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Thompson Rivers University
Thompson Rivers University

LIVABLE CITIES, COLLABORATIVE COMMUNITIES

Sustainability Conference — Feb. 22 - 24, 2024 at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops

Sustainability Conference — Feb. 22 - 24, 2024 at Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops

As a leader in sustainability, TRU invites all interested to a conversation on resilience and adaptation at a three-day conference Thursday, Feb. 22, to Saturday, Feb. 24, at our campus in Kamloops.

Against a confluence of global and local crises, including climate change and the recent COVID-19 pandemic, TRU aims to identify solutions for building a better future for all people and the planet.

TRU is bringing together local and international parties for this vital discussion.

Keynote speakers

Mike Flannigan

Mike Flannigan

BC Innovation Research Chair in Predictive Services, Emergency Management and Fire Science, Thompson Rivers University

Full Bio

Professor Mike Flannigan is BC Innovation Research Chair in Predictive Services, Emergency Management and Fire Science at Thompson Rivers University. He is also the Science Director of the Canadian Partnership for Wildland Fire Science (Canada Wildfire) located at the University of Alberta. Dr. Flannigan's primary research interests include fire and weather/climate interactions including the potential impact of climatic change, lightning-ignited forest fires, landscape fire modelling and interactions between vegetation, fire, and weather.

Suzanne Simard

Suzanne Simard

Leader of The Mother Tree Project, Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences, University of British Columbia

Full Bio

Professor Suzanne Simard is with the Department of Forest and Conservation Sciences at the University of British Columbia, and author of Finding the Mother Tree: Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest (2021). Suzanne has led numerous research projects including The Mother Tree Project, Designing Successful Forest Renewal Practices for our Changing Climate, and The Salmon Forest Project. Suzanne is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence. She is recognized as a scientist who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is dazzling and profound. Her TED talks have been viewed by more than 10 million people worldwide.

Seth Klein

Seth Klein

Director of Strategy Climate Emergency Unit, author of A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency (2020)

Full Bio

Seth Klein is Team Lead and Director of Strategy of the Climate Emergency Unit (a five-year project of the David Suzuki Institute that Seth launched in early 2021). Prior to that, he served for 22 years (1996-2018) as the founding British Columbia Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA-BC), a public policy research institute committed to social, economic and environmental justice. He is the author of A Good War: Mobilizing Canada for the Climate Emergency (2020) and writes a regular column for Canada’s National Observer.

Seth also served on the Executive and Steering Committee for CCPA-BC’s Climate Justice Project (CJP), a multi-year research partnership with University of British Columbia. The CJP produced over 40 reports that collectively map out how BC can become carbon-zero in a manner that also reduces inequality, includes just transition for workers, and enhances social justice. The CJP brought together a network of academics, environmental ENGOs and trade unions to model, sector-by-sector and industry-by-industry, how an ambitious GHG-reduction plan can be pursued and paid for.


About the conference

As a research institution and a proponent of sustainability, TRU is leading a three-day conference that brings together stakeholders to talk about making better, more resilient communities.

From Thursday, Feb. 22, to Saturday, Feb. 24, people are gathering at the Kamloops campus to examine and seek solutions to the major issues that our cities face, including climate change, the pandemic and economic and housing crises.

The Livable Cities, Collaborative Communities Conference calls for the inclusion of academic publications and community resources that offer solutions to build a better future for all people and the planet.

The world is invited to join this three-day conversation, as our futures are intertwined regardless of geographic, economic or social boundaries.

Just as the conference tackles issues being grappled with around the world, the diversity of participants is expected to be broad: Indigenous knowledge keepers, local residents, community groups, non-governmental organizations, business and industry representatives, architects, urban planners, activists, researchers, politicians and students from the BC Interior, and also interested people from Western Canada, North America and beyond.

Participants will be encouraged to demonstrate their commitment to sustainable change by offsetting the carbon cost of their involvement through contributions to local environmental initiatives and making personal sustainability pledges.

Additionally, the conference will look at the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the United Nations in 2015, how those goals are progressing and whether there are obstacles that have been preventing them from going forward.

This is the first year of the conference; follow-up events will be held in 2025 and 2026 to continue the work started in 2024.


Welcome by Dr. Gillian Balfour, Provost and Vice-President Academic

I am delighted to welcome delegates to Livable Cities, Collaborative Communities.

Through their research and teaching, faculty and students at TRU are at the forefront of sustainability issues in central British Columbia. They are already working with industry, local and provincial government, and community and Indigenous organizations on matters pertaining to sustainability. These matters have emerged as a critical subject during a time of decolonization, truth and reconciliation, and as the region faces environmental threats associated with climate change.

TRU and Livable Cities, Collaborative Communities are pleased to have so many representatives from local organizations in attendance. We are grateful that you are willing to share your experiences and knowledge about sustainability whether in presentations, workshops, or roundtables. Indeed, sharing knowledge is the primary goal of Livable Cities, Collaborative Communities, which is the first stage in what is planned to be a wider, and ongoing, collaboration between TRU and the region. TRU and the broad university community is convinced that by working with local and Indigenous organizations, different levels of government, and industry we can improve the health of our natural and social environments and ensure that our lands, and all its peoples, will benefit and prosper.

