girl named Kiddist, a daughter of an employee. In their community, Kiddist had little opportunity to attend a strong educational program. Noticing her potential, Kassahun sponsored Kiddist’s schooling. Now, Kiddist is the top of her class, in the top four in Addis and is set to receive a full-ride university scholarship. “We want to create more success stories like Kiddist’s and to foster the next generation of female leaders, like Salem!” It’s very clear that Davis and Au have high hopes for the 7dayringproject and a passion to push the initiative as far as it will go. Davis explains, “the heart of the project really goes back to the fundamental purpose of the Arc Initiative – to use your skills and education to have a positive impact.”  Jumping in, Au says the initiative feeds her drive to empower people to find their potential. With Christmas just around the corner, the 7dayring is the perfect gift for the do-gooder in your life who’s passionate about making a difference in an ethical way. Because the project buys the rings straight from Ethiopia through Kassahun, it aids in injecting money back into the Ethiopian economy, allowing Kassahun to continue helping her community. The ring not only represents the importance of seizing every day, but each purchase also supports girls in Ethiopia to do the same thing by making education a reality for them. Click here to visit the 7dayringproject’s website, learn more about their story and business model, and purchase a ring or two!

Why initiatives like the 7dayringproject matter

In 2015, the United Nations adopted the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a series of commitments that aim to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change. Two specific goals of the SDGs are the deliverance of quality education and gender equality. In development work, it’s well known that empowering women and girls is key to breaking the cyclical nature of poverty, and to empower is to educate. Due to harmful gender stereotypes, poverty, and early pregnancies and marriage, many girls and young women don’t complete their educations. According to UNESCO statistics, 31 of 57 million children not in primary school are girls while 493 million of the world’s illiterate population are women. Just how important is girls’ education and how much does it really contribute to fighting poverty? UN Women notes that improved education accounts for 50% of economic growth in OECD countries, a group of wealthy Western nations, in the last fifty years. Half of that growth statistic is a result of more women in higher education. For developing countries, ensuring girls are able to obtain and complete primary and secondary educations will be a difficult task, as they must also deal with other dimensions of poverty, such as health, to render education effective. In spite of this, the value of ensuring girls’ educations is no less important. In a PR statement, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova confidently states, “We know increasing the education of adolescent girls and young women carries impact across generations. We know education is the best cure against transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child. We know it is the best way to avert child marriage. We know if all women completed primary education, we could reduce by 70 per cent the number of women dying in childbirth in sub-Saharan Africa – saving over 100,000 lives every year.”  

