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Climate Action 2.0

What has the pandemic taught us and how have we pivoted?
March 3, 2021
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
Back on February 23rd last year we met for a passionate DesignMeets event on the subject of climate action. We had a wide range of speakers with different points of view to talk about climate change and what the design community needs to do to play our part in taking action. Fast forward to 2021. What a difference a year makes! Back then, we had little idea of what was just around the corner for the planet: a global pandemic, continued denial of climate change, social injustice and heightened anxiety in our communities.

Today, we’re still asking the same questions: Where are we now? What needs to be done? How do we make the right choices, so we can make the right things happen? And how can we inspire others to do the same? What have we learned from the pandemic and how can we pivot?

What has to happen if we’re going to fix this?

As races go, humans are pretty adaptable...but our time to make things right is running out. As designers, we have a role to play and we need to take action.

As a group, designers have always faced broad challenges. Some of us favour the big picture approach, looking for solutions on the large scale, tackling societal issues, such as the built environment, public transit and city infrastructure, and improving general health and wellbeing. Others prefer going “micro,” finding rewards in the smaller things. Creating change at the local level, in the community grassroots. But whatever route we choose, we’re agreed that big changes have to happen if we’re going to be able to reverse course and make the changes that have to become reality. 

Join us virtually for “Design for Climate Action 2.0” in collaboration with Pivot Design Group on March 3rd, 2021, 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm.

Let’s discuss at DesignMeets where we’ll hear from people who have adapted their thinking around climate change through the lens of this pivotal year.

Event Format

The event will be recorded and posted to the DesignMeets site.


This event has passed. Check out the recap here!


Paul Dowsett
Founder and Principal Architect, Sustainable.

Paul is focused on adaptive re-use, deep green retrofit projects, with a strong social mandate - Sustainable’s Egale Centre, now known as the Friends of Ruby Home (serving youth who identify as lgbtqi2s+ and who were experiencing homelessness) is just one example. He is interested in working towards carbon sequestration through the construction and operational life cycles of buildings. Paul challenges the entire construction industry to make the choice to bring carbon to zero in this decade.

With more than three decades of sustainable design experience, Paul is uniquely qualified to lead a highly collaborative design team for projects of diverse scales, types, and complexities. Sustainable creates architecture for a healthy planet, by utilizing non-toxic materials and dramatically reducing carbon-emissions. At the core of Paul’s philosophy and practice is the belief that design and construction solutions should be simple, sensitive, and sustainable.

Hélène St. Jacques
Founder, Informa Market Research

Hélène is an expert consumer and market researcher with a history that spans many categories within the sustainability and resilience front including the renewal of local and healthy food systems, solid waste diversion and food waste reduction, water conservation, energy conservation and renewable energy.

Her experience includes working on local, national and international fronts with large and small size public and private sector organizations. This wide scope of work is continually being enriched by volunteer activities that include FoodShare Toronto (former) and Toronto Food Policy Council (past chair).

Hélène’s work on solid waste started with the introduction of the Blue Box in Ontario. From that point onwards she has helped municipalities around the province and across the country to marry householder behaviour with diversion services. In addition to classic recyclables, this included household organics, leaf and yard waste, household hazardous waste, E-waste and unwanted textiles/apparel.

Hélène has a unique, wide ranging perspective on strengthening the local food system from ‘field to table’ and stemming the massive loss of edible food. She also has chaired the Food Waste Reduction Working Group of the Municipal Waste Association and spoken to many groups about reducing food waste. Hélène is also a member of the City of Toronto’s Solid Waste Department’s Circular Economy Working Group representing the National Association of Charitable Textile Recyclers. She has a B.A. (University of Waterloo) and an M. Ed. (University of Toronto).

Victoria Haldane
PhD Student at the Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto

Victoria aims to bring together health services research and design thinking to create more person-centered health systems that are environmentally sustainable.

She is currently a PhD student at the Institute of Health, Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto. Her research is on the use of eHealth to deliver person-centered care for individuals requiring long term medications.

She is a founding member of Emerging Leaders for Environmental Sustainability in Healthcare (ELESH), a group raising awareness amongst healthcare stakeholders to drive systems change on issues related to environmental sustainability in healthcare. She is also an intern at the Centre for Sustainable Health Systems which has a vision for health systems characterized by practices and policies that are environmentally, socially, and financially sustainable, allowing us to address the health and care needs of today without compromising our ability to address those needs tomorrow.

Victoria holds a Masters in Public Health from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and worked for several years in Singapore as a health services researcher. She also has UX research experience working with healthcare, government and industry clients across Asia.

Tina Soldovieri
Founder, Roncy Reduces

Tina Soldovieri is an environmental educator and activist. She is the founder of Roncy Reduces, a grassroots initiative in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood that aims to engage local businesses and residents to jointly reduce single-use plastic and packaging waste. It has spread to many other neighbourhoods in Toronto where people have created similar initiatives such as Beaches Reduces, Danforth Reduces and many more.

Tina grew up in Germany, but while raising her three children in Toronto she realized that our environment in which children are growing up today is in dire need of support. She decided to change careers and completed a Master in Environmental Education with internships at the TDSB EcoSchools Program and Green Thumbs Growing Kids. She has volunteered extensively for school garden programs and green initiatives at elementary schools.

Tina works at the High Park Nature Centre to help connect children and adults with nature. For Tina waste reduction and nature connection are very closely related topics: It’s the lack of connectedness with nature that has created a culture in which we neglect to care how our actions impact nature. The creation of huge masses of plastic waste that linger for hundreds of years in our landfills and pollute our waters is a direct result of our nature disconnect. Tina strongly believes that cultural change is possible if we all take responsibility for what we leave behind and how we use nature – essentially how we live with nature in mind. Reducing waste in our daily lives is one of the first and most tangible things we can do to transform our unsustainable mindsets into sustainable ones.