Energy: The Problem To Solve on TVO's The Agenda with Steve Paikin

How hopeful can we be about new technologies paving a path away from our current reliance on oil-based energy? Energy experts investigate the alternatives in a moderated discussion presented live on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin.

Applications Open for Young Leaders to Participate in Generation SDG

Generation SDG is the fourth Summit hosted by Waterloo Global Science Initiative. WGSI brings together brilliant minds and unheard voices from different disciplines, generations, and geographies to address the pressing challenges of tomorrow — today.  The cornerstone conversation is our Summit Series hosted in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada  every two years. We believe in the importance of creating a level playing field where people can think outside the box. That’s why our Summit Series is not a traditional conference. Summit attendees include Canada’s sharpest leaders, ideators, and emerging minds — through the space we create, we elevate the expertise, lived experiences, and ideas of this unlikely group of collaborators. Generation SDG will focus on bringing together a multi-disciplinary, multi-sectoral and multi-generational group of people working on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals in Canada to build a robust ecosystem for implementation at home and abroad. Our goal is to develop a cohesive Canadian narrative and clear pathways for collaboration that will help catalyse the implementation of the SDGs in Canada. A key part of WGSI's Summit structure is ensuring that 50% of the room (about 20 people) are young leaders between the ages of 18 and 30. Afterall, it is this generation that will be tasked with ensuring a sustainable future for all. Applications are open now for young leaders aged 18-30 who reside in Canada to participate in this innovative Summit. To faciliate participatio, WGSI finances and coordinates all pre-approved air and ground travel, accommodations, and meals for participants during the Summit.  We encourage applicants from all areas of sustainable development covered by the UN Sustainable Development Goals including but not limited to health, education, gender equity, water rights and quality, energy, decent and work and economic growth, reducing inequalities, Indigenous rights, sustainable cities and communities, responsible consumption and production, climate action, peace and justice. Visit for more details and conditions of eligibility.  

Learning 2030 Blueprint Launch

Summit Curator Michael Brooks, and Summit participants Sam Levin and Susan Opok discuss the recommendations at WGSI's Learning 2030 Summit at the World Literacy Summit (April 14-16, 2014 - Oxford, UK).


WGSI Supports Discourse Media's New Sustainable Development Beat

WGSI is excited to announce our support of DIscourse Media's new beat critically examining Canada’s commitment and contributions to the global Sustainable Development Goals. Alia Dharssi has joined the Discourse team as a sustainable development reporter.  Photo by Sijia Lun Dharssi brings expertise in social science research and global development issues to the role. She has previously covered immigration, global development issues, Canadian politics and women’s rights for a variety of Canadian and international media outlets as a Global Journalism Fellow at the Munk School of Global Affairs and as a freelance journalist. She also researched and wrote about challenges facing cities in developing countries as a graduate student at Oxford and William J. Clinton Fellow in India. As the 2016 Michelle Lang Fellow at the Calgary Herald and National Post, Dharssi spent a year investigating Canadian immigration policy to produce a series that revealed ways in which immigration policies have pushed thousands of migrant workers into Canada’s underground economy and resulted in billions of dollars in losses to the Canadian economy each year. Dharssi is eager to dive into her new beat and would love to hear your thoughts on how you would like to see Discourse Media cover the Sustainable Development Goals. She’ll be launching a newsletter soon, so please subscribe. This reporting beat arises from a collaboration between WGSI and Discourse. WGSI has previously partnered with Discourse on Power Struggle — a collaborative journalism project between reporters investigating energy poverty in developing countries. 

