Burgess was born and raised in Canada's mountain National Parks. Having grown up in an environmentally focused community and family, he followed a career path that would keep him connected to his root values. Beginning in the field of Environmental Education with Alberta Parks, as a consultant in Mongolia on climate issues in the mining indutry, and following to a position with Natural Resources Canada as a policy analyst. He sought out new educational and learning opportunities at every turn, including Next Up Calgary's 3rd Cohort, a Masters in Science and Technology Policy from the University of Sussex, and extensive other training. To keep himself sane, he spends as much time in the wilderness, and on a bicycle as possible.
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
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.
Cori calls Edmonton “home” but has lived in both Manitoba and Saskatchewan. She’s proud to come from the prairies!
Cori was first introduced to the labour movement as a teenager when she started working as a postal worker. Little did she know, that it would become her passion and change the course of her life. She was instantly drawn to the power of the collective and developed strong skills as a union representative on the shop floor. Cori experienced the advantage of being a union member which led her to choose her next career. Working part time at the post office, Cori completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from Grant Macewan University. In her third year, she studied abroad at the University De Holguin in Cuba. She was briefly employed as a Registered Nurse before taking a full time position in the labour movement. Cori currently works for the Canadian Labour Congress as the Regional Representative for Alberta. In her free time, Cori likes camping and spending time outdoors. She is excited to make climate justice a priority in her work!
Ashton is currently moving and shaking in Edmonton, where she supports a non-profit organization that combines her interests in grassroots community organizing, sustainable food movements, and youth activism. As Program Director with Ceiba Association, she facilitates global education and community-led development internship opportunities for young people in Edmonton, creatin launching points for engaging in social and environmental change work. Through this role, she is committed to bridging local and global social justice concerns through sparking conversations on the roots of injustice, including histories of capitalism, colonialism, and land ownership. Currently supporting sustainable agriculture initiatives in southwestern Uganda, Ashton is motivated by a sense of urgency to act on the disproportionate influences of climate change on developing and marginalized communities.
Born and raised in Calgary, Elizabeth is a life-long learner whose studies in Philosophy took her to ponder life’s big questions in faraway places like Ireland, Belgium and Germany. She returned to Calgary in 2009, where it has been a privilege to participate in the discourse of a city exploring its identity and what it wants to be. She works in the fields of continuous improvement and organizational effectiveness. She is currently in a professional role with an energy company that combines her philosophical interests in learning and problem solving processes, experiential education and employee engagement.
You can usually find Elizabeth on some sort of outdoor adventure – hiking, climbing, camping, cycling, x-country skiing, snowboarding and snowshoeing are all treasured ways to spend her time. She also volunteers as a Ranger leader with Girl Guides of Canada, mentoring brilliant young women in outdoor pursuits and responsible citizenship. She is thrilled to be part of Next Up’s Climate Leadership Program, and looks forward to the challenge and community involved.
Kalen Pilkington is the Director of the Office of Sustainability at MacEwan University in Edmonton, Alberta. The Office of Sustainability strives to connect, engage and inspire MacEwan University’s campus and the community through sustainability leadership. Utilizing a systems-thinking methodology, she strives to create a balanced approach to the environmental, economic, social, cultural and well-being dimensions of sustainability. Through her work at MacEwan, Kalen oversees the creation and implementation of a sustainability strategy, complete with targets to achieve the long term vision of a resilient and equitable future. Working alongside key stakeholders, the office provides guidance, fosters awareness, monitors progress, and promotes partnerships towards campus-wide sustainability.
Originally from Ontario, Kalen holds a Masters of Environment and Sustainability and a post-graduate certificate in Green Architecture. She has also obtained several professional designations related to public engagement, project management, sustainable events, and green buildings.
Kalen enjoys spending time with her dog Fyfe, hiking, backcountry camping, canoeing, biking, yoga, listening to music and reading. When Kalen can’t be found around Alberta, she can be found travelling, learning about different cultures, and how sustainability is done around the world. She tries to continually build her skills and push boundaries. Currently, Kalen is learning ukulele and slide guitar. She dreams of starting her own consulting firm that focuses on well-being in sustainable, healthy spaces. Kalen likes to tackle global challenges through local action which connects participants with a larger community working towards positive change. She believes in status-quo disruption, so let’s be troublemakers and make innovative, long-lasting impacts.
Corey Dekker has a passion for public policy. Corey grew up in Metro-Vancouver and attended Simon Fraser University, where he completed an undergraduate degree in political science. Corey then headed off to London to complete a master’s degree in government and political theory at the London School of Economics. Following graduation, Corey found his way to Ottawa and secured a job with the federal public service, where he has worked since 2009. As a federal public servant Corey has worked across four departments in three different cities (Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary) and is currently a Socio-Economic Specialist with the National Energy Board.
A central theme of Corey’s work and personal interests is Indigenous peoples and Indigenous rights, and particularly how Indigenous peoples rights and interests affect public policy. Through his work, Corey leads engagement with Indigenous peoples across Canada and has had the privilege of meeting with members from over 100 Indigenous groups. One key takeaway from his work with Indigenous peoples is their concern about environmental sustainability and climate change. In that spirit, Corey is excited to participate in the Climate Leadership Program as a vehicle to better understand the challenge of climate change and to learn about (and contribute to) climate action.
Corey is a status member of the Pine Creek First Nation in Manitoba and currently lives in Calgary with his wife Jasmine.
Chris was born and raised in Calgary and currently resides in the Rocky Mountain foothills about an hour west of the city. He and his partner Jodi live and work in an intentional community at a spiritual retreat centre on a 166-acre wilderness property on the Ghost River. Their work is centred on hospitality, inclusion, and creating safe space for all.
Chris has an undergrad degree in theology, and recently graduated from Royal Roads University with a Master of Arts in Disaster and Emergency Management. His major research project focused on the gendered dimensions of the 2013 Alberta floods. As he begins his career in emergency management, he is passionate about creating disaster resilient communities based on social equity, protection of vulnerable populations, community health, environmental sustainability, and climate change adaptation.
You can usually find Chis out wandering in the woods, where he spends as much time as possible. He also enjoys cooking, writing, reading, and terrible puns.