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  • November 30, 2015
    Lessons for Canada from down under
    Tim Flannery, recipient of Simon Fraser University’s 2015 Jack P. Blaney Award for Dialogue, discusses the role of dialogue in climate action in an op-ed for the Globe and Mail.
  • November 26, 2015
    SFU Convenes Business Leaders and Ethicists on Canadian Climate Policy
    Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue has released two summary reports from invitational roundtables exploring climate policy advice for the Canadian government in the lead up to the COP21 Paris climate negotiations.


The honorific appointment of Dialogue Associate reflects strong achievement in dialogue and a sustained, active relationship with Centre for Dialogue programming.

Michael Alexander

Michael Alexander is Director of SFU’s City Conversations. Working with SFU’s Gordon Price and Public Square, he created this bi-weekly forum to encourage public participation and engagement on topics of interest to residents of Vancouver and the Lower Mainland. Michael comes from San Francisco, where he was a Commissioner for two national parks appointed by the Secretary of the Interior. He represented the leading citizens groups helping to create a national park at the Golden Gate, and championed and helped find funding for a new and appropriate parkway to replace the deteriorated highway through the park from the Golden Gate Bridge to San Francisco. He helped remove the Embarcadero Freeway which blighted the city’s northern waterfront, and promoted the rezoning and urban design of a new commercial and transit district and a residential neighbourhood south of the historic downtown. He helped with the design and funding for six miles of San Francisco Bay Trail around the edge of the city. Michael’s first career was as a photojournalist, primarily for Time & Life. He was a Director of the American Society of Magazine Photographers. He is a Sloan Fellow at the London Business School, and an urban design graduate of SFU’s City Program.

Laurie Anderson

Dr. Laurie Anderson is the Executive Director of Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. Laurie is also an Associate member of SFU’s Faculty of Education, and a lead facilitator for SFU’s Public Square.

Laurie has been a teacher, principal, Director of Curriculum, Associate Superintendent and Interim Superintendent of Schools in Vancouver. Laurie has also consulted in international education throughout Asia, and taught in Hong Kong, Thailand and various cities in China. Laurie has been an Adjunct Professor at UBC, a curriculum developer and instructor for VCC, Director of the Canadian Bureau for International Education, a mediation consultant, a facilitator of the VSB's Leadership Development Program and their Instructor Training Program, and the co-facilitator of Balanced Leadership, a program offered locally and at the Hollyhock learning centre on Cortes Island. Laurie obtained his BEd, MA and PhD at SFU.

Laurie’s current interests include contemplative education and archetypal leadership.

Nicole Armos

Nicole Armos is in her fourth year at Simon Fraser University, pursuing a major in World Literature and a minor in Counseling and Human Development. For several years she has been actively involved in her community, and currently is a volunteer facilitator for Check Your Head's workshops on gender representations. She also works for Simon Fraser University as a TA, and for the City of Surrey as a program instructor and daycamp leader where she has been able to combine her interests in art, health, the environment and community-building as she designs and facilitates programs for all age groups. Her participation in the fall 2011 Semester in Dialogue program inspired her to seek out further facilitator training and practice, recently facilitating dialogues at the Girls In Real Life magazine launch and the 2012 SFU Leadership Summit.

Joanna Ashworth
Senior Dialogue Associate

Dr. Joanna Ashworth is Associate Director of Simon Fraser University's Centre for Sustainable Community Development  (CSCD) where she is also a faculty member in the Centre's academic program. She is Associate Project Director for CSCD’s "CED in Bolivia" Project, a CIDA-funded university partnership project in Bolivia. Currently Joanna is leading the revision of CSCD’s academic distance curricula, among other projects. Joanna also teaches in SFU's Dialogue and Civic Engagement certificate program and the Leadership and Development Program at the Beedie School of Business. Joanna is the former Director of Dialogue Programs at the SFU Centre for Dialogue, where she designed and led numerous innovative dialogue-based learning projects and programs from 2002 to 2010. Joanna works at the intersection of communication, community development and adult education. Her research and practice interests include innovations in sustainability leadership, dialogue and social mobilization.