WGSI Supports AE4H Innovation Lab Tackling Clean Energy for the Developing World

By Nigel Moore, Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy - Read the original post at the University of Waterloo's website   Image: Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy Providing affordable renewable energy to more than 1 billion people who do not have access to reliable electricity is increasingly recognized as a major opportunity for meeting global development and climate change goals. Small-scale solar and other renewable energy technologies are beginning to gain a foothold in sub-Saharan Africa, developing Asia and other energy poor regions of the world where their provision can lead to better outcomes in areas such as health, education, agriculture, economic opportunity and poverty eradication. Meeting this challenge requires innovation in everything from technology to business models and government policies. For this reason, the Waterloo Institute for Sustainable Energy (WISE) has joined together with a consortium of leading researchers and institutions to create the Affordable Energy for Humanity (AE4H) initiative. AE4H is working to bring academic, private and public sector experts together to accelerate innovation in this growing development sector. Recently, WISE, together with partners at the Waterloo Global Science Initiative, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies, hosted an “innovation lab” in Germany to scope new research areas for global energy access. The event featured working sessions on a diverse set of themes from policy to technology and capacity-building. It brought together 53 innovators from 31 institutions in 16 countries, including six Waterloo researchers and staff members and two Waterloo-based entrepreneurs who have worked with Velocity to develop new energy access ventures. Speakers at the innovation lab discussed how data gathering, sharing and interpretation is one way that private, public and academic sectors can collaboratively support decision-making to more quickly bring energy to developing regions. According to Bissan Ghaddar, a professor in Waterloo Engineering’s Department of Management Sciences, “The availability of open and standardized data coupled with analytics will be a game-changer when it comes to achieving accessible, affordable and sustainable energy for all.” Velocity startup founder Uche Onuora, whose company HITCH is innovating off-grid Internet routers for the African market said, “I came in believing that energy access was an add-on value to our target end-users. I left understanding that energy access is the platform that HITCH rides on to deliver its value. And like all platform technologies, the key to unlocking our full value lies in the relative data it aggregates, mines, and analyzes.”  Entrepreneurs will also be key to opening up energy access in remote regions. To support them, incubators and business accelerators like Velocity and Communitech here in the Waterloo Region should be replicated in regions facing energy poverty. Institutions like Waterloo may therefore have an important role to play in helping to establish and nurture such efforts throughout the developing world. Since it was launched in late 2015, AE4H has collaborated with the Waterloo Global Science Initiative on their most recent summit and helped to develop the OpenAccess Energy Blueprint—a report that outlines a pathway to growing the global energy access sector through specific actions in the areas of policy, finance, entrepreneurship support and local capacity building. The AE4H consortium is now comprised of over 130 researchers and practitioners from 50 institutions in 20 countries.

Read the OpenAccess Energy Blueprint on Discourse Media's Power Struggle platform

Thanks to Discourse Media, there is a new, more responsive way to read and share Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI)'s OpenAccess Energy Blueprint —  a clear and accessible pathway to create and support an ecosystem in which a dynamic energy access sector can thrive — via their Power Struggle platform. After you page through the Blueprint, explore Power Struggle — a collaboration of journalists who are investigating how energy poverty affects people in Kiribati, Canada, Romania, Cameroon, Nepal and beyond and what solutions are emerging.

Introducing Discourse Media's 2017 Access to Energy Journalism Fellows

Discourse Media is excited to announce that it has selected four fellows for the second Access to Energy Journalism fellowship (AEJF) —  a project aimed at producing critical, deep reporting on global energy poverty. This fellowship will focus on reporting about energy access in sub-Saharan Africa. Journalists Adelana Olajide, Sally Nyakanyanga, Kossi Elom Balao and Gabrielle Nina Mitch will be reporting on energy access in Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Togo, Benin and Democratic Republic of Congo. By deepening energy poverty reporting through local coverage, this project aims to bring reporting together on an international platform, paint a global picture of the energy poverty landscape, and examine potential solutions. As fellows dig into energy access solutions in their regions, we want to know what Canada’s role is in this. Led by award-winning South African-Canadian Reporter, Richard Poplak,  Discourse Media will investigate Canada’s connection to energy development in sub-Saharan Africa. “As journalism jobs are being cut back around the world, it’s important to look for creative ways to tell in-depth stories,” says Lindsay Sample, Managing Editor at Discourse Media. “I believe that through this collaborative reporting we can surface diverse perspectives and deepen the reporting on energy access globally.” The reporting will be featured on Discourse’s Power Struggle platform and by each reporter’s local media outlet. If you’re interested in following this work, sign up for Discourse's newsletter or follow on Facebook and Twitter for updates. The AEJF is administered and produced by Discourse Media through funding from the Waterloo Global Science Initiative. WGSI’s support of the project does not imply endorsement of or influence over the content produced. About Discourse Media: Discourse Media is an independent journalism company dedicated to in-depth reporting on complex issues facing Canada and the world. We are building a home for new approaches to storytelling that look beyond conflict-driven daily news cycles. We tell stories Canadians need in ways they can trust. About Waterloo Global Science Initiative: Founded in 2009, Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) is a non-profit partnership between Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics and the University of Waterloo. The mandate of WGSI is to promote dialogue around complex global issues and to catalyze the long-range thinking necessary to advance ideas, opportunities and strategies for a secure and sustainable future through our Summit Series, Blueprints and Impact Activities. Contact: Lindsay Sample, Managing editor Phone: (604) 363-4531

