Past Talks

Building Reslience in Our Changing World

Date: November 14, 2019

Location: Owens Sound

Host: Bluewater Association of Life Long Learning

Hearing all the voices: How local government and community can work together to preserve the environment.

Community Energy Planning: Bridging the Gap Between Land Use Planning and Energy

Date: October 2, 2019

Location: Beanfield Centre, Toronto

Sponsors: Ontario Professional Planners Institute

Energy Conscious Community: An Energy Planning Course for Planning Professionals

Date: June 13 & 14, 2019

Host: Sustainable Energy Initiative

Location: York University

Community Energy Action Planning

Date: December 4, 2018

Location: Central Library, 251 Dundas Street, London Ontario

Sponsors: City of London, London Environmental Network, London Public Library 

Sustainable Communities in an Age of Populism

Date: September 12, 2018

Host/Location: Third Age Learning

Bruce Peninsula Environment Group

Date: August 1, 2018

Host/Location: Lion's Head

Hearing all the voices: how local government and community can work together to preserve the environment.

Sustainable Development Goals

Date: April 21 - 25, 2018

Host/Location: Waterloo Global Sciences Initiative/Perimeter Institute

Enabling communities implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

What happened in Syria?

Date: April 14, 2018

Host/Location: Guelph Multi-faith Bridging Group

Introduction of guest speakers, Monia Mazigh and Haroon Siddiqui

World Water Day

Date: March 22, 2018

Host/Location: Wilfred Laurier and Waterloo Universities

Green Infrastructure: We know it works so why aren't our cities being built green?

McMaster Energy Conference

Date: March 10, 2018

Host/Location: McMaster University

Panel exploring Canada's Renewable Energy Future - Pathways to Carbon Neutral

Guelph Greenbelt Forum

Date: February 7, 2018

Host/Location: Wellington Water Watchers

Panel moderator

Women in Politics Panel

Date: February 4, 2018

Host/Location: Green Party of Ontario

Experiences of women in politics. Ask her to run. Support her campaign.

Guelph Lecture on Being Canadian

Date: January 19, 2018

Host/Location: Eramosa Institute | River Run

Introduction of keynote speaker, Joseph Heath.

Livable Cities

Date: January 18, 2018

Host/Location: Guelph Greens

Panel exploring how we can make our cities more livable.

Annual Canadian Power Conference

Date: November 20, 2017

Host: Association of Ontario Power Producers

Karen will be joining international thought leaders to discuss critical issues and opportunities in power generation. 

Ask a Female Politician

Date: November 14, 2017 @ 7 pm

Host/Location: Canadian Federation of University Women @ Innovation Guelph

Karen will be sharing her experiences as a woman in municipal politics. More details can be found at the website for the Guelph-Wellington Municipal Campaign School.

The Evolution of Local Government

Date: November 10, 2017

Host/Location: Masters of Public Administration in Local Government Alumni Association, Western University

Karen will be joining a panel to discuss the empowerment of women in local government.

QUEST 2017 - Smart Energy Communities on the Hill

Date: November 6 - 8, 2017

Location: Ottawa

We are looking forward to conducting a small roundtable conversation as experts on the theme of Leveraging your Community Energy Plan and drawing on our experience in municipal government and governance models that support community energy planning.

Leadership for Sustainability

Date: October 6, 2017

Host/Location: Planet Haliburton

Karen will be sharing her experience promoting leadership for sustainability.

How to Decide: Engagement, Information and Capacity

Date: October 4 - 5, 2017

Host/Location: Positive Energy, Ottawa

Karen will be joining a workshop tackling the core stress points in Canada’s energy decision-making system. She brings a municipal government and sustainable energy communities perspective to the conversation.

Active Collaboration for Territorial Sustainability

Date: September 5 - 6, 2017

Host/Location: Balsillie School for International Affairs, Waterloo

Karen will be joining international thought leaders in a two-day workshop on sustainability.

