Ask some of the most prominent environment-economy thinkers in the world for their Big Ideas for greening economic growth and you won’t be disappointed. That’s exactly what Sustainable Prosperity did at the University of Ottawa on April 28 and 29. Don’t worry if you weren’t there in person or didn’t catch the live webcast – we’ve got all the videos and powerpoint presentations from our speakers, a CBC Ideas debate you can listen to and our “10 top highlights” here.

CBC Ideas with Paul Kennedy

It's widely acknowledged that unfettered economic growth is impossible. Yet our reliance on fossil fuels and a growth-based economy seem intractable. So is the notion of "green growth" the answer? Is there a way to capitalize on capitalist motives and practices and live sustainably?

Day 1


Alan Nymark

Stewart Elgie

Opening Keynote

Ed Barbier, Building the Green Economy

Panel 1: Low Carbon Economy Tom Pedersen, The Backdrop: How much time do we have?

James Meadowcroft, Let's get this transition moving!

Kathryn Harrison

Andrew Leach, The Canadian Economy in a Low Carbon World

Alex Wood, A Tale of Two Systems: The case for a national energy framework

Keynote Address

Rachel Kyte

Panel 2: Accelerating Clean Innovation

Peter Nicholson, Primer on Business Innovation in Canada

Dr. Richard Lipsey

Richard Hawkins, The Trouble with Innovation

David Keith

Nick Johnstone, Inducing Environmental Innovation Day 2

Keynote Speaker

Keynote address by Jeremy Oppenheim , Director for the New Climate Economy project at the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate;

Jeremy Oppenheim delivers a powerful speech on tackling the challenges of climate change in the context of economic growth. He describes the emerging energy future driven by large investments in disruptive technologies in the energy systems around the world, astonishing policy innovations and new business models. Canada’s economy, on the other hand, continues to be energy intensive and carbon intensive, with highly exposed assets prone to significant uncertainty and price volatility. Given Canada’s average economic performance compared to OECD countries, and given the future global energy markets, Oppenheim questions whether it is a good economic strategy for Canada to continue to invest in the oil sands and underinvest in renewable energies and the exploding clean tech sector.

Jeremy Oppenheim, Accelerating Canada’s Participation in the New Climate Economy

Panel 3: Building Sustainable Cities

Matt Kahn, Enhancing Canadian Urban Sustainability through Big Data and Field Experiments

Enid Slack: Sustainable Urban Development and Municipalities: Getting the Prices Right

Matthew Turner

Ann Dale, Sustainable Cities

Panel 4 - Natural Capital

Geoffrey Heal, Sustaining Natural Capital

Brian Murray, Natural Capital Concepts in Practice: Experience in the US (and farther South)

Vic Adamowicz, Getting Prices Right: Natural Capital, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability

Conference Sponsors

We wish to extend a special thanks to the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and SSHRC for their ongoing support

We wish to thank our major sponsor

We wish to thank our supporting sponsors

Check out the full agenda program here