Trusting Partnerships for Climate Resilience & Adaptation in Remote & Indigenous Communities

Official COP22 side event presented by Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) and The Rockies Institute (TRI) in Marrakech, Morocco.

This session explored creative alliances between Indigenous and non-Indigenous actors that establish trust and build climate resilience in Canadian & global South Indigenous communities. Impactful solutions for building knowledge & capacity and implementing renewable energy & infrastructure were presented.  


Join Waterloo Global Science Initiative (WGSI) at COP22 in Marrakech on November 16, 2016 to discuss how innovative partnerships with Indigenous communities and journalists are changing the energy access landscape.   Official COP22 Side Event:  Trusting Partnerships for Climate Resilience & Adaptation in Remote & Indigenous Communities Reception at La Mamounia: Celebrate the Launch of the Second  Access to Energy Journalism Fellowship November 16, 2016 1500-1630 GMT Arabian Room November 16, 2016 1700-1900 GMT The Moroccan Restaurant in La Mamounia, Avenue Bab Jdid, 40 040 Marrakech Presented by: University of Waterloo via Waterloo Global Science Initiative and The Rockies Institute Presented by: Waterloo Global Science Initiative and Discourse Media Explore creative alliances between Indigenous and non-Indigenous actors that establish trust and build climate resilience in Canadian & global South Indigenous communities. Impactful solutions for building knowledge & capacity and implementing renewable energy & infrastructure will be presented.     Celebrate the launch of Discourse Media's second Access to Energy Journalism Fellowship and the continuation of the Power Struggle journalism platform at the stunning La Mamounia, a 5-star hotel in a legendary palace that is part of the fabric of Marrakech.     Panelists: Michael Brooks (Journalist), Kansie Fox (Kainai First Nation), Bill Lenihan (Off Grid Electric), Aaron Leopold (Practical Action), Laura Lynes (Rockies Institute), Fabiola Ortiz (Discourse Media), Greg Poelzer (USask)    BEADS OF HOPE - SPECIAL ACTIVITY During the panel discussion audience members will have the opportunity to contribute to a string beads collected from across Canada. At the end of the side event The Rockies Insitute will present the beads to Kansie Fox as a representative of the Kainai First Nation (Blood Tribe), their Indigenous partner, to take back to her community as a symbol of global cooperation and hope. SESSION AUDIO HERE Dress code: Business casual. Please note that shorts, capri pants and open toe shoes or sandals are not permitted. Skirts should be at least knee length, hosiery preferred.  

