Climate Change Retreat

Sept 28 – Oct 1, 2017

Thinkers Lodge, Pugwash

Nova Scotia, Canada

Return to Main

Thinkers Lodge Retreat

Home Page – Here

MailChimp Signup Form

The Thinkers

The Thinkers Climate Change Retreat takes place from Friday (Sept 29) through Sunday morning ((Oct 1) in the Thinkers Lodge.

This Thinkers Lodge retreat is modeled after the original 1957 Pugwash Conference when 22 nuclear physicists attended. We are inviting 22 Thinkers with international and regional perspectives in all aspects of climate change, local communities and resilient economies adapting to climate change.


    1. Gregory Heming – Gregory a Senior Advisor for the Centre for Local Prosperity and a municipal councillor in Annapolis County, NS, and chair of the County’s Economic Development Committee. Holding a PhD in Ecology with post graduate studies in religion and philosophy, he has spoken, written and published on economics, environment, and public policy. Gregory is a member of the Club of Rome. He brings a strong voice for a new economic model based on steady-state economics and a more enlightened approach to revitalizing rural Canada.
    2. Robert Cervelli – Bob is the Executive Director for the Centre for Local Prosperity. He has been a life science start-up entrepreneur for 25 years, and understands the issues related to business creation and the health of resilient local economies. As a member of the E.F. Schumacher Society for over 30 years, Robert has tracked new tools and initiatives in community economics., and has attended numerous economics conferences building economic resilience at the local and regional levels. Robert is Chair of Transition Bay St. Margarets, NS.
    3. Chad Frischmann – Chad is the Vice President & Research Director at Project Drawdown and is the lead researcher and principal architect of the methodology and models used in Drawdownand all related publications. Chad has an interdisciplinary background in public policy, sustainable development, and environmental conservation, as well as over 17 years of experience in program management and strategic leadership.
    4. Michael Shuman – Michael is an economist, attorney and leading visionary on community economics. He’s Director of Local Economy Programs for Telesis Corp, a nonprofit affordable housing company, and an adjunct instructor at Bard Business School, NYC and Simon Fraser University, Vancouver. He’s a Fellow at Cutting Edge Capital and at the Post-Carbon Institute, and a founding board member of the Business Alliance for Local Living Economies (BALLE). He was one of the architects of the US 2012 JOBS Act and dozens of state laws for crowdfunding.
    5. Christine Heming – Shastri Christine Hemingis a meditation instructor and teacher in the Shambhala Buddhist community. She was student of the founder of Shambhala Training, Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche, and is now a student of his son, Sakyong Mipham Rinpoche. She moved to Nova Scotia in 1982 to help establish a dharma centre in Halifax, and also founded the Annapolis Shambhala Meditation Group. She has completed a 3-year retreat in the Kagyu Buddhist tradition. Shastri Heming has led numerous programs and trainings.
    6. Andy Horsnell – Andy chairs the CLP board and is co-founder of Common Good Solutions, a community interest company that helps start and grow social enterprises throughout the Maritimes. He has worked to transform the role that business plays in society for almost 30 years, and believes we have much work to do, to create a sustainable, resilient, equitable economy. Andy lives with his wife Denise in Kingsport, Nova Scotia.
    7. John Eaton – John is a retired business executive whose career included both International Development projects and domestic tech companies in California.  Currently, he is also the Treasurer of two local non profit organizations where he lives:  Sustainable Lafayette and Lafayette Community Garden and Outdoor Learning Center.  A grandson of Cyrus Eaton, John has managed the non profit Pugwash Park Commissioners for the last 10 years which is the steward for the Thinkers Lodge National Historic site.  During that time he has presided over the restoration of the Lodge and adjacent Lobster Factory and the revitalization of its central mission to promote education, peace and security.
    8. Graham Fisher – Graham is a Senior Planner at the NS Dept of Municipal Affairs and has a strong interest in sustainable communities, and climate change adaptation through land use planning. Graham has separate undergraduate degrees in biology and geology and a Masters in Rural and Urban Planning, from Dalhousie University. Over the course of his 20-year career, Graham has developed plans for provincial parks and natural areas, worked with communities on watershed protection plans, developed the NS process for preparing Integrated Community Sustainability Plans, and has worked with municipalities on Climate Change Adaptation Plans.
    9. Timothy Habinski – Timothy Habinski is the Warden for the Municipality of the County of Annapolis.  One of only seven full-time Celtic harp makers in Canada, Timothy has crafted nearly six hundred harps, which are played by professional and amateur musicians on five continents and in more than twenty countries. Twenty-five years experience as an entrepreneur and professional musician, his background as an academic in the fields of English literature and classical history, and a profound belief in compassion as the fundamental ethic of public service have informed his five years in municipal politics.
    10. Ray Hickey – Ray Hickey is the Chief Operating Officer of Cumberland Energy Authority.  Through his role with the CEA, Ray works to promote the development of renewable energy and combat climate change in Cumberland County.  Prior to his work with the CEA Ray served as the CAO of the Town of Parrsboro. Ray is a graduate of Industrial Engineering at Dalhousie University and a strong proponent of a sustainable, creative economic future for rural Nova Scotia.
    11. Albert Marshall – Albert is a highly respected and much loved Elder of the Mi’kmaw Nation; he lives in Eskasoni First Nation in Unama’ki (Cape Breton), NS, and is a passionate advocate of cross-cultural understandings and healing and of our human responsibilities to care for all creatures and our Earth Mother.  He is the “designated voice” with respect to environmental issues for the Mi’kmaw Elders of Unama’ki and he sits on various committees that develop and guide collaborative initiatives and understandings in natural resource management or that serve First Nations’ governance issues, or that otherwise work towards ethical environmental, social and economic practices. 
