Ashley Morrison is a Calgary transplant, spending much of her life in beautiful British Columbia before moving to Cow Town in 2003. Ashley’s passion for learning was evident even from an early age – she spent much of her early years with her nose in a book, and hasn’t changed much since. Ashley has a passion for education, and currently nurtures that through her work at the University of Calgary.
At 17 Ashley moved to Thailand on a Rotary Youth Exchange. It was there that she learned the joy in food and culture, and is what sparked her interest in world affairs. When she returned she started her degree in International Relations, focusing on security and strategy. Ashley believes that learning, whether in a class or not, is the foundation for peace. She lives by the motto ‘seek first to understand’, and seeks out opportunities for growth in all that she does.
Ashley’s love of food persists and is accompanied by a dedication to her food garden, sustainable practices, and carrying on the skills her grandmother taught her through baking, cooking, and preservation.
Aman Adatia first contributed to Calgary’s curbside dining scene when he elevated the food truck concept from ‘street meat’ to a highly sought after, award winning, restaurant on wheels - Eat Naaco (2012-2017). It was a unique entrepreneurial model that allowed Aman to serve kick-ass food while also contributing to stronger communities, and the local food landscape.
Aman deeply believes that social enterprise is the future of food. He insists that the product he offers be high-quality and compelling, and that social, environmental, and economic metrics are not only equally weighted, but embedded into the organizational DNA.
Aman is a valued board and committee member for various governmental and nonprofit organizations and initiatives, a coach to aspiring food entrepreneurs, and a highly engaged citizen.
Chef, entrepreneur, and activist - Aman is now embarking on a new project, Fare Community: a transformative hospitality group that takes a multi-faceted approach to creating a food economy that can tackle important environmental (food surplus) and societal (barrier employment, food security) issues.
The future of our food system is in our hands. We are all explorers of an edible planet and we must consume it in a responsible way. Let us use food to increase our understanding of poverty and waste.
“It take a lot of nerve to destroy our wondrous Earth.”- Bowerbirds
Next Up Calgary has wrapped it’s 7th year. There were 18 participants this year, in a program that was supported by about 40 grad volunteers and 28 guest presenters over the course of 38 sessions. This year also marked the fifth Community Connection, which saw 60 participants attending 10 workshops, 12 marketplace of ideas presentations and a fantastic lunch in a full day of strengthening networks and growing conversations about transforming Calgary.
I am very grateful to Arielle, Charlene, Chloe, Emily, Holly, Jacie, Katie, Khalil, Krystal, Lindsay, Lise, Litia, Meghan, Nicole, Nina, Tara and Thana for their committed participation, co-education, vulnerability, trust, good humour and hope. Thank you everyone for jumping into the river of change and celebrating the journey.
PS - there are exciting format and programming adjustments in the planning for cohort 8. Please send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) before July 14 to express your interest in helping facilitate and guide these plans.
PPS - The application deadline for Calgary Cohort 8 is September 22, at 11 pm. Interviews will be on Sunday, Sept 30, between 10 am and 3 pm. The link to the application and the entire call out package will be online towards the end of July. Contact email@example.com if you have any questions.
As a born and raised Calgarian, Lindsay has a profound appreciation for the natural surroundings that both our Province and country have to offer. In search of widening her perspective and experience, Lindsay attended Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario where she earned a degree in Political Studies. Her passion for politics and environmental issues led her to explore interests in writing and debating through her involvement in the University’s newspaper and other publications.
Shortly after completing her undergraduate degree, Lindsay moved to Ottawa to pursue an internship with Elizabeth May’s M.P. Office. Her experience working on Parliament Hill was valuable, as it introduced her to the inner-workings of Parliament and the decision-making process. Through this work experience, she decided to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Policy, which brought her back to Calgary. As a Master’s student, she focused on energy and environment issues affecting Canada and Alberta. Specifically, water management issues caught Lindsay’s attention, which is an area she continues to work in as a Research & Policy Analyst at Alberta WaterSMART Solutions.
Fuelling Lindsay’s interest in environmental issues and policy is her constant desire to be close to nature and to protect Canada’s natural surroundings. Lindsay can often be found in the Rocky Mountains hiking in the summer and cross-country skiing in the winter.
Growing up in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains, Simon had the opportunity to spend countless hours outdoors cultivating a strong relationship with the land. His relationship to land instilled in him a deep-rooted desire to leave the earth ecologically and socially improved for his grandchildren and their grandchildren after them. This, more than anything has been the guiding force throughout his life and informed and influenced Simon’s studies both as an undergraduate and graduate student.