Herb Barbolet

Herb Barbolet has been active in community development for more than 30 years - Working in community planning, energy conservation, citizen participation, cooperative housing, and food and agriculture. He now works in food policy research, projects and programmes: linking food to community economic development, health and safety, environment, social justice, and international development - from the very local to the global. He is one of the leading food activists in North America. Herb has a B.A. in Urbanism, a Masters in Community Development, and doctoral studies in Community Development and later in Community Planning and Political Economy. As Associate with the Centre for Sustainable Community Development at Simon Fraser University since 2003 he has co-authored food assessment studies for provincial health authorities and a guide to food assessments for the provincial health services authority.

Herb consulted on the establishment of the Vancouver Food Policy Council and Year 3 of the SFU Imagine BC Programme. He was the founder, and for 10 years, executive director of FarmFolk/CityFolk, an internationally recognized NGO. Earlier he was the executive director of the Community Planning Association of Canada (BC) for five years and developed cooperative housing for 10 years. He appears regularly on CBC radio Almanac's Food Panel, and in all media. Herb was a founding member of numerous non-profits (including the Cooperative Housing Federation of BC and the BC Association for Regenerative Agriculture).

Sean Blenkinsop

I came to dialogue from two different directions. First, through my practice as an outdoor and experiential teacher/facilitator in various alternative venues including wilderness places and second, through my philosophical and theoretical interest in the work of Martin Buber. I have long wanted to better understand and help grow our relationships with ourselves, others, and the larger world. I grew up in Northern Ontario and spent 15 years as an outdoor, environmental, and experiential educator. Believe it or not, I have only ever made a pay-cheque through my teaching. My doctoral work in philosophy of education was completed at Harvard and focused on existentialism with a deep interest in the concepts of choice, dialogue, community, and freedom. Currently I am the primary investigator for a large SSHRC funded environmental CURA grant which is involved in the creation, researching, and ongoing day to day work of a publicly funded K-8 environmental, outdoor, experiential, and place-based school in Maple Ridge (for more information see Other current research interests might be situated in the area of eco-philosophy focusing on epistemological and ontological questions related to ecological worldviews, semiotics, education for community, flourishing, and wilderness as teacher. Finally, I am an associate professor of education at SFU and have been seconded for five years, beginning in the fall of 2012, to the undergraduate semester in dialogue.

Robert A. Daum

Robert A. Daum is Advisor in the Office of Vice President, Students, UBC and Project Lead for UBC Transcultural Leaders. He is a Faculty Associate of UBC's Institute for Gender, Race, Sexuality, and Social Justice, a Faculty Member of UBC's Green College Common Room, a member of the inaugural Board of Directors of Reconciliation Canada, a member of the Board of Directors for The Laurier Institution, co-convenor of the Intercultural & Civic Engagement Strategy Group for the City of Vancouver's Local Immigration Partnership initiative, and a research collaborator in inter-university initiatives focused on transcultural dialogue theory and practice.

Robert completed his B.A. magna cum laude in Political Science at Tufts University and his rabbinical studies at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion (HUC-JIR) in New York, where he also completed his M.A. in Hebrew Literature. He earned a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. His publications include critical studies of Jewish culture, philosophy, rhetoric, and religious literature.

Duane Elverum

As a designer, sustainability educator and Co-Director of CityStudio Vancouver, Duane’s teaching and research aims to connect university students directly to urban sustainability through studio-based, collaborative and dialogic learning. He is currently a visiting professor and associate with SFU’s Center for Dialogue, and is a past board director for the eatART Foundation and Modo the Car Coop. Recently he juried Prefab 2020, an international architectural competition, as well as B.C. Hydro’s Invent the Future competition. He holds a bachelor’s degree with honors in architecture from the University of British Columbia. As an offshore sailor, he has crossed the South Pacific Ocean twice, and the North Pacific 4 times, most recently in 2010 sailing from Hawaii to Vancouver with OceanGybe’s Plastics Research Expedition.

Martin Gotfrit

Martin Gotfrit is the former Director of the School for the Contemporary Arts and is currently is a Professor in its Music Area. His areas of research are computational systems for music composition and performance, film music and sound, and music improvisation. As co-director of the Computational Poetics Research Group, his research and performance work has taken him around the world with a special focus on India. For more details, please visit his homepage.

Lynn Green

As President and CEO of the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education, Lynn is using her background in educational leadership and administration to advance the DLC’s mission of educating the hearts of children and youth. Lifelong learning, leadership and change, and community building have been constant themes throughout her career.

