Content and Social Team
Mitchell Beer, President
Profession: Chief company strategist, audience development and content specialist. Rumoured to be a frighteningly fast writer. Curator of The Energy Mix, our thrice-weekly e-newsletter on climate, energy, and the shift to a low-carbon future.
Years of experience: Seven as a journalist, 35-plus as a content producer and specialist, 35-plus as a sustainable energy specialist.
Affiliations: Trained presenter, The Climate Reality Project, 2013. First Canadian-based member, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2), 2014 to present. Member, Environment and Sustainability Committee, Ottawa Chamber of Commerce, 2014 to present. Member, Ottawa Renewable Energy Co-operative.
Favourite reading: Online news updates from the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, The Guardian, Pulitzer-winning Inside Climate News, Climate Progress, Greentech Media, and SciDevNet. Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson, Confessions of a Radical Industrialist by Ray Anderson, Getting Green Done by Auden Schendler, Natural Capitalism by Amory and Hunter Lovins and Paul Hawken, The Upside of Down by Thomas Homer-Dixon, Climate Wars by Gwynne Dyer, The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell, Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World by Jane McGonigal, The Ghost Map by Steven Johnson, Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility in the Meetings and Events Industry by Elizabeth Henderson and Mariela McIlwraith, Conferences That Work by Adrian Segar, The Antibiotic Paradox by Stuart B. Levy, MD, The Best-Laid Plans and The High Road by Terry Fallis, Spoke by Coleman.
Passions: Sustainable energy technologies; deep decarbonization solutions that build stronger communities; online content strategies as if audiences mattered; a properly funded public education system; smart research solutions that enable organizations and communities to do well by doing good.
Proud moment: Building a model wind turbine out of wooden stir sticks with my daughter when she was 11 years old. (Now studying interior architecture at Toronto’s Humber College, she’s ‘way beyond that.)
Favourite quote: “The plural of anecdote is not evidence.”
Jenise Fryatt, Content Marketing Specialist
Profession: Social Media Strategist, Blogger, Content Marketer
Years of experience: Four as a content marketing strategist, 20 as a small business marketer
Industry affiliations: MPI Southern California, GMIC
Favourite reading: Copyblogger; Conferences That Work; It’s All Virtual; Sustainable Destinations; Plannerwire; V3 Integrated Marketing; DIY Blogger; Jeff Bullas blog; Reality is Broken; Trust Agents; Delivering Happiness; all Harry Potter; Orson Scott Card; Autobiography of a Yogi; A Course in Miracles; all Dune Books; A Stranger in a Strange Land
Passions: Improv, yoga, karaoke, dancing, theatre, traveling, gardening, and social media
Proud moment: Completing two research papers for MPI—one on virtual meetings and one on hybrid events—with an AMAZING team; joining The Conference Publishers and helping to launch Smarter Shift.
Favourite quote: “Everyone has the right to make an ass of themselves. You can’t let the world judge you too much.”
Karen Irving, Content Management Specialist
Profession: Social Media Advisor and Managing Editor
Years of experience: As a writer and editor, 35. As a human, considerably more than that.
Favourite reading: The Yiddish Policeman’s Union by Michael Chabon; The Diviners by Margaret Laurence; A.D. 500—A Journey Through the Dark Isles of Britain and Ireland, by Simon Young; The Women’s Room, by Marilyn French.
Passions: Blogging about learning to love the next stage of parenting at After The Kids Leave; history, of the social and family kinds; mental health; music of many genres; and nature, urban and otherwise.
Proud moment: Watching both our children grow into smart, caring, independent adults who aren’t afraid to speak their minds and try new things.
Favourite quote: Life piled on life
Were all too little, and of one to me
Little remains: but every hour is saved
From that eternal silence, something more,
A bringer of new things; and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought. –from Ulysses, by Alfred, Lord Tennyson
Emilie Preston, Content Associate
Profession: Content Associate
Years of experience: An ever-expanding amount!
Education: Honours Bachelor of Social Sciences, major in International Development and Globalization, University of Ottawa.
Favourite reading: All the blog content I can absorb from design, gardening, environmental sustainability, technology, and general news; Rework: Change the Way You Work Forever, by David Heinemeier and Jason Fried; The Opposite of Loneliness: Essays and Short Stories, by Marina Keegan; The Write Way, by Susan Crossman; any cookbook I can get my mitts on.
Passion: Learning, cooking and baking, travelling, music, social media, environmental sustainability, and swimming.
Proud Moment: Being the first of my immediate family to graduate from university—and having my parents there to witness it.
Favourite quote: “I am a great believer in luck. The harder I work, the more of it I seem to have.”— Coleman Cox.