IdeasXChange Hub Events
Note: From January until June 2015, our events were promoted under “Values in Perspective”. We have since changed our name to IdeasXChange. Is it possible for a company to add value to society and still make profits without harming the environment? Is it enough to let governments and NGOs take care of the environmental and social issues prevalent in the world today and let businesses escape corporate responsibility? And if it isn’t, to what extent should businesses and people be held responsible for the damage they cause? On March 24, 2015, IdeasXChange engaged 30 UBC students and faculty, practitioners and community members in a panel and discussion on corporate social responsibility. Western Canadian Anchor at Purpose Capital Christie Stephenson; and Robert Crawford, UBC professor and chair of Multinational Corporations course, were both panelists at the workshop. Participants gathered for case studies and a discussion after the panel. What is Corporate Social Responsibility? Milton Friedman, an American economist famously stated, “there is one and only one social responsibility of business — to increase its profits so long as it engages in open and free competition without deception or fraud.” However, the business landscape is changing, and more and more people are considering the social responsibility of business to incorporate far more than responsibility to shareholders and maximising profits. At the very heart of Corporate Social Responsibility is the triple bottom line- the notion that businesses should consider all three economic, environmental and social impacts of their actions. These three pillars are often abbreviated as the 3 Ps- People, Planet, and Profit, and a firm with a strong CSR mission would incorporate all these into their values, culture, decision making, strategy and operations. These increases businesses’ responsibilities to consider other community stakeholders, like the responsibility to provide clean air for residents and hence to reduce carbon emissions. There are many components of CSR, and improving social and environmental conditions could range from addressing the supply chain (looking at more ethical ways of sourcing materials, finding better ways to dispose waste) to human resources (improving the company culture, providing health benefits that increase wellbeing for employees and their families). Stephenson, talked about her experience with social impact from a financial perspective, and described the components of Impact Investing– investments made to generate social or environmental impact while not compromising the financial return. She also talked about metrics and ways to measure these impacts. One of the better known metrics are called ESG-Environmental, Social and Governance metrics. Although CSR does have its credits, it also has its shortcomings. Professor Crawford, was able to touch on some of the bigger picture issues surrounding CSR, such as the potential for Greenwashing– when a firm advertises itself as an advocate for CSR but does so purely for profit purposes and doesn’t attempt to incorporate it into its operations and firm mission, and the lack of incentives for Multinational Corporations to monitor its behaviour.
Panel Members: Christie Stephenson: Western Canada, Purpose Capital. She has spent the past 15 years involved in impact investing and social enterprise as an investor, board member, mentor, and through her work in the socially responsible investing field. She spent 14 years at Canada’s leading socially responsible investing firms Sustainalytics and NEI Investments, where she managed the environmental, social and governance evaluations program. She has also served on the boards of numerous social enterprises. Robert Crawford: UBC Professor and Arts One Program Chair. Professor at UBC since 1995, focusing on international relations, political philosophy, and international political economy. His Multinational Corporations (MNCs) and States in the Modern Era course evaluates the perceived benefits and costs of foreign direct investment in select countries, regions, and industries, while analyzing the effectiveness or desirability of various attempts to control, limit, and regulate MNC behaviour. He has taught at SFU, UVIC, published two books on international relations, and is the UBC Arts One Program Chair.

IdeasXChange Hub Events

Note: From January until June 2015, our events were promoted under “Values in Perspective”. We have since changed our name to IdeasXChange.

March 31, 2015: IdeasXChange hosted an interactive workshop on the changing face of international development – one that focuses on encouraging local talent to find solutions to poverty  instead of traditional aid-giving models established by Western countries.

Over 40 participants ranging from UBC students and faculty, practitioners, and community members joined pioneers and practitioners in the field of international development. The discussion focused on moving towards more sustainable models to tackle poverty by supporting local entrepreneurship and talent.

What is the problem with international aid?

Some argue there are problems with Western aid programs for the developing world. They argue that aid may have worsened poverty and encouraged corruption. Meanwhile, others have taken a different approach to alleviate poverty by supporting local talent through entrepreneurship. This is a model that supports programs such as social enterprises and microfinance, instead of seeing individuals in the developing world as incapable of finding local solutions to local problems.

Legacy of colonization and dependence on primary commodities (raw materials)

Poverty and economic stagnation – a prolonged and slow period of economic growth – in the developing world is complex.  It is the result of historical events, external factors, and dysfunctional economies and government institutions. All of these factors put developing countries in a position of disadvantage which doesn’t allow them to compete fairly at the international scale with higher-income countries.

The legacy of colonization affects development. European colonization led to the reorganization of:

Human capital – skills, knowledge and experience possessed by an individual or group of people, viewed in terms of economic value.

Financial capital – economic resources measured in terms of money used by businesses to buy what is needed to make their product or provide their services.

Natural resources – substances or materials such as minerals, water, forest and last that occur in nature and are used for economic gain.

Once many of these former colonies gained independence in the 20th century, many of them became reliant on a few resources, generally raw materials without an added value.

Added value is the money gained at every step of a production of a good – for instance, people profit when trees are cut, when they are processed into planks, when the wood is ultimately turned into furniture and when it is sold in a store. Generally-speaking, those that profit the most are closer to the finished products, which are often times in higher-income countries.

As a result, poorer countries become dependent on the flow of money from these higher-income countries to sustain their economies since they don’t have finished products themselves to sell.

Aid can worsen poverty and lead to corruption if not administered responsibly

Some argue the legacy of dependence from the higher-incomes has continued into the 20th century through international aid. Aid has not always taken into account the local needs of the communities they are working in. According to economist Dambisa Moyo, nearly a trillion dollars in international aid to Sub-Saharan Africa in the 20th century has in fact, worsened living conditions in the continent and encouraged corruption.

