For immediate release

Vancouver, BC

A game-changing new initiative to build Canada’s sustainable workforce launches today. The bold purpose of the Academy for Sustainable Innovation is to train and certify a generation of professionals to lead Canada’s transition to a low-carbon economy.

It will provide a targeted 100,000 professionals with the skills, knowledge, and experience to manage Canada’s shift to a more sustainable world over the next 15 years.

Key youth sustainability leaders voiced their support at the launch.

“Young leaders are up for the massive opportunities and great challenges in sustainable innovation,” reported Janessa Grossett of Leading Change Canada. “Young people need tangible platforms to validate their ideas, structures and resources to hold them accountable, and direct communication to acknowledge their efforts. The Academy for Sustainable Innovation will fuel them onwards and upwards!”

Meredith Adler, Executive Director at Student Energy, added, “Young people will be the ones who shape our sustainable future. Now is the time to activate youth innovation by equipping them with the skills necessary to deliver on the solutions we need.”

Start-up funder Bruce Lourie of the Ivey Foundation agreed, saying, “The huge scale of environmental and social challenges facing Canada means that young professionals will need to acquire new knowledge and new skills if the country is to transition effectively to a low carbon economy. Working with diverse partners across business, government, civil society and post secondary education, the Academy for Sustainable Innovation aims to promote and develop pathways that will answer those needs.”

The first Academy for Sustainable Innovation programming is a ‘free access’ graduate-level course; a professional development program in sustainable procurement; and a series of mentoring events. Also planned is the development of a ‘transition leader’ designation overseen by qualified practitioners and academics.

The Academy for Sustainable Innovation is the brainchild of former Executive Director of the Pembina Institute Ed Whittingham; former VP of Sustainability at Suncor Gord Lambert; and York University academic David Wheeler.

Canada’s top sustainable business networks on-hand as partners to support the launch included the UN Global Compact (Canada), GLOBE Forum, Corporate Knights, Clean50, and Canadian Business for Social Responsibility.

Students, professionals, academics and partners are encouraged to sign up to the community at

Media inquiries to:

Rebecca Black
Black Current Marketing

David Wheeler
York University, Academy for Sustainable Innovation co-founder

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Our Mission

  1. Recognizing the urgency of achieving an 80% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2050 — and the opportunities this creates for scaling innovation, acting as an advocate for our movement, and its future impact.

  2. Supporting the development of a profession of managers and entrepreneurs committed to transition. We are aiming to qualify and accredit a minimum of 100,000 transition managers within 15 years.

  3. Supporting the development of role models and mentoring capacity at all levels – including ‘reverse mentoring’ – and providing for digital matchmaking of those joining the movement.

  4. Creating new educational pathways of accessible and flexible learning in transition-related topics by sharing existing educational opportunities.

  5. Developing new educational opportunities that transcend disciplinary and institutional barriers and leverage new course formats, online and open access resources, conferences, and co-labs.

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