Phil Lortie, Illustrated Audio Specialist
Profession: Illustrated audio specialist and reporter
Years of experience: Three years as an audio specialist, eight as a reporter
Favourite reading: Online news updates from The Huffington Post, The Guardian (UK), The Nation, The Village Voice, The Reader, and Slate. Cloud Atlas and The Thousand Autumns of Jacob De Zoet by David Mitchell, The Death and Life of Great American Cities by Jane Jacobs, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman, Beyond Beef, by Jeremy Rifkin, Ghost World by Daniel Clowes.
Passions: Documentaries; empowering disenfranchised populations; addressing the harmful environmental effects of human activity; adventuring; carpentry; basketball; art; friends and family.
Proud moment: Building a home recording studio to realize a long-standing ambition to produce original audio and visual content for the web and broadcast.
Favourite quote: “A gentleman is someone who can play the accordion, but doesn’t.” — Tom Waits
Eric Lukazewski, Webmaster
Profession: Principal of Yellow Hippo Media. Graphic artist, web designer, branding advisor, email and digital marketer, motion graphic designer.
Years of experience: 13 years in practice. Not counting a love of art and design that dates back to early childhood.
Education: B.A. in Visual Communication, 2002, Judson University
Favourite reading: Blogs and other micro-reading on design, technology, sports, general world news: Engadget, We and the Color, Footballguys.com, Dribbble, BBC World News.
Passions: Travel and adventure, and finding a great partner in my life to share that with. We like to avoid the major tourist spots and try to blend in and be a part of the culture, knowing that each city we visit has its own breath, its own soul.
Proud moment: Marrying my wife, Sarah Rackow.
Ralph Torrie, Associate
Profession: Strategic planner and analyst specializing in identifying and developing opportunities emerging from the current global energy transition
Years of Experience: 35
Industry Affiliations: President, Torrie Smith Associates. Formerly Assistant Coordinator of the Energy Research Group of the United Nations University and the International Development Research Centre; Vice President at ICF International; Managing Director at Navigant; Managing Director of the Trottier Energy Futures Project. Board member, Greater Toronto Clean Air Partnership. Editorial advisory boards, Alternatives, and Energy Exchange.
Recognition: Canadian Environment Silver Award in recognition of work with local governments and companies on climate change response strategies.
Favorite reading: Soft Energy Paths: Toward a Durable Peace, by Amory B. Lovins, Where Good Ideas Come From: Natural History of Innovation, by Steven Johnson, Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation, by Kees Van Des Heijden, The Origin of Wealth: Evolution, Complexity and the Radical Making of Economics, by Eric D. Beinhocker, The Social Conquest of Earth, by E. O. Wilson.
Passions: Environmental sustainability, gardening, Beethoven, country music, cycling in Northumberland County
Proud moment: Being quoted in Our Common Future, Report of the World Commission on Environment and Development; completing Canada’s first detailed sustainable energy scenario analysis, and related speaking tour with David Suzuki.
Favorite Quote: “Come! Flaunt the brief prerogative of life. Dip your small, civilized foot in this cold water. And ripple, for a moment, the smooth surface of time.” ― From Frank Scott, “Surfaces”
Judy Smith, Associate
Profession: Climate change and sustainability communicator. Collaborative planner, especially in developing community and corporate sustainability plans. Specialist in engagement strategies that bring all stakeholders into the conversation.
Years of Experience: 35
Education: Honours Bachelor of Environmental Studies (B.E.S.), University of Waterloo; post-graduate studies in resource management, University of Waterloo; diploma course in economic development, University of Waterloo; Certified Environmental Inspector, Environmental Assessment Association, Certificate in Project Management, Humber College.
Past affiliations: Advisory Committee on State of the Environment Reporting; Environment Canada and Statistics Canada; Advisory Committee for Energy Audit and Renewable Energy Technician Program, Durham College; National Advisory Board, Canadian Council for International Cooperation.
Favourite reading: Suite Française, Irène Némirovsky, Sowing Seeds in Danny, Nellie McClung, Ann Michaels poetry, A Sand County Almanac, Aldo Leopold.
Passion: Singing, dancing, my dog, Cobourg beach.
Favorite quote: “A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise.” ― Aldo Leopold
Blake Anderson, Associate
Profession: Business and technology consultant, clean technology entrepreneur
Years of experience: 8+ working on sustainability and energy politics/policy
Favourite reading: Anything on complexity theory, political economy, and political/economic history. Favourite authors include: Nassim Taleb, Christopher Hitchens, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Robert Dahl, Karl Polanyi, Hannah Arendt.
Passions: Canoe tripping, urban agriculture, brewing beer, and long, boisterous dinners.
Proud moment: Learning to play my first complete song on a musical instrument. The ukulele. About a week ago.
Favourite quote: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.” – Henry David Thoreau