This is because aid is often times not monitored and because governments are not compelled to provide essential services for their people. Instead, NGOs and other Western organizations take care of that, which perpetuates a vicious cycle of poverty and doesn’t lift developing countries out of poverty.

Supporting local entrepreneurs and local talent to alleviate poverty

As a result of these policies, some have taken a different approach to international development. An approach that takes into account the needs of local communities by working in partnership with locals by supporting social enterprises and microfinance.

Panelist Aklilu Mulat, a native Ethiopian gave an example during the IdeasXChange workshop. Mangos for instance grow in such abundance in Ethopia that they are sold at below-market prices to countries like Saudia Arabia since many in the country lack the facilities to store or process such fruits. Three months later, the same mangoes come back to Ethiopia and other eastern African countries as juice.

Through the Arc Initiative, a UBC project sponsored by the Sauder School of Business which Mulat helped to pioneer – juice-making businesses have been set up throughout Ethiopia by working side-by-side with local entrepreneurs who can run these businesses. Mulat argues that this model can help local economies and in turn, lift people out of poverty.

Panel discussion on supporting local talent and working with communities

The following three panelists provided their field expertise on how to achieve sustainable development by supporting local talent through business, entrepreneurship and innovation.

  • Jeff Kroeker: Head of the Arc Initiative by the Sauder School of Business, an initiative seeks to build a bridge, to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and business skills. BA (Trinity Western), MBA (Queen ’s), CMA, FCMA.
  • Aklilu Mulat: Born in Ethiopia, he came to Canada in 1979. Over 20 years serving with various not-for-profit organizations, experience conducting internal audits of field operations in Canada and overseas. Aklilu was also part of a group which developed the evaluation criteria for not-for-profit organizations funded by CIDA. B.Sc. (Natural Science), BA (Business Administration), CMA.
  • Barry Thorsness: Project Founder/Coordinator of TAFA, an NGO providing education for children in Malawi, helping to finance business school for a number of its pupils and a believer in fostering local entrepreneurship and local talent. TAFA’s directors are based in Malawi and are involved in supporting an array of projects from rice/maize plots to a sausage making business. A discussion on the theme of encouraging

After panel introductions and a question and answer period, participants worked together through breakout sessions on how to move towards more sustainable development aid models.


NASA has released its sharpest images of Pluto’s frozen wonderland to date. The photos taken from NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft captured resolutions between 250 to 280 feet per pixel – meaning the images reveal areas smaller than half a city block. The super high-resolution images of the dwarf planet were taken during New Horizons July flyby. The above video is composed of the images captured by NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft during its July flyby. The photos captured an 80 kilometre wide strip starting at Pluto’s horizon as seen from the spacecraft, to the shoreline of an icy plain known as Sputnik. “These close-up images, showing the diversity of terrain on Pluto, demonstrate the power of our robotic planetary explorers to return intriguing data to scientists back here on planet Earth,” said John Grunsfeld in a statement, former astronaut and associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate. The images were captured with the telescopic Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) aboard the New Horizons spacecraft. It took previous spacecrafts decades to capture images at this resolution of Venus and Mars, but took New Horizons only less than five months to capture images at this sharpness of Pluto. Scientists expect more images of the icy terrain over the next several days.


A study published online in Psychological Medicine looked at the effects of skunk – a potent form of cannabis with stronger smell and containing higher levels of the main active ingredient in marijuana, delta-9- tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) – on the brain. Various sources such as Forbes however, have pointed out this is a bit of a chicken-and-egg problem. Which condition exists first, the psychotic symptoms or the marijuana smoking? A team at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London in the UK, found the use of skunk to correlate with damage to the– an important part of the brain responsible for communication between the left and right hemisphere. The study says the use of this potent form of pot is linked to psychotic symptoms. A previous study from King’s College linked the use of skunk to a fivefold increased risk of psychosis – a term which describes hallucinations and delusions from mental disorders, such as schizophrenia. The team looked at about 100 individuals, about half with psychotic symptoms and the other half with no symptoms of psychosis. They gathered information regarding their past use of cannabis and other recreational drugs. Those with a history of frequent use of high-potency cannabis showed signs of white matter damage in their corpus callosum – an area of the brain with greater cannabinoid receptors, which targets THC. The study states :  “Frequent use of high-potency cannabis is associated with disturbed callosal microstructural organization in individuals with and without psychosis. Since high-potency preparations are now replacing traditional herbal drugs in many European countries, raising awareness about the risks of high-potency cannabis is crucial.”

