Skip to content

Frequently Asked Questions

[page_hero after_head=”after-head” height=”400″]

What is Renewable Cities?

Renewable Cities is a global program of Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue in Vancouver, Canada. Our mission is to support cities through the transition to 100% renewable energy and increased energy efficiency.

Why a Global Learning Forum?

Global Learning Forum 2017 is a gathering of leaders working on renewable energy and energy efficiency in the electricity, heating and cooling, and transportation sectors of cities. We believe that bringing the right people together for an informed conversation can inspire policy leadership and stimulate the implementation of urban energy solutions.

Have you held a Global Learning Forum before?

Yes—Renewable Cities launched at Global Learning Forum 2015 in Vancouver, Canada from May 13-15, 2015.

We were extremely impressed by the quality of participation at and the feedback from Global Learning Forum 2015—here’s a sample of what participants said:

Best conference I’ve ever attended/ “I have never participated in a conference as focused and results orientated as the Renewable Cities Forum.” / “Catalytic for the Directors who attended.” / “Very engaging event, I’m planning on lots of concrete follow-ups.” / “It brought business and local government together on urban energy more so than I have ever experienced before.” / “Excellent work! One of the best organized sessions I have attended.”

In the post-event survey, 71% of participants gave Global Learning Forum 2015 a perfect “5 out of 5” rating.

For more information on Forum 2015, see the event’s websitemedia coverage, videos, and photo gallery. Check out our Front Line of Energy interview series to see what Forum 2015 alumni said about the event.

Who came to Global Learning Forum 2015?

Over 300 implementers, decision-makers, business leaders, and policy-makers from over 60 Canadian municipalities and international jurisdictions, including Berlin, Boulder, Calgary, Copenhagen, Durban, Hamburg, London, Melbourne, New York City, Ottawa, Seattle, Toronto, Vancouver, Washington DC, and Yokohama.

Top sectors represented: Municipal staff; private sector; NGOs/city networks; universities; and municipal elected officials.

Top occupations represented: Managers (energy, engineering, sustainability, etc.); directors; city councillors & mayors; and executives (principal, founder, president, vice-president, CEO).

Who is Global Learning Forum 2017 for?

Global Learning Forum 2017 is targeted towards implementers working on renewables and energy efficiency in the urban electricity, heating and cooling, and transportation sectors.

Examples of these individuals and groups include:

  • Local government staff and elected officials
  • Companies in the urban electricity, heating/cooling, and transportation fields
  • Climate and energy organizations, researchers, and social enterprises
  • Utilities and other energy producers and distributors

Why should I attend Global Learning Forum 2017?

Engage with and learn from energy leaders from around the world:

Solutions-focused: Our sessions will stimulate collaborative problem-solving and the sharing of best practices and innovative ideas. Examples of the types of questions we will address include: How do you build an effective EV charging network? How can community-based solar support city objectives? What opportunities do green bonds offer? What are the best practices in energy benchmarking? How can cities, utilities, and regional governments cooperate on renewables?

See the Forum 2017 website for the latest program updates or subscribe for updates as we develop the program.

Dialogue-orientated: Dialogue is the heart of Global Learning Forum 2017. Our sessions are highly participatory in nature and are designed to take advantage of the wide range of expertise present. Core to the Forum are 32 facilitated breakout sessions that are focused on highly specific topics.

International: 400+ participants from 70 cities and 20 countries will join us at Global Learning Forum 2017.

Vancouver: Home to the Greenest City Action Plan and one of the smallest urban GHG footprints in the world, the City of Vancouver is blazing a trail to 100% renewable energy through its Renewable City Strategy. Join us in Vancouver and experience one of the world’s most livable cities!

Where does the Global Learning Forum 2017 take place? Where can I find accommodation?

Global Learning Forum 2017 takes place at the Four Seasons Hotel (791 West Georgia Street), which is a Green Key registered hotel, in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada—the same venue as Global Learning Forum 2015.

May is a busy month in Vancouver. Take advantage of the significant discount we have negotiated and reserve your accommodation in the five-star Four Seasons Hotel today.

What are the registration rates and policies for Global Learning Forum 2017?

All prices in Canadian dollars, plus applicable taxes (5% GST and 7% PST). Payable by credit card.

  • Regular rate: $800
  • Government/non-profit/university rate: $600
  • Master’s/PhD student and post-doctoral researcher rate: $250 (limited availability—no further discounts apply)

Early bird rates:

  1. Register before February 1, 2017 to receive a 30% discount
  2. Register before April 1, 2017 to receive a 15% discount.

Group rates: 20% off for groups of three or more. Email to arrange for a group registration. Group registration rates can be combined with an early bird rate.

Scholarships: Our scholarship program for local government staff/elected officials;  individuals from developing countries; and First Nations, Aboriginal, and Indigenous people working on renewables is now closed.  Recipients have been notified.

Substitutions: Substitutions are allowed. While we will do our best to accommodate all substitution requests, we cannot guarantee fulfillment of requests made after Wednesday, May 10, 2017. Contact us to request a substitution.

Refund policy: Refund requests will be processed until May 7, 2017 with a 25% service charge. Without demonstrating extenuating circumstances, no refunds may be processed after this time.

Secure your space and register now!

Email or call 1-778-782-3017 for all registration questions.

How can I update the information I supplied in my registration form?

After registering you will receive a confirmation email with a link to update your registration. From here you may update your registration, including the information provided for the Directory of Participants. If you would like to make a substitution or cancel, contact us at

What’s included in the Global Learning Forum 2017’s registration fees?

Your registration fee covers:

  • Full access to plenary sessions and 32 breakout sessions;
  • Full access to networking receptions;
  • Optional site visits to clean energy installations around Vancouver (more information will be available on the Forum 2017 website and emailed to participants as site visits are developed); and
  • Refreshments and most meals throughout the Forum.

I need a visa or letter of support to visit Canada, can you help me?

It is the responsibility of all registrants to ensure they have the proper documentation to visit Canada. See this Government of Canada website for further information travel authorization to Canada. If you require a letter of support from Renewable Cities, email as soon as possible.

Note: Nearly all visitors to Canada, except for US citizens, will require an Electronic Travel Authorization.

Will you offer site visits?

Yes. We are currently developing a package of site visits for participants. For more information, see our site visits page.

I want to support Global Learning Forum 2017, do you have any sponsorship opportunities?

Yes! We offer a number of sponsorship opportunities for companies and other organizations that want to be at the leading edge of the renewable energy transition. See our Sponsorship Prospectus for more information or contact Kathryn Sheps ( | 778-782-9622).

How can I be involved with Global Learning Forum 2017?

As a participant: We want you at Forum 2017! Through our dialogic model you will have opportunities to contribute your knowledge and experience to our interactive sessions. Please register here.

As a volunteer: Volunteers are critical to the overall success of Global Learning Forum 2017 and will have opportunities to contribute to the operation of the event and take in content. Our volunteer program is now closed.

As a session leader/speaker/facilitator: Renewable Cities’ team is currently conducting research and interviews and will be curating Forum 2017 content throughout 2016 and 2017. Our goal is to create a dialogic, balanced, diverse, and impactful program. We currently are not accepting applications for speakers and thank you for your interest.

[share_buttons text=”SHARE THIS PAGE:”]