ESS Lecture Series Schedule


Winter 2019 Term:
ESS Lecture Series

Unless otherwise noted, all lectures begin at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday nights in Ondaatje Hall, 6135 University Avenue, Marion McCain Arts & Social Sciences building.
All welcome. Free of charge. Limited seating -- please arrive early.

10 January.        Film Screening and Discussion: This Changes Everything

(NFB/Klein Lewis Productions, 2015)


From the National Film Board website: “Filmed over 211 shoot days in nine countries and five continents over four years, This Changes Everything is an epic attempt to re-imagine the vast challenge of climate change. Inspired by Naomi Klein’s international non-fiction bestseller This Changes Everything, the film presents seven powerful portraits of communities on the front lines, from Montana’s Powder River Basin to the Alberta Tar Sands, from the coast of South India to Beijing and beyond. Interwoven with these stories of struggle is Klein’s narration, connecting the carbon in the air with the economic system that put it there. Throughout the film, Klein builds to her most controversial and exciting idea: that we can seize the existential crisis of climate change to transform our failed economic system into something radically better.”

Professors Glen Lesins and San Patten (SUST 1001: A Sustainable Future) will moderate a discussion following the film screening. Watch the trailer here.

17 January.         The Art and Craft of Multi-Sector System Change

Ian Prinsloo, Reos Partners, Toronto ON.

Ian Prinsloo is a senior consultant with Reos Partners. His work develops the relational quality of groups as a platform for developing innovative solutions to challenges. Previously, he was a faculty member with Leadership Development at the Banff Centre (now the Peter Lougheed Leadership Institute). There, he helped build the capacity of leaders to initiate collaborative processes that reframe change as an act of creation. Ian was also an award-winning freelance theatre director and Artistic Director of the Theatre Calgary and is a published author on the development of the Ensemble Relationship, Metaphoric Thinking, and Creative Process within Social Change.

24 January.        Film Screening and Discussion: Six Primrose

 John Hillis, Director, TrueFaux Films, 2018.

Six Primrose is a feature-length documentary film by Truefaux Films about the power of food to build community. Filmed on location at the Dartmouth North Community Food Centre, Six Primrose takes us into a community where strengths are highlighted, people are welcomed, and food is included in every engagement. Labels of single mother, new immigrant, disabled, addict, poor are left at the door. By tracing the lives of community members, Six Primrose chronicles the dramatic impact accessing healthy food and a social network has had on the lives of this community, revealing DNCFC’s deep effect on the entire neighbourhood.

Join Director/Filmmaker john Hillis (co-owner with Hannah Minzloff of Truefaux Films) for a discussion and Q&A after the film screening.

Watch the trailer here.

31 January.            Profit, People and the Planet

Hari Balasubramanian, EcoAdvisors, Halifax NS
in conversation
with Matthew Schnurr, Department of International Development Studies, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS.

Hari has worked for over 15 years in international conservation and development. In 2012, Hari founded EcoAdvisors to provide comprehensive advisory, technical and implementation support for environmental and sustainability solutions around the world. The sustainability solutions have clear goals: a healthy planet, stable climate, abundant and diverse wildlife, prosperous communities and flowing clean fresh water; not as a cost to society, but as an opportunity and previously under-recognized business value. For this ESS Lecture, Hari will engage in collegial conversation/debate with Matthew Schnurr, from Dalhousie’s department of International Development Studies.

7 February.             Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainability                                      Through Reconciliation

Eli Enns, Indigenous Circle of Experts and University of Victoria, Victoria BC.

Eli is a Nuu-chah-nulth Canadian political scientist and internationally recognized expert in bio-cultural heritage conservation. His work has focused in Constitutional Law, International Dispute Resolution and Ecological Governance and as Co-founder of the Ha’uukmin Tribal Park in Clayoquot Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Eli is the great grandson of Nah-wah-sum — public speaker and historian for Wickaninnish, Tyee Ha’wiih of Tla-o qui-aht — and a former visiting research fellow at the Centre for Global Studies at the University of Victoria.

14 February.              Climate Warming and Aquatic Ecosystems

Suzie Currie, Professor of Biology and Dean, Pure and Applied Sciences, Acadia University, Wolfville NS.

Suzie Currie is a comparative animal physiologist interested in understanding how animals cope with environmental stress in marine and freshwater environments. In July 2018, Suzie was appointed Dean of Acadia’s Faculty of Pure and Applied Science. Previously, she was a full professor and Head of the Biology Department at Mount Allison University with an impressive research record and significant policy and decision-making contributions on a national level.