Simon completed his Business Management degree at the University of Alberta – Augustana campus in 2013. Simon’s graduate studies then took him to Sweden where he completed his MSc. in Business and Economics from the University of Uppsala with a focus on intersectionality. He is happy to be home now and working in Albertas environmental sector.
Joy Wall is a born and raised Calgarian with a passion for connection, education, and social justice. Joy has a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of Lethbridge, where she was involved in various clubs, child development, and literacy programs.
Currently, Joy is working as a child development specialist, supporting children under 5 with disabilities. Previously she worked with an organization which supports families after the death of a loved one.
Joy has a strong passion for connecting with people and learning how people connect to one another. This passion comes together in opportunities to travel which Joy takes as every opportunity.
Joy feels strongly about storytelling being an important medium for discourse, and is involved in the storytelling and comedy communities. She has a strong interest in learning how to use comedy to connect individuals to social issues, ideas, and movements.
In the future Joy hopes to travel across the world, forming connections, and learning from everyone she meets.
Tara was born on Treaty 7 Land, in Calgary, Alberta,and has lived there ever since. After graduating they have decided to try their hardest to live a life lead by compassion and values. They are passionate about intersectional feminism, and environmental justice. Tara use's their free time doing art, or at least thinking about doing some art; or eating dark chocolate with a reasonably priced bottle of wine. In the future they hope to help make Calgary a safer, more sustainable, and generally cooler place to be.
Nina Karimi is a born and raised Vancouverite living the Calgarian dream, minus the cowboy hat. She graduated from UBC with a Political Science Degree last year, and during her time there she was the President of the UBC New Democrats and elected to the Residence Hall Association, Senate, and Board of Governors. She moved to Alberta after its most recent provincial election to work for an NDP MLA as their Constituency Assistant.
She has been passionate about politics since she was very young, attending rallies at the Vancouver Art Gallery with her parents and annoying her father with a million questions. Her parents immigrated to Canada as refugees, and it has always been clear to her how lucky she is to live in a free and democratic society.
She often feels pulled in multiple different directions when it comes to causes she supports, but her main area of focus is trying to address poverty in Canada at the systemic level, particularly with affordable housing.
In her spare time she enjoys playing board games, dancing to funky edm, and eating potatoes.
Nicole Edmond was born and raised in various rural Alberta communities, spending most of her childhood in Airdrie, Alberta. Most of her time was spent being curious about the ways of the world and biking around exploring the city. Moving to Calgary, Nicole attended art school and received a Bachelors of Fine Art degree in Print-Media from The Alberta College of Art and Design in 2014. Nicole’s curiosity continues to move her forward via her artwork, which explores the complex relationship between human beings and the natural world, specifically the relationship we have with microbes.
When Nicole isn’t focusing on her art practice she dedicates a portion of her free time as the Vice President on the board of directors at The Alberta Printmaker’s Society. Here she is often helping organize new events to spread the joys of art and printmaking with the Calgary community. Nicole is also passionate about feminism; specifically how intersectional feminism can help create a more fair and equal arts community. Nicole has pursued this passion by interviewing artists and being a part of the discourse on the feminist podcast Yeah, What She Said on CJSW.
Nicole’s dream is to one day open a non-profit gallery dedicated to showcasing artwork produced by female, non-binary and Trans artists.
Meghan is a quiet explorer and observer of the world, whose days are punctuated by emphatic hand talking. Meghan believes in practicing empathy, and that compassion has the power to be disruptive.
Currently Meghan works at Spark, Calgary's Science Centre, creating experiences that challenge visitors and build skills. They believe in the value of risky play, authentic challenges, and the ability of children to construct their own learning. Meghan believes Spark, and other cultural institutions, have a critical role to play in building empathetic and resilient communities. Meghan is grateful to work in a role that allows them to take creative risks, fail often and brilliantly, and facilitate learning opportunities for others. Sometimes Meghan teaches toddlers how to use knives and teens to use butane torches, and they think this is pretty great.
Meghan grew up in Calgary, and although leaving several times, they’ve always returned. Living and working in B.C, Washington, DC and Nunavut, allowed Meghan challenging and sometimes uncomfortable opportunities to grow. These days Meghan is thankful to be living and learning on Treaty 7 land, underneath the big sky and amongst the prairie grasses, which they have a lot of affection for.
As you read this, Meghan is slightly embarrassed by how earnest this bio is, but not embarrassed enough to actually change it.