Guest Speakers/Conférencier Invité

CAPS-ACEAU 2011 Conference Speakers


Thomas Homer-Dixon

Chair of Global Systems – Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI)thomas-homer-dixon

Thomas Homer-Dixon holds the Centre for International Governance Innovation Chair of Global Systems at the Balsillie School of International Affairs in Waterloo, Canada, and is a Professor in the Centre for Environment and Business in the Faculty of Environment, University of Waterloo.

He was born in Victoria, British Columbia, in 1956 and grew up in a rural area outside the city. In 1980 he received his BA in Political Science from Carleton University in Ottawa. After completing his PhD in Political Science in 1989 at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts—where he studied international relations, defense and arms control policy, cognitive science, and conflict theory—he moved to the University of Toronto and, in the subsequent eight years, led several international research projects examining the links between environmental stress and violence in developing countries.

Recently, his research has focused on threats to global security in the 21st century and on how societies adapt to complex economic, ecological, and technological change. His work is highly interdisciplinary, drawing on political science, economics, environmental studies, geography, cognitive science, social psychology, and complex systems theory.

Dr. Homer-Dixon teaches undergraduate and graduate courses on environmental security; causes of war, revolution, and ethnic conflict; international relations; and complexity theory. In 1999 he received the University of Toronto’s Northrop Frye Teaching Award for integrating teaching and research.

His writings have appeared in leading scholarly journals, popular magazines, and newspapers, including International Studies Quarterly, International Security, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, Scientific American, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Financial Times. His books include The Upside of Down: Catastrophe, Creativity, and the Renewal of Civilization (Knopf, Island Press, 2006); The Ingenuity Gap (Knopf, Jonathan Cape, 2000), which won the 2001 Governor General’s Non-fiction Award; Environment, Scarcity, and Violence (Princeton, 1999), which received the 2000 Lynton Keith Caldwell Prize from the American Political Science Association; and, coedited with Jessica Blitt, Ecoviolence: Links among Environment, Population, and Security (Rowman & Littlefield, 1998).

He has been invited to speak about his research at Yale, Harvard, Princeton, Stanford, and Cornell Universities, UC Berkeley, University of Chicago, MIT, West Point, Oxford and Cambridge Universities, the World Bank, the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Dr. Homer-Dixon has also provided briefings to the Privy Council Office, the Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Department of Defence in Canada; and to the Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Council, the State Department, the Agency for International Development, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in the United States.

Brent Toderian

brent-head-shot-2009 hi-rez

Director of City Planning

City of Vancouver, BC, Canada

Brent Toderian was appointed Vancouver’s Director of City Planning in 2006, succeeding celebrated Co-Directors Larry Beasley and Dr. Ann McAfee. His broad mandate involves development and architectural approvals, including many projects related to the 2010 Winter Olympics, as well as city-wide and community visioning and policy, including leadership of the award-winning “EcoDensity” city-wide initiative and other initiatives key to achieving Vancouver’s goal of becoming the greenest city in the world by 2020. Since assuming the Director’s role, Brent has been promoting a candid dialogue around bold new opportunities for sustainability, creativity, and architectural risk-taking.

Brent came to Vancouver from the City of Calgary, where as Manager of Centre City Planning + Design, he oversaw visioning, development and design in Calgary’s Downtown, Midtown and Beltline communities. Brent also created and was leading Calgary’s award-winning Centre City Plan, which took an unusually holistic approach to the future success of Centre City.

Brent previously spent 4 years championing a new tone for innovative inner-city and suburban neighbourhood design and integrated communities in Calgary as its Chief Subdivision Planner. For almost 10 years before that, Brent was an award-winning planning and design consultant based in Ontario, working for and with many municipalities, community groups and developers from Toronto to Yellowknife. Brent had a particular emphasis on downtown and inner-city planning and revitalization.

A passionate advocate for creative city-building, urban design and architecture, Brent speaks and writes globally on the subjects, has taught and lectured at numerous universities, has provided peer mentoring to many global cities, and is a co-founder and President of the Council for Canadian Urbanism while sitting on numerous other boards and groups related to cities. Called a “sophisticated urbanist” by the Vancouver Sun, and an “urban firecracker” by the Globe and Mail, Brent practices what he calls holistic urbanism in all aspects of his work.

In real life he’s an avid skier and loves anything in the outdoors (urban and natural), is passionate about all aspects of the arts, and is an avid traveler and student of cultures.

Visit Brent’s blog at:

Craig Applegath



Principal DIALOG

Architect, Urban Designer, futurist, and a pioneer in the field of Urban Resilience, Craig is a Principal at DIALOG (formerly Cohos Evamy Integratedesign), and a passionate advocate for developing planning and design solutions that make sense in a world of climate change and peak oil. Since graduating from the Graduate School of Design at Harvard University with a Master of Architecture in Urban Design.

Craig has built a considerable track record leading complex planning and design projects, but is best known for his advocacy of sustainable building and urban resilience. In addition to his project and practice responsibilities, Craig writes and lectures on sustainable building design and resilient cities in Canada and United States. This has included speaking presentations at major conferences in Toronto, Montreal, Edmonton, Chicago and San Francisco.

Craig is a founding member and current moderator of the website; was a founding Board Member of Sustainable Buildings Canada; and is a current member of the Canadian Green Building Council. Craig is also a past President of the Ontario Association of Architects, and was made a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada for his services to the profession.

George Francis

george francis

Professor Emeritus

Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo

George Francis is a Distinguished Professor Emeritus in the Department of Environment and Resource Studies at University of Waterloo where he was originally appointed as its first Chairperson in 1970. His long ago university degrees were in biology, zoology (ecology), political economy and resource management, one each from the Universities of Toronto, British Columbia, McGill, and Michigan.

He has long been interested in issues associated with what has more recently been called governance for adaptive management in complex social-ecological systems. Over the years he has participated in a number of cross-disciplinary and inter-university collaborative studies related to this theme.

Contact Us

Stay Connected

capsaceau logo

© 1984-2014 CAPS-ACÉAU
All Rights Reserved