Sustainability, Environment, World
UN member countries, non-governmental organizations, lobbyist groups and UN agencies represented their interests in the development of a universal agreement on climate change at the COP21 climate change conference in Paris, with many expecting great results. Fairtrade International, one of the largest fair trade certification groups – part of a movement asking consumers to pay a little more for a product to help the people who produce it – is one such organization. In a short video series featuring farmers from across the globe, from Kenya to Peru to India, Fairtrade sparks a discussion on the monumental importance of reducing climate change.

What’s so important about COP21?

Climate change has begun to be a front and centre issue for both developed and developing countries today; meetings like COP serve as valuable opportunities for the global community to work together towards a common goal of reducing the effects of global warming. Within COP21 is the Lima-Paris Action Agenda (LPAA), a platform where countries and non-governmental actors discuss their respective interests in order to reach an agreement on cooperative climate change action. The LPAA highlights in a statement both the mounting threat of climate change against agriculture and the fact that agriculture accounts for 24% of greenhouse gas emissions, major contributors to global warming. This is a key concern for Fairtrade because many of their partners’ livelihoods are agricultural. The LPAA proposed initiatives focusing on four areas: soils in agriculture, food losses and waste, sustainable production, and resilience of farmers. Partnerships developed within the LPAA will commit money and technical knowledge towards supporting farmers in developed and developing countries to become key actors in the global drive to reduce climate change.

Fairtrade farmers

The farmers featured in Fairtrade’s video series are members of cooperatives – jointly-owned businesses that share profits with members, in their countries – partnering with Fairtrade to ensure that members receive fair payment for their goods. Generally, Fairtrade partners are farmers or artisans who partner with the organization as a way to combat the highly competitive nature of free trade that would pay them very low prices for their work. These competitive prices are not enough for them to survive on. With agriculture as their livelihoods, they understandably have many concerns about climate change and how COP21 decisions will directly affect them.

Their thoughts on COP21

The farmers in Fairtrade’s videos express a sense of urgency about COP21. From Kenya to India to Mexico, climate change is affecting small-scale farmers in devastating ways. “It doesn’t rain when it should, and it rains when it shouldn’t,” says Luis Martínez Villanueva, a representative from Mexico. Changing weather patterns are problematic for farmers, driving down production by causing droughts and crop diseases. With falling production, farmers’ incomes are falling, too. Facing such grim realities, farmers set their hopes high for COP21. Victor Biwot, a tea farmer from Kenya, says he’d like to see more activities spearheaded by developed countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to support African farmers to adopt energy efficient methods. A representative of the Suminter India Organic Farmers Consortium, Benny Mathew, demonstrates that solar power allows farmers to dry 500g of seeds using 250kg instead of 1500kg of firewood. By using a more sustainable energy source, farmers in Kerala, India are able to do more work at less cost to the environment. Making moves towards greener energy use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions may seem like moving a mountain, but to small-scale farmers, it will be life-changing. “We need to have high expectations even if we don’t reach them,” Villanueva continues, “small changes in big countries mean that small countries can have high hopes.”     