Older Talks


Top Asks for Climate Action

High Ground: Leadership in Transitioning Times, Vancouver — March 2017

  • Panelist: Top Asks for Climate Action: Ramping up Low Carbon Communities

Community Energy Planning: Guelph’s Experience

Sustainable Energy Initiative, York University — March 2017

Shifting to Drive

The Partnership of the Manitoba Capital Region, Winnipeg — March 2017

Engaging Energy Energy in Low Carbon City Building

Association of Energy Engineers Southern Ontario Chapter, Toronto — December 2016

Celebrating Municipal Sustainability: Successes and Opportunities

Sustainable Severn Sound, Midland — November 2016

QUEST 2016

Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow, Calgary — October 2016

Community Energy Planning: The Role of the Planner

Ontario Professional Planners Institut, Hamilton — October 2016

A Woman in Politics

Cornerstone Women’s Network — May 2016

Smart Communities Forum

University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Oshawa — May 2016

Low Carbon Cities Conference

McMaster Centre for Climate Change, Hamilton — April 2016

High Ground: Tools for Engaged Leaders

Columbia Institute, Harrison Hot Springs — April 2016

  • Plenary speaker: how local governments can and must play a key role in achieving Canada’s international climate change commitments
  • Plenary speaker: my experience with social media as a women politician – the good, bad and the ugly

Building a Carbon Smart Community

City of Kingston, Kingston — March 2016

GreenProfit 2016

SWITCH, Kingston — March 2016

Exploring the Confidence Connection – International Women’s Day

Innovation Guelph, March 10, 2015, Guelph

  • Speaker: No one gives you permission to lead

2015 Sustainable Communities Conference

Federation of Canadian Municipalities, February 10 – 12, 2015, London

  • Plenary speaker and workshop: Sharing Failures – What it takes to learn from what didn’t work
  • Workshop speaker: Making Sustainability Part of a Winning Election Platform
  • Workshop speaker: Community Energy Planning

QUEST 2014: Innovation to Implementation

Quality Urban Energy Systems of Tomorrow, December 1 – 3, 2014, Vancouver
Key Implementer Panellist – Local Governments: A plenary session dedicated to profiling the successes, challenges, and opportunities for municipalities in advancing Smart Energy Communities

Last Lecture

University of Guelph, April 3, Guelph

Health Jam 2014

May 14, 2014, Guelph
Opening Remarks: two-day workshop to generate dialogue and real solutions that break down barriers and inequities to healthy living.

Delivering Change on the Ground

Guelph Urban Design Summit, May 5 – 6, Guelph
Public Forum Panellist: Panellists also included David Miller, President of World Wildlife Fund Canada and 63rd Mayor of Toronto, and Andrew Howard, co-founder of Build a Better Block, for a discussion on how good urban design creates more liveable and enduring places. The discussion was moderated by Ric Young, one of Canada’s leading practitioners and thinkers in the field of social change.

Transatlantic Urban Climate Dialogue

February 17, 2014, Berlin, Germany
Speaker: Community Energy Plan Implementation in Guelph
Welcoming remarks: Reception, Embassy of Canada

Health Quality Transformation 2013

Health Quality Ontario, November 21, 2013, Toronto
Panellist: Collaboration, Engagement and the Promotion of Community Wellbeing

Toronto Sustainability Seminar Series

March 27, 2013, Toronto
Speaker: Cities in the era of climate change:  The challenges and opportunities ahead

Association of Ontario Health Centres Conference

June 5, 2013, Toronto
Speaker: Guelph Community Wellbeing Initiative: A conversation about what matters

Association of Municipalities of Ontario Annual Meeting

August 21, 2012, Ottawa
Panellist: Showcasing Water Innovation

Canadian District Energy Association Annual Conference

June 13 – 15, 2012, Ottawa
Speaker: Combined, Heat and Power and District Energy – Cornerstone to Guelph’s Community and Economic Development

Sustainable Communities Conference

Federation of Canadian Municipalities, February 2012, Ottawa
Moderator: Implementing Integrated Community Energy Solutions (ICES) – Building Partnerships for District Energy

Canadian Solar Industries Association Annual Conference

December 2011, Toronto
Keynote speaker: Cities and Solar

Leading Change in Challenging Times

Centre for Civic Governance, November 2011, King City
Panellist: Making it Work: Being on Council in Ontario

