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The Future of Energy and Buildings: Powered by Innovation

Welcome to the Future of Energy and Buildings: Powered by Innovation RSI leadership dinner & dialogue and Innovation Zone.

This is an accelerated action-focused exchange for forward-thinking leaders, entrepreneurs and experts from business, finance, science, cities and civil society.

Join us to discover opportunities for stepping up to the climate change challenge – with a focus on proven, innovative solutions for future proofing energy and buildings in urban and rural communities.  And, connect with leaders and action partners from several sectors to shape a better future together!

Connecting the Dots:
Climate Change. Energy. Buildings. Innovation.

  • The Globe & Mail reported that 70% of Canadians are concerned about climate change and want to take positive action.
  • 81% of Canada’s human-made greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions causing the climate to change, come from the production and use of energy.
  • International Energy Agency (IEA) report says the largest potential for energy efficiency and reduction of carbon emissions in Canada is from the buildings.
  • Canada will not reach its climate targets by focusing solely on reducing emissions from new buildings. That’s because most buildings that will be in existence in 2050 have already been built.

However, in spite of the evidence and desire for action, most leaders are not sure what to do in their organizations, their communities or how to prioritize what’s most important.

The Opportunity:

By working together towards achieving a more sustainable, resilient and prosperous low carbon future, we can speed up the discovery and deployment of actionable solutions.

The June 10th RSI Leadership Dinner & Dialogue supports that mission with actionable insights, use cases and solution takeaways presented by recognized market leaders and experts who are already harnessing innovation for future proofing energy and buildings – and have a clear direction for what’s up ahead.

To set the stage with a broader, global context, the evening will be ignited by global and holistic overview of the new realities impacting ‘business as usual’ and society –and the importance of investing in innovative energy and building solutions.

Keynote Presentations

The Global Context – Setting the Stage

Dr. Yannick Beaudoin
Director-General Ontario and Northern Canada, The David Suzuki Foundation (DSF)

 “Future proofing our built spaces: a new economics to catalyze real sustainability”

So far, the global move towards sustainability has resulted in more unsustainability. We have increased our efficiencies in a manner that leads to increased demand,  more waste and more pollution. What lies at the heart of this ‘paradox’? What drives cumulative unsustainability even as we deploy individual innovations and efforts that are meant to decrease negative impacts? We continue to work with an economic operating system that has barely evolved since the mid-20th century, and we expect it to deliver on new social and ecological goals – goals it was not designed to recognize. Let’s explore together how our desire to innovate for the future of energy and buildings can catalyze the same innovation spirit to enable new economic purpose.

About Yannick
He brings a ‘new economics for transition’ lens to organizations to enable the transformation of Canada towards social and ecological sustainability. Formerly, Chief Scientist of GRID-Arendal, a center collaborating with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, located in Norway, which provided him with the opportunity to explore stories of sustainability in all corners of the world.  He applies a science of change and participatory social processes to a variety of themes including adaptation to uncertain climate futures and innovation for new development and economic paradigms.

Action Learning Clusters

Each of these multi-disciplined groups include forwarding thinking leaders known for seeing the big picture and creating sustainable, resilient and scalable energy related solutions for new and existing buildings and business organizations – powered by innovation.

To enhance actionable knowledge sharing, each group focuses one best practice project that illustrates the what, who, why and how these solutions can be applied elsewhere to support a low carbon future.

Revolutionizing Building Design for a Net Positive Future

Cluster Focus: New Buildings
Project:  Evolv1

The focus: Transferrable insights for green building innovation and positive design for positive solutions for new builds. How to motivate, inspire, and educate the public about sustainable design, all within the context of a competitive marketplace — including social and environmental impacts as part of the bottom-line and alignment with the global UNSDGs.

Rachel Bannon-Godfrey
Principal, Sustainability Discipline Leader

Rachel is the global leader for sustainability initiatives in design work, client outreach, and internal operations. She has over 15 years’ experience focusing on the engineering and design of high-performance, net-zero energy buildings. With a passion for multi-disciplinary engagement and expanding the boundaries of ‘sustainability’, she serves on the Mayor’s Sustainability Advisory Council for the City and County of Denver, the Colorado Resource Council.  And, through her previous work with the B Corp community, has gained expertise in supporting diversity and inclusion through design.


