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November 19, 2019 | MaRS Discovery District, Toronto Canada

Connect with leaders to shape a Zero Waste, Circular Economy Future



Rethink Waste – Action Partners: Powered by Technology and Collaboration


“Without urgent action, global waste will increase 70% by 2050 compared to current levels. We have to change this trajectory.” – The World Bank

If we don’t change the narrative now, our world will be too polluted to sustain the survival of the natural systems that all humanity depends on.

Recognizing this urgent call for action, RSI is launching an action focused, Rethink Waste initiative for leaders, entrepreneurs and experts to discover and share innovative and scalable solutions to move us closer to a Zero Waste, circular economy future.

The journey starts before, at and beyond the November 19th, RSI Rethink Waste Action Partners leadership dinner dialogue at MaRS to promote proven solutions to specific waste challenges.  Plus, a private gathering for speakers and sponsors.

The Good News

Innovative waste solutions are being discovered, tested, proven and rolled out faster than ever before – creating new opportunities for positive change that can be acted on now.  A key enabler is the power of new technologies and multi-disciplined collaborations that aim to design out waste and enable a circular economy. The end goal for this powerful combo is the creation of a healthier, balanced and zero waste future.

As illustrated on the right, Waste Reduction can be applied to any Phase of the Circular Economy too.

Connect with other leaders, November 19th at MaRS, Toronto, to share, discover and help shape actionable solutions to move Canada closer to a healthy, prosperous and balanced zero waste future.

Featured Waste Categories. Food, construction, technology and plastics.

Who is this initiative for? Senior and emerging business, government and institutional decision-makers and influencers.

Reserve Your Seat at the Leadership Table



Key elements of the Rethink Waste Action Partners Initiative:

September to December

  • Articles, social media and digital communication
  • Thought Leadership Report

November 19th, 6:00pm to 10:00pm:

An interactive exchange of proven, scalable solutions, open forum explorations, dinner dialogue and key takeaways for mobilizing insights.

The speakers will present the perspective of specific action partnerships or collaborations, highlighting actual use cases/projects and practices.

Featured Speakers & Topics

Troy Wright, RSI Chair, and CEO of Lendified Inc.
Troy is former President and CEO of Scotiabank Group Mexico, the largest subsidiary of Scotiabank outside of Canada, current CEO and co-founder of Lendified. He will deliver welcome remarks and comment on the waste challenge impacting humanity from a business perspective and why rethinking waste with other action partners is essential for shaping a better future. Topic: A Business Perspective. Shaping a Better Future

Dr. Yannick Beaudoin, Director-General for Ontario and North Canada, The David Suzuki Foundation. (former Chief Scientist of GRID-Arendal, collaborating with United Nations Environmental Programme and UN Economic Commission for Africa, in Norway)
The Circular Economy – Transforming Waste into Purpose

‘Waste’, in all its forms, is an expected outcome of our take-make-waste society. We have social waste when we choose to allow poverty and homelessness. Extreme environmental waste when we choose to allow the wasteful abuse of the natural systems we wholly depend on. Physical materials ‘waste’, from food, construction, energy and sanitary waste and all the discarded stuff we buy and disregard, for which our economics no longer deem of value.

As the world attempts to tackle wicked problems like climate change, growing inequality amplified by uneconomic growth, frameworks like the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and strategies like circular economy are indeed a positive step forward.  

Dr. Beaudoin will discuss what and how to rethink and redo business as usual to unlock the potential full benefits of these approaches to achieve truly thriving, waste-free future inspired with purpose.

Lori Nikkel, CEO, Second Harvest Canada.
Lori is a recognized leader and champion of environmental and social justice issues related to food and is sought after for her expertise internationally.
The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste

John Watts, President, HOTHOUSE, Toronto

John is a father, husband and a successful entrepreneur, specializing in leading, partnering, building, operating and selling a variety of food and hospitality related ventures in the GTA and Haliburton.  

His journey began, in 1981 when he joined his father’s business Watts Restaurants Ltd. He immediately opened and operated Victoria’s to 1996, renovated and converted into Route 66 Roadside Grill and Bar, sold in 2002.  Other ventures include Joe Badali’s Piazza on Front Inc., OverDraught Irish Pub; and, BLT Construction Services Inc, project management and general contracting business specializing in the Hospitality Industry. 

Bought, rebranded and renovated the Hot House Café, in 2017 a large iconic neighborhood restaurant on the corner of Church and Front.  In 2019, with friends/colleagues, he purchased the Boshkung Brewery in The Haliburton Highlands, the beer of choice for cottagers and residents alike.

Dr. Michael von Massow, Associate Professor, OAC Chair in Food System Leadership, University of Guelph

Dr. von Massow researches how people think about food, how food demand is changing, and the structure of the value chains that deliver food to consumers.  He is Co-Director of the Guelph Food Waste Project and has undertaken a wide range of research into food waste.  Mike is also the founding Director of the Longo’s Food Retail Laboratory at the University of Guelph.  He speaks often on food issues and has appeared in a variety of media including CBC’s the National and the Globe and Mail.