Green Energy Doors Open Showcase Kicks Off September 9th

Sustainable energy and sustainability initiatives will be the focus for many Ontarians on the weekend of September 9 to 11 during Green Energy Doors Open. Thousands of people are expected to visit the 150 events that are taking place across Ontario, showcasing the passion and enthusiasm of individual homeowners, community groups and organizations for solar, wind, net-zero homes, electric cars, geothermal and more. “With climate change action being a cause of both concern as well as excitement for many people, this initiative by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) provides a great opportunity to get close to actual projects and to learn from the experiences of those who have spent their time and energy to develop them,” says Nicole Risse, OSEA’s Executive Director. "Buildings and transportation account for about 70% of greenhouse gas emissions in urban centres, so greening our buildings is essential. The good news is that it's doable. At TD, our green building program is the key reason we've been able to reduce GHG emissions from energy by 20% since 2008, despite occupying 26% more space," says Karen Clarke-Whistler, TD's Chief Environment Officer. "Green Energy Doors Open is a great opportunity to see a huge range of innovative green buildings. It's incredibly inspiring, and we are excited that the idea of Green Energy Doors Open is spreading and now includes other provinces, such as Alberta and British Columbia." “At Enbridge, we believe in sustainability and are concerned about the impacts of climate change. With and for our customers, we have worked for years striving to find innovative solutions to save energy and to improve the overall efficiency of their buildings. That is also why we started the “Savings by Design” initiative, which is a collaborative, multi-stakeholder approach to gain maximum energy efficiency in new building structures. We are proud to partner with OSEA on this campaign as it gives us the opportunity to inform the public about this part of our business,” explains Shannon Bertuzzi, Manger, Residential Energy Solutions of Enbridge Gas Distribution Inc.  “Our members are very excited to be supporting this initiative again,” says Joe Mulhall, President of the Canadian Union of Skilled Workers. “Green Energy Doors Open hosts are teaching us that we can power, heat, cool and move ourselves sustainably, while building resilient and prosperous communities and acting responsibly to mitigate Climate Change.” The events during Green Energy Doors Open are family friendly and offer a lot of variety – both in terms of technologies that are being demonstrated as well as in the type of events that are taking place, ranging from community BBQs, over site tours and EV test drives, to workshops, movie screenings, and much more.  Join WGSI & Other Waterloo Region Sustainability Groups for Green Energy Doors Open REEP Green Speaker & Open House September 10, 2016 10am - 3:30pm (Speaker at 1:30pm) 20 Mill St., Kitchener REEP House for Sustainable Living is hosting an open house event during this year’s Green Energy Doors Open. Danielle Laperriere from ClimateActionWR will be joining for an exciting talk at 1:30pm. Join the Plan Manager of ClimateActionWR to explore changes you can make in your daily life and at home to contribute to our collective impact. Learn how you can play a role in achieving our community carbon reduction target! Danielle Laperriere facilitates the ClimateActionWR partnership between Sustainable Waterloo Region, REEP Green Solutions and the Region of Waterloo, along with area municipalities, local energy utilities and the community at large. She is responsible for developing relationships among partners, guiding and executing project planning, and managing external communication. Danielle has a Bachelor’s of Environmental Studies in International Development from the University of Waterloo and is currently pursuing a part-time Sustainable MBA from Green Mountain College. Tour Under The Shade Of Solar Panels At MCC Ontario September 10, 2016 10am - 2pm  50 Kent Ave., Kitchener Join us and celebrate the opening of the new rooftop solar system at Mennonite Central Committee Ontario. We will be celebrating indoors in the Atrium at 50 Kent Avenue, where there will be: Speeches from MCC Ontario and CED Co-op representatives - Ribbon cutting - Live display of the energy being generated by the system - Information about investing in renewable energy Guided tours will take you up to the roof where you can walk underneath the solar system and see this unique system first hand. Learn about what makes this solar system unique, and how MCC Ontario is living their values and putting stewardship into action by reducing their environmental impact. Speak with the team from Community Energy Development Co-operative about how individuals are investing in solar projects like this and earning a return on their investment while supporting the distributed generation of clean, green energy in Ontario. Sustainability Showcase at the University of Waterloo September 10, 2016 Come on by to learn more about WGSI, Community Car Share, ELSE Solar Ambassadors and the Waterloo Insitute for Sustainable Energy. More details to follow.   About Green Energy Doors Open Green Energy Doors Open is a province-wide, year-round communications campaign and showcase of individual, community and commercial sustainable energy projects organized and spearheaded by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association. The initiative aims to showcase advancements in the sector, demonstrating that Ontario is already on the path to building a 100% clean and sustainable energy system. Green Energy Doors Open takes place in Ontario, Alberta, and British Columbia. About OSEA The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) is championing a prosperous Ontario with a thriving sustainable energy sector, good jobs, resilient communities and healthy environments powered, heated, cooled and moved by portfolios of sustainable energy by raising public awareness, advising decision makers and establishing forums for new market opportunities and collaboration. Find us on the web at Media Contact                Nicole Risse, Executive Director, OSEA 416-977-4441 ext. 3 416-892-0559 (cell)