Prior to joining the Dalai Lama Center, Lynn was an Associate Superintendent with the Vancouver Board of Education, where she supported elementary and secondary schools in their ongoing growth initiatives and the development of leadership capacity. Previously, she has been a teacher and counsellor in elementary and secondary schools in York County, Victoria and Vancouver School District and served as Principal of Gladstone Secondary School in Vancouver.

Staff and professional development, appreciative organizational change, leadership development, support services for children and youth, and curriculum development have also been significant focuses in various consultant and administrative positions she has assumed. Lynn's work with students, families and educators has emphasized the significance of social and emotional learning as a foundation for academic success and building resiliency in children and youth.

Julian Griggs

Julian Griggs is one of the founding Principals of Dovetail Consulting, a Vancouver-based firm specializing in collaborative approaches to environmental planning, resource management and community development. With work experience from Canada, the US, and Southern Africa, and graduate training in both natural and social sciences, Julian brings an interdisciplinary perspective to his work as a facilitator, planner, strategist and trainer. His recent projects have included government-to-government negotiations on behalf of a BC First Nation, working with coalitions of First Nations and conservation organizations, strategic planning for various progressive non-profit organizations, brokering dialogue between senior industry and environmental representatives on energy and climate issues, and several research projects examining multi-party collaborative initiatives. Julian lives in Vancouver with his wife, Eva and three daughters and enjoys time in the clean air and wilderness of deserts and mountains.

Kim Hudson

Kim Hudson is the Director the Two Ways of Knowing (2WK) Project at SFU's Centre for Dialogue. Kim's work explores how traditional and western ways of knowing can be drawn upon to deepen mutual understanding, develop sustainable relationships and support joint economic, cultural and environmental partnerships. Kim's work in 2WK is enriched and informed by her expertise as an exploration geologist, mineral management consultant, federal lands claim negotiator and a consultant to First Nations and the extraction industry in the Yukon. Kim is also a workshop facilitator, leadership consultant and co-founder of the Balanced Leadership program taught at Hollyhock and the Haven. Kim is the author of The Virgin’s Promise: Writing Stories of Feminine Creative, Spiritual and Sexual Awakening, has a BSc (UBC) and MA (Queens) and shares her time living in Vancouver and Whitehorse.

Am Johal

Am Johal works at SFU's Vancity Office of Community Engagement in the SFU Woodward's Cultural Unit. He has previously worked in community economic development, civil society development and politics. He was the co-founder of UBC's Humanities 101 program and was Chair of the Impact on Communities Coalition. He has been an advisor to two provincial cabinet ministers representing Transportation and Highways and Community Development, Cooperatives and Volunteers. He is currently serving on the Vancouver City Planning Commission and the Vancity Community Foundation. He has undergraduate degrees in human kinetics (UBC) and commerce (Royal Roads University), an MA in international economic relations (Institute for Social and European Studies) and is currently a part-time doctoral student in media philosophy (European Graduate School).

Genevieve Fuji Johnson

Genevieve Fuji Johnson, Associate Professor of Political Science, studies and teaches democratic theory, feminist social and political thought, social and political theories related to sexuality and gender, ancient Greek political thought, and a range of current public policy issues.  She has published in the Canadian Journal of Political Science, Comparative Policy Analysis, Contemporary Political Theory, Governance, Policy Sciences, and Les Ateliers de l'Éthique.  She is author of Deliberative Democracy for the Future: The Case of Nuclear Waste Management in Canada (University of Toronto Press, 2008), which has been translated into Japanese (Shinsen Sha, 2011).  She is co-editor (with Randy Enomoto) of Race, Racialization and Anti-Racism in Canada and Beyond (University of Toronto Press, 2007), co-editor (with Darrin Durant) of Nuclear Waste Management in Canada: Critical Issues, Critical Perspectives (UBC Press, 2009), and co-editor (with Loralea Michaelis) of Political Responsibility Refocused: Essays on Justice Inspired by Iris Marion Young (forthcoming, University of Toronto Press).  She has held several Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada grants.  She is currently working on a SSHRC funded project on case studies of deliberative democratic procedures in areas of Canadian public policy.

Dr. Johnson, in addition to being a member of the Steering Committee, is a Dialogue Associate of the Centre for Dialogue.  She is also an Associate Faculty Member of the Department of Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies.  During the Spring of 2013, she will be a Visiting Scholar at the Centre for Deliberative Democracy and Global Governance, Australian National University.

