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Forum 2017 Leaps Forward: Mayoral Leadership, Community Energy, New Speakers, & Who’s Coming



Forum 2017 has taken an enormous leaps forward with some new additions—read on to learn about new people and programming at the gathering.

Plenaries: We’re pleased to announce a number of new plenary sessions.

Participants: We’ve released a sneak peak of the Directory of Participants – take a look and find out why people are coming to Forum 2017! Registrants receive full access to the Directory, including names and contact information of delegates who have opted in.

Recognition: Thanks to both Vancity and TD Canada Trust for coming aboard as sponsors! Vancity sets the bar for credit unions in terms of community support and TD is Canada’s only bank that’s committed to 100% renewable energy. We would also like to thank Vancouver’s brand new bike share, Mobi by Shaw Go, for agreeing to provide bicycles for Vancouver’s “urban cycling transition” tour. Register now, early birds receive first selection of site visits.

Registration: Our early bird discount of 15% expires on April 1. Register now and save! Or learn more about Global Learning Forum 2017.


We’ve added session leaders and speakers who’ve been instrumental in city halls around the world, activating renewables at the community level, creating trailblazing energy efficiency programs, or driving the municipal energy conversation on an international level.

Brock Carlton, CEO at the Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Brock Carlton has been representing the interests of municipalities for over 20 years both in Canada and internationally, including at global fora and through his role as North American President of United Cities and Local Governments. In his spare time he advocates for sustainability initiatives at home in Ottawa West.

Session feature: Applying his experience in facilitating cooperation between different levels of government, Brock will be moderating a workshop that examines how sub-national governments can help cities reach ambitious renewable energy targets, including the cases of British Columbia and California.

Tracey Cooper, President of The Valley Centre

With a career dedicated to empowering sustainable and resilient communities, Tracey Cooper draws upon her wide-ranging background as an educator, capacity builder, and small business manager. She has been working to advance renewables in a number of Aboriginal communities across Australia.

Julia Langer, CEO of The Atmospheric Fund

Julia Langer leads a trailblazing organization, The Atmospheric Fund (TAF), which has been advancing low-carbon solutions for cities for 25 years. Through grants and projects, TAF works to demonstrate and de-risk technologies and policies that have high potential to move cities forward on clean energy. Julia has had a far-ranging career working for groups such as the WWF and the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Session feature: Julia Langer’s workshop will explore a variety of financing models in use to promote energy efficiency retrofits in cities and discuss their prospects for replicability.


Tom Nockolds, Director at the Community Power Agency

Tom Nockold left his corporate career in 2012 to pursue his vision of community power. As a Director at the Community Power Agency, Tom applies his project management and engineering expertise to help community energy groups across Australia develop their business models and navigate through technical and regulatory hurdles.


Eduardo Paes, Former Mayor of Rio de Janeiro and Chair of C40

A consummate spokesperson for city leadership on the global stage, Eduardo Paes is a career public servant that has helped to transform a number of Rio’s districts as the city’s mayornotably, he led the largest mass transit expansions in Rio de Janeiro’s history. As the Chair of C40, he represented and advanced the climate and energy interests of the world’s mega-cities.

Session feature: Through a Mayors’ Dialogue plenary session, Former Mayor Paes will connect community interest to energy leadership and a global agenda.


Cathy Pasion, Senior Energy Policy Advisor at the New York City Mayor’s Office of Sustainability

Cathy Pasion played a key role in developing NYC’s “Roadmap to 80×50, which sets the city on a path to achieving an 80% carbon reduction by 2050. As a Professional Engineer, she leads the city’s community energy planning initiatives, focusing on district energy and microgrid solutions.

Session feature: New York City is a leader in benchmarking building energy performance, Cathy Pasion’s workshop will highlight lessons from collecting five years of data in the Big Apple.


Fritz Rettberg, Head of Innovation Management at TU Dortmund University

Fritz Rettberg directs a range of smart grid and e-mobility projects with industry, scientific, and community parters at TU Dortmund University in Germany. He holds a PhD in technology and innovation management and is notable for preparing the City of Dortmund’s energy transition master plan.

Session feature: Fritz Rettberg will co-lead a workshop that looks at the opportunities for microgrids and near real-time energy trading to solve challenges posed by grid intermittency.


Cole Rheaume, Energy Program Specialist at the British Columbia First Nations Energy and Mining Council

With nearly two decades of experience in working in community capacity development, Cole Rheaume facilitates partnerships between and amongst Aboriginal groups, community organizations, industry, and governments towards clean energy adoption.

Session feature: Cole Rheaume will draw upon his experience in facilitating First Nations partnerships to co-lead a session that walks participants through the First Nations Clean Energy Toolkit.

Carissa Slotterback, Associate Professor at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota

As an associate professor of urban and regional planning, Carissa Slotterback undertakes research and teaches public engagement and environmental planning. Her work focuses on impact assessment and perceptions, collaborative decision-making, and sustainability planning approaches.

Session feature: Carissa Slotterback’s workshop will work through lessons from the International Energy Association (IEA) Annex 63 project, which optimizes energy strategies at the community scale.

For more information, visit the Global Learning Forum 2017 webpagespeakers page, or subscribe to our newsletter. Secure your space at Global Learning Forum 2017 by registering now.