28 February.            The Future of Food Sustainability: Agriculture Solutions to Deed Nine Billion and Beyond

Brandon Hebor, Ripple Farms, Toronto ON. 


Brandon Hebor co-founded Ripple Farms with Steven Bourne in 2016 after graduating from Seneca College’s green business management program. Hebor also has a degree in environmental science from McMaster University and “has been a hobby farmer ever since he planted his first seed at eight years old in his grandparents’ garden in Etobicoke.” (CBC) Ripple Farms’ purpose is “to reconnect urban populations with food by engaging people through hands-on workshops and educational material” and their business plan focuses on using aquaponics and vertical farming to grow food in urban areas.
Watch CBC News Toronto story.

7 March.           Eating Wild in Eastern Canada and      
                          Other Tales of Environmental Law


Jamie Simpson
, Author and Environmental Lawyer, Halifax NS.

Jamie Simpson is a forester, lawyer, and writer with a passion for exploring the natural world (and sometimes eating it). In addition to his legal practice — Juniper Law —  Jamie teaches Environmental Law in Dalhousie’s Environmental Science program.  He is the author of two regionally best-selling books Restoring the Acadian Forest and Journeys Through Eastern Old-Growth Forests. His latest book is Eating Wild in Eastern Canada (books available for sale and signing after tonight’s lecture). Jamie has received several awards for his conservation work, including the Elizabeth May Award for Environmental Service, the Environmental Law Prize from Dalhousie University, and the Honour in the Woods Award from the Nova Scotia Environmental Network.

14 March.            World's Challenge Challenge Competition: Dalhousie Finals

Moderated by Jenny Baechler,  School of Public Administration


Global Issues such as poverty, food security, public health, inequality and environmental degradation are the product of global relations in which we as global citizens bear some responsibility. The World’s Challenge Challenge (WCC) – a global initiative of Western University encourages young minds from different disciplines to come together to address a global issue, offering solutions to implement in partnership with communities. The WCC frames global issues through the lens of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


Jenny Baechler is Associate Director of Dal’s corporate residency MBA program, coordinator of the Management Without Borders program and a senior instructor in the School of Public Administration. She provides coaching to the Dalhousie teams for tonight’s finals and for the International finals to be held in June 2019 at Western University.

Read about Dalhousie’s winning team at the 2017 International World’s Challenge Challenge.

Presented in collaboration with the Provost's Office, Dalhousie University, Halifax NS

21 March.          Culture and Power: Indigenous Environmental Governance of Great Bear Lake, Northest Territories

Ken Caine, Department of Sociology, Faculty of Arts, University of Alberta, Edmonton AB.

Ken Caine is an Environmental Sociologist in the Department of Sociology in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Alberta. Originally from the Northwest Territories (NWT), Ken was trained as a forester (BSc. Forestry) and worked as an extension forester for the Government of the NWT and later in Northern British Columbia with Indigenous groups on forest stewardship issues. He completed his PhD in Rural Sociology from the University of Alberta in 2008 and was a Trudeau Scholar for four years. As an environmental sociologist Ken explores social practices, power dynamics, and institutional change in the context of environmental governance and natural resource management in the western Arctic of the Canadian North and in other circumpolar regions.

28 March.            Better than New: The Ecology Action Centre's Award-Winning Office Renovation

                                        Maggy Burns, Former Managing Director, Ecology Action Centre
                                        Emma Norton, Energy Efficiency Coordinator, EAC Centre
                                      Phoebe Owen, Former Fern Lane Expansion Manager, EAC
                                        Jordan Willett, Solterre Design, Halifax NS

Three former/current staff members of Halifax’s Ecology Action Centre and the consulting architect from Solterre Design in Halifax will discuss the EAC’s 2017 award-winning office renovation which increased office space in the hundred-year old building by 50 per cent while reducing energy consumption by 65 per cent.

The renovation won the Canadian Green Building Award from Sustainable Architecture and Building Magazine and was named one of Canada’s Clean50 Top Projects.


4 April.            ESS Student Showcase

Each semester, we close the term with a showcase of our current students, alumni of the ESS program, and our fabulous Teaching Assistants. We feature their social action initiatives, undergraduate theses, and experiential learning projects from the College’s internship and capstone courses.