A successful journey to a low-carbon future will require a number of game-changing technologies, policies, programs, processes and innovations within governments, academia and the private sector. Any change is difficult. Successfully implementing a game-changing innovation is close to impossible. This panel of presenters representing the experiences of entrepreneurs, governments and private companies will outline what it took to have their game-changing idea accepted, the challenges they faced along the way, how they built support for their idea and what it meant when it was implemented.
Captain, Edmonton Oilers
Founder of the NHLPA's Carbon-Neutral Challenge
Andrew Ference is a Canadian professional ice hockey defenceman and captain for the Edmonton Oilers of the National Hockey League (NHL). Ference started in the NHL during the 1999–2000 season and has played for the Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins. In 2011, Ference helped the Bruins to their 6th Stanley Cup Championship.
Ference's association with environmentalist David Suzuki while in Calgary led him to create a carbon-neutral program for the NHL, which now includes over 500 players who purchase carbon offset credits to counteract the negative environmental impact of professional sports.
In February 2012 National Geographic began a ten-episode Web series called "Beyond the Puck" highlighting Andrew's life as a NHL Player and "eco-warrior."
Chief Executive at Canada's Oil Sands Innovation Alliance (COSIA)
Dan has been the Chief Executive of COSIA (Canada’s Oil Sands Innovation Alliance) since March 2012. Prior to joining COSIA Dan occupied various senior positions for Environment Canada and Natural Resources Canada including Director General of Wildlife and Landscape Science, Director General of Water Science and Technology, and Director of Strategic Alliances. He was a Senior Policy Advisor to the Canadian Federal Minister of Natural Resources and the Government House Leader, and he launched and was the Executive Director of The Canadian Forest Innovation Council.
Dan is a Board member of the Climate Change and Emissions Management Corporation, and serves on the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producer Responsible Canadian Energy Advisory Committee.
Dan has a BSc. in Biology (University of Guelph, 1990), a MSc. in Aquatic Ecology (University of Calgary, 1994) and a Ph.D. in Aquatic Ecology (University of Montana, 1998). After completing his graduate education, Dan took a faculty position as a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Montana.
Dan’s initial career was as a linebacker in the CFL, playing with both the Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1988) and the Calgary Stampeders (1989-91).
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Vice President, Strategic Progams, NineSigma
Former, Founder and President, TradeQuest Inc.
Denys Resnick is responsible for incubating and launching NineSigma’s new products and services, including NineSigma’s collaboration platform, NineSights. She leads NineSigma’s Grand Challenge Team, and has played a strategic role on the CCEMC Carbon Challenge.
Ms. Resnick interfaces with clients to identify their evolving innovation needs and collaborates with NineSigma’s operations, sales and marketing teams to develop the initiatives that make NineSigma the global innovation leader. Ms. Resnick previously served as NineSigma’s Director of Operations. Before joining Nine Sigma in 2008, Resnick was founder and President of TradeQuest, Inc., a consulting firm that developed and implemented international business growth strategies for global manufacturing and service companies. She brings 20 years of manufacturing and business development experience from companies like RPM, Faber Castell, and FedEx. Resnick earned an MBA in International Business and Finance from New York University, and a BA in International Relations from Tufts University.
Vice - President Growth,Market Strategy and Business Development, GE Canada
Simon Olivier is Vice-President Growth, Market Strategy and Business Development for GE Canada. In this role he is responsible for developing the company's market positioning and driving growth. Simon is also responsible for business development including acquisitions, JV and partnership opportunities that will expand GE's global capabilities. With over 15-years of experience with GE Canada, Simon has held a number of senior positions including General Manager – Renewables for Canada and the Northeast USA where he built a multi-billion dollar business, and senior assignments with GE Capital. Prior to joining GE Canada, Simon held positions with Air Canada.
Simon holds an Engineering Degree from École Polythechnique and an MBA in Finance from McGill University. He recently served on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Wind Energy Association and is a member of the McGill Global Strategy and Leadership Expert Panel. He also lectures and mentors students at McGill University. In 2009, Simon received the "Young Business Leader of Quebec" award.
An avid sports enthusiast, Simon has competed in triathlons and marathons for over 10-years, as well as coaching soccer. Simon and his family reside in Montreal.