Peter Ladner

Peter Ladner is a Dialogue Associate of the SFU Centre for Dialogue. His book The Urban Food Revolution: Changing the Way We Feed Cities, was published by New Society Publishers in fall, 2011, following a two-year Fellowship at the SFU Centre for Dialogue on Planning Cities as if Food Matters. He is a former Vancouver City Councillor, Metro Vancouver director, and publisher of Business in Vancouver newspaper, where he writes a weekly column. Twitter @pladner

Gail Lotenberg

Gail Lotenberg is a choreographer who uses dialogue to inspire the making of dance, and dance to enhance dialogue. Her work as Artistic Director of LINK Dance Foundation began in the Yukon in 2001 and after relocating its base of operations to Vancouver in 2007, she has become widely recognized for collaborations involving scientists, legal scholars, restorative justice advocates, and the public to inform choreographic process. Her innovation is to take ideas generated by people outside the world of dance and to expand and translate these ideas into the universal language of the body. Lotenberg has worked in association with Simon Fraser University since 2008 and upcoming has been invited to teach a Creative Expression course at Stamford University, as a result of her achievements in integrating dance practice with academic thinking. Lotenberg’s projects have toured throughout Canada, to the US, and Europe since 1998.

Chitha Manoranjan

Chitha Manoranjan is an alumni from the Fall 2013 Semester in Dialogue. He completed his BA at SFU in International Studies with a minor in Sociology and continues to explore intersections of dialogue, the arts, community, culture, and justice. In the past, he has been involved in various community initiatives including Sustainable SFU and he is currently working closely with the Still Moon Arts Society. Most recently, Chitha has joined Canada World Youth as a Project Supervisor and will be returning to Indonesia to explore local cultures and pursue community development with a team of youth.

Judith Marcuse

Judith Marcuse’s career spans over 40 years of professional work as a dancer, choreographer, director, producer, teacher, writer, consultant and lecturer in Canada and abroad. She has created over 100 original works for live performance by dance, theatre and opera companies as well as for film and television and has produced seven large-scale, international arts festivals. Her repertory contemporary dance company toured extensively in Canada and abroad for 15 years, while also producing community residencies and youth programs.

Among her many projects, the issue-based ICE, FIRE and EARTH projects, each five years long, involved thousands of youth in workshops, national touring, television production and extensive community collaborations across Canada. The ICE Project explored issues that can lead to teen suicide; the FIRE Project looked at how violence is experienced by young people; and the EARTH Project examined issues of environmental and social justice.

An advocate for the integration of arts-based dialogue into diverse social change contexts, Marcuse works in arts, university and community settings in Canada and abroad, most recently in Northern Ireland, Finland and South Africa. Founder and Co-Director of the International Centre of Art for Social Change (, she is a Senior Fellow of Ashoka International. Among her many honours, she has received the Lee and Chalmers Canadian choreographic awards and an honorary doctorate from Simon Fraser University.

Gary McCarron

Gary McCarron is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and a recipient of Simon Fraser University's Excellence in Teaching Award. His interests in dialogue are wide-ranging, but are focused chiefly focused on the history and philosophy of rhetoric in relation to modern theories of public persuasion; and, as well as on discourse analysis, especially in the area of forgiveness and apologies.

Stu McNish

Dialogue is a venue that allows for the open and respectful sharing of ideas. It is focused, it has intent and it has purpose. At it’s best, dialogue, allows those involved to set aside differences and listen to one another with an open mind, a willingness to set aside preconceptions minus a need to win.

As each conversation unfolds differences and doubts surface, participants probe and explore and learn from one another. Given the appropriate setting participants and observers of the conversation can at times discover insights that modify and re-shape their worldview.

Award winning broadcaster Stu McNish founded Oh Boy Productions in 1997 and still thrives on the art of storytelling. When he weaves a story, whether over dinner or in a broadcast, his passion and ease of delivery means he always has a rapt audience.