Livable Cities, Collaborative Communities is a part of TRU’s commitment to building and creating a sustainable central British Columbia.


Our Sponsors

Thompson Rivers University Student Union

At its core post-secondary education is about wrestling with what it means to live sustainably in community.

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At its core post-secondary education is about wrestling with what it means to live sustainably in community.

To better understand the common challenges we face, to identify the impact of our existing approaches to address those challenges, and to expand and enhance our collective best practices moving forward.As a publicly funded institution engaged in developing the skills and abilities of individuals that assist them in achieving their own professional or educational aspirations.

We understand fully the implicit social contract that calls on us to bring those skills and abilities to bear for the betterment of our communities and society more broadly. We are excited to be able to support many students in being able to join this conference, to roll up their sleeves, and to come together with other folks to do the hard work of building the more equitable and more sustainable communities we collectively desire.

The Bob Gaglardi School of Business & Economics

The Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics connects the BC Interior to the world ...

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The Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics connects the BC Interior to the world through experiential education and high-quality research.

We prepare students to excel as socially and environmentally responsible leaders, both in their workplaces and in their communities. But even tomorrow’s leaders cannot do it alone.

We must work together to address the challenges of our times and to build a sustainable future for everyone. Livable Cities, Collaborative Communities (LCCC) calls together bright minds and changemakers from our region to seek solutions to the issues that our communities face. The conference acts as a catalyst for thought exchange, collaboration and action, moving us one powerful step closer toward a brighter future for all.

Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics is focused on student success and encouraging students to engage with the most pressing issues of our time, including climate change and sustainable economic development.

Faculty and students in the Bob Gaglardi School of Business and Economics are conducting research that impacts society and is relevant to the region, British Columbia and beyond; they are collaborating with community groups to solve problems because working together gives us perspective and the opportunity to engage with our community stakeholders. The world is changing and it is important that we prepare students to lead the next wave of socially and environmentally responsible organizations.

TRU_EnviroCollab

This is a collective effort of faculty members, staff, and students to boost land-based learning and research across TRU...

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This is a collective effort of faculty members, staff and students to boost land-based learning and research across TRU. Our aim is to grow and enrich those opportunities: in collaboration with First Nations and other communities; among faculties and departments; across disciplines; and engaging diverse ways of knowing, thinking and being. This conference underscores the importance of building such conversations with our regional neighbours and we are pleased to support student participation. "Sustainability" is the base capacity of our world to persist and thrive ... in that sense it is everything. There is no "PlanetB", so ensuring a vibrant healthy future for the generations to come involves everyone.

Contact us by email

TRU Sustainability Office

On behalf of the team at the TRU Sustainability Office, we are delighted to be a sponsor of this very important conference.

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On behalf of the team at the TRU Sustainability Office, we are delighted to be a sponsor of this very important conference.

Regarding becoming a truly sustainable society we all know there is still so much work to do, which is why conferences like this are, and will continue to be, important for many years to come.

The trend is for cities to continue to grow around the world, and so figuring out how we’re all going to live harmoniously within cities and the surrounding environment is more important than ever. ‘Community’ is all about relationships, and not only relationships with each other but with all other parts that make up life on Earth a healthy experience, such as animals, land, water and air. We are all connected.

Stantec

At Stantec our vision is to create a future where infrastructure gives back, water is protected ...

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At Stantec our vision is to create a future where infrastructure gives back, water is protected, natural systems are valued, biodiversity is prioritized ..., economies are circular, nothing gets wasted, development is responsible, everyone can access renewable energy, and society is just.

Making our cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable is an important goal within this broad vision and one which requires an integrated approach to achieve. We don’t approach any challenge from one perspective, and we need to draw on multidisciplinary experts to solve these challenges together. The Livable Cities, Collaborative Communities Conference supports the sharing of diverse perspectives toward achieving this important goal.

Office of the Vice-President Administration and Finance

Sustainability permeates the ethos of Thompson Rivers University as evidenced by its explicit ...

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Sustainability permeates the ethos of Thompson Rivers University as evidenced by its explicit integration into the institution's Mission, Vision, and Values. TRU's Mission underscores its commitment to being a "sustainable university," emphasizing its dedication to serving learners and their communities while maintaining ecological balance and resource longevity.

The Vision statement, highlighted by the Secwépemc word Kw’seltktnéws (we are all related and interconnected with nature, each other, and all things), emphasizes the broad relationship with nature, reflecting a deep-rooted sustainability focus. Moreover, TRU’s four main Values explicitly articulate sustainability as a core principle, emphasizing respect for the land, knowledge, and diverse peoples, along with a commitment to inclusive practices (1) and community-mindedness (2).

This commitment extends to embracing curiosity and innovation (3) while ensuring responsible stewardship of resources for the well-being of present and future generations. TRU's holistic approach to sustainability underscores its role not just as an educational institution, but as a community leader in fostering a long-term sustainable future for all (4).

Register now

I volunteer at one of the community groups Book your group rate at Delta Hotel by Marriott Kamloops

The registration is now closed for this conference. Please contact us at lccc@tru.ca for late registrations or if you have any questions.

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