Adrian Conrad
Chief Operating Officer
The Cora Group and Evolv1 Developer

Adrian’s business and financial acumen coupled with project management knowledge makes Adrian a discerning commercial developer and a natural partner at The Cora Group. He is passionate about preserving our environment for future generations and a strong proponent of LEED and sustainable development.

Adrian has extensive experience in commercial development and leasing for small and large tenant needs, and over his career, has overseen the development or leasing of more than 2 million square feet of office space within Waterloo Region. He continues to spearhead the creation of premiere, sustainable Class A office spaces tailored to the needs of technology and professional service firms. Cora Group’s portfolio of sustainable properties, located within David Johnson Research + Technology Park in Waterloo’s IdeaQuarter, are among the Region’s most prestigious Class A office locations.

Richard Williams
Principal, Architecture

Richard s is an award-winning architect with over 35 years of experience, and has gained client praise for his sensitivity, dedication, and commitment to achieving their objectives. Richard’s passion is achieving design excellence through sustainability, innovation, and creativity. Richard is an advocate integrated practice—he believes that better solutions come from collaboration between disciplines, as evidenced by his successful leadership of the evolv1 project, which utilized a large multi-disciplinary Stantec team. Sustainability is a core principle with Richard, who seeks appropriate sustainable design in all his work. He is a past Board Director and Secretary of the. GTA Chapter of the Canada Green Building Council and is a member of the OAA Sustainable Built Environment Committee. He also extends this commitment to design excellence and sustainability through lecturing and educational programs.

Sustained Advantage of Intelligent Deep Energy Retrofits 

Cluster Focus: Existing Buildings

Project: Ryerson University Smart Campus Integration
The focus: Scalable and transferrable innovative insights for enhancing the sustainability and resiliency of portfolio of existing buildings – with the value add of transparent operational intelligence and alignment with the global UNSDGs.

Marianne Lefever
Managing Partner, Healthy City

An architect and a strategic thinker with over 10 years of experience in climate mitigation, CleanTech and sustainable city design. After an exciting career as a structural engineer, renewable energy and innovation consultant, and futurist, she returned to her first love of sustainable city design. She is currently working with a Dutch urban planning studio to transform cities around the globe into healthy environments and communities.



Pratik Sharma, MBA

Global Director, Building Service & Performance Management
Armstrong Fluid Technology (AFT)

Pratik firmly believes that technology coupled with right intent can alter the course of our planet by turning sustainability initiatives into financially attractive investments.

In his Global AFT Director and head of Armstrong’s Active Performance Management initiative, he mobilizes this belief as a collaborative, purpose-driven leader who inspires positive change and empowers teams — to develop solutions to advance  our future sustainability – starting with energy in the built environment

His insights are  backed by over 15 years as a business executive and expert leading industry automation services, services sales, integrated plant optimization, process automation and recurring services  at Armstrong and previous global roles at Schneider Electric and StarTech.

Jenn McArthur,
PEng, MASc., PMP, CEM.
Associate Professor, Department of Architectural Science
Ryerson University

Jenn leverages her pre-academic work experience as a mechanical design engineer and project manager to improve the holistic performance of the built environment. She is the PI for Ryerson’s Smart Building Analytics Living Lab and her research program centers on the development of Smart and Continuous Commissioning applications, a BIM and machine-learning integrated Smart Campus Integration platform, and the development of best practices for workplace design integrating both energy/environmental and health/wellness/productivity considerations.

Current projects include developing surrogate models for commercial buildings, machine learning classification and prediction of boiler faults, developing a Roadmap-to-2030 strategy for the Toronto2030 district, online model predictive control systems, and developing a cloud-hosted BIM-integrated facility management platform.   Previously, PM and Lead Mechanical Engineer at ARUP, for several high profile new and existing building projects.

Innovation Zone ( Bonus ) – See Innovation in Action!

To enhance the knowledge sharing experience, the evening includes an intimate innovation zone of future ready energy and building solutions and applications.

Agenda for the Event
4:00pm to 9:15pm + networking

  • Registration and reception in the Innovation Zone
  • Opening remarks, first keynote speaker
  • Action Learning Cluster: New Buildings, Q&A
  • Dinner Dialogue – New Buildings
  • Second keynote speaker
  • Action Learning Cluster: Existing Buildings, Q&A
  • Refreshments, Table Discussions – Existing Buildings
  • One Minute Delegate Report Outs
  • Open Forum with all speakers, Key Takeaways
  • Closing Remarks

Drinks and networking in the Innovation Zone





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