Paul Meyer

Paul Meyer is a former Canadian diplomat who retired from the Foreign Service in September 2010 after a 35 year career. He joined the then Department of External Affairs in 1975 and served abroad in Oslo (1976-1978), Moscow (1982-1984) and Brussels (1988-1992) where he was Political Counsellor in Canada's delegation to NATO. From 1992-1997, he served at the Embassy in Washington D.C. as Minister-Counsellor (Political) and from 2001-2003 as Minister and Deputy Head of Mission at the Embassy in Tokyo. In Ottawa, Paul held a variety of positions at the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, primarily in the field of international security policy. He was Director-General of the International Security Bureau (1998-2001) and Director-General of the Security and Intelligence Bureau (2007-2010). From 2003 to 2007, he served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations and the Conference on Disarmament in Geneva. His responsibilities at this centre for multilateral action on global issues spanned a variety of fields including human rights, humanitarian affairs, global health, and arms control and disarmament.

In February 2011 he was appointed Fellow in International Security at the Centre for Dialogue and concurrently Adjunct Professor, School for International Studies at Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. He is also a Senior Fellow at The Simons Foundation. His research interests include nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament, outer space security, conflict prevention and cyber security.

Kevin Millsip

Kevin’s builds capacity in the progressive social change sector. He is the co-founder and Director of Next Up, a national leadership program for young people committed to social and environmental justice. Next Up currently operates in 5 cities across Canada. He is also the Sustainability Coordinator for the Vancouver School Board working mostly on Food Security issues.

In 1998 Kevin co-founded Check Your Head, an organization that has worked with over 40,000 young people to get involved in global justice issues. He co-founded Get Your Vote On - a campaign that has registered over 20,000 new voters in BC and served as a Vancouver School Board Trustee.

He serves on several board’s and advisory councils including: The Centre for Civic Governance, Upstream, The Small Change Fund, Headlines Theatre and the David Suzuki Foundation and The Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives - BC Office.

Janet Moore

Janet is Director and Associate Professor at the SFU Semester in Dialogue. She has imagined, designed and facilitated intensive, interdisciplinary courses that focus on community engagement, resilience, lifestyle activism, food systems, group process and urban sustainability.

Janet is the Co-Founder and Co-Director of CityStudio - an energetic hub of learning and leadership where students design and implement Greenest City solutions in collaboration with the City of Vancouver and 6 post secondary institutions (Emily Carr, UBC, SFU, VCC, BCIT and Langara).

She has been involved with a number of innovative sustainability education projects in Vancouver, including university engagement on sustainability curriculum at UBC where she completed her doctoral dissertation “Recreating the University from within: Sustainability and Transformation in Higher Education” with the Department of Curriculum Studies, Faculty of Education. Her post-doctoral work focused on The Learning City Project at Great Northern Way Campus–an inter-institutional project working towards integrating real world issues into the university classroom.

Janet spent 4 years as the Provincial Leader of the BC Working Group and Network on Sustainability Education, a group that is now the UN Regional Centre for Expertise in Education for Sustainable Development – British Columbia.

She is a research associate with the SFU Centre for Sustainable Community Development and her interests include transdisciplinary higher education, transformative learning, community based learning, participatory action research, sustainability education and organizational change in higher education. Janet is passionate about teaching and learning, facilitating dialogue and participatory processes. She keeps busy riding bikes and planting veggies with her 2 kids.

Brenda Morrison

Brenda Morrison is the Director of the Centre for Restorative Justice and an Associate Professor in the School of Criminology, Simon Fraser University.   She is a social psychologist with field experience in outdoor education, government administration and restorative justice. Her teaching and research interests include transformative and restorative justice, responsive regulation, school violence and safety, conflict and cooperation, shame-management and social identity, the self and self-interest. 

She has presented papers at UNESCO, in Paris, and the House of Lords, in London. Nationally, she is a research partner with PREVNet (Promoting Relationships Eliminating Violence Network). In British Columbia, she is a member of the working group for Social Responsibility and Collaborative Learning in Education, and on the advisory board for the Victims of Homicide Support Initiative. She is an active board member for the North Shore Restorative Justice Society and an associate board member of Vancouver Association for Restorative Justice.

Avril Orloff

Avril Orloff is a graphic facilitator who literally 'draws out' people's thinking by creating visual maps of group conversations using a combination of words and images. She has graphically facilitated and recorded meetings, dialogues, workshops and conferences in all sectors, on a wide variety of topics including health care, education, change management, community planning, and leadership development. Avril gets great satisfaction from the way her visuals contribute to effective dialogue by helping to surface issues, clarify ideas, build shared meaning, and make people feel heard. Avril's previous work includes three years as Convenor of the Philia Dialogue on Caring Citizenship - a cross-sector initiative to nurture caring and inclusive communities - and 16 years as a graphic designer and art director. Her academic background includes degrees in fine arts, design, philosophy and communication, and she has done training in facilitation and Compassionate Listening.

