Keynote: Vien Truong

Wednesday, February 5
7:00 - 9:00 pm

Centennial Centre for Interdisciplinary Science (CCIS) 1 - 430

Exponential Equity: How we accelerate towards a just, sustainable future for all

Vien Truong

Sponsored by the University of Alberta Sustainability Council, the City of Edmonton, MacEwan University and the Global Education Program




In the global transition to clean energy, how will we get there in time to avoid the most catastrophic scenarios? And if we get there, will the new economy be an equitable economy? 

Vien Truong will address these questions with stories from the field on what has–and has not–worked, and practical steps for achieving sustainable and equitable growth. She will share high-leverage, game-changing projects that can really move the needle and help bring these practices to scale in strategic collaborations with multi-stakeholder partners.

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    Vien Truong is one of the world’s foremost policy experts and strategists on building an equitable green economy. Her firm, Truong and Associates, advises worldwide on how to build an inclusive workforce, support sustainable economies, and formulate equitable climate policies. She has developed numerous energy, environmental, transportation, and economic policies and programs worth billions of dollars–including helping to create the biggest fund in history for low-income communities. 

    She received a White House Champion of Change award for her work on climate equity. She was nominated for the UCLA Emerging Environmental “Genius Prize”. She most recently served as CEO of the Dream Corps, and led Green For All, a national initiative that puts communities of colour at the forefront of the climate movement and equality at the centre of environmental solutions.

Get your free tickets

Exponential Equity: How we accelerate towards a just, sustainable future for all

Vien Truong 
12:10 - 12:50 pm
City Room (main atrium),
City Hall

For details see the Keynote description.

Global Goals Talks at International Week

4:00 - 6:00 pm
Social Stair Space, Central Academic Building (CAB)

Join us for engaging 17-minute talks on the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as well as cultural performances from 4:00 - 6:00 pm, Monday through Thursday.

Today's Talks:



Food from Thought: How Africa is re-inventing its agriculture and food sectors

Dr. Stanford Blade
Dean, Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences


This is an exciting time for food security and agribusiness in sub-Saharan Africa. Africans are engaged in making the agriculture and food sectors into engines of economic and social development. The African Union is speaking with one voice on the important role of agriculture and food in the continent. President of the African Development Bank (and May 2019 honorary degree recipient from UAlberta) Dr. Akinwumi Adesina has stated that "Africa has all it needs to win in agriculture". The talk will focus on the development of new ideas and technologies across the continent that are transforming the lives of smallholder farmers, entrepreneurs and all members of the agrifood value chain.

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    Dr. Stanford Blade
    is Dean of the Faculty of Agricultural, Life and Environmental Sciences (ALES) at UAlberta. The Faculty has an $85M annual budget, with an average $45M of external annual research funding. The Faculty has a large research infrastructure of crop and livestock technology centres as well as 10,000 hectares of farm and ranch land in key ecologies across Alberta. Dr. Blade is a full professor in the Faculty’s Dept. of Agriculture, Food and Nutritional Science.  ALES is proud of the international scope of its teaching and research through significant collaborations with universities and research organizations across the globe.  

    As a McGill University PhD student (supported by a CIDA scholarship) Stan worked on the selection of cowpea cultivars for use in the elegant cereal/legume systems of west Africa while based at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA). Stan also served as a research scientist (plant breeder) and Deputy-Director General at IITA. He served two terms as Vice-Chair of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation (with $250M in support from the Gates Foundation and other investors). He is now an IITA Board Trustee; IITA works in 23 sub-Saharan African countries on end-to-end delivery of research results into the hands of farmers, entrepreneurs and food processors.


Hempact: Changing Menstrual Hygiene As We Know It

Nicole Sanchez, student and Co-Founder, Hempact
Cara Fan, student and Research and Development Officer, Hempact

Hempact’s mission is to provide eco-friendly products to reduce agricultural waste, promote sustainability, and educate about women’s hygiene. Hempact’s project tackles SDG 12 by addressing water scarcity and waste management with a product that uses waste in order to reduce waste. Through this talk, we hope to provide a better understanding of sustainable consumption and production and how we can help the environment by bringing our product to life.


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    Cara FanCara Fan
    is a research and development officer with Hempact. As a fifth-year chemistry student, Cara is aiming to utilize the knowledge gained during her degree to help Hempact build a functioning prototype. She is passionate in advocating for a sustainable future and believes that changes need to start from trivial things in everyday life.

    Nicole SanchezNicole Sanchez is the Co-Project Manager for Hempact; she oversees the business and education development program portfolios. Nicole is in her fourth year of a Bachelor of Commerce Degree in Business Economics and Law with a Certificate in Interdisciplinary Leadership Studies. She hopes to pursue a law degree in the future.


Aspiring towards a Clean Water Future-for-all by Realizing the Targets of SDG 6

Dr. Patrick Hanington,
Associate Professor, School of Public Health



The 6th Sustainable Development Goal aims to ensure that clean water and sanitation is accessible and sustainably managed. Goal 6 connects closely to many of the other SDGs which rely heavily on advancements being made with respect to access to clean water and sanitation facilities in order to be fully realized. It includes eight ambitious goals that are to be realized by 2030 and which will require a coordinated global effort to think innovatively about water usage and sanitation, ensuring access to safe and affordable water for all, and improving water quality by reducing pollution. Accomplishments towards achieving the goals of SDG 6 have already been noteworthy, however, over 700 million people in the world still lack access to basic drinking water services, and it is estimated that 4.5 billion still lack safely managed sanitation. This presentation will introduce SDG 6 and address the successes and challenges related to this SDG in the final decade of the SDG initiative.   
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    Dr. Patrick Hanington
    is an Associate Professor in the School of Public Health at UAlberta. His research focuses on parasites that exploit water and poor sanitation/hygiene to facilitate transmission. Patrick and his research group work locally and internationally to advance our understanding of parasite biology and ecology, developing tools for detecting specific parasite species and engaging with community partners to understand how to better tailor control efforts in areas where these disease-causing organisms are prevalent.