Private US companies can now mine asteroids for minerals, despite it violating a major treaty of space laws. This came after the signing of a major bill by United States President Barack Obama. The bill called the US Commercial Space Launch Competitiveness Act, allows US citizens to obtain, own and mine asteroids. This law makes it easier for private American companies to explore and obtain space resources commercially. Until now, nobody could claim commercial ownership of any space material. The bill states: “A United States citizen engaged in commercial recovery of an asteroid resource or a space resource under this chapter shall be entitled to any asteroid resource or space resource obtained, including to possess, own, transport, use, and sell the asteroid resource or space resource obtained in accordance with applicable law, including the international obligations of the United States.” Eric Anderson, co-founder and co-chairman of Planetary Resource – an American company aiming to make profits from asteroid mining – said in a statement, “this is the single greatest recognition of property rights in history … this legislation establishes the same supportive framework that created the great economies of history, and will encourage the sustained development of space.” In 1967, the US wrote and signed the Outer Space Treaty along with 124 other countries – it states “celestial bodies,” including the moon may not be claimed by or owned by any nation.

Science, Innovation
Are you a student or have a child in Grade 7 to 12? Students are encouraged to apply and present their projects in their school-run science fair where teachers will select students to represent their school at the Greater Vancouver Regional Science Fair in April, 2016. About 350 students will present their projects at the GVRSF. Projects will include areas of discovery, health, energy, innovation, environment and resources. Top cash prices are valued at over $30,000, other awards will include travel awards, scholarships and trophies – 17 students will also earn spots to the 2016 Canada-Wide Science Fair. Three types of projects will be accepted: experiment – an investigation to test a scientific hypothesis; innovation – the development and evaluation of innovative technology, models or techniques; study: a collection and analysis of data revealing evidence of a situation or fact, or a study of cause and effect relationships or theoretical investigation. Application deadline is at 3:00pm March 8, 2016. For more information on registration and application guidelines click here.

Sustainability, IdeasXChange Hub Events

Note: From January until June 2015, our events were promoted under “Values in Perspective”. We have since changed our name to IdeasXChange.

March 17, 2015: Over 50 participants – ranging from UBC students and faculty, practitioners and community members joined some of Vancouver’s most known ecological economists for a discussion on how to move towards more sustainable models to drive the economy.

As the discussion around the environment increases, some economists and scholars are challenging the very foundations of economic models created to distribute resources. They are doing this through a new discipline called ecological economics.

What is Ecological Economics?

Ecological economics aims to improve and expand economic theory – the distribution of resources in an efficient way – to include the earth’s natural systems, human values and human well-being. These are factors that some say are often times excluded from traditional economic models. Most economists refer to these costs as “externalities.” Ecological economists want to change that model.

The concept of ecological economics encompasses topics including, but not limited to:

Interdisciplinary thinking – the environment (e.g. earth, biosphere), social issues (e.g. poverty, inequality), time (e.g. long term impact of human activities) and sustainable development all form part of ecological economics. It is a model that challenges the focus on human-made capital (money).

Planetary boundaries – economies should respect biophysical limits. Economic growth is not sustainable because the Earth and its resources has limits.

Sustainability – ecological economists generally reject that all natural capital (e.g. water, arable land, species) can be substituted or purchased by human-made capital. There is a focus to preserve and protect resources instead of depleting them.

Environmental economics is not the same as ecological economics.

Environmental economics is the mainstream model that essentially puts a price on natural capital (e.g. resources). Ecological economics instead has a strong emphasis on sustainability and sees the economy as a subsystem of the environment.

Panel discussion: Moving towards a more sustainable economic model

Three of Vancouver’s most known ecological economists joined a diverse audience to address how society, individuals and policy makers can move towards more sustainable and inclusive economic models.

The panelists included:

Tom Green: Vancouver-based ecological economist with a PhD (UBC). Associate Faculty with at Royal Roads University, visiting faculty at SFU, former post doc at Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Michelle Molnar: Economist at the David Suzuki Foundation (DSF), and VP for Programs at the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics (CANSEE). Professor at BCIT, MA (Public Policy), MA (Philosophy); BA (Economics & Philosophy).

Michael Barkusky: BA (Honours) in Economics; MBA, and the CGA designation (since 1985). He is the Secretary-Treasurer of CANSEE. Diverse experience in a wide range of sectors as an employee and entrepreneur.

After panel introductions and a question and answer period, participants worked together through breakout sessions on how to move towards more sustainable economic models – from a local, international, policy and corporate perspective.