Emma Cain Louden is an astrophysicist and space entrepreneur on a mission to help people find their place in space. She works at the intersection of academia and the space industry and is a strategic thinker and leader who is passionate about being a steward of the story of the relationship between space exploration and humanity. As an astrophysics Ph.D. student at Yale University, Emma studies the geometry of exoplanetary systems. Emma uses the kind of thinking spurred by this inquiry to help humanity develop a consciousness that puts the Solar System in context – Earth’s precarious position in the universe becomes clearer.
Emma graduated Magna Cum Laude from Princeton University in 2020 with a degree in Astrophysical Sciences and minors in Planets and Life and Latin American Studies and is a Class of 2018 Brooke Owens Fellow. Emma is deeply committed to sharing her passion for astronomy to spark curiosity and excitement in future scientists, especially gender minorities in STEM. She serves as a Young Professional Mentor for the Zed Factor Fellowship, a founder and manager for Ask-A-Brookie, and a lead for the SSP Connect mentorship program for alumni of the Summer Science Program.
Heidi has been a leader in the industry for over 32 years working as a consultant, regulator at CalRecycle serving as Policy Advisor to the Chair 200-2002, and advocate for producer responsibility and a circular economy as the founding director of the California Product Stewardship Council a 501c3 and the National Stewardship Action Council a 501c4 which advocates for a Circular Economy through Extended Producer Responsibility policies. In May 2020, Heidi was appointed by the California Environmental Protection Agency to the Statewide Commission on Recycling Markets and Curbside Recycling and was elected Chair by the 17 Commissioners at the first meeting June 24, 2020 and resigned July 1, 2022 at the end of her two year term. She has led coalitions to pass major EPR legislation in California including SB 212 (Jackson) in 2018, the first EPR bill for both medications and sharps in the US, and SB 343 (Allen) in 2021 to define what is recyclable and how the recycling chasing arrow symbol can be used, and SB 54 (Allen) 2022 the EPR for packaging bill. All these bills are first of their kind in the US.
As CEO, Allen is responsible for leading Circular Materials through the development of Ontario’s new blue box recycling system while expanding the organization’s operations into other provinces, starting with New Brunswick. His mission is to support producers with a robust not-for-profit service offering that advances the circular economy, delivers national harmonization of extended producer responsibility (EPR) services and harnesses competitive procurement to provide the best value for producers.
Prior to joining Circular Materials, Allen served as the President and CEO of Return-It, British Columbia’s very successful used beverage container management program in Canada. In this role, Allen oversaw the modernization of Return-It’s collection network, which consists of more than 170 collection sites, including Return-It depots, Express Plus and Express & GO stations. Return-It has routinely exceeded a 75% recovery rate for used beverage containers in British Columbia, and its network has supported the collection of new materials, including waste electrical and electronic equipment.
Allen also served as the Managing Director for Recycle BC, the first 100% EPR program for paper and packaging in North America where industry assumed full financial and managerial responsibility for the residential recycling system.
Allen currently serves as an Advisory Council Member for the Canada Plastics Pact, and Advisory Board Member for the Washington State Recycling Development Centre.
Babatunde Olateju is the Principal Research Associate and subject matter expert in sustainability, at The Conference Board of Canada. His research at the Board informs Canada’s path toward a circular and carbon-neutral economy.
Tunde leads a diverse team of researchers on Canada’s transition to a circular plastics economy. His recent projects have provided decision-useful insights to governments and private sector actors in the areas of innovation competitiveness, investment attraction, sustainable finance and circular economy policies for businesses and institutions.
Prior to joining the Board, Tunde was Manager in the Clean Energy Division of Alberta Innovates and served on Energy and Environment Committee of the Edmonton Chamber of Commerce.
Tunde holds a Masters in Mechanical Engineering from Brunel University, England. He was a Sadler Scholar at the University of Alberta and received a PhD from the University of Alberta’s Mechanical Engineering department.
Christine believes that good food values can make a real difference. She cares about the environment, our farmers, where our food comes from, and how it gets to our tables. Through her platform, The Zero Waste Kitchen, she aims to teach easy and accessible cooking strategies, along with intuitive and responsible eating with culinary content primarily surrounding decreasing food waste. She reinforces how little things can make a big difference such as simple, actionable steps focused on what you’ll eat next—and what you won’t throw away.
Born and raised in Newfoundland Christine was scouted in a mall fashion show at the age of 15, when she began modeling for beauty campaigns around the world. Building on her modeling career, she then honed her talents as an actor and has appeared on-screen in high-profile productions for networks like HBO and ABC Family. No matter where her adventures in front of the camera would take her though, her obsession for food was always there. She never forgot her love of cooking at an early age and she longed to return to those culinary roots. She rekindled her love for cooking by enrolling in the Chef Training program at George Brown College, Toronto.
