Yannick Beaudoin is the new (March 21, 2018) Director General, Ontario and Northern Canada for the David Suzuki Foundation. He joins a dynamic team of researchers, communicators and advocates working to bring about transformative change to benefit people and Nature. Yannick comes to the David Suzuki Foundation after 12 years as Chief Scientist at GRID-Arendal, a Norway-based United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) collaborating center and partner of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. Over the past decade, he is fundamentally involved with overseeing environmental and sustainable development efforts that include: adaptation to uncertain climate futures in polar and mountain regions; embedding of local, traditional and indigenous knowledge in policy-, decision- and choice-making; enabling conversations and innovation for new development and economic paradigms; promoting a transition to a sustainable relationship between society and the ocean.
Yannick has dedicated much effort to the application of new economic thinking, a science of change and participatory social ‘technologies’ to global efforts touching on green and blue economy initiatives. This has meant working with countries, communities and industry to implement approaches that increase human well-being while preserving and enhancing ecological health and quality. He has also provided advisory services on green economy/blue economy to the East Asia Pacific group of the World Bank and to various UNEP Regional Seas Conventions.
His recent project activities include: co-design and co-facilitation with GIZ of a one year innovation lab on climate leadership in Central Asia, the development of a global UNEP TEEB (The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity) for Oceans and Coasts Global Environmental Facility effort, the management of the UNEP Global Outlook on Methane Gas Hydrates and co-coordination of the EU-funded SPC-SOPAC – UNEP Pacific Marine Minerals and Deep Sea Mining Assessment. He has also been a geoscientist with the Continental Shelf Project which has been providing technical assistance to developing states working to delineate the outer limits of their continental shelf according to criteria outlined in Article 76 of UNCLOS.
From 2001 to 2006, Yannick was a project geologist with Falconbridge Ltd managing “green fields” nickel, copper and platinum group element exploration projects in Canada and Norway. He has also worked in geological exploration for Phelps Dodge of Canada Ltd. and in the high Arctic for the Geological Survey of Canada.
Yannick holds a doctorate (2006) and MSc (2001) in marine and economic geology from the University of Toronto with a research focus on deep ocean hydrothermal vent systems; he participated on 9 international marine research campaigns from Antarctica to the western Pacific.
Yannick also holds a transdisciplinary MA in Economics for Transition (2014) from Schumacher College/University of Plymouth in the UK where his dissertation inquiry applied an action research approach to explore society’s ecological-economic divide.