Cities Grow Ontario

September 2011, Toronto
Speaker: Towards a Greater Golden Horseshoe

Growing the Margins

Rural Green Energy Conference and Exhibition, March 2011, London
Plenary Speaker: Rural Green Energy: Making it Happen

GLOBE: International Forum on Business and the Environment

March 2010, Vancouver
Speaker: Implementing Guelph’s Community Energy Plan

Hammond Lecture Series

March 2010, Guelph
Speaker: Community Energy Planning: The Guelph Experience

Ontario Electricity Association Breakfast Speakers Series

March 2010, Toronto
Speaker: Implementing Guelph’s Community Energy Plan

Standing Committee on Natural Resources

Government of Canada, August 2009, Ottawa
Delegate: Community Energy Planning in the City of Guelph, Ontario

Association of Municipalities of Ontario Annual Meeting

August 2009, Ottawa
Panellist: Guelph’s Community Energy Plan

Federation of Canadian Municipalities Annual Meeting

June 2009, Banff
Panellist: Implementing Guelph’s Community Energy Plan

QUEST Ontario

June 2009, Toronto
Speaker: The Case for QUEST Ontario: A municipal government perspective

Canadian Urban Institute

May 2009, Toronto
Speaker: Implementing the Community Energy Plan

A.D. Latornell Conservation Symposium

Local Solutions for Global Challenges

Conservation Ontario & University of Guelph, November 2008
Speaker: Urban Growth and Sustainability: Implementation Challenges and Opportunities

Places to Grow Summit

Province of Ontario, November 2008, Toronto
Speaker: Places to Grow: Beyond Conformity

Canadian District Energy Association Annual Conference

May 2008, Calgary
Speaker: District Energy: as a catalyst for economic development and smart growth

Sustainable Communities Forum

Columbia Institute, Collingwood, June 2007
Speaker: Citizen Action for Democratic Communities

Leading Edge 2006

Ontario Niagara Escarpment Commission, October 2006, Burlington
Panellist: Stakeholder and Governance Solutions for achieving Smart Growth in Ontario

Environmental Sciences Symposium

University of Guelph, 2006, Guelph
Speaker: The Politics of Valuing Water

Environment Summit

December 2005, Chatham-Kent

Guelph Civic League Annual General Meeting

March 2005, Guelph
Speaker: Cost of sprawl

Earth Day

Roots and Shoots, April 2005, Guelph
Speaker: Water Stewardship

Guelph Reads

April 15, 2005
Presenter: The Great Work: Our Way into the Future by Thomas Berry

Ontario Soil and Water Conservation Society

2004, Milton
Speaker: The Smart Guelph Experience

Community Energy Planning Mission

Natural Resources Canada and Federation of Canadian Municipalities, August 2003, Netherlands

Municipal Leaders’ Forum on Implementing Kyoto

Federation of Canadian Municipalities, April 2003, Winnipeg

Foundations of Change: The Cornerstone of Strength and Stability

Association of Municipalities of Ontario, November 2002, London
Presenter: Smart Growth in Guelph

The Changing Face of Waste

Solid Waste Association of North America, May 1998
Lunch Speaker

Workshop on Policy Implications of Evidence Regarding Toxic Substances and Human Health

Great Lakes Science Advisory Board’s Workgroup on Ecosystem Health, International Joint Commission, September 5, 6 & 7 1997, Racine, Wisconsin, USA
Invited Participant

Planning for Tomorrow’s Communities: Partnering for a Sustainable Future

A Professional Institute by the Ontario Learning for Sustainability Partnership

October 8, 9 & 10 1997, Kingston
Presenter: Sustainability and Community Partnerships

Environment and Energy Conference of Ontario: Facing the Future

October 31, November 1 & 2 1995, Toronto
Presenter: Sustainability and Community Partnerships

Instituto Autónomo de Investigaciones Ecológicas – El Medio Ambiente Y el Tratado de Libre Comercio

January 30, 31, 1992, Mexico City, Mexico
Presenter: Local Solutions to Environmental Protection