Michelle Patterson

Michelle Patterson is a Scientist and Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. She obtained a PhD in Clinical Psychology from the University of British Columbia (2002). Since 2005, she has worked with non-profit organizations and multiple levels of government to examine the impacts of housing, poverty, and mental illness on various facets of health and social inclusion. For the past four years, Michelle has been a co-Investigator on the At Home/Chez Soi project, a randomized controlled trial taking place in 5 cities across Canada to examine various models of housing and support services for people who are homeless and have mental illness. Before joining SFU, Michelle worked for three years as a lecturer in the Department of Psychology at Yale University and as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Yale Child Study Centre where she was involved in a project that examined a home-based intervention for poor and high-risk mothers with young children. Michelle also has a part-time Clinical Psychology practice in Vancouver. In her spare time, she enjoys climbing mountains, skiing, riding her bike, and working in the garden.

Tony Penikett

Tony Penikett is the author of "Reconciliation: First Nations Treaty Making in British Columbia," published by Douglas & McIntyre in 2006. Currently a Vancouver- based mediator, Penikett was deputy minister of negotiations for the British Columbia government and, later, deputy labour minister. He was also senior advisor on self-government policy to Saskatchewan Premier Roy Romanow and has acted as SFU's Centre for Dialogue's Senior Fellow on First Nations' Treaty Issues. A former Yukon premier, Penikett has been involved in aboriginal rights negotiations for over twenty years.

Jennifer Allen Simons

Jennifer Allen Simons, award-winning educator in peace, disarmament, international law and human security, is Founder and President of The Simons Foundation, a Senior Fellow and Dialogue Associate at the SFU Centre for Dialogue, and an Adjunct Professor at the SFU School for International Studies. She is a former Director and Adjunct Professor at the Simons Centre for Disarmament and Non-Proliferation Research, Liu Institute for Global Issues, University of British Columbia, which she established jointly with UBC. Dr. Simons is also a Founding Partner of Global Zero, an international initiative of 300 world leaders dedicated to achieving the phased, verified elimination of nuclear weapons by 2030, and a member of the International Advisory Board of the Centre for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Disarmament at the Crawford School of Public Policy, Australian National University.

Dr. Simons was appointed to the Order of Canada for her contributions to the promotion of peace and disarmament and has an Honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of Northern British Columbia. She was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for her service to the global effort to eradicate landmines and in 2012 received the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. She is also Executive Producer of a 4-hour documentary series on Human Security Issues, in partnership with Knowledge Network/Open Learning Agency, British Columbia, Canada.

Dr. Simons was a member of the Canadian Government Delegation to the UN 2000 Non-Proliferation Treaty Review Conference and the 2002 Non-Proliferation Treaty Conference, and is a member of the Steering Committee of the Canadian Department of Foreign Affairs/Non-Governmental Organizations Consultations on Nuclear Issues.

SFU honoured Dr. Simons with the Jennifer Allen Simons Chair in Liberal Studies as well as the 1996 Chancellor's Distinguished Service Award. She served for six years as Order in Council appointee to the Board of Governors of Simon Fraser University and for three years as Order in Council appointee to the Board of Governors of the University of Northern British Columbia. Among her many Awards are an Award for Contribution to Education by Wilp Wilxo'oskwhl Nisga'a House of Wisdom; Charles University, Prague, 650th Anniversary Jubilee Medal Award of Highest Merit for Contribution to Development of Civil Society, Canadian Peace Award for Peace Philanthropy; and the 2006 Vancouver Citizens' Peace Award.

Official website:

Judy Smith

Judy Smith is the Program Director of the SFU Community Education Program, a program that leverages university and community knowledge, expertise and resources to enhance community capacities and support positive social change. A Masters in Arts degree (UBC) studying historical ideas about race, gender, sexuality and class provides the theoretical ground for Judy’s 20 years of activism and community-based program development work in the social profit sector. As part of a dynamic team at SFU, she now oversees and participates in the design and implementation of inclusive, community engaged educational projects and programs that address critical community needs, such as the Certificate in Dialogue and Civic Engagement, the Aboriginal Bridge Programs and a Certificate in Community Capacity Building where participants help to realize community goals and visions in inner city and First Nations communities.