Since then, Christine’s culinary accomplishments bloomed to include: 2 cookbooks and regular guest chef appearances on daytime TV like Rogers’ Cityline, CTV’s Marilyn Dennis and The Social. She was thrilled to join CBC Television and Canada’s most popular daily food show, BEST RECIPES EVER, for two seasons as its host where she cooked her favorite dishes from Canadian Living’s Tested-Till-Perfect recipe library for Canadians coast-to-coast. Also don’t for get to check out Christine cooking from home on her YouTube cooking channel.
Christine makes cooking look easy. The culmination of her insatiable culinary appetite along with over 15 years of on-camera work makes her an asset to any food team. Her spark and attention to detail is shown in her work as a food stylist, cookbook author, recipe developer and culinary content producer. Since she loves to talk about all things food, being a spokesperson and brand ambassador for such brands as Philips, Conestoga Farms, The Wild Blueberry Association of North America and Bonne Maman, has been a natural fit.
Her cookbook, Honest To Goodness (Whitecap Books), is packed with mouth-watering, family friendly homemade recipes. Her second cookbook Cook More, Waste Less (Appetite, Penguin Random House), encompassing her passion for raising awareness about food waste, is being published in fall 2021.
Cody has a deep connection and love for nature, with a strong draw to technology and innovation. He was born on a remote farm in Manitoba, raised in Toronto, and then studied Mechanical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal. Over a decade ago he moved to Vancouver and started his first venture, Natural Source, offering corporate food services for technology companies. He grew this business into a local industry leader until the pandemic closed offices, and Natural Source’s client base almost completely evaporated overnight. As devastating as this was, it proved to be an amazing opportunity. By repurposing his company’s resources he built ShareWares, a company on the forefront of the circular economy and eliminating single-use packaging waste.
Colby is proud to reside on the home quarter he was born and raised in which is situated close to the Tawatinaw valley. After graduating high school he entered the oilfield sector in northern Alberta while on days off helping on his mom and dad’s 3rd generation farm. After enough time away from the farm he returned in his mid 20s to start growing and transitioning the families operation.
Today he and his family run a cattle/grain operation which includes 380 cow/calf pair, 1200 ac grain land and 1500 ac of hay/pasture. He is very greatful for his wife Laurie who has substantially grown their direct-to-consumer beef and pork business serving the Edmonton area. He and his partners have also recently opened a 20,000 ton/year organic composting facility at the Westlock Regional Landfill to provide a service for the local and provincial residents. Colby’s goal is to transition his farm to regenerative agriculture while working with industry and researchers to show other farmers/industry that it is a profitable better way to operate while growing and supporting our local circular bio economy.
Etienne Angers has a Master of Environmental Science and has certificates in education and management. He started his career as a science journalist and developed thematic activities at the Biosphere Museum in Montréal before joining RECYC-QUÉBEC in 2013.
At RECYC-QUÉBEC, Etienne has helped develop many projects and worked on several grant programs encouraging greener practices for organizations and industries across Québec. In the last 5 years, he has helped the province of Québec shine in the field of circular economy by launching various initiatives, funds and partnerships, participating in stakeholders committees and taking part in the organization of main events on circular economy in Québec in 2018 and 2021.
His most recent active projects are the participation in the Circular Cities and Regions Initiative, the support of circular economy startups and the Circularity Gap Report Québec, the first CGR outside of Europe aiming to reach a sub national level.
When Etienne is not working to make Québec more green, resilient and circular, he’s probably playing with something that has a sail on it.
John is the Founder and CEO of Earthware Reusables Inc., a return-for-reuse takeout container service headquartered in Calgary Alberta. Earthware’s mission is to stop billions of single use takeout containers from being garbage on our streets or entering our landfills. Earthware is just over one year old but in that time has already replaced thousands of single-use takeout containers. With 285% month over month growth Earthware is keen to expand to other jurisdictions in Canada and globally.
John was previously CEO of Print Audit, a software company that reduced the use of office print paper and copy paper use. Print Audit was a global company with offices in 9 cities that was acquired in 2018. In the 20 years leading up to being acquired, it is estimated that Print Audit’s software products saved billions of trees having significant enduring impacts on reducing office print globally.
Kristy Ehman is three-time business owner, two-time mom and one-time wife. Based in Lumsden, Saskatchewan, Kristy launched tech company Hyon Software Inc in 2018 to help advance the circular economy in Canada. Hyon has ten full-time employees and works with large organizations in the public and private sectors.
Kristy currently chairs the Governance and Nominations Committee within Saskatchewan Trade and Export’s Board of Directors and is on the board with the Saskatchewan Waste Reduction Council. Kristy is an active member in technology hubs such as CoLabs, Cultivator, Communitech, C100, NextFounders and Foresight. Hyon was recently awarded funding through Sustainable Development Technology Canada – a national fund supporting innovative and environmentally sound projects.
When she’s not working, you’ll find Kristy playing board games with the kids, getting dirty in the garden or napping.
Mehr Nikoo manages a clean technology portfolio at Alberta Innovates focusing on Bioenergy and the Circular Economy. Her work is focused mainly on the utilization of agricultural and forestry residues and waste, plus plastics and emerging waste, while reducing products entering landfills.