    12. Rebecca Moore – Rebecca Moore is a Mi’kmaq woman who is the Community Energy Campaigner, Ecology Action Centre. She is dedicated to working with Indigenous, African Canadian and settler communities for energy campaigning. Rebecca is a drummer/singer and has performed for numerous events. Rebecca has been acknowledged for her community efforts by receiving the Premier’s Power of Positive award, Leadership in Crime Prevention Award from the Minister of Justice, and the Barry Logan Memorial Award for Volunteer of the Year from the Kiptu Youth Centre.
    13. Gordon Slade – Gordon is recognized as a leader in sustainable economic development. Dr. Slade has been awarded the highest recognitions nationally and internationally for preserving the cultural heritage of N. America’s oldest region – Newfoundland and Labrador. Gordon is successful in delivering multi-disciplinary projects that have significant international economic, cultural, environmental and heritage outcomes. His latest project is the renaissance of the remote region of Fogo Island and Change Islands, NL with the Shorefast Foundation. He is developing partnerships with governments, communities, and local residents to preserve local traditions and knowledge, while developing a model for the sustainable management of rural communities.
    14. Debbie Nielsen –Debbie Nielsen has worked for close to 20 years in the field of environmental programming, planning and education.  She holds a Bachelor of Science and a Bachelor of Design in Environmental Planning, and presently works as the Infrastructure & Sustainability Officer for the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities (UNSM).  Prior to joining UNSM, she worked as an environmental planning consultant and completed a number of climate change projects, including the City of Iqaluit’s first adaptation plan and a local action plan to help the City reduce its greenhouse gas emissions from its municipal operations. 
    15. Rankin MacSween – Rankin has served as president of New Dawn Enterprises, a not-for-profit social enterprise in Sydney, NS for 20 years. Rankin has sought to influence the rapidly changing social and economic Cape Breton landscape. New Dawn today administers a range of operating units including real estate, health care, a community college and a multi-million dollar Community Economic Development Investment Fund.  Rankin has served as a Founding Director of Island Community Justice, Chair of the Cape Breton Canadian Mental Health Association, and a Founding Director of the Canadian Community Economic Development Network. He is engaged in the follow-up to the One Nova Scotia Report as a One Nova Scotia coalition member.
    16. Leon DeVreede – Leon is the Sustainability Planner for the Town of Bridgewater, NS.  He implemented the Town’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan from 2008-10, and was an inaugural recipient of the NS Clean Climate Leader Award.  The Town of Bridgewater’s Clean Energy Financing program, of which Leon was a principle architect, was the winner of the Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities’ Climate Change Leaders Award.  Leon is currently the project lead on Bridgewater’s Community Energy Investment Plan, which will be completed in late 2017.  The plan will lay a foundation for public and private investment toward a low carbon community. 
    17. Dale Prest – Dale’s work at Community Forests International is to reimagine forest management for the 21st century, positioning our rural communities to lead in the fight against climate change by managing woodlots for carbon sequestration. Dale worked in family forestry operations on family owned land: an experience that cemented in him the struggles small landowners face to compete in global commodity markets. Dale’s academic work, including a M.Sc. in Earth Science, has focused on forest nutrient cycling under differing management regimes.
    18. Av Singh – Av has had the privilege of visiting over 2,000 farms across four continents which has shaped his extension of holistic, system-based farm solutions.  Emphasizing farmer-to-farmer knowledge exchange, Av works to hone farmer intuition in making management decisions. Av currently serves as the Chief Agronomist with The American Cannabis Company and is proud member of the National Farmers’ Union, the Canadian Organic Growers, Slow Food in NS, and a faculty member at Earth University in India.
    19. Chris Ortenburger– Chris homesteads with her husband and four children in Bonshaw, PEI.  Her education is in biology and veterinary medicine.  She became involved in environmental issues and democratic rights after fighting a bloated highway project; the Citizens’ Alliance of P.E.I.  formed in its aftermath.  She chairs the group and producesa daily e-mail of news, events and engagement opportunities for interested Islanders.  She is an organizer for the Coalition for the Protection of PEI Water and Blue Dot PEI, and is on the board of directors of the PEI Women’s Institute and of La Leche League Canada.
    20. Susan Tooke – Visual and media artist, Susan’s studio work is focused on the environment and the preservation of wilderness.  She has served on the boards of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, Canadian Artists’ Representation/Le Front des artistes canadiens, the Creative Nova Scotia Leadership Council, and is currently the vice-president of the Sable Island Institute. 
    21. Adam Fenech –Dr. Fenech has worked in the area of climate change since the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change First Assessment Report in 1988. He has edited 8 books on climate change.  Dr. Fenech has worked for Harvard Univ researching science/policy interfaces of climate change. He has represented Canada at international climate negotiatings; written climate policy speeches for Canadian Environment Ministers; and authored Canadian reports on climate change to the United Nations. Dr. Fenech has taught at the Univ of Toronto and the Smithsonian Institution. He is presently the Director of the Univ of Prince Edward Island’s Climate Research Lab. Dr. Fenech was honoured to share in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for his work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
    22. Christine Saulnier – Christine has been the NS Director of the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives since 2007.  As a feminist political economist, with a PhD in Political Science, she is the key spokesperson for CCPA in Atlantic Canada. She leads the publication of CCPA -NS’ Alternative Provincial Budget. She is co-author of Working for a Living, Not Living for Work: A living wage for Halifax and Antigonish. She is active in the Community Society to End Poverty-Nova Scotia and a board director of Adsum, a provider of supportive housing and emergency shelter for women, and children. She is a member of the Women’s Committee of the Nova Scotia Federation of Labour, and the Ecology Action Centre’s climate jobs roundtable.