Shauna Sylvester

Shauna Sylvester is a Fellow at Simon Fraser University’s Centre for Dialogue and the Executive Director of the SFU Public Square – a signature project of SFU’s commitment to engagement which convenes serious and productive dialogues on issues of public concern to Canadians.  

Shauna is a skilled facilitator, social entrepreneur and commentator on international issues.  She has led several dialogues on density, business development, transportation and energy and she served as the lead facilitator for the Mayor’s Task Force on Affordable Housing in Vancouver.
Prior to leading SFU Public Square and Carbon Talks, Shauna served as the Founding Executive Director of Canada’s World – a national citizen engagement initiative on foreign policy.

Shauna has written and edited several publications related to foreign policy, social and environmental issues and has provided policy advice to governments and foundations on subjects as varied as climate change, human security, media and democratic development.  From 1997 to 2006, Shauna co-founded and served as the first Executive Director of IMPACS – the Institute for Media, Policy and Civil Society, a media and democracy organization that operated in Canada and in conflict and post-conflict zones around the world.

In addition to her international work, Shauna is involved in her community.  She is a current board member of Mountain Equipment Cooperative and has served on the boards of Vancity Credit Union, Vancity Capital, the Voluntary Sector Initiative, the BC Assessment Authority and numerous non-profit organizations.

In 2010, Shauna was recognized by The Simons Foundation as a Peace Leader. In 2003, she was named one of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 in the Globe and Mail after receiving a similar award from Business in Vancouver Magazine in 2000.

Vince Verlaan

Vince specializes in the challenging field of community engagement, leading the engagement practice at Modus Planning Design and Engagement Inc., and helping diverse organizations connect meaningfully with stakeholders and citizens on issues of shared concern. 

Drawing on 20+ years of experience, he first works closely with clients to design robust engagement strategies and processes. Vince then helps facilitate events, forums, and workshops of all kinds (often integrating digital engagement) to engage large and diverse audiences. Analysis of input received, thorough reporting back, and driving findings into evolving policies, plans or projects is key to success. Communications support, engagement policy development, staff training, and public speaking round out the skills Vince brings to this field. 

Vince draws from the "Art of Hosting Transformative Conversations" and uses dialogue-based techniques like circle, world cafe, open space and interview matrix. He also maintains a large set of interactive tools for different audiences and situations, with a recent project winning the gold medal from the Planning Institute of British Columbia (PIBC), and a client being named Canada's leading municipality by IAP2.

For six years, he has helped develop and deliver the thriving “Certificate in Civic Engagement and Dialogue” at Simon Fraser University, where he teaches the core practice course. Vince has been on the Boards of SmartGrowth BC, GPI Pacific, the Canadian Community for Dialogue and Deliberation (C2D2) and the BC chapter of the International Association for Public Participation (IAP2). He is also an experienced strategic planner, and has melded staff, board, stakeholder and client engagement successfully with long-range planning exercises many times.

Specialties: Community and/or stakeholder engagement, public participation strategies and process design, facilitation of small and large group events, dialogue processes and events, strategic planning for organizations and communities, communications/media relations, capacity building and training.

Read Vince Verlaan's case study of the Squamish WLNG Engagment Process

Mark L. Winston

Mark L. Winston has had a distinguished career researching, teaching, writing and commenting on bees and agriculture, environmental issues, and science policy. More recently, he has utilized dialogue in classrooms, corporations, non-profit organizations, government, and community settings to develop leadership and communication skills, conduct strategic planning, inspire organizational change, and thoughtfully engage public audiences with controversial issues. Winston's work has appeared in numerous books, commentary columns for the Vancouver Sun, The New York Times, The Sciences, Orion magazine, and frequently on CBC radio and television and National Public Radio. His research, communication, and dialogue achievements have been recognized by many awards, including the Manning Award for Innovation, Sterling Prize in Support of Controversy, British Columbia Gold Medal in Science and Engineering, Academic of the Year, Eve Savory Award for Science Communication, Michael Smith Award for Science Promotion, a prestigious Killam Fellowship from the Canada Council, and election as a Fellow in the Royal Society of Canada. He currently is Academic Director of Simon Fraser University's Centre for Dialogue, and a Professor of Biological Sciences.