Mehr is a professional engineer with two master’s degrees in chemical engineering and environmental systems engineering.
Mehr’s diversified work experience involves leveraging her engineering and project management skills over the past 20+ years to advance renewable fuels and waste diversion technologies.
She’s commercialized sustainable products and is an experienced process engineer working for Stantec and Rally Engineering. Mehr has also worked as a research engineer and project management professional in clean energy for InnoTech Alberta and in start-up companies.
Alberta Innovates is where Mehr’s experiences in the development, management, and commercialization of clean technologies come to fruition for the benefit of the province.
Dr. Rafiq Ahmad is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta. He is the founder and director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Manufacturing, Design and Automation (LIMDA), focusing on hybrid & Smart systems. Dr. Ahmad is also the founder and director of “Aquaponics 4.0 Learning Factory (AllFactory),” focusing on researching system design and development for plants and fish production in a symbiotic ecosystem indoor soil-less environment. His research interest includes smart engineering systems design and development, digitization, lean manufacturing, hybrid-manufacturing combining additive and subtractive technologies, green technologies (3Rs: recycling, remanufacturing, and repair), and robotics.
Dr. Ahmad is a Ph.D. in advanced manufacturing from Ecole Centrale de Nantes, France and Master’s in design and manufacturing from Ecole Nationale Superieure d’Arts et Metiers (ENSAM- Paris) France. He holds a BSc-degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, Pakistan. Dr. Ahmad also obtained a Post-doctoral fellow for a two-year at the University of Luxembourg.
Dr. Ahmad runs numerous research programs and industrial collaborations targeting the implementation of Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing, robotization, and green technologies in manufacturing, agriculture, and construction areas. Dr. Ahmad is a board member of the International Society of Automation (ISA-Edmonton section, Co-UofA Student Section Advisor) and APEGA and ASME. He is also an active editor, reviewer, and organizer of numerous international conferences and journals.
Sam Dietrich is the Co-founder and CEO of Prairie Robotics – a Canadian Clean-Tech startup focused on making recycling simple. He first started working in the Waste Industry at 16 as a driver for “To-D-Dump Disposal”. He continued employment until he began studying Engineering at the University of Regina where he majored in Industrial Systems Engineering and received a double minor in Software and Electronics Engineering.
Upon graduating Sam immediately started working for technology startups within Clean-Tech and Gov-Tech industries.
Since Co-founding Prairie Robotics, he’s led the business development team, which works with municipal and hauling partners to provide recycling education. These solutions rely on artificial intelligence and “Internet-of-Things” (IoT) devices to drive consumer and business strategies. His role is focused on helping municipalities reach their diversion goals and move the world towards a Circular Economy.
Steve Fletcher is currently the Executive Director of the Ontario Automotive Recyclers Association, a 180 member industry association, and Managing Director of the Automotive Recyclers of Canada national association, an umbrella group of seven provincial recycling associations representing 350 professional auto recyclers across the country. He has managed auto recycling associations at the national and provincial level since 1992.
ARC had the pleasure of winning the Automotive Recyclers Association’s (ARA) Star Award as Affiliate Chapter of the Year in 2008 and 2010, and Steve was named Trendsetter of the Year at the 2010 ARA Convention.
Steve has hosted the three International Roundtable on Auto Recycling (IRT) in Quebec City, Liverpool and Niagara Falls, and has attended 9 of the 11 international events.
He writes articles for a variety of industry publications including the Canadian Auto Recycling Magazine, Collision Repair Magazine, Autosphere, Auto & Trucking Atlantic Magazine, Auto Recycling World, Recycling Product News, and the Automotive Recycling Magazine.
He has a B.Sc in Biology from the University of Waterloo, and an MBA from the University of Western Ontario, and resides in London, Ontario.
As CEO for the largest tire Producer Responsibility Organization (PRO) in Ontario, Steve has played a unique role in the successful implementation of the Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) model. eTracks provides regulatory compliance services by managing the flow, recycling, and re-purposing of end-of-life tires for producers. Steve launched eTracks as a start up in mid-2018, growing it to manage over 130,000,000 kg of materials annually, while becoming the benchmark for PRO services across all material types regulated under the Resource Recovery and Circular Economy Act (RRCEA). Under his leadership, eTracks developed the first compliance credit marketplace in Canada which has now been incorporated into the Performance Auditing framework by the Regulator. He also led the development of eSRP, an IPR compliance technology platform focused on resource recovery through verified compliant transactions.
Prior to leading eTracks, Steve spent thirteen years as President and CEO of an environmental technology company, growing it from a start-up to a leader in waste treatment technology within the “Cleantech” space. He has more than a decade of experience in management consulting roles, working closely with start-ups and global Fortune 500 companies. He has been a board member for many private companies in the Toronto area including for profit and not for profit organizations. Steve lives with his family in Mississauga and enjoys sports and music in his free time.