Fireside chat with three industry leaders:
Topic: Circular Economy for Building Design, Construction and Resource Salvation
A solution focused conversation with Dr. Mark Gorgolewski, Tim Coldwell and Paul Dowsett about why and how they are adopting circular economy and resource salvation strategies in their respective practices to drive us closer to a waste free future in the context of the built environment – plus, key takeaways for translating ideas into action.

Academic Perspective

Dr. Mark Gorgolewski Ph.D., MSc, Dip ARC, BSc, LEED AP, Professor & Chair, Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson University

Dr. Gorgolewski is a recognized leader and a champion of issues of circular materials economy, sustainable design, resource use, and building performance in Canada and the UK.  He a registered architect and experienced educator and an environmental consultant to the construction industry. A past director of the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC), past chair of the Association of Environment Conscious Building and is a LEED Accredited Professional. He has published extensively on issues of sustainable design and resource salvation – including his most recent book, published by Wiley-Blackwell,  ‘Resource Salvation: The Architecture of Reuse’. 

Construction Business Perspective

Tim Coldwell, President of Chandos, Construction for Good

Tim is a husband, dad and indigenous entrepreneur focused on leading by serving, culture and the monetization of ideas. Chandos is an employee owned national technical builder, leading change in the Canadian construction industry, and the first/largest B-Corp certified commercial general contractor in North America. Under his leadership, Chandos has forged partnerships with social enterprises across Canada focusing on employment of at-risk youth and those who are under-represented in the construction industry. Tim is an advisor to San Francisco’s Center for Innovation in the Design & Construction Industry (CIDCI) and the past board chair of the Integrated Project Delivery Alliance (IPDA). He has been named a Top 40 Under 40 and is an alumnus of the Governor General’s Canadian Leadership Conference. 

Sustainable Building Design Perspective

Paul Dowsett, Founder of Sustainable, Architecture for a Healthy Planet

Paul Dowsett is the founding Principal Architect at Sustainable. With more than three decades of local and international residential, institutional, and commercial sustainable design and project management experience, Paul is uniquely qualified to lead a highly collaborative design team for projects of diverse scales, types, and complexities. For the past decade, Paul has been central to a practice of deep community engagement with marginalized people of all backgrounds and abilities. At the core of Paul’s philosophy and practice is the belief that design and construction solutions should be simple, sensitive, and sustainable.

Yasmin Glanville, RSI Founder, Chief Communication-Innovation Strategist of Re-Ignite.

Yasmin helps new and established boards, organizations and entrepreneurs in Canada and abroad to create and implement communication and innovation strategies for sustained leadership, relevancy and prosperity. Topic One Mission, Together for Leaders

5:30pm to 10:00pm (all times are approximate)

  • 6:10pm. Opening Remarks, Darla Campbell, MC and RSI Board Director 
  • 6:13pm.  Welcome Message from the Chairman of RSI, Troy Wright
  • 6:17pm. The Circular Economy – From Waste to Purpose, Dr. Yannick Beaudoin, Director General of Ontario and Northern Canada, DSF
  • 6:43pm. Making it Real – A Business Perspective, Tim Coldwell, President, Chandos
  • 6:55pm Dinner Dialogue, Reimagining a Zero Waste Future and Speakers Corner
  • 7:25pm. Making it Real – Specific waste solution strategies, solutions, use cases

The Avoidable Crisis of Food Waste, Powered by Collaboration
Featuring Lori Nikkel, CEO, Second Harvest Canada; John Watts, President & Owner, Hothouse Restaurant. Moderated by Dr. Michael Von Massow, University of Guelph.

Circular Economy for Building Design, Construction and Resource Salvation. Tim Coldwell, President, Chandos; Dr. Mark Gorgolewski, Ryerson Dept of Architectural Science. Moderated by Paul Dowsett, Founding principal, Sustainable. Architecture for a Healthy Planet.

  • 8:25pm.  Making it Real, Table Discussions
  • 8:38pm   Five, One Minute Table Discussion Report Outs
  • 8:48pm   One Mission, Together, for Leaders, Yasmin Glanville, RSI Founder
  • 9:00pm.  Closing remarks, Group Photo, Speakers Corner, Wine reception
  • 10:15pm  Wrap up

NOTE: The entire event will be documented in a summary report.  More agenda details will be announced during the coming weeks.

Post Event: Rethink Waste Thought Leadership Report

To further advance the end goal, we will be producing an RSI Thought Leadership Report and ongoing communications.

All November 19th event sponsors are invited to partner with RSI on these and/or other solution discoveries and best practices for use by leaders, organizations and communities.

Calling all Waste Solution Leaders to partner with RSI for this important initiative


Sponsor and Partnership Opportunities

If you have a proven solution to a waste challenge, related to one or more of these categories: Food, Technology, Construction, Clothing/Textiles, or  Plastic and are interested in partnering with RSI, read this one-page Rethink Waste Action Partners sponsorship summary, and let’s talk.

Contact us to learn more about RSI, the Leadership series and sponsorship and partnership opportunities:




Event Sponsors and Partners


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